Thursday, 28 February 2013

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The main thoroughfare south of the Bridge was originally called 'the road to Rye' and afterwards 'a continuation of the High Street'.

There arose, gradually and unofficially, a practice of referring to the stretch of main road from the Angel to the Bridge as 'Bridge Street, and this name is officially used in the early days of the Local Board.

In a meeting of the Local Board (town council) held in April 1872 it was decided by the sixteen members present that the name revert back to High Street. 

The Tonbridge of Yesterday
Arthur Neve

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #177

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

In 1895 a severe and long winter freeze continued in Tonbridge and the ice skating season lasted until 6th March at both Somerhill and The Ballast Pit.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #176

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

This is a temporary reinstatement

I almost missed this, but there is now a statement by KCC fixed on a post by the bus stops at the War Memorial regarding the offending tarmaced area. Does anyone know what a 'new clay paver footway' means?

Swimmers Wanted

If you can swim (even one width or one length) you could help to raise funds for local people who are suffering with cancer.

The Tonbridge Committee for Macmillan Support is holding a sponsored swim on Saturday March 9 at Tonbridge School swimming pool. The event will take place between 2 and 5pm and all ages are welcome.

If you would like a sponsor form, or even if you wish to go along for a swim on the day and make a donation, please contact Evelyn Goodsell on 01580 880899 or email

What better way of raising funds to help local people and have fun at the same time.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #175

Monday, 25 February 2013

Pullman at Tonbridge Station

No I haven't become a railway geek, but while waiting for a train to London Bridge yesterday this beautiful Pullman pulled up alongside platform 2.  My guess is that it had left Dover and was on it's way to London, but that's just a guess.

The privileged passengers stared out over their crisp, ever so white tablecloths and silver cutlery, at us, the cold and unprivileged ones shivering in the bitter wind, waiting for our already 15 minute delayed train. Even my cup of warm Nero coffee didn't feel so comforting anymore. Not the best day to be surveyed by those who live a better life. Beautiful train though!!!!

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #174

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #173

Treat For Tonbridge Seniors

Life long Tonbridge resident Majorie Clifton aged 94

Yesterday 140 seniors who live alone, were treated by Tonbridge Lions Club to an afternoon of entertainment and refreshments at Tonbridge Baptist Church.

The guests were transported to and from the venue by Lions members and enjoyed a performance by Lions and their ladies. The show also included “guest spot” performance by two former Mayors, Cllrs Sue Murray and Brian Luker who performed “Ah Yes, I Remember It Well”. Dame Trott (Ian Patterson) from the recent Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime also featured as a guest artist. During the in terval, afternoon tea, sandwiches and cakes, made by the Lions’ ladies, were served.

The Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, Councillor Dave Davis, was in attendance and gave a vote of thanks to the Lions on behalf of the guests. Lion Colin Lord, chairman of the organising committee, said, “It was great to see so many people enjoying the afternoon’s entertainment. It made us feel that all our efforts were worthwhile.”

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Friday, 22 February 2013

'That's Entertainment' is the 2013 Carnival Theme

Carnival Fete on Castle Lawn
Tonbridge town centre will be full of excitement on Sunday 9 June when the town’s annual carnival takes to the streets. This year the carnival theme is “That’s Entertainment” so you can expect to see local interpretations of all varieties of entertainment from theatre, cinema, TV and maybe even local radio!

IN a break with an almost unbroken custom that has existed over twenty five years, this year's Tonbridge Carnival procession on Sunday will not be assembling in Brook Street. Instead the carnival floats, classic cars, bands and other groups will gather in the Sovereign Way car parks, close to the Tonbridge Farmers' Market and then proceed from Avenue du Puy at 12.30 pm along the High Street passed Tonbridge Castle. With a variety of walking groups and motorised float entries, this year’s carnival promises to be bigger and better than ever and will also include the Southern England Marching Band Championship, a display of classic cars, and Morris dancers.

The then Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr. Howard Rogers and Lion President Mike Stout will judge the entries and later in the afternoon, on the Castle lawn, will present shields to the best in each category taking part in the procession.

