Frindsbury with Strood in old picture postcards

Frindsbury with Strood in old picture postcards

:   D.S. Worsdale
:   Kent
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5935-7
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Frindsbury with Strood in old picture postcards'

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Whilst Frindsbury Extra and Stro ad are, and have been, two distinct and separate communities, they have been engulfed by political manoeuvre into one large unit with city status. Nevertheless, their proximity to the River Medway secured for them a close link and common bond with others of their riverside neighbours and a means of communication with the rest of the world.

A bridge built across the river at an appropriate point and a road to go with it, Watling Street, were first provided by the Romans, although there were other, earlier settlements as discovered in the Quarry and along the riverside, on islands, and in the marshes of the Estuary.

As the centuries have rolled by there has been no de cline in the importance of the river for employment, and therefore income. Agriculture in the flood-free are as has followed the national pattern and has been a fairly constant employer. Other trades and industries have fluctuated, such as shipbuilding which thrived in the 18th century in Frindsbury, where ships for the Royal N avy such as 'Bellorophon' (1780) and 'Shannon' (1805) were built. Ship building, as required by the Navy, was transferred to the Royal Dockyard, but Frindsbury's baat building skills were still required in 'Thames barge' building and fishing 'smack' or

'Bawley' boat building. Until the 20th century, fishing for general catches continued in the river and estuary and also shrimp and oyster catching were thriving, but pollution put a stop to th at.

As employment opportunities in the Royal Doekyard and in the Medway Towns demanded diversification and therefore new skills, so commerce and retail trading continued to expand quickly and so more shops appeared in the High Street, not to mention public houses of which 'The Angel' is probably the best known. Among the well-known brewers were Budden and Biggs, whose brewery was near Saint Nicholas' Church (now Safeways car park). Their famous slogan was 'Budden and Biggs Body Building Beverages'. One of their 'houses' was the 'Old Gun' at the corner of Cuxton Raad. Other brewers were Truman Hanbury and Co., who had the 'Fountain Inn', High Street, and 'Upnor Castle' in Upper Upnor High Street. Meux & Co. had the 'Bull Head' in Gun Lane and Barclay Perkins & Co. had the 'Ship Inn' at the corner of the Esplanade; Style and Winch had the 'Cobham' very close to the Strood end of the Roehester Bridge.

A well-known passenger carrier was Pilchers, whilst Maidstone and District Motor Services Ltd. had established a thriving omnibus service. There

were oil seed mills along the Dockside - among them was Horsnail and Reynolds. FIour milling was among the earliest of industries and because of the high ground in the Frindsbury area and no other high ground between them and the North Sea, there was no shortage of wind. Among the millers were Fields, Killicks and Kimmins's. At one time, at the end of the 19th century, there was an array of mills along the sky-line stretching eastwards roughly parallel to the river. The leading engineer was Thomas Aveling, who died in 1882 and is buried in St. Werburgh's Churchyard at Hoo St. Werburgh, alongside his mother. He was followed by his son Thomas Lake Aveling, whose second name is his mother's maiden name. She was a farmer's daughther. Included in the list of the other names of note in Frindsbury and Strood in the prescribed period are Whitebread (farming), Wenborn (seed merchant), Lyles (mineralwater) Aveling and Porter (engineers), Wiekham (solicitor), Cobb (auctioneers), Collis and Stace (ironmongers ), Ring and Sons (removals), Bayden Simmonds (outfitters ), Skinners (farriers ) and Collards (grocery).

The responsible local authorities are sharing with the area the bene fits and responsibilities of major developments which include Thamesport - the re-

development of the Isle of Grain - and the redevelopment of the one-time Royal Dockyard; the improving facilities for industry and commerce on the Frindsbury Peninsula and, perhaps the most important of all, improving the road system. This includes a tunnel under the River Medway joining St. Mary's Island and Frindsbury, which is a considerable contribution to the completion of the Medway Towns Northern Relief Road.

D.S. Worsdale, 1994

1. 'The Angel' was first mentioned in records in 1526 and this very old picture shows the bottom of North Street (then Cage Lane) with "The Angel' on the right. This building was pul1ed down and replaced in 1899 and in the 1980's. Why there should have been a gate across the road (High Street) in that position is not known but it, the Turnpike, was removed in 1876.

2. This is a view of Strood High Street, looking west, about 1905. Not many 'clapboard' (or weather-board) buildings remained in the High Street at this time. The shop on the left offers 'Boots made to measure' and, rare in 1994, 'Gaiters'. The Shop on the right offers 'Gloves' and, for the observant, 'Celebrated eB. Corsets'!

3. This picture of the famous Gun Lane Cross Roads in Strood, where the lane crosses the AZ, is at least a hundred years old. The shop on the right-hand corner has a facia board which reads 'The Covent G .... ', which would indicate a green grocery. The cart on the left was designed to carry hay or straw and was a common item in rural areas, thus it can be assumed that this picture was taken at haymaking or harvest.

4. In 1925, when the picture for this postcard was taken, the policeman standing at the bottom of North Street would be a common sight. The public house on the right, 'The Angel', gives its name to the corner. The newsagents' shop on the left advertises Navy Cut cigarettes.

5. It is unlikely that the two gentlemen having a friendly chat in the middle of Strood High Street could have imagined the paving and trafik pressures of today. The clock is the clue - it indicates Fernbanks corner. Originally the name over the shop was Fehrenbach, changed in 1914.

6. This is another view of Strood High Street and Gun Lane Roads in the early years of the century. The gabled house to the left is thought to have survived from the 16th century - it was demolished to allow for the widening of Gun Lane.

7. Strood High Street in 1925 looked like this. Gone is the 'Invicta' cinema on the left and Woolworths has replaced much of wh at can be seen on the right hand. However, the building supporting the 'Rolex' sign remains as 'Fernbanks Corner'. Beyond Fernbanks everything on the right-hand side has gone.

8. This pictures the High Street in Strood in 1907. It shows the opposite side of the road as shown in No 7. The large shop on the left with plenty of lighting was a jewellers.

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