Our first post was 8th November 2008 since when we have had 42,000 different visitors from 107 countries.

This website is yours and you have made it the interest it is by sharing your memories with us all.

Please continue to send us photos and memories of Wateringbury for new generations to enjoy and see how the village once was.

Please send us your memories no matter how small. Either send them by the contact form or directly to me by email at john.gilham@mail.com


Monday, January 16, 2023

For those who had an ancestor or ancestors who served during WWI

For those who had an ancestor or ancestors who served during WWI, and are commemorated on either the War Memorial in the Chapel of St George in Wateringbury church, or the old School War Memorial now in the vestry of Wateringbury church, you may be able to help me complete a personal project, for which I would be very grateful. 

For more information, please go to:


Thank you

Dail Whiting

Thursday, December 29, 2022

The Phoenix Brewery 1976 - Courtesy of Kent Messenger - KentOnline


A photo from Kent Messenger - KentOnline Classic Pictures from the 1970's

All three names that were so familiar to me growing up in Wateringbury during the 1950/60's

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Original Kings Head Hotel at The Cross Roads Wateringbury


The Original Kings Head Hotel

The corner of Tonbridge Road and Bow Road.

Also showing Amos Bakers.

The only recognisable building today is that on the far right which is now the Hair Dressers in Bow Road 

Friday, November 11, 2022


 Hi, If you wrote to me via Facebook regarding Hop Huts between Pizien Well and Cannon Lane could you send me your note again via my email John.gilham@mail.com. I was in the middle of replying when your message disappeared and I cannot find it again. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Wateringbury Inn Sign Miniatures

Thanks once again to Dail Whiting for this publication on the Whitbread Inn Sign Miniatures relating to Wateringbury.

Courtesy of Dail Whiting

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

BLOSSOM TIME IN KENT - April and May 1963


I still call this lovely county The Garden of England though its not the garden it was when I was a kid in the 1950's and 60's. Wateringbury was surrounded by Plumb, Cherry, Pear, Apple orchards and Hop Gardens. 

Wateringbury was on the AA and RAC sign posted Blossom Route encouraging drivers to visit our countryside and see the Fruit Blossom that was everywhere.

This is a  Southern Railway and Maidstone and District day out that bought visitors from London into Kent to see our spectacular Fruit Blossom. The Train from London came to Tonbridge then a Maidstone and District Coach went through the countryside and through Wateringbury to Goudhurst. This timetable was for April and May 1963.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Letter of 1855


Amazing how in 1855 a letter would get to someone if simply addressed to a Town, 

a Village and the the persons name

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Jude and Co - Shive Hole Collar

Ruth and Terry kindly sent us a photo of what looks like a Shive Hole Collar from Jude and Co the Brewer of Wateringbury.

(Dale kindly advises that it’s spelt Shive and dated around 1872

from Jude & Co Brewery which was The Kent’s Brewery situated just below the South East corner of the Crossroads. Where Hanbury Close now stands) 

The Collar was used in a Beer Barrel where the Bung is fitted and the Tap then goes.

It was found in a field in Wateringbury.


Friday, April 15, 2022

Quart Tankards once owned by George Martin of The Harrow Public House - Old Road Wateringbury


Late 2021 Peter Baker Left a comment against a posting relating to The Harrow Public House in Old Road and more recently he kindly added to it and included some photos of the Tankards.


Hi I am not sure I have ever been to Wateringbury but there's a good chance I flew over it a number of times decades ago at 2,300 feet whilst training for a PPL Night Rating out of Biggin Hill and down to Lydd and back! Apologies if I disturbed the peace.

However, I've stumbled upon the website today as yesterday, in Denmark of all places, I picked up a nice pair of quart tankards inscribed as owned by George Martin, the landlord of the Harrow, Wateringbury, around 140 years ago. Naturally Google soon brought me here! The tankards have stamps inside showing they were made by Gerardin & Watson (London pewterers 1805-1854) and were certified as good measure with a VR362 (Kent) stamp. What these were doing in Denmark, I have no idea!


