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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49. This picture taken in front of the Kings Arms shows the licensee as W. Sargent, and so cannot be later than 1922, when he left there. From comparison with other views it seems that the premises had recently been decorated. The band, with their two-horsed brake, has not been identified. It is possible that it was the Culverstone Silver Band, which had been formed in 1920, but more likely that it was a similar band which had ridden out from Gravesend or Northfleet. From the traditional bowler hat which he is wearing, it seems that the man standing on the brake was the driver and possibly the owner of the equipment. The gentleman without a jacket was probably Mr. Sargent, joining in the group picture after serving them with their refreshments. He certainly offered to cater for parties. His family and/or staff have also managed to get included.

50, This view of the south-west corner of Meopham Green is somewhat later than that on picture 51, What had been Russell's clothing and boot stores has now been taken into use as a private residence. The former china, glass and toys department remains in commercial use, and has been let to Norton Brothers for use as acycIe shop. They have displayed a cycle wheel on the corner of the building as their trade sign, Their tenancy was almost certainly on a loek-up basis, as the upper floor has identical curtains at each window, and they seem to match those hanging at the ground floor windows. It is interesting to note that at some later time this building reverted to ful! business use, selling grocery, and acting as the post office. The cycle shop was later a bank and a café, but the whole of the premises is once again a private house.

51. This view of the south-west corner of Meopham Green dates from the early years ofthe 20th century. Mr. W.R. Russell, a member of a family still to be found in the parish, kept a large emporium stocking clothing, boots, china, toys, glass, millinery, drapery and many other lines. This indicates how the village was very much more self-sufficient in shopping matters than it is today, and that at a time when the population was a mere fraction of the present one. Next to Russell's is the Kings Arms (originally called the Smith's Arrns, the name being changed just after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660). The building without doubt dates back to the 17th century, and quite possibly earlier. A baker's delivery cart has been left standing outside the public house, and the horse bus to Gravesend is waiting in front of the mill.

52. Walter Parsons, the principal grocer at Meopham Green, had a shop at the north end of Leading Street, facing the windmill. It is now a motor spares shop. Apart from grocery items he sold wines, spirits, sweets, tobacco, cigarettes, crockery and many other things. Deliveries were made of orders to customers both in the village and in the surrounding area. The vehicle shown here was a 1928 Morris Commercial van, and the driver is Mr. Alan Durling (1896-1978). The picture was taken in the timber yard ofJesse Wells, justto the south of the shop, looking across to the Mount Zion Baptist chapel, the white building to be seen above the bonnet of the van.

53. The centre of this picture shows the former Black Cottages, Iying between Wellington Cottages and the stores. They were of wooden construction, timber clad, and treated with tar for weather protection. They had thatched roofs. The one on the right was occupied by MT. R. Goodwin. His fascia board above the door read 'Splint Maker and Thatcher'. He can be seen sitting outside, with his wife in the doorway. In later years he went blind, but managed to eam a living by tuming the handle of a large mangle. His wife took in mangling from local families, who thus avoided the need for ironing their washing. Across the road stands the miJl, with its cluster of shops. On the left , half-glazed, is the tea-room, with a brick store behind it, while on the right is the com and feed shop. All these have now gone, but for one srnall shop, which serves as a TV repair service.

54. The West Kent Hunt was founded in 1776, and hunts an area bounded by the rivers Cray, Thames and Medway, and certain areas beyond. Usually twice a year the meet is at Meopham Green, and this picture of about 1912 shows one such meet. Relatively few of the subscribers seem to have arrived, suggesting that the picture was taken fairly early in the morning. 11 am is the usual time for the meet. Most seem to have ridden to the meet, judging by the absence of any horse boxes. Use of the green itself for this purpose is na langer allowed, following the promulgation of by-laws by the parish council. In the background the mill is seen with its four sweeps in fuIl working order.

55. Cricket has been played on Meopham Green for well over 200 years, and during most, if not all, ofthat time the Meopham Cricket Club has made the Cricketers Inn their headquarters. The team of 1880 are seen here posed outside. They wore a remarkable variety of clothing. Some caps are dark, some light, one striped, and at least ODe player has no eap at all. Their clothes are equally assorted, as are those ofthe supporters flanking the team. Before the first pavillion was built on the green in 1919/20 the club had to use either a marquee or the public house for changing.

56. Arthur Jones, the licensee whose name appears on the sign in this picture of the Cricketers Inn, held the Iicence from 1907 to 1915 and was succeeded by his wife Loisa. The left-hand section of the house dates from 1794, when it was built by Richard Buggs. The left doorway had not been made in the front, and the centre door did not have its present porch. Although of quite a different architectural style , the right-hand part of the premises is almost as old, having been built by Richard's grandson, Henry Buggs, in the 1820's. The upper floor of the extension served as his dwelling, with the ground floor being used at times as a shop, and at other times as a club room. Prior to the erection of these premises the business was carried on in what is now a private house, Basque Cottage, next door. As befits its name, the house is the headquarters ofthe Meopham Cricket Club.

57. The horse bus, owned and driven by Mr. Joseph Clark, has just completed its journey from Gravesend. on this occasion pulled by a single horse. The goods piled onto the roof show very c1early its function as a vehicle carrying freight as weil as passengers. The timetable of the late 1890's shows that he operated a journey to Gravesend at 6.30 am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, returning thence at 1.30 pm. There was an extra trip on Saturday evening at 6.15 pm, returning at 9.30 pm. A second service ran from Meopham Church to Gravesend via Cobharn, at 9.15 on Monday and Thursday, returning at 2 pm. The single fare was six pence, a considerable sum out of the wages then earned. In the background is MiJl House and, to the right, Cosy Cottage, then a grocery shop.

58. Meopham had its first motor bus service about 1912, when Mr. Williams instituted a service to Gravesend, in competition with the farmer horse bus service, which soon ceased operation. Other operators joined the route, and some of them merged with the Maidstone and District Motor Services Ltd. In the 1920's the company alloted route numbers to their services, and here we see a Leyland single-deoker of that era on the Meopham run, Service 22. It had solid tyres which, on the primitive roads of that time, must have made the ride rather uncomfortable. The heavy uniform supplied to the crew suggests that there was !ittle or no heating on the vehicle. These buses were garaged at the M. & D. depot on the Overcliffe, Gravesend, now converted into a DIY store.

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