Friday, 31 May 2013

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #234 - Reflections on Cafe Nero

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

A young farm girl named Nellie who drowned herself in a pond behind The Cardinal's Error some centuries ago is said to haunt the Tonbridge pub today.

Cardinals Error - Lodge Oak Lane Tonbridge

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #233

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

A dispute on mixed bathing at Tonbridge pool in 1910 caused national attention.

Tonbridge Swimming Pool and 'Cow Sheds' 1910
 Tonbridge Historical Society Pictorial Collection No. 31Sw.02

"The Daily Mail brought the pool to the attention of the nation in the 1920s after a councillor objected to Tonbridge Swimming Club's request for men and women to be allowed to swim together from 6am to 10am on Sundays, thus breaching the council's rule to keep the sexes apart.

A speech by Councillor Donald Clark of Tonbridge, a former Scots Guard officer, which was reported in the local newspaper, caught the eye of the Daily Mail - especially his explanation that he objected "not because I am a Puritan, but in the interests of ladies looking for husbands".

He said that "by making girls look like wet terriers, mixed bathing stops more marriages than any other cause and much unrest in the country due to the barbarous license in woman's dress".  Clark was subsequently hired by the Daily Mail to travel around coastal resorts to comment on beach behaviour.

This whole episode lead to a mixed bathing protest by a local Tonbridge resident.  An elderly woman carrying an umbrella mounted the pool's high diving-stage and began a shrill denunciation of mixed bathing and the spectators who encouraged it by their presence. She was pushed into the pool by an indignant bather and had to be rescued!

Mr Clark declared that, from what he had seen, strict Government supervision of bathing places was needed, because mixed bathing "must always have a debasing influence by lowering the respect that should remain between the sexes."

It all came to nothing when the swimming club's request was approved by the council, and the sexes swam together for the first time in July 1920."

(courtesy of Tonbridge Swimming Pool

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

First Event For Local Friends of the Earth Group

The new Tonbridge and Malling Friends of the Earth group held their first event on Sunday 19th May.
Dressed as bees, they took part in the annual Lions Charities Walk, to raise funds and awareness of the Friends of the Earth Bee Cause.

Bees are essential for pollinating our crops as, well as honey production, and have been in decline over recent years. Likely reasons for the decline in bee numbers include disease, loss of habitat and flowers, and the use of certain pesticides.
The circular walk, passing through bluebell woods, open fields and past Igtham Moat, began and ended at Shipbourne village hall. 
It was a fun day out for all involved, especially as the sun shone!  Over £100 was raised for the Bee Cause.
If anyone would like to join in future environmentally friendly activities , you can get in touch by emailing

Tonbridge Lions Annual Charity Walk

Early risers on Sunday May 19 may have heard the bells of St Peter & St Paul Parish Church, Tonbridge ringing Grandsire Triples on Radio 4 at 5.43 a.m.  Tonbridge Lions needed no such wake-up call  to prepare for their club’s 32nd annual charity walk. 

The 124 walkers who embarked on either a five-mile or ten-mile walk, starting and ending at Shipbourne Village Hall, raised thousands of pounds. The shorter route took them via Dunk’s Green, Fairlawne Estate, Ightham Mote, Wilmott Cottage, Budd’s Green, and Shipbourne Church. The longer route extended to Carter’s Hill and Underriver.

Shipbourne Church
With fine sunny weather, that was not too warm, and the “going” good underfoot in most places, the walkers returned full of reports of the magnificent views and the springtime fragrances of bluebells, and wild garlic.

The Lions planned and marshalled the event and supporters of other charities obtained the sponsorship and did the walking. The charities keep all the money for themselves and estimates indicate that around £4000 was raised. 

At the finish walkers had their sponsor forms officially “stamped” to show that they had completed the walk and Mike Stout, President of Tonbridge Lions presented each walker with a certificate.

The Mayor & Mayoress of Tonbridge & Malling BC, Cllr Howard and Mrs Jane Rogers completed the longer walk and raised funds for The Bridge Trust.  Other beneficiaries included Age UK, Hayesbrook School PTA, chYps Hospice, The Scotts Project, Angel Ladies and Junior Bowls, Tonbridge First Responders and well as local Scouts and Beavers.

It's going to be a great day to be in Tonbridge!!!

The next Tonbridge Farmers Market is on Sunday June 9, and it's going to be a big day for the town as the Carnival Procession and Fair will be happening on the same day in the afternoon. What a great day to be in Tonbridge.

There are over 65 stalls booked, and this means it's going to be the biggest market happening in Kent, but that's not all as it's the Market's 2nd Birthday.

It's two years since the first Tonbridge Farmers Market appeared in our town. A chance was taken, and the organisers had absolutely no idea if the people of Tonbridge would support or even want a Farmers Market. Two years later, and with over 50,000 customers, we all know the answer is an unmistakeable YES.

In this short time they have become the biggest and best supported Farmers Market in Kent, and probably in the South of Kent. They have become runner up in the Taste of Kent Awards, and Best Farmers Market category. They have also been nominated and short listed for the BBC Food and Farming Awards.

Steve Wood Market Manager
Market Manager Steve Wood said 'it's great to be successful. It's even better when you and others love what you do. Let's see if the next will be just as exciting for us and our customers.'

Tonbridge Farmers Market with its sister market, Elm Court, and a number of producers were invited to the Jubilee Rooms at the Palace of Westminster by Tracy Crouch MP on May 15 to promote and to tempt MP's with fresh Kent produce.