19 November 2021 at 09:56


With the photos Peter adds a comment:

Well, what can I say about the tankards?  They were on sale at a large Genbrug/Loppemarked (recycle/fleamarket type) store near Aarhus in Jutland.  Most of the items on sale are from house clearances and downsizing.  The area is generally quite affluent, like Wateringbury thesedays, so I am sure we can put the find down to some likely cultural exchange in the past e.g. perhaps George Martin was charging tourists the modern day equivalent of London prices per pint i.e. over ten quid to fill a quart pot, so perhaps the Danish customers with typical irony of a sort which easily matches British humour decided that fair exchange was no robbery!

The inscriptions on the tankards look amateurish but in fact match what I understand to be a very common practice of publicans of that period in choosing to identify their pewter should it ever go walkabout after a heavy session.  With the number of pubs/breweries I read about that once competed in your village I can see how that might be essential! The shield shaped border around the name of the landlord and pub, and its location is typical, as is the method which looks like several minutes' worth of hard scratching rather than what we'd now accept as professional engraving!

Also typical is the placing of the landlord's "M" (for surname Martin) initial on the top of the handle which I suppose might have been the quick way to distinguish the owners of sundry drinking vessels, at the end of any major village event when a whole host of used tankards is viewed from above?  

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Wateringbury War Memorial & the Old Village Hall



A Postcard of Wateringbury War Memorial and the Old Village Hall on the corner of Bow Road and Tonbridge Road.

Not sure of the age but it is a postcard posted with a 7p stamp.

Sunday, March 06, 2022

Teston School Children 1920


Photo Courtesy of Dail Whiting from her Personal Collection

A little outside the village but a great photograph courtesy of Dail Whiting of Teston School Children from 1920. Not sure what the N.05 on the board means, maybe someone can help with its meaning. 

The two little boys on the left in the front row are brothers John and Douglas Weeks. 

Can anyone help with other names?

Friday, March 04, 2022

Customers of The Phoenix Pub on Red Hill Wateringbury


Photograph courtesy of Dail Whiting from her private collection 
Dail writes: I have just read your blog and noticed an email from Maria, the granddaughter of Bill Sharpe, and thought this photo might be of interest as Bill is in the photograph.

The photo was taken outside the Phoenix pub on Red Hill.
The man standing in the doorway on the right is John Weeks. The teenage girl is Brenda Adams formerly Brenda Baker. Brenda's father might be the man on her right (looking at the photo) Freddy Baker. Sitting on the step on the far right is Bill Sharpe the local chimney sweep and other odd jobs man.
Additionally I believe the man behind Brenda is Cyril Hammond and the man next to Bill second from the right, front row is Freddy Mace.

Can we fill in some names ?
The Dog was called Nelly

Wateringbury School Photo from about 1943


 Photo Courtesy of Dail Whiting from her Private collection

Wateringbury School Photo from around 1943
with Headmaster Mr Aldridge next to Miss Nancy Dibble.
Back row, left to right.
? Juke - David Clark(e) - unknown - Stan Pearson - Brian Maytum - Ernie Hutchins - Raymond Cole - unknown - John Mannering - Unknown

Second from back row, left to right.
Peter Jukes - Alan Butler - ? Taylor - Lionel Brotherwood - ? Taylor - Harold Watson - Bill Hutchins - John Fisher - Mark Goodwin

Third from back row, left to right.
unknown - Rodney Watson - Unknown - John Smith - Head Teacher, Arthur Aldridge - 
Teacher, Nancy Dibble - Unknown - Barry Berwick - ? Dickson - Roy Hutchins

Front row, left to right.
 ? Martin - Reggie Dickson - Bruce Berwick - Dudley Martin - Colin Berwick - Jack Martin

Monday, January 31, 2022

Good Intent Pub

Can we help Mike who asks:

“I would like to see any photographs of the public house called the Good Intent in Pizen Well. Pub used to be opposite house where I was born.Cheers.”

Mike Shepherd 


Dail Whiting kindly responded with this link confirming:


Thursday, January 27, 2022

Unveiling Ceremony, War Memorial Wateringbury



Unveiling Ceremony of the War Memorial in its original position on the western corner of the Tonbridge Road / Bow Road at the Cross Roads.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The North Pole Inn

Thanks to Brad Waters from Australia who sent some family photos from around 1956 when his Grandfather Ian and Grandmother Vee Waters were landlord and landlady of The North Pole Inn.

