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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29. Lomer Farm, an 18th century building on a site known to have been occupied since at least 1260, stands on the west side of Wrotham Raad, about Y4 mile north of Meopham Green. This picture was taken in Edwardian times, and from the angle of view, must have been taken from a balloon. Note the people alliooking up. The farmhouse is on the extreme right, with a large barn next to it, while the rest of the centre ground is occupied by a large double cow shed. This was newly built at that time. It had its own narrow-guage railway system for coJlecting the dung within the sheds and transporting it down to a site in the fields. Although the rails remain in the sheds, they are na langer in use, and the rolling stock has long since gone. The four people in the picture are enjoying the sunshine in the farm garden. This has now greatly changed. The walls have gone, a casualty of the occupation ofthe site by a barrage balloon derachment during the Secoud World War, and sa have the trees.

Vage Hall, Meopharn

30. Until1912 Meopham had no purpose-built village hall, and social gatherings were held in rooms, sheds and some of the public houses. This changed in 1912, when the village hall, here seen just after completion, was built at a cast ofnearly .f2,000 by a local benefactor. He was Edward Robert Pacy Maan, MP, who had not long before bought Green Farm as his residence. He was the member for St. Paneras North. The land on which the hall stands was bought from the Gravesend Land Company. The hedge along Wrotham Raad, as weil as the trees beside the drive, are very newly plantcd. In its original form the hall consisted of the main hall, complete with the stage, a committee room, kitchen and dressing rooms behind. There must have been sorne central heating, as only one chirnney stack is visible.

31. This picture of the interior of the village hall can be dated to the period about 1927, some 15 years after the hall had been built. 1t shows the quite interesting architectural methods used by Lord Ferrers, the architect appointed by Edward Maan. The provision of a stage was a great boon to the village, and the ability of various organisations to put on theatrical productions was instrumental in bringing about a great change in the cultural development of the village. The hall had to be lit by oillamps, as electricity did not come to Meopham until about 1930. Several lamps can be seen in the picture. One ofthe first projects ofthe Women's Institute after its formation in 1923 was to raise funds to provide equipment for the village hall. The provenanee of the grand piano on stage is not known, but now just an upright piano is provided.

32. The Baptist Church has been strong in Meopham since the early 19th century, and the first chapel was built just south of Meopham Green in 1828. It stands virtually unchanged today. To house the minister a wooden manse was built, standing at the back of the chapel, where cars now park. This sufficed for some fifty years, by which time funds were available for a more imposing building to be provided. This was erected just north of Kent Terrace, and is seen here with the Reverend Squirrel and his wife being formally inducted into their new home. Woodland villa was the name bestowed upon it, and the name remains today. At times when the chapel had no resident minister the manse was let on a temporary basis. Modern legislation would effectively prevent this course of action.

33. The tremendous losses and suffering sustained by the Armed Farces during the First World War led to the formation of the British Legion (now honoured as the Royal British Legion) throughout the country. Meopham joined with the neighbouring villages of Cobham and Luddesdown to form a local branch in 1923, and this is still flourishing 63 years later. Here we see the members marching to Meopham Green to take part in a ceremony. Led by a piper, they have a very good musterfor a branch based on three relatively smal! communities. The column of marchers is passing Kent Terrace, a block of cottages built in 1863 just to the north of the green. One of the cottages was in the 1920's used as a shop. It was kept by Emma Caller. Although very smal!, and three customers was a crowd, she carried a complete range of groceries, cooked meats, sweets and, at the back, paraffin.

34. With the growth of the village in the 1920's there developed an increasing need for the more urban type of service, such as deliveries to private houses by the more important and forward-looking tradesmen. Although such deliveries had been made in ear!ier years by horse and cart, the availability of motor vans gave it an impetus. This Morris van of about 1924 was owned by Walton and Holmes, family butchers of Meopham Green. It is seen parked outside 'Barnside'. This property remained a butcher's shop through successive owners until very recent times. The driver of the van cannot be identified, but the young boy is thought to be the son of Mr. Holmes.

35. The Meopham War Memorial was a subject of much debate in the parish in the years after 1918. Various proposed memorials were considered by the committee set up for the purpose, and most were discarded on the grounds of cost. The design was finally approved, and construction put in hand. The memorial was finally unveiled and dedicated on 23rd October 1920, after eighteen months of deliberations. By this time only fl86 had been raised towards its oost, and the minute book does not record how or whether the remainder of the cost was met. Behind the memorial is the Green Farm oast and barn, a reminder of the importance of hop growing in earlier years,


36. This view ofthe west side of Meopham Green was taken about 1904, and shows the newly erected drinking fountain. An interesting feature is the wire proteetion round the trees and bushes. The trees were planted in commemoration of the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria (1897) and are now quite mature. Of the bushes there is na trace or remembrance. The green in those days was under the control of the Church Cornmissioners, as Lords of the Manor, and it is no doubt their notice board within the wires. On the far side of the road is one of the milestones erected by the Turnpike Trust in 1827. In the far corner of the green harses are quietly grazing, undisturbed by any traffic. The telephone poles carry just one pair of wires, serving Leylands, half a mile to the south.

37. The drinking fountain on Meopham Green was erected by the parish council in 1903 to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII in the previous year. It cost ;[75, towards which a contribution of f25 was received from the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain Association. Apart from providing for human visitors, there was a tap from which water could be drawn for horses and cattle, and there was also a trough at ground level for dogs. This picture, of 1908, shows the use to which the facility was put by carters. The horse on the left is about to enjoy his drink, while the other waits patiently. In the background is the Green Farm Oast and barn. The oast still survives as part of a new dwelling, but sadly the barn was structurally beyond conversion and had to be dernolished. Nevertheless the tiles were salvaged and used for hanging on the new building.

38. This view ofthe north end of Meopham Green pre-dates the First World War, and shows some ofthe substantial development that had already taken place there. On the left is Dashwood Court, with a brick wall next to it. At the end of the wall is a field gate, a relic of the farm which used to occupy the area. The gate has gone, and the drive leads to a small factory. Next come two pairs of villas (Sunnyside), and to the right of them is another relic of the farm, a large bam with its centre doors leading directly onto the main raad. At that time the land behind all these buildings was still agricultural, and included a large orchard. The barn was taken down about 1955 to allow the erection of a new dwelling for the owner of the butcher's shop standing next to it. By that time the back land had been disposed of for the building of Cricketers Drive. After the war the village War Memorial was erected on the green in the centre ofthe picture.

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