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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19. This school picture, of Standard 6 at Meopham School, was taken about 1894. The schoolmaster is Mr. Waite, who has the appearance ofbeing a kindly and sympathetieperson. The attire ofthe boys and, indeed of the master, is quite distinctive of the period, with short coat lapels, a three-buttoned jacket and a waistcoat. Two of the boys even have a flower in their buttonhole in honour of the photograph . All the girls have long hair and most are wearing pinafores. The picture was, of course, taken in the school grounds. Apart from his duties as schoolmaster, Mr. Waite took on the post ofparish clerk at the end of 1898, but gave it up when his wife died in 1902.

20. Back in 1914 the Meopham School celebrated national holidays and other similar occasions with considerable enthusiasm. Here we see them on Empire Day, 1914. Many desks and chairs have been moved out into the school grounds, as the weather was kind that year, and a number ofthe staffand pupils dressed up in costumes appropriate to those parts of the Empire which were deemed worthy of inclusion. The large sycamore tree under which the group gathered has long since been felled. Regrettably none of those taking part in this event has been identified, and few of them would still be alive. The building behind the fence was the headteacher's house.

21. The original Meopham Court dated from Saxon times, and the manor was given to the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury by the lord of the manor on his death. The demesne lands of the manor were farmed to supply food for their sustinence, although later the land was let for a cash rental instead. After the dissolution, the property passed to the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, and finally it was bought in 1852 by Mr. Robert Bamett. Ten years later he carried out extensive alterations. The centuries-old buildings were replaced by the ones we see here in this 1920 picture. The brick wall running across the picture is a haha, to keep the farm animals from the lawns. In recent years the building was divided into several separate dwellings, and the lawn also has been split. The creeper here seen growing up the walls has now been cut down, revealing the excellent flint and brick architecture.

Meopham Church from Vicarage ~leadow

22. This picture, taken from vicarage meadow looking east shows the backs of the two Church Cottages, and, to their left, a square building with a sort of look-out on top. This was the former Meopham Cyde Works, owned and operated by Mr. William Bamber unti11899. Much to the regret of the village he then found it no longer profitable and dosed it down. The building was then demolished. In the foreground is Clements Reach pond, then much larger than it is now. On the land to its right two large houses have been built in recent years. One is the new vicarage (now the Rectory) and the other is appropriately named 'The Glebe'. This card was specially overprinted for the vicar and his wife to use as a Christmas Card, and it is a commentary on the changes in our postal system to note that in 1904 the vicar was able to post it as late as 9 pm on 23rd December, with a lhd stamp, in confidence that the recipient would get it by Christmas Day.

23. This rather deceptive view of the road junction of Wrotham Road and Shipley Hills Lane dates to the early years of this century. There was a wide entrance to the lane , with the common triangle of grass. In 1917 the parish council acquired an acre ofland on the west side of W rotham Road for aburial ground, and duly enclosed it. In doing so the wall was built to form a tight right-angle, enclosing the green and part of the road! This caused a serious traffic hazard in later years, which was not rectified until the 1970's. The vicarage stands on the site of an earlier building, and dates from about 1865. It ceased to be the vicarage in the early 1960's, when a more suitable building was put on what was part of the glebe land to the rear.

24. The post office serving the Meopham Church area was for a time befare the 1914-1918 war located in an annexe to Church Cottages. The delivery staff are here seen posed outside the premises, wearing the distinctive post office hats with brims back and front. The bicycle on the right appears to have been a post office issue, with its rack for themail bags, whereas the one used by the young man on the left has no such attachment. It was probably his own property. The postman on the extreme left is MI. 'Batty' Stevens, a prominent mernber ofthe Meopham Cricket Club. A wide selection of postcards was on sale, as weil as cigarettes and the usual sundry items found to this day in similar establishments. The telephone exchange was in the room behind the window on the left, and this may weil have accounted for the bricked-up doorway. To the extreme right of the picture is part of another building, and this was, unti11899, the Meopham Cycle Works.

25. The parish has had as many as six post offices in operation at the same time, although in each case they have tended to move to different premises in the particular locality. This picture shows the office in The Street, where it is stilllocated in 1986. For a time it lef! these premises (Elizabeth House) and moved to Church Cottages (see picture 24). Apart from normal postal business, the shop clearly was selling a range of grocery and other household goods. There are advertisements for Hudsons Soap and Peak and Frean's Biscuits. Several of the wellknown biscuit tins can be seen stacked inside the right-hand window. The !eft-hand window carries what appears to be an advertisement for emigration to Canada. The ladies on the steps have not been identified. Security reasons have dictated the brieking-up of the cellar accesses, and the letter-box has now been re-located into the wall itself. The addition of the words 'Telegraph Office' above the sign suggests that this part of the post office service had been newly provided.

26. The George Inn, unquestionably the oldest public house in the village, was formerly called the Market Crouche (i.e. Cross), a reminder that the village market was held weekly in the road outside, and in The Street opposite. This picture dates to about 1890, when Samuel Meakin was the licensee, and shows very weIl the leisurely pace of life at that time. The driver of the baker's cart was no doubt inside the house enjoying a drink, and he had no qualms about leaving his vehicle on the main road through the viIlage. On the left hand wall are two windows bricked up to avoid the hated window tax. One of them has now been opened up again. The famous Stock Trees are in full leaf in the centre of the picture. On the right can be seen the corner of Weil House, so named because it has a deep weIl adjacent to the kitchen, from which the villagers were allowed to draw water in the days before the piped supply. The brick wall running north from the trees was demolished when road widening took place a few years ago, but a replacement wall was built to exactly the same pattem.

27. This early Maudsley car, probably about 1907, was a common sight in Meopham in the early years of this century. The vehicle was owned by Mr. J .K. Mason, the captain of the Kent County Cricket Club from 1897 to 1907, and was chauffered by Mr. Harcourt Oliver, seen here at the wheel. He was known to his friends as 'Archie'. His brother Ernest was the licensee of the George Inn. The front tyres appear to be devoid of any tread, and the spare wheel seems to be wrapped up. Unlike the converted farm vehicle on picture 40, this car had electric lighting, but it still had a hom operated by squeezing a rubber bulb. The car was provided with a canvas cover at the back to enable the passengers to enjoy summer weather.

28. This picture was taken from the Wél! House corner of the raad junction, the site occupied many years ago by the market cross, and is looking to the south. The construction ofthe George Inn in two parts can c1early be seen, with the older part nearer the camera. From the absence of leaves on the famous Stock Trees, it is eertainly a winter view. The Stock Trees were planted on the site of the old village stocks, where malefactors were punished in full view of those attending the market. The motor car has stopped for petrol at the filling station built on the site of the former Dodmore Manor House. The hedge beyond the George has now gone, and the field behind it is occupied with housing. It was to the right of the telephone pole that the Roman farmstead was discovered. The pole is carrying about six or seven pairs of wires, showing the few subscribers in the south end ofthe village in the 1920's. The telephone exchange was then in the post office, just off the picture to the left.

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