The photos show his grandparents and locals in the bar and a great photo of a fancy dress ball held in the bar.

I thank Paul Skelton of 'Dover Kent Archives'  website for putting us in touch.


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Friday, December 17, 2021

Lt Col Sir George Stewart Symes

 We are grateful once again to Dail Whiting who kindly shares with us an entry from her future publication.



Monday, November 29, 2021

A song inspired by a visit to Wateringbury written by the composer Thomas Case Sterndale Bennett

Dail Whiting with her extreme knowledge of the village once again kindly sends us a very interesting note as below:-




I thought you might be interested in the connection between the composer Thomas Case Sterndale Bennett to Wateringbury. The top YouTube Video is the song Leanin', written and sung by the composer Thomas Case Sterndale Bennett. The second YouTube video is another version sung by Stanley Holloway. There were also other versions sung by various singers as It was quite popular in the early 1950's, would you believe. Thomas was inspired to write the song on one of his many visits to Wateringbury to see his brother, John Sterndale Bennett, who lived at Oakenwood on Red Hill, as well as his relatives the Flints, who lived in the Thatched Cottage at the top of Mill Lane. It seems likely that he also visited, or at least knew very well, Richard Fremlin who lived  at May Lodge by the upper mill pond. The brewer and hop farmer Richard Fremlin was a brother of Frances Flint.


The words to the song 'Leanin':

Sewin's pretty good

Reapin' ain't so bad

Scarin' off the crows

Suits a farmer's lad

But if you ask's me

The thing that suits a fellow

Is a little bit of straw to suck

To keep your fancies mellow

When you're leanin' on the gate beside

The pond that lies beside the side

Of farmer's stacks of new mown hay

It's just atwix the ricks

Beside the barn where farmers sticks inside

The chicks he only hatch'd today

Leanin', leanin'

I'm champion down our way, they say

At leanin' on the gate beside the pond that lies beside

The side of farmer's stacks of new mown hay

That he's been gleanin'

While I've been leanin' ..... all day

Had a lurcher once

Better than a gal

Poacher? Well, a bit

But 'e was a pal

Now there's just a mound

Underneath the el-lum

Reckon folks would laugh at I

If I was to tell 'em...

Why I'm leanin' on the gate beside the pond that lies beside

The side the hedge where my old dog would play

It's just a'cos from there I see the sunlight

Glintin' through the tree

Upon the grave where 'e do lie

Sleepin', sleepin'

Goodbye is hard to say

That's why

I'm leanin' on the gate beside the pond that lies beside

The side of farmer's stacks of new-mown hay

And at the gleanin'

He'll find me leanin' ..... all day


It is said that the gate on which Thomas was leaning was on the farm track towards the  Warden House end, and the pond was the lower mill pond which was clear and free running back then. The field with the hay stacks was apparently what is now the Glebe Meadow housing estate.

One of the Sterndale Bennetts, of course, owned land which is now the pear orchard in that area.


Thomas Case Sterndale Bennett was the grandson of the composer Sir William Sterndale Bennett, who was born in Sheffield in1816 and educated at the Royal Academy of Music from 1826 to1836. From 1856 to 1875 he was a Professor of Music at Cambridge University, and from 1866 to 1875 he was the Principal of the Royal Academy of music in London. He died on 1st Feb, 1875 at St Johns Wood Road, London, aged 58, and was buried 6th Feb 1875 in the north aisle of Westminster Abbey. He was recognised as one of the great British composers of the 19th century, and was knighted 24th March 1871. His  wife was Mary Anne, formerly Wood, who he had married in Apr 1844 in Southampton.


Sir William Sterndale Bennett had a number of children. His second child, was James Robert Sterndale Bennett. who was  born  in 1847 in London and educated at Kensington School and  St Johns, Cambridge. He later became Mathematics Lecturer at Kings College, and from 1889 to 1898 he was the  Headmaster of Derby School. He died on 4th June 1928 in Dymchurch Kent, aged 80, and was  buried 7th June 1928 in Dymchurch.

His wife was Mabel Agnes, formerly Gaskell, who he had married in June 1876 in Hampstead.


James Robert Sterndale Bennettt also had a number of children. His  third child was John Sterndale Bennett who lived in Wateringbury.