In addition to the fun of the carnival procession, there will be a FĂȘte on the Castle Lawn and along Castle Walk providing an array of entertainment and fun activities throughout the afternoon including the silver band 2nd Wind who will perform at the Watergate entrance from 11.45am – 12.45 pm.

As usual the show will feature Punch & Judy, Rondo the Clown, children's entertainment area, bungee trampolines, children's rides, a full arena programme presenting local talent, including the Cannon School of Irish Dancing, song and dance by Stagecoach and music from local band Rosewood Drift. And in the tradition of this popular event, there will also be a wide selection of tombolas, raffles and side-shows including the coconut shy, crazy kitchen and other games to test your skill as well as stalls selling cakes, jams, books, toys and jewellery. Hot and cold food, drinks, ice creams and scrumptious cream teas will also be on sale.

The Carnival is organised annually by Tonbridge Lions Club with support from Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council. Proceeds from the day will help local good causes and Lions' charities.

There is still time to take part in the Carnival procession, contact Barrie Bromley on 01732 851415, or to book a stall space at the fĂȘte, contact Peter Godsall on 01732 354174.

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The great' Woolley Tree' overlooking the former Angel Ground is where Frank Woolley watched cricket as a child - he apparently carved his name in the branches. 

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #171 -  graffiti

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A21 Improvement Plans

The latest A21 improvement plans are now on display in Tonbridge Reference Library (upstairs). Library opening times apply.

That Smell Over Tonbridge

This was Tonbridge High Street on Monday afternoon. It all looks quiet and nothing unusual is happening, but if I could have visually captured the sweet sickly odour that was in the air this photograph would show a different picture. If that chemical smell of bubblegum or candyfloss, or however it has been described, were tinted grey the High Street would not be visible, but be clouded so darkly that probably pedestrians wouldn't be able to see their way through the town.

There are many questions asked about this foul smelling odour that often descends on Tonbridge? Some are ... What is it? Where does it come from? Is it harmful? Why do we have to put up with it? Can it be stopped? Does it pose a health hazard to our children - asthma sufferers? What are the effects when it is mixed with pollution from cars? The list is endless.

The company who are responsible for this odour is Drytec who are sited on the Industrial Estate. If you are concerned about what you are breathing-in, contact Environmental Health at TMBC, but also inform and research yourself once you have the information. If you consider that it is a nuisance, especially so if it is on your property, complain in writing giving time date, location and description of odour to:-

Jacqui Rands
Environmental Health
Gibson Building
Gibson Drive
Kings Hill
West Malling
ME19 4LZ

or email

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #170 - Port Reeves and the moon

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Stones or Tarmac (update)

Yes this looks horrendous!!! The good news is that it is apparently temporary. Let's hope it is eventually rectified. The news is there's an 8 week delay on the arrival of the stone slabs.

The work is being carried out by KCC who maybe should have taken the iniative to inform residents, as the public outcry has been massive. An A board has been suggested stating that this surface is temporary. For those who wish official information and progress on what's underfoot at The Watergate call KCC.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #169

Saturday, 16 February 2013

View From the Bridge - Summer and Winter

Stones or Tarmac?

Slowly over the past year the area around the Watergate was beginning to look like patchwork as a number of broken stones have been filled in with tarmac. Apparently the original stones had short longevity, and were prone to cracking which probably happened when vehicles mounted the area. Consequently it was decided some of the slabs could present a danger to pedestrians and these were removed, and replaced by tarmac.
At present there is work underway in this area. The many damaged slabs are being removed and boken into small pieces.
But what will appear in place of the slabs? Hopefully the area will be paved with suitable paving and not tarmac.
Does anyone know?

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #167

Friday, 15 February 2013

Town Lock Cormorant

Last week Carl Lewis photographed a cormorant close to River Walk. Today I spotted one at Town Lock. I wonder if it's the same bird, and could all the twigs surrounding it suggest nesting on this site, or have they simply been washed up onto this spot. I don't know much about birds and their habitats. Perhaps someone has the answers?

Is it about to happen??

