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Wateringbury Aroma

There were three aroma's in the air in Wateringbury when I was young.

The Brewery
The smell of the brewery was fairly constant but it did change in intensity depending on the stage of the brew. Several times a week there would be shipment of spent Malt and Barley which would leave the village in large yellow lorries still steaming and dripping.

Hop Picking
In September and early October each year it was hop picking time, this along with the drying process that took place in several oast houses around the village, produced a wonderful smell in the air that is rarely experienced today.

At the bottom end of Glebe Meadow where the bungalows and garages are today, there was a waste ground area probably where the building materials were stored when the houses were built. Here there was what we called the 'sand pit' probably just left over building sand and an area that had grown over with grass, as kids we knew it as 'down the grass' where we played. The estate was not on main drainage until the late 60's and so had two large cesspits which were basically large brick built tanks with a huge pipe covered with concrete and bricks feeding it, one from each leg of the housing estate. These cesspit's were built above ground and were constantly weeping raw sewerage from cracks in the bricks and concrete walls. As kids we thought nothing of playing on them, running along the pipe ways, one of which I remember had a flat top and the other had a rounded top and a little more difficult to run along. The top of the main tanks were made of concrete with huge concrete lids that were often lose or not properly in place. I remember one of the kids fell into one (Sherry Apps since reminded me it was her brother David Apps). Every so often when the cesspit's were full a tanker would come and empty them, it would take several trips and the smell was different from both the Hops and Brewery!

More that I have since been reminded of:-

School Soap
Yvonne Gill (Nee Waghorn) has reminded that the pink soap in the school toilets had a strange and memorable smell. I also remember the smell of the washing up liquid that was used in the school kitchen and I even remember the name of 'Teepol' it was also pink.

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