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 email@example.com
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
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
Tuesday, July 05, 2022
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
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Sunday, March 06, 2022
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
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.
Photo Courtesy of Dail Whiting from her Private collection
? 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
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.”
Dail Whiting kindly responded with this link confirming:
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Friday, January 21, 2022
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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
Monday, November 29, 2021
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
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
Goodbye is hard to say
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
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Monday, May 31, 2021
Thursday, May 27, 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
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.
Saturday, May 08, 2021
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.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Peter Tompsett kindly sent us this photo taken at the Whitbreads Brewery Children's Christmas Party early 1960's
Lets try to add all the names. Let me know if you recognise anyone?
Mr Reid - Headmaster
John Seamark - Martin ? - Alan Hasket - ?? - Richard Smith - Michael Wiltshire - Christopher Wheatley - Neville Marshall -David Apps
?Whitaker - Sandra Beauchamp - Tina Porter - Jenifer Shrubsole - Maureen Lawrence - Gladys Hasket
David Newick - Lionel Fermour ? - Clive Smith - Thomas McKirdy - Peter Tompsett - David Brotherwood - Philip Randall
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Terry Bird kindly sent us the following words to go with the postcard:-
Pelicans is just 50 yards up Red Hill from the crossroads, on the right. This postcard from 1905 shows it as a working farm, as it was for most of its life.
It is one of just four places in the village with a grade II * listing by Historic England.
It is a Wealden Hall House of a style often used by substantial yeoman farmers. The huge oak beam, spanning the open hall, has been dated to the 15th century. The main chimney stack and fireplaces are believed to be 16th century.
For a long time until the early 18th century it was owned by the Codd family. In 1598 there was a felonious killing in the language of the court, of one servant by another.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Here is story about the Whitbread tanker that crashed into the garden of No 5 Warden Mill Close:
A memory can be a very fallible thing and this story is told to the best of my memory.
Our family moved into 3 Warden Mill Close in, I think, the summer of 1963; into one of nine surrounding, identical looking, two storied, detached red brick houses, with their asymmetrical pitched roofs.
I have always wondered what inspired the architects and builders to create such roofs, perhaps a fashionable, ‘feature-istic’ architectural thought of the time, or a reflection of something local, even the shape of the asymmetrical vents of the local Oast houses.
Three Warden Mill Close was the first home that my parents owned. Earlier in the year we had moved up from Cornwall after my father had been posted as Trade Master for Submarines in the Engineering Division of the Production Department at H.M Dockyard, Chatham.
As well as memories of arriving, a half empty house with no furniture in the kitchen, I have recollections of sunny days, and playing outside in the incomplete, and in places overgrown and undeveloped back garden, which at one end was bounded by the septic tank smelling, Mill Stream. At that time there was no lawn in the garden, but it came later, layered turf and then molehills.
Nineteen sixty four; my fifth birthday. For a present my mother went to the Maidstone markets, or was it auctions, and bought a second hand, chain driven tricycle. I have a vague memory of going with her to buy the tricycle and possibly even one for my sister, and going to a place seeming to be outside, where there were lots of people and canvass awnings.
The tricycle was brought home and I remember my mother putting newspaper on the dining room table and then placing the tricycle on top, dissembling the mud guards and using a brush to re-paint the same and the tricycle frame; the former blue and the latter red. I might add that I was intrigued by the oil sump for the bottom bracket housing the spindle for the pedal cranks, which could be refilled with oil by lifting a small, hinged cap.
The tricycle and resulting mobility it provided was fiendishly attractive and weather permitting, and when not attending Wateringbury Primary School, I had an unsupervised run of the pavements and road that comprised the lower, down-hill end of the close.
At that time I think that, like other residents in the close, we were keenly aware of the brewery, located on the higher east side of Bow Road; an imposing industrial edifice that dominated the surrounds. The busy road entrance to the brewery was opposite that to the close.
There was also the brewery’s rooftop wind vane (was it a Cockerel?). I used to sit at the end of my top bunk bed and look out through the bedroom window at the wind vane to work out, which way the wind was blowing.
The view also included the lane that ran down the side of our back garden. It crossed the Mill Stream and at a junction one part, less defined, and more of farm track, went straight ahead and crossed the hop fields to the rear of the ‘big house’ on the high, other side of the fields.
