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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18. Swanscombe Parish Fire Brigade outside Saint Peter and Pauls' Church. Shortly after the foundation of Swanscombe Parish Council in 1894, the urgent nced for an organised fire fighting force occupied the minds of the councillors. On 4 October 1898 the council decided to form a fire brigade with two stations (at Swanscombe and Greenhithe), five men at each station and all under one captain. The well-established Northfleet Fire Brigade was asked for advice and they recommended a total of f88 18/- be spent on equipment including two hose carts, six scaling ladders, various lengths of hose and ten uniforms. Three extra water hydrants were recommended and because all the existing hydrants had different sized hose couplings, making them useless for fire fighting, it was recommended that they all be one size! The picture shows the horse-drawn manual fire engine which replaced the hose carts shortly after 1903 and was itself replaced by a motorised engine during the inter war years. The hose carts were so heavy to manoeuvre that the firemen were exhausted by the time they actually reached a fire,

19. Church Raad, Swanscombe circa 1905. Church Raad follows the line of an old footpath, which ran parallel to Stanhope Raad linking the Galley Hill area with Swanscombe Village itself. Most of Church Raad ran through fields and past hedgerows until the 1880s - only a few cottages and a small brewery and beer house, which was the original Morning Star public house, existed here befare. This view shows Church Raad befare it was fully developed with housing - note the gas lamp-post and cottages on the left with na front gardens. Further up on the left, and the houses on the right, do have small gardens and these features give an indication of the respective rents and therefore the seclal mix of the tenants.

The gap on the left is Harmer Raad with its school opened in 1893, closed in 1967 and then used as a youth club befare demolition in November 1998. Many ofthe gaps seen on the right side were filled with housing in the 1920s and 1930s.

20. Church Raad, Swanscombe circa 1935. Church Raad has been sa called since the 1890s. Previously it had several narnes - originally known as Bird's Row and in the 1881 census it was called Barnfield Raad, not becoming Church Raad until after the Methodist chapel was built in 1888.1n 1890 sale particulars list properties in Birds Row including a baker's shop (with parlour, kitchen scullery, four bedrooms and bakehause with 10 busheloven and storage over the top), and Ivy Cottage complete with coach house and stable, The raad developed in a piece meal fashion.An example was in 1911 when local builder F.W Ramsay built two terraeed houses forWilliam]enns at a cast of f349 4/-, these were numbers 8 and 10 Church Raad, while seven cottages built between 105 and 117 Church Raad were constructed in the 1920s by Sargeants - a Northfleet builder. Even this view displays various styles and ages of housing showing the hap hazard way it was developed.

21. Morning Star public house, Church Road. The earliest mentions ofthe pub were in the 17 SOs when it was a beer house in Bird's Row (later Church Road). The building was rebuilt about 1890 and in the 1930s was tenanted by Russell's Brewery of Gravesend to Frederick Oram who was also landlord of the Coopers Arms in Craylands Lane. In 1938 and 1939 the pub's tenant was Archie Edward Stevens but on 10th November 1940, 27 people were killed including the lancIlord when the pub received a direct hit from a stray bomb just after 8 p.m.A temporary wooden building, which made the beer warm in summer and which had no toilets, replaced it. The present building was opened in 1960 but it caused a stir in Swanscombe as it had different prices in the saloon and public bars.

22. Walter Ames' shops, Church Road circa 192 O. Walter Ames was a leading light in Swanscornbe's civic as weil as its economie affairs. By 1907 Ames had already established a considerable business empire, and by 1937 it covered the premises 88-98 Church Road. Ames was a boot and shoe dealer, c!othier, draper, general warehouse, grocer and he ran Church Road post office. In his early years he is also listed as a baker. In 1894, when Swanscombe Parish Council was established, Walter Ames became its first chairman, an honour repeated in 1926 when he was the first chairman of the new Swanscombe Urban District Council. Ames was described as short with a weil-groomed beard. He was weilliked, very well known and seen as a man of action. Ames died in 1934 and was described as the 'Father of Swanscombe Council'.

23.Jubilee Cinema, Ames Road, 1935. In 1923 the cinema brought the world of films and the images ofthe age via newsreels to Swanscombe as the Electric Cinema. In 1935 it became the Jubilee Cinema and it was owned by local councillor and grocer Mr. Charles Mereer, who combined the businesses of entertainment and grocery by having a shack next to the cinema before moving his grocery business to Milton Road. Mereer died in 1943, having lost money on his cinema venture. In typical Swanscombe style the cinema seats were back to front (i.e. the seats faced you at the entrance and the screen was at the front instead of the back of the building). Similarly the expensive seats in Swanscombe were at the front and the cheap seats (with the better view) were at the back. This was so because the sound system was so dreadful only the front seats with the pOOIer view could hear the film, Nobody could hear the sound when it rained because of the din made on the corrugated iron roof Children's films shown on Saturdays were known as the Saturday Afternoon Crush and the whole cinema was called the 'Bug Huteh' because of its condition. In 1939 it was reconstructed as the Wardona and demolished in 1 958.

24. Bomb damage: Ames Raad and Lewis Raad. A photograph showing high explosive bomb damage the bombs being dropped at 1.19 a.m. on 18th May 1943. Raids such as this created huge logistical problems for Swanscombe Urban District Council in rehousing families and clearing debris to make roads passable. The houses shown here were model dwellings built by the council: Ames Raad in the late 1920s and Lewis Raad in the 193 Os. Apparently two small boys were blown onto a roofby the blast suffering only minor injuries.

.-.

25. Bomb damage in Trebble Road and Ames Road. Another view of one of Swanscombe's many bombing incidents during the Second World War. The view shows Ames Road joining Trebble Road after a raid in early November 1944. Despite the damage only one person was kiIled with eight more in hospital and 21 needing first aid. The actual damage caused six houses to be totaIly destroyed with seven more having to be demolished. Some eighty people were sent to a rest centre and Swanscombe was very weil organised in dealing with vast amounts of damage. This incident was caused by a VI flying bomb.

26.Airraid damage, Broad Road.This view is ofthe damage caused on 7 August 1 944when aVl (f1ying bomb) destroyed four houses because it feU short of its intended destination of Loridon. The emergency services and Swanscombe Urban District Council then had to rehouse 48 families, treating the injured and making the area safe from coUapsing buildings and any unexploded bombs. The photograph shows how the ground floor of the houses was fiUed with the rubble from the bedrooms and roof and also the Victorian iron fire places, which were rarely used to heat the bedrooms because of the cast of fuel.

27. Stanhope Raad, Swanscombe circa 1930. The junction of Stanhope Raad and the High Street as it was around 1930. It was then known as 'Kemp's Corner' as Kernp's grocery shop was directly on the junction. Macdonald's draper's shop then joined the buildings around into Stanhope Raad itselfThe houses on the left were known locally as "I'he Slabs' and also as 'Squint Eye Ruw' on account of the front parlours being different shapes in each house sa as to fit on the building plots as the raad bent around the corner. As this area was aften considered the centre ofSwanscornbe, the lamp-post in the picture was used to greet the NewYear at rnidnight on 31 December, by people singing and socialising.

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