Well ... according to The Rose and Crown Hotel the return of the iconic crest is about to happen, and the area on top of the the portico is undergoing maintenance for its arrival ... however ... they informed me this afternoon that they have no idea as to when that will be!

Teams wanted for Tonbridge Triathlon

In order to extend the fund raising possibilities of the Tonbridge Triathlon, the organisers, Tonbridge Lions Club, are offering a limited number of places to teams of competitors.

Each member of a team of three will do one of the three disciplines, swimming, cycling and riding.

Swimmers will do 400m, cyclists 25km and runners 5km.

Team entry cost is only £46 and the competitors are encouraged to find sponsors and raise money for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

The Tonbridge Triathlon will be held on Bank Holiday Monday, 6 May 2013 at Tonbridge School Sports Centre.

To book a place visit and follow the link to Triathlon 2013.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

THe High Street Is Changing

Things are changing on the Little Bridge.  Large yellow notices displayed in the long gone photographic shop window inform passers by that a new dry cleaners will be opening soon, and there are rumours that the former QS building to being turned into residential apartments.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #165 - Rear of The Chequers Inn

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The 1920 Tonbridge Bus Wars is when drivers of two competing bus companies raced each other for passengers undercutting each others fares

Monday, 11 February 2013

Recognising Tonbridge Recognised

Recognising Tonbridge detail
Painting by Tonbridge Artist Mike Insley
The young man, lazily laying on the grass and enjoying the summer sunshine during the Annual Cricket Week, is a detail in a painting by the Tonbridge artist Mike Insley. I have have often wondered what the three bottles, standing on a crisp white cloth, might contain - perhaps home-made wine or lemonade.

Mike, is well known in the town for heading up the Tonbridge Arts Festival Big Picture and for his involvement in the Tonbridge Art Group.  His painting can be viewed in the foyer of Angel Centre. It's worth going along to have a look and take in all the detail in the image.

Mike Insley (centre) - Unveiling The Big Picture - Tonbridge Arts Festival 2012

These are Mike's words on his painting that hangs in the Angel Centre:-

'This painting is based on a photograph of a cricket match at the Angel County Cricket Ground taken in 1903. The County Cricket Ground was situated on what is today the Angel complex, Sainsbury's and the carpark. It was the first headquarters for Kent cricket and it hosted an annual County Cricket Week in Tonbridge from 1869 to the beginning of the Second World War.

The picture draws heavily on the photograph, but I have made rather more of the figures and in some parts, where it is not clear to me what was going on, I have made some modifications. As well as being a sporting event, I imagined the week would have been quite a social occasion, a chance to renew old acquaintances, make new friends or just soak up the atmosphere.

I am greatly indebted to the unknown photographer.'

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #164 - Snowy Branches

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Different perspective! The water storage area behind the Leigh Barrier is about the size of 255 football pitches

Friday, 8 February 2013

Monday, 4 February 2013

Recognising Tonbridge

A summer's day and a picnic - where in Tonbridge is this young man

Film Showing of Tonbridge Arts Festival 2012

Video film of the
Tonbridge Arts Festival 2012
at the
Angel Centre, Riverside Function Room,
Wednesday 27th February 2013 at 8pm
Tickets are free and available in advance from the
Angel Centre reception desk

There will be a retiring collection with a donation
 made to the
Kent Air Ambulance

The film made by Tonbridge Film Makers is in two parts each less than half an hour and includes many of the events from the
Tonbridge Arts Festival 2012
From the opening ceremony by the Mayor, through to Lunch with Eliza.
There are school choirs, performances, displays, works of art,
literary items, demonstrations, music, pop up events all of which took place
all over the town during the ten days of the festival.

In addition there is a short film of
The Olympic Flame in Tonbridge
when Kelly Holmes brought the ‘Flame’ making it a very special day with all the schools on the Castle lawn and many thousands of people by the big bridge.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Stranger on the River

Photographed by Carl Lewis who said he'd never seen this visitor to the town's river before.

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Cleanliness was next to Godliness at St Eanswythe's Mission, Priory Rd being the first place of worship in Tonbridge to offer toilets facilities with running water.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #161 - Doors at Homebase in need of TLC - Ironic

Friday, 1 February 2013