Steve Wood said 'I hope this event will boost the profile of our market, Farmers Markets in general and of course kent and Kent produce. We were all looking forward to meeting the Prime Minister, but he was in the USA but sent this message to us.'

I am delighted that Kent's producers have come to Parliament today to showcase some of their high-quality local produce. I am sorry that prior commitments abroad mean that I am unable to join you today - I was particularly looking forward to being able to sample the honey brought to London by the Dartford Beekeepers, which I’m told is truly delicious! I am sure that today's event will offer an opportunity to celebrate Kent's fantastically diverse agricultural sector and will, I hope, promote the county’s producers as they continue to flourish. I wish all those producers who have travelled to London to showcase their produce - and all involved - my very best wishes for an enjoyable and successful day.”

New starting point for this year's carnival procession

A message from Tonbridge Lions who want this year's Carnival crowds in the High Street, and not waiting for the procession on Quarry Hill Road and Railway Approach.

 'In a break with an almost unbroken custom that has existed over twenty five years, this year's Tonbridge Carnival procession, on Sunday 9th June, 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 p.m.'

Blog Comments

Receiving comments like this really makes it all worthwhile:-

'I log into this site on a regular basis. I lived in Tonbridge for the first 14 years of my life before moving to Melbourne, Australia with my parents in 1967. There are so many wonderful memories on this site - the Castle, the High Street, the Sports Ground where my dad played cricket every summer for the Brown, Knight and Truscott Printing Works Social Club. Tonbridge certainly has changed over the years and it's fascinating to see it all. All the Best, Christine'

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Local schools took part in a country dancing festival every summer on the Castle Lawn during the 1950's/60's.


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Not a Tonbridge Daily Photo

Basilica di San Zeno - Verona - Italy
I'm checking out the historical sights in Italy but Tonbridge Daily will be back soon.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

In 1778 a male midwife and surgeon opened a shop in the High Street offering to deliver babies free of charge within a radius of 4 miles of the town.

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #232 - Going Up

Friday, 17 May 2013

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #231 - Church Street/East Street

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

English Romantic landscape painter JMW Turner used Somerhill House Tonbridge as the subject in a painting in 1811, and here it is.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Recognising Tonbridge

I'm expecting everyone to recognise where in Tonbridge this can be found

What do you think?

The temporary tarmac has been broken up and taken away, and the new clay pavers are slowly taking shape at the Watergate by Big Bridge. What do you think of them?

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The oldest post box in town is wall mounted on platform 2 at Tonbridge Station. It is Victorian and pre-dates all others in the town

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #229 - Boer War Memorial, River Walk

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Monday, 13 May 2013

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

Several military trophies were displayed in the castle grounds after WWI, including an army tank which was sited on a concrete plinth on Castle Lawn. It was removed to be melted down during WWII to help with the war effort. 

Be There for Bee Cause

There's a new Tonbridge and Malling Friends of the Earth local group, and the first event that local members can take part in is the annual Lions Club local charities sponsored walk to support the 'Bee Cause'.
These little insects are threatened by loss of habitat, certain insecticides, and disease.   
The loss of bees as pollinators would be a disaster not just for lovers of honey, but also for farmers and gardeners.  It would cause food prices to soar.
The walk starts from Shipbourne Common Sunday May 19, and will be 5 miles long.
(Dressing up as a bee, or wearing yellow and black clothes for the walk is optional, but encouraged) 
You can get a sponsor form and friends of the Earth ‘bee cause’ petition cause from or just donate £5, and go along for the walk (dogs on leads are welcome).
More details about the Friends of the Earth Bee Cause from

Tonbridge Triathlon

The finishing line at Tonbridge School Track

Tonbridge Triathlon was held on Bank Holiday Monday May 6 at Tonbridge School Sports Centre. A superb day was had by all, even the athletes with their aching muscles and tired limbs. The weather was dry, sunny and hot, so unusual for a Bank Holiday! The supporters made the most of the day basking in the sunshine, watching the competitors and enjoying the wonderful atmosphere created by the keen entrants and the friendly marshals.

386 competitors, of which about 120 were novices, tackled two distances: Standard Distance, 800 metre swim, 50 km cycle followed by a 10 km run and Sprint Distance, 400 metre swim, 25 km cycle and a 5 km run.

Malcolm Davies from London completed fastest Standard Distance in a time of 2 hrs 17 mins 24 secs, and the fastest female completing the challenging course in a very creditable 2 hrs 26 mins 40 secs.  Rob Barnes of Sevenoaks completed the fastest Sprint Distance in 1 hr 12 mins 56 secs. The fastest female was Susan Fairfax from London in a time of 1hr 21 mins.

For the first time this year there were 10 local teams taking part, including two teams from The Duke of York Military School at Dover. The fastest team time was by the Peppa Dog team with a time of 1 hour 29 mins 54 secs.  Jayne Nutley, from Tonbridge, was taking part in her first Standard Distance event and posted the second fastest time for a female with 2 hours 54 mins. Jane is the niece of a Tonbridge Lions Club member.

The organisers, Tonbridge Lions Club, have raised approximately £13,000 that will be split between the Kent Sussex Surrey Air Ambulance, Headway and other local charities. In addition some competitors also raised funds for other charities.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Tonbridge Daily Snippet

The two circular structures on the Sportsground, usually graffitied, are covers to 20ft deep wells sourcing water for the waterworks. 'Well' I never.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Tonbridge Daily Photo

Tonbridge Daily Photo #227 - Bluebells in Ightham (almost Tonbridge)