The more defined part of the lane, turned to the right, and lined each side with wrought iron fencing, led around to the top Mill Pond. At that time the area, which had been the bottom Mill Pond and which had been drained leaving only the stream, was quite wild and overgrown with nettles and brambles.
Quite often after school, and although only aged five or six, I would head out on my own to follow the lane and farm track across to the ‘big house’ to play with school friends, Andrew Snell, or Steven Maltby. The house, subdivided into two, and with treed gardens was the home of the Snell and Maltby families.
And then there were the brewery’s brown coloured brewery delivery tankers. They were a visible fact of daily life, coming and going along Bow Road on their various journeys.
In my memory the brewery entrance off Bow Road gave way to a parking area, with a possible chain linked wire fence and gate on the south side that gave access to the brewery buildings. The tankers were sometimes parked on the north and east sides of the parking area, with those on the north side often pointing slightly down hill, towards the close.
Also on the north side of the entrance was a two storey cottage, it is still there, where lived an elderly lady who would come and babysit my sister and I when our parents went out in the evening. My recollection of her was my mother complaining about her boiling the electrical kettle dry.
One day I was out riding my tricycle; summertime 1964, or 1965, I am not sure. Nobody else was about. I think it was mid, or late morning and perhaps a cloudy, overcast day; a weekday and I was on holiday.
I was riding along the pavement that ran from our driveway and across to No 7 where Penny, an older child lived; I eventually inherited and learned to ride her two wheeled bicycle.
I stopped and looked up towards the entrance to the brewery. A tanker was parked on the north side facing towards the close. As I watched it started to roll slowly forward into and across Bow Road and then into the close. There was no sign of a driver.
Seeing that the tanker was heading in my direction I got off my tricycle, leaving it beside the lamp post at the bottom of the close, and ran back towards the driveway to our house. I then turned to watch the unfolding drama.
With the steeper gradient of the close the tanker gained momentum and mounted the pavement on the north side, clipping and churning up the edge of the front lawn of No 8 (displaced soil from the lawn can be seen in one of the photographs), before plunging over and down into the front garden of No 5 and coming to rest against the front wall of the house. I seem to recall the sound of a dull thump as the tanker came to a stop. The lady who lived in No 5 favoured a bee-hive hair arrangement, short skirts and stockings.
Men soon started to arrive, first from the brewery. My tricycle remained by the lamppost where I had left it. My mother and I watched proceedings from our home.
I recall, that after a time a press reporter arrived and spoke to my mother. Shortly after I was spoken to and then I think, photographed sitting, or standing alongside my tricycle.
In the afternoon a tow truck came into the close and reversed down towards the tanker. Men moved about inspecting the tanker. A towrope was attached. The tow truck began pulling. I watched from our upstairs sitting room window.
The pull seemed to be too much for the tow truck. It surged forward, but nothing happened. The rear wheels spun, ripping up and digging down into the tarmac. I do not know what happened next, but have an impression, which may be incorrect, that late in the afternoon, a second vehicle arrived and was attached to the tow truck. Together they eventually pulled the tanker clear and it was towed away.
As it left I remember looking out at the empty close, feeling a bit empty, an anti climax to all the excitement of the day.
At breakfast, some days later, my mother showed me my photograph, which had been published in the one of the local papers. Which one? I do not know.
The holes left by the tow truck were eventually filled in using a coarser tarmac than the original, leaving two visible, dark scars.
In December 1980 I visited the close. The scars were still visible.
I have been looking at the sequence of photographs showing the recovery of the tanker.
The first in the sequence, taken at the top of the close, on the other side Bow Road, must have been taken soon after the crash and shows the first tow truck and an excavator, which I now remember was initially used to try and move the tanker.
Interestingly, if you enlarge the photograph, and look at the gap between the tow truck and a person standing beside a vehicle, and on the right side of the lower lamppost outside No 5, you can see what looks like an upright saddle, a wheel and part of a frame; I think that this is the rear side of my tricycle. Looking at it I can see that the tanker came quite close to where I left it.
The subsequent photographs of the tanker seem to show that its wheels sank into the lawn in front of No5, possibly reducing its momentum, and preventing it smashing into and through the house.
The last photograph, taken later in the afternoon shows the arrival of the second tow truck and also the damage/marks left on the tarmac by the first tow truck.
For some instinctive reason I think that the chap leaning against the lamp post with the jacket is the reporter I mentioned. I may be wrong.
Reassuring to find that my memory was largely correct-there was more than one tow vehicle. and damage was caused to the tarmac.