Northfleet in old picture postcards

Northfleet in old picture postcards

:   C.R. Bull
:   Kent
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3490-3
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2 - 3 working days ((subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.


Fragments from the book 'Northfleet in old picture postcards'

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68. Northfleet in March 1889, was the home of the first 'series system' electric tramline in Europe. The line ran from the Leather Bottel to Station Road but was experimental and lasted only one year. The above view, taken during the track's construction, shows clearly the social division of the workforce: the workers in caps, the foreman in a bowler hat and one of the company managers in the top hat. The contraption laying on the rails in the centre is a spring jack, an item connecting two conduits below ground which enabled electric current to be passed up through the trams and back to a central electricity station.

69. This tram car was one of the original 'series systern' electric vehicles. The tram system, however, was only electrified for a short experimental period in 1889. FIOm the early 1880's until1901 the local trams were horse-drawn. The horse system used a 3'6" gauge track, a fleet of five cars with fourteen horses and a depot on the site of The HiII's Catholic Church. These horses pulled the trams for the Leather Bottel to Gravesend's Wellington Street with a later extension to Huggens' College. The horses were occasionally commandeered by the local fire brigade; the whole system was overtaken by the advent of locally produced electricity .

70. The view here is of the employees of the Gravesend and Northfleet Electric Tramway Company taken at their depot behind the Bridge Inn, Dover Road, around 1912. Electric trams replaced horsedrawn vehicles in 1902 after a period of converting the old tram track to electricity in 1901. The new system consisted of 6 miles of track running from Denton to Huggens' College and Swanscombe with three branches going up Windmill Street, Pelham Road and Dover Road. This system used overhead wires and was powered by the new Gravesend Electricity Works, unlike the 'series system' experiment. Electric trams ran in Northfleet from 1902 until they were scrapped in February 1929 and replaced by buses.

71. In 1930, Northfleet applied for the sanction of a loan of f44,630 to the Ministry of Health regarding a new main drainage systern. This system would bring the town into the 20th century as far as sewage was concerned and it was proposed to lay main drainage at first in the Waterdales area and then old Northfleet and Rosherville. A site for a new sewage works was earmarked on 15 acres of land at Brookvale Farm. This picture shows the normal sewage removal system up to and beyond the introduetion of main drainage. The cesspool emptier, dated 1920, complete with solid tyres, was a common sight in the town and similar vehicles were used in outiaying parts of Northfleet up to the 1960's.

72. This Vuican refuse vehicle is dated around 1930. Solid tyres are still an old fashioned feature but electric headlamps shows advance on the lorry in the previous picture. Refuse collection, or scavenging as it was called in this period, was carried out with horse and cart until Northfleet Urban District Council's Public Health Inspector, John Dyson (1912-1936), introduced these motor vehicles. Refuse was taken to a site near Brookvale Farm and then covered with earth. The motor vehicle enabled larger rounds to be taken and was part of the Council's weekly collection of household rubbish. The photograph was taken behind the Council Offices at Northfleet House.

73. Northfleet's Volunteer Fire Brigade became operational in 1885 under Samuel Honeycombe (7; 67) as first captain. The Fire Fighting equipment was originallyon a hand cart, a horse-drawn vehicle was introduced in 1897 but the first motorized vehicle was the one pictured above which was a T Ford with mechanical pump, introduced in 1923. This vehicle's failure to pump large amounts of water caused its replacement by a Merryweather fire engine in 1928. Northfleet's Fire Brigade continued to exist until in 1941 it became part of the National Fire Service and in 1948 part of The Kent County Council Fire Service.

74. Northfleet United Football Club, pictured here in the present football ground at Stonebridge Road, was founded in 1903. The club was preceeded by Northfleet Invicta F.C. (Founded in 1890 and renamed Northfleet F.C. in 1892.) Northfleet's previous grounds included Portland Meadow (on the site of the present cement works) and a ground near present day Huntley Avenue. The club progressed weIl in the 1890's, turning professional in 1895, but had to reform in 1903. More success was gained before 1914 but the 1920's was the club's golden era winning 19 club honours. In 1939 the club disbanded and became part ofthe new and present day Gravesend and Northfleet F.C. in 1946.

.cA. Smith... Photo .. Northft~

75. This final view was sent in 1905 and shows one of Northfleet's traditions, the Si/ver Band. The band was begun in 1878 by Fred Drain and was founded as a temperanee organisation with secondhand instruments. Northfleet people would of ten line the streets to cheer their Silver Band marching home after a concert. During the 1930's the band reached the peak in popularity and musical achievement. The band's president at this time was Frank Humphrey, a wealthy local farmer, who kept the whole group solvent. One of the many places used by the band for practice was the old tram depot in Dover Road.

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