John Sterndale Bennett, titled Colonel, was born 10th Sep 1879 in Highgate, Middlesex, and educated at Derby School and St John's, Cambridge. In 1901 he was a Second Lieutenant, Infantry - Worcester Regt., served in Somaliland 1902 to 1904. In 1912 he was Captain 107th Pioneers, Indian Army - Instructor, School of Musketry, Satara, and promoted to Major 1915, awarded OBE in 1919,and  retired in 1923. He was JP for Kent in 1930. John Sterndale Bennett lived  at Oaken Wood, on Red Hill, Wateringbury.

He died on 16th June 1962.

His wife was Honor Fremlin, formerly Flint, who he had married in the district of Malling in 1913.

The Flints lived in the Thatched Cottage. Honor Fremlin Flint was the daughter of George Gilham Flint and Frances, nee Fremlin. Frances Fremlin was the sister of Richard Fremlin from May Lodge/Broomsdown.



Thomas Case Sterndale Bennett was the fifth child of James Robert Sterndale Bennett and a younger brother of John Sterndale Bennett above, who lived at Oaken Wood on Red Hill. Wateringbury.

It was Thomas Case Sterndale Bennett, the composer, who wrote the song 'Leanin'.

Thomas was born 10 Aug 1882 in Highgate Middlesex and educated at Derby School. In 1901 he was living in Fulham an described as a Music Student. He later became  a composer and entertainer.

He died in London on 16th May, 1944, and was cremated privately.

Thomas had married twice. First to Christine Bywater and second to Mary Maskelyne.

Two early postcards of the lower mill pond. The pond was really quite lovely in the early 1900's. The  postcards show the pond looking north. Note the grazing cows.

The little wall is right in the foreground so the photo was taken looking north.  These early coloured postcards were published in about 1905 by Young and Cooper of Maidstone.


Saturday, July 10, 2021

Recollections of WWII in Wateringbury

Dail Whiting kindly shares the following with us. If there is anything you can add to this event then please let us know….

Article written & contributed by Dail Whiting

Monday, May 31, 2021

One Day in May 2021

Whilst this video is not yet a memory hopefully in many years to come it will be great to look back upon as the photos on this website are today.

View in 4k Ultra High Definition for the best experience.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Comparison of old photos and one taken 27th May 2021

I thought it would be good for the future to look at two old photos we have on the website with two I took  27th May 2021 from a similar position.

The Cross Roads.


The Bridge over the river and Railway area.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Can we help John with his question?

  We have an answer to John’s question below from Dail Whiting.

Just spotted a question from John Packham.,,, Frederick Leney lived at the Orpines an old house now demolised. Other Leneys lived in various places in Wateringbury. There is a good comprehensive history of the Phoenix Brewery and the family of Leney in my book, which also includes maps and a photo of the Orpines. My book is entitled 'Wateringbury, in the Steps of George Newman and Beyond' by Dail Whiting, Bargain at £10 plus P&P from Ebay or online. Or he can check your site for details.



My family tree research has gg grandparents Stephen and Charlotte Rowing running the Red Lion and Star pub in Strood. I found a book years ago (possibly 1920’s, Chatham Library) which listed some of the old pubs in the area and it said that when the pub was demolished (I guess just before WW1) the intricately carved ancient oak beams were removed and installed in the house of Mr Leney, the brewer.

I’m guessing that the Leney family lived in Wateringbury or close by and this is where the oak beams went. I’d like to add some photos of these beams if possible to my family history. Can anyone help? Either with photos or by identifying the building where the Leney family lived.

John Packham

Saturday, May 08, 2021

New Cottages, Bow Road Wateringbury

Dail Whiting kindly sent the below photo asking if I recognised the house as New Cottages on Bow Road as it is a photo of her Grandfather, Grandmother and five of their youngest children taken around 1917.


This was a very interesting photo and question as I lived in the house next door (the front door partially shown on the right of the picture) between 1953 when I was born to 1960 when my Grandfather died and we had to move out as it was a tied cottage owned by the brewery.
The below photo is of me and my Grandfather outside the same house in 1958. The house was then occupied by Jim & Glad Smith and their two sons Roger and Peter.