Swanscombe in old picture postcards

Swanscombe in old picture postcards

Auteur
:   Christoph Bull
Gemeente
:  
Provincie
:  
Land
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-6746-8
Pagina's
:   80
Prijs
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Swanscombe in old picture postcards'

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8. The George & Dragon public house, Galley Hili circa 1912. The George & Dragon was one ofSwanscombe's major pubs and was able to provide spirits, accommodation and stabling in addition to beer. It stands on the main Strood to Dartford turnpike road; this sectien was turnpiked in 1738. The present building is believed to date from the 1840s but an earlier house existed to piek up the passing road trade. Until the 1840s Galley Hill was a hamlet physically separate from Swanscombe itself (which was along Swanscombe Street), but massive growth caused by cement werkers' housing, caused Galley Hill to merge with the rest of Swanscombe. Note the terraeed buildings next to the pub - these were redeveloped in the late 1 97 Os into industrial units. The landlord lisred is Thomas Hudson who ran the business from 1897 to 1914.

9. Gee's Tobacconists, High Street. This view is on the west side of the High Street near the George & Dragon. Most ofthe buildings dated from the 1850-1880 period, when the previously largely empty road grew rapidly with the cement workers' influx. Gee's shop was in operation from about 1912 to the 1950s, later selling sweets as well as tobacco. Hot cordials were provided at the shop for tram drivers in winter. These were prepared in the private apartment on the range with a black kettle. Sweets displayed in the window were in dishes with little paper doyleys. The Gee family themselves only allowed their children to eat boiled sweets, which were considered safe from diseases such as diphtheria.

10. Co-Operative Society Shops, High Street. This view was taken around 1914 - the parade was opened in 1913. The 'CO-OP' syrnbolised the workn dass ideals of selfhelp and it also shows that Swanscombe felt greater affinity with Gravesend and Northfleet rather dun Dartford - if for no oth reason than the trams ran direct to Gravesend. The Gravesend Co-Operative Society began its Swanscombe branch in about 1889 - it was in operati< by 1891 - William Iohn Francis then being the manager when it was situated in Broomfield Road. This building dominated (and still does) the uPF part of the High Street in Galley Hill and contained (in 1937) a grocers, drapers and outfitters and a butcher in addition to halls above used numerous community groups and for wedding receptions. This building replaced rwo thatched cottages, which had burned down earlier. The C Operative movement in Gravesend ceased in the 1980s, since when this building has been used by different shops.

11. The Forge, High Street. The garage of its time, the forge not only shoed horses but made and repaired almost auy metalwork object. The forge shown here was a product of the industrial rather than the agricultural period, as its position in the High Street would have been an empty country lane until the 1850s. The farge was operated by Messrs. Bundy and Williams at the turn of the twentieth century and consisted of a yard, a building directly on the High Street and the smithy itselfbehind at the rear ofthe site.The farge had adapted to the end of the horse age by becoming the 'Old Forge Garages' where itrepaired cars by the late 193 Os. In 1938 the site was worked by Messrs. F. Axford and J.D. Love, who operated the garage, while Pearce Brothers, who were corn and seed merchants, also occupied the area. During the 1960s the whole site was redeveloped as an ugly new post office which itselfbecame Swanscombe Dry Cleaners during the mid-1980s.

12. Bond's Butcher Shop, High Street.A typicalfeature of any town or village was the butcher's shop. In the days bef are refrigeration the meat was displayed in the open air and if unsold during the day it would be aften sold off very cheap or given away very late at night. Poorer families would wait until such times in order to obtain occasional meat in their diet. Like most shops, Bands would slaughter their own stock with the resultant screams and rivers of blood in a densely populated area. A strange homemade flywheel sausage machine existed at the rear of the shop operated by bath petrol and gas in the mid-1920s. Bands operated from the premises at 62 High Street from about 1892 until 1918, then at 108 High Street until about 1921. Bands also had another butcher's shop in Milton Raad.

