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.

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

During the 1960's chains of coloured Christmas Lights crisscrossed Tonbridge High Street and were later replaced by chains of white lights. They could be seen from as far away as the top of Quarry Hill and created a curve of light snaking through the distance.

Tonbridge Daily

Tonbridge Daily Photo #114 - Town Lock Canoe and Fish Pass

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Who are these Tonbridge girls?


This group of girls, photographed in the early 1960's, are members of The League of Health and Beauty who used to meet in the Social Centre in Lyons Cresent.  The building has long gone, but it stood next to The Stradbrook Implant Centre, and has been replaced by town houses.

The group met weekly and would often perform their sychronised exercises at local events.

Does anyone recognise themselves or know any of the girls in the photograph?

Tonbridge Half Marathon

Athlete Kim Wall accepts cheque 
on behalf of The Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust

Tonbridge Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Tonbridge have announced that the second TonbridgeHalf Marathon which took place in September raised over £10,500. When added to the amounts raised by individual competitors the money raised is in excess of £50,0000 shared by 40 different charities.

Rotary President Bryan Vernon (left) and Lions President Mike Stout

The presidents of the two clubs, Mike Stout and Bryan Vernon have presented cheques for £3000 to each of the three main beneficiaries – Demelza Hospices for Children, Kent Air Ambulance and the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust.


Mike Stout and David Duncombe from Kent Air Ambulance

Karen Warner thanked the event organisers on behalf of Demelza Hospices. David Duncombe from Kent Air Ambulance spoke of how such donations were aiding local emergency medical services. The DKH Legacy Trust was represented by Kim Wall, a former GB 400m runner who conveyed the gratitude of Dame Kelly to the organisers and competitors. 

A further beneficiary of the event was Tunbridge Wells Mental Health Resource Ltd and Len Horwood was presented with a cheque for £1000.

Karen Warner from Demelza and Bryan Vernon

Jonny Cass, a K College student, showed a video that he had made of the event.  Race Director, Andy Blundell, reported that feedback from the race entrants was very positive and encouraging enough for the event to be run again next year.

Tonbridge Poem


 An anonymous poem I found on the spelling of Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells in Neve's 'The Tonbridge of Yesteryear'

We're the Old and Original township, and so
In writing her name Tonbridge uses an 'O'
Tho' funny it seems, it is perfectly true,
That the daughter-town always spells hers with a 'U'

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The pink velvet seats from Buster West's Tonbridge Playhouse were found piled high in four Lyons Crescent lockups in the 1960's. Unfortunately the rotten and rat bitten seats had to be destroyed.

I have been reliably told that they went up in flames as part of a massive bonfire on the river bank in The Crescent.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo # 113  - Tonbridge Christmas Tree

Monday, 26 November 2012

Movember at Specsavers

Angus Hathorn

I popped into Specsavers in The High Street this morning to see how Branch Director, Angus Hathorn's Movember quest was developing, and I think you'll all agree that his upper lip is sprouting quite splendidly. Angus, originally from South Africa, told me his father developed prostate cancer and so his chosen Movember charity is close to his heart. If you are passing please drop by to see how he's doing, and give generously.

I was also given photographs of the staff at the Tonbridge Branch who have come out in sympathy with Angus. I think it suits them!!!





Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Harry Beckett the Quarry Hill Parade pharmacist  (born in 1861) was famously known in the town for pulling Tonbridge teeth for 1 shilling WITHOUT anaesthetics - ouch!

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #112  -  Town Lock

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Not a public dog loo

I found this photograph in my files.  I remember taking it in Mill Crescent quite a few years ago, and  believe this open garden/space has now been built on so the probem no longer exits.
Such a brilliant sign!!!


Christmas Festival in Pictures

Tonbridge Big Bridge 
All Take That


Mayor and Tunbridge Wells Panto Cast
Fun Fair




Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #111

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Hugh Christie School 1957

Hugh Christie School's production of Hansel and Gretel c 1957

Lions Prepare an Afternoon of Entertainment

Tonbridge Lions Club is once again arranging an afternoon of entertainment with light refreshments for Senior Citizens of the area who live alone.

The event will take place on Saturday February 23, 2013 at Tonbridge Baptist Church andThe Lions Club will provide transport to and from the event.

To qualify for an invitation you must be a senior citizen and live alone in Tonbridge, Hildenborough, Leigh or Hadlow.

Application forms are available from the Age UK office in Bradford Street, Tonbridge and must be completed and sent to the return address before 31st Dec 2012.

