Meopham in old picture postcards

Meopham in old picture postcards

:   J. Carley
:   Kent
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3392-0
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Meopham in old picture postcards'

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9. This picture, dating from about 1910, shows the shops on the east side of Wrotham Road just south of the station. The white houses in the centre were then, according to contemporary legal documents, 'two semi-detached dwelling houses called Nevill Villas situated near Meopham Railway Station', and they were owned by the French family. The left-hand one has now been converted into the post office and general store, with the right-hand one being the postmaster's house. The creeper-covered house next to them remains, minus its creeper, as a private house. The shops next to them were owned by Henry Bishop, tea grocer and provision dealer. He died in 1901, and his executors sold the entire property to William Norton, the miller at Meopham Green, for f750. As will be seen from the fascia board, he traded there as J. & W. Norton. The !eft-hand shop, now the newsagents, was leased to W.G. Aldridge, with a covenant against selling anything that the Nortons were likely to seil. In 1906 Aldridge sold out to Mr. V. Mackley, who later moved to the premises at Station Road (see picture 6). Norton's shops are now occupied by the butcher and the baker.

10. This view should be compared with the one when the property was owned by the Nortons and used as a corn and feed shop. It was taken over by the brothers King in the late 1920's. In the doorway are Mr. R. King, and Mr. E.W. Hollman, then a young assistant, on his right. Mr. Hollman has remained with the firm throughout his working life, and is still, after some years of retirement, sometimes to be seen in the shop. The motor cycle and sidecar were used for de!iveries. The interior of the shop has changed over the years. A carcase of me at can be seen hanging behind the door, in the area where now customers wait to be served. There was little refrigeration then. The bakery had property on both sides of the butchery, but now is on the left -hand side only.

11. The growth of the village after the First World War led to the need for more shops, and this block of three was built on the west side of Wrotham Road about 1930. They faced the earlier shops shown on picture 8. At first only two were let. Mr. Marshall , our first resident estate agent, offered plots of land, probably in three newly laid out roads at the back of the shops, as weil as houses for sale and to let. The centre shop doubled as a post office and a café. The post office later crossed the road. Subsequently the estate office became a branch of the Midland Bank, and the other two the local Co-op. More recently the commercial activity ceased, and the whole has been turned into an attractive block of flats.

Hook Green, Meopham

12. Hook Green is the most northerly of the village greens in Meopham, and until recent years was used for grazing animals. This view shows the two former parish cottages built on the green in 1832 to accommodate some of the poor. Later one was used as a school and the other as a knitting factory. They now farm one private dwelling, known as Weavers Cottage. The roof was originally thatched, and it seems that some event was being publicised. The picture dates from befare 1921, and it may have been in conneetion with the Peace celebrations. On the left is Melliker Lane, with a Victorian villa, St. Aubin, facing the green. The barn on its right has now gene. On the right the brick and flint wall, enclosing part of the old Gates Place farm, was taken down for the road-widening about 1960. Houses have been built on this land.

13. This well-wooded picture of the main road at Hook Green gives a perhaps deceptive view of the width of the road about 1930. The entrance on the extreme left is to Waterditch Cottage, formerly a block of farm cottages including a forge, but later a riding establishment, and now a private dwelling. The long wooden fence has been replaced by a weil-cut hedge. Near the cyclist is the junction with Norwood Lane, leading past Norwood Farm to Camer. On the farside ofthis roadis Arborfield, formanyyears the residence ofDr. W.D. Hasler, the village doctor, but after his death converted into a number of flats. Further on, the road has now been widened, and several of the trees have been lost in the process. This road junction was notorious for its floods until recent years, and old maps show a pond in the garden of waterditeh. It was from this pond that the property taak its name.

14. Melliker Green is situated at the junction of Longfield Road and Melliker Lane, and is one ofthe smallest ofthe village greens. This picture was taken some time before 1925, when Longfield Road was widened to take modern traffic. The gnarled yew tree stands on the north side of the green, and is here seen in a rather sorry state. Fires had been lit in the hollow trunk, and it looked as though its end was near. However, in 1928 the parish council erected a fence round it, and it stands today in very good condition. The field behind the tree is occupied by a modern farmhouse, appropriately called 'Three-Ways'. The gate to the left led to a public footpath to Longfield Hill, the route of which was incorporated into the new road. The name 'Melliker' is derived from the Old English 'Myldenakre', meaning roughly 'At the soft cultivated piece of land' .

15. Camer House (pronounced as 'Kammer') was the seat of the Smith-Masters family, for many years the largest landowners in Meopham. The present building is Georgian, but like many more in the parish, stands on the site of a very much older house. John Ie Maistre lived there in the 13th century. This picture is dated 1887. In those days befare the creation of parish councils the celebration of such events as royal Jubilees feil to the occupants ofthe 'big house' to organise. Here we see the band formed up befare Camer House. ready to process through the village on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The uniform of the bandsmen, with their distinctive pillbox hats, has not been positively identified, but by reference to the badges of rank which some are wearing, they may have come from the Royal Engineers at Chatham. The house itselfhas changed but little, except that the creeper has been cut down.

16. The Meopham and Nurstead Women's Institute was founded in 1923, the first offour institutes now operating in the parish. This came about largely due to the enthusiastic dedication of a group of residents, headed by Mrs. Smith-Masters. She was elected to be the first president, a post she held for many years. At least once a year she invited the members to a garden party at her home, and this picture shows one such group. The president is sitting at the tabie, and so far as can be seen, no rnernber is hatless! Among many good things that the institute has done is to rnaintain a village scrap book, and thanks to that a nurnber of old pictures used in this book have survived and been made available.

17. The growing of hops was a fairly important part of the rural economy of Meopham in earlier years, but it has now ceased completely within the parish. A number of aast houses remain as a testimony to the farmer activity. Unlike some areas further south, where hundreds of hop-piekers came from London expressly for the harvest, most of Meopham's hops were picked by local families. Typical of them were the King family, seen here about 1906. They are gathered around the bin into which the hops were poured as they stripped the vines. The school log books of the period contain many references to the fixing of school holidays to meet the needs of the hop growers, and many more to the absences from school of children known to be so engaged, both befare and after the official hop-picking holidays.

Meopham School.

18. This rare view of Meopham school was published by the village postmaster, Mr. Langford, as part of his series of village views about 1900. It shows the school after the first extension had been made, and shows th at the children had the use of an adjoining field as a playground. Seven children and two dogs have managed to get into the picture. There were two main classrooms, and bebind them is the schoolmaster's house. Originally that was a single storey property, but in 1870 a second fioor was added. The slated canopy was always a problem for the occupant, making the rooms very dark. It was later removed and replaced by a porch. The large apple tree growing near it added to the difficulties when it was in leaf, and it was cut down in the 1930's. What appears to be a belfry is a pair of chimneys, and some views exist showing them with chimney pots. The architect managed to use them to hang the school bell, and a cross was mounted above, signifying the status of the school as a church school.

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