13. High Street, Swanscombe circa 1935.A view looking north. In the background can be seen the ubiquitous cement factory chimney belching out the bane of the housewife - cement dust settled on washing as well as roofs and gardens. Swanscombe was still very self-contained despite bus and rail connections to elsewhere. The Kent Messenger shop shown (the proprietor was L G. Peacock) was weH used by the few people who commuted to london - most locals worked in or around Swanscombe in the 1930s. Further down on the right was Albert Banks' Cyele Shop, which sold motorcyeles and wirelesses (radios). It was a shop for recharging accumulators (heavy batteries used for powering electrical equipment) and car batteries could also be topped up from here. BehindAll Sainr's Church was its parish room, a wooden hut used by various clubs including one of the 'Slate Clubs', which meant weekly subscriptions of a few pennies, to build a fund for medical insurance in the days prior to the National Health Service.

14. High Street, Galley Hill, circa 1938.View looking north.The Galley Hill name still continued, even though this had long been considered Swanscombe High Street. The area was bristling with busmesses in shops, which were aften converteel terraeed houses. The pole on the right marks the barbershop of Frederick Homewood at this time. By looking at alocal street directory in the late 1930s this one raad had the following businesses: a tobacconist, confectioner, baker, co-operative society, two pubs, a general store, cycles, hairdressers, post office, printer, fishmonger and fish and chips, greengracer, clothier, butcher, boot maker, corn and seed merchant, garage, laundry, hardware, chemist, optician, photographer and draper; several of these businesses had two different shops in the High Street alone.

1 S. Swanscombe Fire Station, 1908. It was with great civic pride that the fire station in Church Road was officially opened on Saturday, 13 Iune 1908. Swanscombe Parish Council had been very keen to establish a properly organised fire service in the 1890s and by 1898-1899 a temporary fire station had been established at Galley Hill (in addition to one at Greenhithe). In 1907 land at the south end of the Primitive Methodist Chapel was for sale and purchased by Swanscombe Parish Council. In November 1907 plans were drawn up for a new fire station and proposals for a first floor with council chamber were dropped, to be taken up again in the 192 Os. The opening day saw a parade of neighbouring fire brigades from Gravesend, Northfleet, Crayford, Dartford, Horton Kirby, Longfield and other places. The fire engines were led by Swanscombe's Captain A.E. Kent (1872-1940) and preceded by the band of the training ship . Arethusa' The church bells were ringing, flags out and a huge crowd assembied in the streets - a wonderful contemporary example of Swanscornbe's pride in its civic achievements.

16. March past ofSwanscombe Home Guard, Church Raad, 3 December 1944. This is the 'B' company of the 17 th Battalion of the Kent Home Guard, which covered Swanscombe. The Home Guard began in 1939 and was ariginally the Local Defence Volunteers, who only had two rifles between them. The Home Guard met at the Methodist Chapel in Church Raad (later the Scouts Headquarters) but soon transferred to Galley Hill School on London Raad for their headquarters. There were two patrols at night consisting of three men each (usually two older men and one young lad who was the runner ofmessages) that patrolled Swanscombe. Drilling, exercises and combat training also taak place on the football ground within the Recreation Ground. The march past was a marale boost for all and taking the salute outside the fire station (later the library) are members of Swanscombe Urban District Council. This was the official stand down of the Swanscombe Home Guard. Note on the right the terraeed houses with brick marks - this terrace was to have been extended until Swanscombe Parish Council purchased the land for the fire station in 1907.

17. Swanscombe Central Fire Station and Swanscombe library, circa 1949. The building shown here still remains in Church Raad. Swanscombe Urban District Council operated the fire brigade until1941, when the National Fire Service was set up in response to the SecondWorldWar. In 1948 Kent County Council became responsible for the county's fire brigades - the vehicle seen here is a modified Bedford lorry; which was a utility fire engine created at the beginning of the Second World War. Swanscombe Branch Library occupied the upper floor of the building from 1928 until moving down to the ground floor in 1968. The upper floor was added to the single storey fire station in 1922 as a council chamber but vacated by Swanscombe Council in 1926. The enttance to the library was along the alleyway on the left side of the building and then via a back door and flight of wooden stairs. Swanscombe was a pioneer of the Kent County Library system, which operated in those Kentish communities that did not provide their own public library service. Conditions were primitive with only gaslights at first, na toilet and na running water. Swanscombe Library remai.ned in this building from November 1928 until November 2002, when it was rernoved to Swan Valley School. Until its move, the library was the oldest small branch in Kent to still remain in its original building.

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