Forms can also be downloaded from the “What’s happening” page of the Tonbridge Lions website
www.tonbridgelions.co.uk  If the number of applications exceed the capacity of the venue then lots will be drawn. All successful applications will result in an invitation being delivered personally by a member of Tonbridge Lions Club.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #110  -  Tonbridge Castle

Friday, 23 November 2012

Recognising Tonbridge

I'm looking towards London 
Where in Tonbridge am I?


Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #109 - Tree Stump

A few tree stumps are now left in the Memorial Garden in Tonbridge. An attempt to count the rings in the wood came to approximately 100, so the felled trees had stood in this spot for around a century

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Prince Edward opened the Tonbridge Oast Theatre extension in 1988 and also attended a production of Children of a Lesser God

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #108

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Tonbridge Pharmacist Harry Beckett's homemade recipe for a straw hat cleaner was in great demand around the 1900's. Locals could buy the homemade concoction from the Quarry Hill Pharmacy.  It required a single application to dry thoroughly and then the use of a warm iron as a finishing touch. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The Mitre Theatre Club performed a public open-air production of Shakespeare's The Tempest in the walled gardens of Ferox Hall in 1933. What a beautiful venue!!

The Mitre Theatre Club used the premises of the now demolished Mitre Pub as their meeting and rehearsal space storing their props in a barn at the rear of the property. The club is now known as The Tonbridge Theatre and Arts Club and they have a thriving arts programme based at The Oast Theatre, Tonbridge

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #106 - Sportsground

Monday, 19 November 2012

Delicious Tinned Fruits


Harrison's of Barden Road June 1933

Keep it Local this Christmas

Pavilion Florists

You may want to ignore it a little longer but Christmas is now starting to pop up everywhere. The friendly Florists in the Pavilion have a fabulous stall that's all lit up and sparkling with seasonal cheer.

They've made a tremendous effort, and remember these guys are locals, so it's worth giving the supermarkets a miss and supporting our independent shops and stalls to keep them in the town.


Tonbridge Optician's Movember Moment


Things are definitely getting a little hairy at Specsavers in Tonbridge. Branch Director Angus Hathorn is growing a moustache for Movember to raise money for the charity Prostate Cancer.

For those of you who don't know about Movember or were wondering why moustaches were coming back into fashion, during November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer.



Unfortunately Angus was busy with clients when I was in the shop so I was unable to take a photograph of him and his moustache, but I did catch a glimpse and it really is a splendid effort so far.

If you are passing Specsavers pop in and give generously to the charity Angus is supporting. Hopefully I will get a photo of the moustache soon so you can see how he's doing.

Tonbridge Christmas Festival


The Christmas tree has arrived at The Watergate area next to Big Bridge in Tonbridge, and is waiting to be decorated in time for this weekend's Christmas Festival, when it will light up for the first time.

The Festival takes place this Sunday November 25, and kicks off with live music on the Watergate Stage at 3pm. The Christmas lights switch-on will happen at 5pm followed by a firework display over the castle area starting at 6pm.  For those who wish to take part in the Carol Service at The Parish Church please arrive by 6.30pm.

This year's festival features the Simply Take That tribute band.

Fe Fi Fo Fum I Smell The Blood of a Tonbridgeman

Martin Collis and the cast of children in Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk is coming to Tonbridge, and local man Martin Collis will appear for the second year running in this popular pantomime being staged at the Angel Centre on Friday December 14 at 7.30, and Saturday December 15 with three performances at 11am, 2.30 and 6.30pm


The spectacular Pantomime is produced by the local Drama Group, The CLIPS Theatre Company, and Martin rejoins the cast in the role of Simon Trott, the brother of Jack, who defeats the larger than life giant living at the top of the beanstalk. 

For Martin the panto is a real family affair, as he is not only looking forward to appearing with his four children, but also his wife Lynne. 

The legendary fairytale will have all the fantastic pantomime humour and foot tapping songs we all know so well. So go along, be entertained, enjoy a boo and hiss and have a thoroughly rip roaring time.

All proceeds from the pantomime go to local charities. Tickets are £10 for Adults and £8 for Concessions. A family ticket is £30 for a family of four. All are available from the Angel Centre Box Office 01732 359966

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #105  -  Bridge at Buley's Weir

The Weir takes it's name from Buley the Fishmonger whose shop once traded close to this spot in the 19th Century. The name was used as a point of reference.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Recognising Tonbridge Recognised

Recognising Tonbridge Feature

Within minutes of posting the first person to recognise the feature, as the top of the tower at the rear of the fire station, was Andrea Turner. Steve Abrahams and Peter Harris also knew the answer.

The Old Fire Station