Friday, 31 August 2012

RSPB Tudeley Woods Nature Reserve - Wildlife Conservation Work Parties

RSPB are pleased to announce that on Wednesday, September 12th 2012, they will be starting a regular Wildlife Conservation Work Party at Tudeley Woods Nature Reserve.

 A range of essential conservation projects will be tackled which will help to protect and promote biodiversity throughout the reserve. 

Work will be manual in nature and may include the use of hand tools, with guidance provided where needed.

Work parties are a great way to get fresh air and exercise, meet like minded nature enthusiasts, and hopefully encounter wildlife!

In return for your time and commitment, RSPB volunteers can expect a fun, safe and supportive working environment with refreshments provided.

If you would like to make a regular volunteer commitment to Tudeley Woods Nature Reserve please contact:-

The Reserve Team 07872157743 or email for further details / to register interest

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #42  -  Charlton Terrace

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Opened in 1896 Whitefriars Press was the country printing house for the publication Punch and later Whitefriars Press Limited printed over one million Penguin books yearly.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo # 41  -  Bordyke

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The Rose & Crown Hotel was once the Headquarters for announcing Parliamentary elections to the people of Tonbridge

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Recognising Tonbridge

Standing under and looking up at these interesting features.
Where in Tonbridge am I?

The Angel Hotel

Below is a 1924 advertisement for the former Angel Hotel which was on the site where Poundstretchers now stands. This was a time when stabling, loose boxes and even a garage, for the rare motor car that ventured through the town, were available for guests

The Angel Hotel
Private and Commercial
Opposite Railway Station
County Cricket Ground is near
Close to Sports Ground and River
Moderate Terms
A.A. Robertson, Proprietor

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #40  -  Parish Church

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

In 1903 a community of nuns expelled from France opened a Convent School at Shrublands, Mill Lane. The building has now been demolished. The Covent eventually moved to the mansion house of Foxbush in Hildenborough. Known as Notre Dames de Lourdes NLD, the day and boarding school for girls, eventually closed its doors in the early 70's.

If a reader has photographs, attended the school or knows anyone who did please contact me on or leave a comment on the blog.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Recognising Tonbridge Recognised

Recognising Tonbridge
Little Bridge

Two people recognised the top of the scrolled Ionic Pilaster (column) on the former Quality Seconds building situated on Little Bridge. Sadly this grand old building is now just another empty High Street shop, however it was once a thriving cinema/picture house. I'm sure its resurrection as a cinema would be well received by Tonbridge residents.

Peter @GreenHares and A Lime Less Ordinary @Nevrandil both recognised the picture correctly via Twitter

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #49  -  Little Bridge

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Before the first Police Station and cells in Pembury Road were built in the early 1860's prisoners were locked in 2 cages, one in the then Castle Square and the other in Station Approach

Monday, 27 August 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #48   - Lyons Crescent Garage

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Neil A Armstrong first set foot on the moon on Monday July 21 1969. This memorable event happened in the same year that Tonbridge Free Press celebrated it's centenary.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo # 47 -  Town River

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Tonbridge was twinned with Le Puy in France in 1969. Representatives from both towns signed a formal twinning oath, and a celebration Son et Lumiere of the history of Tonbridge and a Centenary Concert was attended by 2000 at the castle.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #46  -  Bridge near Memorial Gardens

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Pigeon shooting competitions were held behind the Bull Hotel (now Peacocks). In 1872 competitors organised a sweepstake and the 1st prize was £19.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Recognising Tonbridge

Looking up at this architectural feature in Tonbridge - where am I?

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #45  -  Olympic theme in High Street

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Toughest and Highest Cycle Route in the World

Paul Huntington

Local man Paul Huntington left London, on Saturday August 18, to go to Geneva where he started the Haute Route 2012 cycle race in support of the British Heart Foundation.   The seven stage race from Geneva lasts seven days, finishing in Nice Saturday August 25.

Paul, who works a personal trainer in London, had a dual chamber pacemaker fitted when he was 24 years old because of complete heart block, and is racing to raise funds for his chosen heart charity.

His mother Diane said, 'we are so lucky to have him with us'.

Good luck Paul!!!!

A History with Food at 107 High Street

Below is a photograph of 'Kimmins The Confectioner' who was trading from what was No.135 High Street in 1892, but is now No.107. The speciality of the baker and confectioner was the popular Old English Loaf, which was made from the best English flour and mixed entirely with milk. Kimmins claimed it to be' the most nourishing and wholesome bread to be obtained'. Above the shop frontage, and covering the lower part of the window, is a sign 'By appointment to Tonbridge School' which was an acknowledgement by the school to shopkeepers who supplied them with produce. Traders would proudly display the insignia on their premises. On the door, behind a figure who was probably Mrs Kimmins, one can just see an advertisement for Rowntrees Chocolates.

Kimmins The Confectioner
Today The Pepper Grinder trades from the same premises and the window above the shopfront still exists. Whilst researching previous traders at this address in Kelly's Street Directories for Tonbridge I found that food retailers seemed to have occupied the premises since 1860 to the present day. So, Tonbridge residents have been buying their bread and cakes, sandwiches and meals from this building for over a century.

