Monday, 31 December 2012

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Look up at Weatherspoons Tonbridge as a George V cipher remains above the entrance close to the words 'Post Office'

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #139 - blue skies and sandstone

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

A brewery run by the Baker Family was sited around upper St Marys Rd and Judd Rd area of Tonbridge from 1839 to 1874

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #138  -  High Water

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #137 - Six in One Club 

Exhibition of photographs and memorabilia at the Six in One Club 50 year celebration

Friday, 21 December 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #134 - Found in the Parish Church

Light Up Your Community

Winning Christmas Lights for TN9 - Elaine Knight, St Marys Road

Tonbridge Lions Club’s first competition for Christmas lights outside domestic residences in the Tonbridge area came to a close on the 20 December as the judges came together to consider the entries.

Having studied the photographs of the submitted entries, Mike Stout, President of Tonbridge Lions, Guy Portelli, well known local sculptor, and Robert Ham, son of the Lion member who had the idea of the competition, inspected the lighting installation of each of the selected finalists before reaching their decision.

There being no entry from the TN11 area it was decided to have two winners in the TN10 area from where the majority of the entries came.

Winner in TN9 was Elaine Knight’s lights in St Mary’s Road. She earned a £200 donation to The Bridge Trust.

TN10 joint winner Adrian Winter, Hopgarden Road

 Winners in TN10 were Adrian Winter of Hopgarden Road and Chris Owen of Framley Road. Both nominated Hospice in the Weald as their chosen charity so a £400 donation resulted. Each winner received Christmas food hamper.

TN10 joint winner Chris Owen, Framley Road

Chairman of the organising committee, John Ruck said,
“The competition was widely publicised in the local press, local news magazines and on internet blogs. We delivered over 100 entry forms to houses where good lighting displays had been installed. Whilst the quality of the entries received was good we saw many more that could have been contenders but were not entered. But we are delighted with the winning lighting schemes and pleased to donate to the nominated charities.”

Monday, 17 December 2012

Panto Plays to full houses - Oh Yes They Did!!!!!

The curtain has come down on Tonbridge Lions Club’s hugely successful production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

The Producer Richard Hill said, “After last year’s overwhelming response to the Saturday matinee, we decided to perform three times on the Saturday. Although tiring for everyone involved, this worked very well, as we had packed houses for every performance.”

Performed by the local drama group, The CLIPS Theatre Company, the production was very family orientated, with all the usual pantomime humour, featuring many catchy songs and vibrant dancing.

Lions President Mike Stout said, “The pantomime is an opportunity for Lions to bring entertainment to the community of Tonbridge. We are dedicated to providing a community service in Tonbridge and the pantomime is a welcome addition to our other activities like the Summer Carnival and the Triathlon”

All proceeds from the pantomime go to local charities.

Photo: The Mayor of T&MBC Cllr Dave Davis meets the Lions President, Mike Stout, and the pantomime cast.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #132  - Balls and Wood in the Weir

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

In 1986 the Fisher Hall in Lyons Crescent mysteriously burned down during Sunday Mass and the parishioners' car park had to be urgently evacuated for fear of explosions

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #128 - The Hermitage, East Street

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Very impressed by Tonbridge Farmers Market taking the initiative and offering anti-bacterial hand cleanser at each table in the Market Eatery. With all the seasonal viruses doing their rounds it was most welcomed before tucking in to the delicious food prepared by local traders. Excellent!!!!!! 

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #126 - Christmas Lights

Monday, 10 December 2012

Tonbridge Arts Festival Revisted

Tonbridge Arts Festival has long gone, but I stumbled on some photographs I took at The Eliza Acton event at K College in June this year, and the theme of the event is suddenly current again.

I've noticed that it's become really popular to celebrate Christmas by roasting a 'bird within a bird within a bird' sometimes known as a 'three bird roast'. It's all a bit much for me being a sometimes-lapsed vegetarian, but this method of preparing a bird has been around for hundreds of years.

Eliza Acton wrote her famous cookbook whilst living in Tonbridge at No 1 Bordyke, and at the event we were shown by K College lecturing chef how to bone a chicken a la Eliza. It looked incredibly easy at the time, but it would when there's an expert wielding the knife. There was a gasp of disbelief  when he held up the completely boned chicken which was all in one piece. Quite a skill.

In a moment of 'one I prepared earlier' Chef produced not one, but two, firm packages of roasted and stuffed chickens and proceeded to confidently demonstrate his expert carving techniques, whilst the audience looked longingly at what was to be on their lunch menu.

Not only was there the fabulous roast meat to enjoy, but also a buffet of dishes made from Eliza Acton recipes, all laid out in the restaurant on the top floor of K College with far reaching views over Tonbridge. If I remember correctly the ticket price was £6. Fantastic value, and for me this was definitely the highlight of the Arts Festival.

Apologies to the Lecturing Chef in the photograph, and the people who made the delicious dishes, who I am unable to mention by name as my notes of the day have disappeared.  If this event runs again during the next Tonbridge Arts Festival get yourself a ticket, and you'll be in for a real treat.
If you're interested in learning how to bone a chicken in this way, the method can be found in Eliza Acton's cookbook.

The Bells of St Peter & St Paul

Fantastic little video by Peter Ellis about the bells of St Peter & St Paul Tonbridge Parish Church

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #125 - Mill Crescent

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Recognising Tonbridge Recognised

Recognising Tonbridge Feature

As usual Peter Harris recognised where in Tonbridge the Recognising Tonbridge feature is situated, but what is unusual is that he was the only one.
The lamp hangs outside The Chequers Inn and is usually noticed at night when the light inside is glowing making the coloured glasswork visible. Take a look when you're next passing at night.