The Pepper Grinder

1856           William Durtnall - Pastry Cook
by 1860      He opens as a Baker
1890           Known as Durtnell the Baker
1892-1903  Kimmins the Confectioner
1903-1905  S Beardnell Baker
1907-1935  H.J. Smith Baker
1937-1961  The Home Made Cake Shop
1967           The Tudor Rose
1967-1971  Restaurant Luigi

How Things Have Changed

The Castle Pub 2012

These two photographs are a really interesting comparison of The Castle Hotel and Big Bridge with 130 years between them. The only part that is recognisable is the river.  Both The Castle Hotel and the building opposite have been rebuilt and The Big Bridge has lost the three archways.
The Castle Hotel c 1880 - courtesy of M Harrison

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #44  - Botany Sculpture

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Ballast Pit, Haysden Park, where gravel extraction took place in the 1840's was popular for summer swimming and winter skating. It is now solely used for fishing.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

A Hadlow Light Railway was proposed in the 1900's by Colonel Stephens of Salford Row. The intention was to carry farm produce to Tonbridge, but it was never built.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #43  -  Wier

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Tonbridge Football Club was relocated to Longmead, Darenth Avenue at Tonbridge Farm in 1980 as redevelopment of the Angel Ground began.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #42  -  Church House Surgery

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Martin Hardie, art historian, artist and author was an expert on watercolours and etchings.  He moved to Tonbridge c1930 and lived at 10 Yardley Park Rd. A selection of his books are available at Tonbridge Reference Library.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Friday, 17 August 2012

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Thousands of Hop-pickers used to travel to Tonbridge and the surrounding area to spend the season between August and September gathering hops on local farms.
For their use, special roadside shacks adjoining the pubs served drinks with tankards fixed by chains to stop the thefts of the drinking pots.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #39  - Tygers Head, Church Lane

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Recognising Tonbridge Recognised

It took a while before a few correct answers were posted on this Recognising Tonbridge, but Shaun, Hyperman and Peter all recognised the Victorian balconette and canopy that overlook the river by the Little Bridge.
The balcony would have given a birds-eye view over the Angel Cricket Ground before the development of this area, and I am sure many a match was enjoyed from this spot.

Recognising Tonbridge

Little Bridge

View over former Angel Cricket Ground

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #38 - Olympic Bunting

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

In 1897 a Cardiff  architect named John Philips won a national competition organised by the New Buildings Committee in Tonbridge  to design a modern structure. His winning plans were used for the Library and the Technical Institute. The large windows that we are familiar with today were not part of the original design but were incorporated at a later date. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Tonbridge Round Table - Splash Compilation

Messing about on the river

Tonbridge Round Table Olympics

Obviously influenced by the Australian Olympic Team's stay at Tonbridge School.

Bygone Tonbridge

This advertisement is for the former High Street Watchmaker, Jeweller & Optician, A Cornell  and features in a guide to Tonbridge c1912. The photograph is approximately 100 years old and illustrates a time when there was a great pride in window display. The building style is of a typical late-Victorian design, topped with decorative wrought iron.

One can only imagine that the majority of Tonbridge High Street was filled with rows of magnificent shop frontages similar to A. Cornell's business in this image. It is a sad affair that Tonbridge has lost much of its architectural heritage due to unsympathetic planning.

A Cornell and a number of equally interesting neighbouring buildings were demolished, and would have stood next the former Angel Hotel, where Poundstretchers is currently sited.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #37  -  Gone Fishing

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Over 1million books were produced per year in the mid-1950's by Tonbridge Printers from their site at Little Trench Farm building close to the corner of Shipbourne Road and Trench Road. Trenchwood Medical Centre now occupies this site.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The gramophone records made at the Crystalate were pressed from shellac, a sticky ant secretion & clay. The Cannon Lane factory started production in Tonbridge in 1917, and were bought out by Decca, who transferred the record manufacturing to its existing factory in New Malden, Surrey.   

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #35  -  Botany Sculpture

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Cage Green School 1982

These four photographs were taken at The Cage Green School sports day c1982.
Can anyone spot themselves or their children?

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #34  - Former Fire Station, Church Street

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

In 1930 there were around 150 privately owned shops in Tonbridge High Street.

Times have changed.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Tonbridge Attractions 1924

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #33  -  Barden Lake

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

In 1900 Tonbridge Free Press was printed at two pages a time. Two men were employed every Thursday to provide the power to the printing machines by manually turning a handle, at 200 turns an hour. It was a job that required great stamina, and the daily rate for the privilege was 6d per hour.
A number years later a gas engine was installed to power the machines.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #32  -  Fire Cart Barn

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The (Queen Victoria) Cottage Hospital Tonbridge was built as a memorial to Queen Victoria's 50 years on the throne. It was sited on Quarry Hill and opened in 1902. The hospital provided only 18 beds, and was maintained as a charitable concern, while the Doctors worked on a voluntary basis.
The hospital relocated to its present site in 1935.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #30  - St Peters & St Pauls Churchyard

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Wednesday, 1 August 2012