The Chequers Inn

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #124  - Stormy evening sky over Tonbridge School

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Friday, 7 December 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #122

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The 6 in 1 Club in Tonbridge has been in action and serving the Tonbridge community for 50 years. The first club was a disused POW hut dismantled at Horns Lodge Farm and rebuilt on the current Northwood Road site.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #121 - Tonbridge School Chapel

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Woodland Walk was built c 1930 by unemployed Tonbridge men who were funded by a Government loan of £2000 as part of a scheme to get people back to work again.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Monday, 3 December 2012

Recognising Tonbridge

Looking up at this interesting feature - where am I??

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #118 - River Path

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The ghost of Jacobus (James) Cawthorn is said to roam through Tonbridge School on the anniversary of his death in 1761.

In 1743 he came to Tonbridge School and gained a reputation for  his strictness and severity. He was a great lover of fine arts, music, poetry and was known to be harsh at school.  Cawthorn had a habit of throwing a book of Virgil or Shakespeare to floor in a challenge to the boys to debate. He was also a great lover of the fine arts, music and poetry. On the death of his twin children he wrote the poem known as 'A Father's Extempore Consolation'. The verse was full of emotion and beauty so this can only indicate there was some sensitivity in the man.

Cawthorn was an accomplished horseman and was known to ride from
Tonbridge to London.  While riding over Quarry Hill he stopped to allow
his horse to take a drink from a pond and it stumbled and threw him. 
Cawthorn's only injury was a broken leg but only days later he died. He
is buried under the School Gallery in The Parish Church.

It is now said that every year at midnight on April 15, the anniversary of his death, that Cawthorne's ghostly steps and clanking chains can be heard roaming through Tonbridge School dormitories.

Don't we all love a good ghost story.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

 Tonbridge Daily Photo #117

Recognising Tonbridge Recognised

Recognising Tonbridge Feature
I'm not entirely sure who recognised the exact spot where the above mystery Recognising Tonbridge is actually placed, but I do now know that there is a confusion between the mound and the motte. It seems that we all locate areas of the castle by different names, but all those who used either motte or mound could be identifying the correct and identical place. To ease confusion the dial presented to the town by the Rotary is located in the Castle Lawn area and overlooking Big Bridge. It shows the direction of a number places well known to locals.

I'll have a go at explaining the different names and locations.

Tonbridge Castle is in fact a Motte and Bailey design. The Motte is what we sometimes call the mound and has a well at the very top. It's the large hill at the side of The Gatehouse (Castle) This is where the first wooden stronghold was built and destroyed by fire in 1088.

The Bailey would have been the area of the Castle Lawn. Originally surrounded by a wall and a ditch and probably housing a number of domestic buildings. It is also suggested that this is a later motte, but to be honest it's just easier to call this the Castle Lawn now.

The sandstone Gatehouse is usually known as the castle, so it can all be very confusing.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

During the second world war,' Paper Salvage' was part of a programme launched by the British Government in 1939 to encourage the recycling of materials to aid the war effort.

The admission fee to an evening of  'Dancing on The Castle Lawn' in Tonbridge during the war years reflected the nationwide campaign with civilians paying 6d plus 2 books, or 2lbs of waste paper.

The compulsory recycling was known as the 'Salvage Campaign' and focused primarily on raising household collections of paper, and  from 1942 people refusing to sort their waste could be fined £2500 and face two years in prison.

It was run locally in Tonbridge by volunteer Salvage Stewards who manned depots and encouraged the sorting of waste. In 1947 the scheme was heavily marketed and newspaper adverts explained how every ton of paper saved was equal to 2,956,800 cigarettes - 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) of ceiling board - 17,000 sheets of brown wrapping paper or 201,600 books of matches.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo # 115 - Bank Street

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Little Knot of Narrow Streets

A Little Knot of Narrow Streets is a fitting title for a new book on the history of The Slade. Written  and compiled by Jacquie Wyatt, together with a team of contributors, the book successfully relates the past stories of the residents of The Slade.  The memories of these people, often now elderly, are full of historical details and interesting tales of past lives in this close-knit community .

Speaker Jacquie Wyatt opens the launch

I can remember when Jacquie first started her research (probably about a year ago), and notices started to appear in the town asking for people to come forward with their memories and photographs of The Slade. Interviews over cups of tea with the older members of the community followed, and personal memories were recorded. It was obviously successful, as the book is jammed packed with fascinating facts and events told through a number of real life characters. With the help of a community grant the team were able to produce a glossy 119 page publication full of invaluable memories, and historical evidence on The Slade.

Jacqui Wyatt and Liz Turton

The book was launched last Saturday at The Slade School with many of the contributors present. It was joyous occasion filled with speeches, exchanged memories, celebration, a vintage tea party, tables covered in green gingham, and cakes like they used to be.

First glance at the book

I was honoured to be invited and was able to chat with some interesting characters on times gone-by, including two of the eldest at the launch. The two gentlemen, Albert Hazell and Harry Elliott, remembered not only my father, but also my grandfather who was the school inspector in Tonbridge. Albert had vivid memories of him, and described him as a Sergeant Major type who was pretty scarey too. I would like to say this made my day, but it didn't, it actually made my year to hear about the grandfather I never met.

Oldest Contributor - 97 year old Albert Hazell 

Chris Burgess who had vivid memories of The Slade and Mill Crescent

This was a fabulous afternoon filled with colourful memories and stories of Tonbridge, but most important of all it was real hands-on living history.  Congratulations to all the team for their invaluable work and dedication.  The little gem of a book is at present not for sale, but will be available to view at Tonbridge Library.