Newspaper Stories 1950-1959 - Hartley-Kent: The Website for Hartley

Go to content

Newspaper Stories 1950-1959

History > Newspaper Stories 1940 - 1979
01/07/1950Gravesend ReporterConservative fete at Old Downs raised £150, two-thirds for party funds. Opened by owner Mrs Stickland
14/07/1950Sevenoaks ChronicleHartley Cottage for sale by auction, 3/4 bedrooms, lounge with old brick fireplace, dining room, modern bathroom, ¼ acre garden
11/08/1950Kent & Sussex CourierCorgi puppies for sale, Denning, 4 Hoselands View
27/10/1950Sevenoaks ChronicleDartford Cattle Market to be moved to Wednesdays including calves, pigs, poultry, rabbits
08/01/1951TimesOffer for sale of Merchants & Producers Ltd, dir Barry Richards
03/08/1951Sevenoaks ChronicleJohn Norton Free of Perseverence, Castle Hill (Brianne). Car crushed under lorry at traffic lights at Vigo Hill / bypass junction. His three passengers were injured and taken to Sevenoaks Hospital
10/08/1951Sevenoaks ChronicleFurther details of the road accident in paper of 3/8/51. Fire brigade had to jack up lorry to release car passengers, sadly one of them died in hospital too.
14/12/1951Sevenoaks ChronicleKent Agricultural Executive demonstration of orchard renovation at Ambleside, Ash Road, by kind permission of Mr A E Edward (1886-1966) of Meadcot, Ash Road.
05/01/1952Gravesend ReporterObituary of Thomas Hockley, who lived in Hartley for 23 years
05/01/1952Gravesend ReporterObituary of Harry Dalton (82) of Cross House, Fawkham
05/01/1952Gravesend ReporterRev S H Broughton, rector of Longfield is leaving in April due to ill health.
07/03/1952Dartford ChronicleKCC added Old Downs as residential home for 25 elderly ladies
14/03/1952Dartford ChronicleLongfield exchange goes automatic, replacing equipment installed in 1925. Now 465 subscribers
14/03/1952Dartford ChronicleHartley PC (1) KCC has removed dangerous overhanging tree at Hoselands Hill and others in area. (2) Footpaths to be signposted. (3) Hartley Green cut up by vehicles turning. (4) Ash Road opposite Hoselands Green said to be bad in poor weather. (5) Only 2 members of public at annual parish meeting that followed PC meeting.
21/03/1952Dartford ChronicleSudden death of John William Lewis, farmer (59) of Gorsewood Farm. Collapsed in sitting room, natural causes
21/03/1952Dartford ChronicleFuneral of Fred Wise (80) of 107 Croxted Road, but of Hartley for 35 years.
29/03/1952Gravesend ReporterAsh and Hartley PCs to meet over disputed boundary Highlands - Appledore, Ash Road
11/04/1952Dartford ChronicleKCC Dartford Rural East election: F Goodwin (Con) 1805; G Mellor (Lab) 1470
26/04/1952Gravesend ReporterParish Council Elections. Ash no election (7 candidates for 7 seats), Fawkham no election (4 candidates for 5 seats), Hartley (8 candidates for 7 seasts W Ball; AE Edward; DS Hill, CS Jenman; J Phillips; FC Robertson; W Sprenger; JF Tate)
02/05/1952Dartford ChronicleWI thriving with increased membership. Hall built by former members; kitchen recently redecorated and they hope to redecorate changing room
10/05/1952Gravesend ReporterRoman stonework found at the base of the tower of Ash Church
10/05/1952Gravesend ReporterAdvert: H T Cracknell, Taxi Service, Church Road, Hartley
17/05/1952Gravesend ReporterHartley PC (1) Rev Hendeson has applied to close the Churchyard, as PC has already adopted the Burial Acts, they decided to enquire further; (2) Complaint from Miss Lowe that footpath leading from Gorse Way to Gorsewood Road has been wired off. PC to write to owner A H Thompson, although it is not an official footpath. (3) Resident of Hottsfield requested road sign, council didn't want too many "non rural" signs but told residents they could make one themselves.
17/05/1952Gravesend ReporterMarriage at Ash of [NAME] of Church Road and [NAME] of 5 Larksfield
23/05/1952Dartford ChronicleDiscovery of Lullingstone Villa
24/05/1952Gravesend ReporterFeature on newly opened Old Downs retirement home (pictures) - see article.
30/05/1952Dartford ChronicleDeath of Walter Wright of Melbourne, Main Road, Longfield (82) former clerk to HPC
31/05/1952Gravesend ReporterDeath of Mrs [Mary A] Freeman of Old Downs, aged 96 (picture)
31/05/1952Gravesend ReporterLongfield PC to ask for anti-glare lights by railway bridge, following complaints by drivers.
31/05/1952Gravesend ReporterBoundary of Hartley and Ash, rival proposals to council (see article)
06/06/1952Dartford ChronicleRC Fete opened by Eamonn Andrews (pictures)
07/06/1952Gravesend ReporterEamon Andrews visits RC Fete (picture and report) (see article)
07/06/1952Gravesend ReporterA H Thompson writes to refuse access between Gorse Way and Gorsewood Road (see 17/5)
21/06/1952Gravesend ReporterOutbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease at Slade Green, Gravesend now in infected area
21/06/1952Gravesend ReporterNo services at All Saints Church due to repair work as a result of death watch beetle and woodworm
05/07/1952Gravesend Reporter"Death of former chairman of Dartford Rural Council" - obituary of Charles Bignell (see article)
12/07/1952Gravesend ReporterPoor response for Civil Defence recruitment in Dartford Rural District. Only 116 of which 10 are from Hartley
12/07/1952Gravesend ReporterMiss Lane claims footpath between Gorse Way and Gorsewood Road has been used as of right by the public for 20 years. Council to investigate further
26/07/1952Gravesend ReporterGame over 100 years old called "Dallums" still played at Vigo Inn. Nine skittles about 6 inches high are put on a table and player tries to knock them down with 3 wooden disks. If "29" felled in 3 goes landlord gives them a gallon of beer. Played as best of 5 legs.
28/07/1952Adelaide Southern Cross10 bus road trip of 300 Roman Catholics to visit 10 shrines to St Mary will take in Hartley RC Church
02/08/1952Gravesend ReporterDartford RDC support widening Fawkham Valley Road and adding a pavement from Fawkham to Longfield, and one immediately to Fawkham School.
09/08/1952Gravesend ReporterP C Hewett, a civil servant of [Homefield] Ash Road, Hartley to become Gravesend Scout Commissioner. Been involved in scouting since the 1930s, first in Sidcup.
09/08/1952Gravesend ReporterCountry Club Fete opened by Sir Waldron Smithers MP who spoke against what he claimed was the "spiritual and moral evil of socialism"
16/08/1952Gravesend ReporterMarriage of Brian Delf and Joan Penney
06/09/1952Gravesend ReporterAuction of Fairhaven, Manor Drive 3b 2r 1bath and 6 acres of arable land
27/09/1952Gravesend ReporterMarriage of Fay Baker of Kent Road, Longfield to Albert Rich of 11 Merton Avenue (picture)
27/09/1952Gravesend ReporterPublic Enquiry concerning compulsory purchase application by the Dartford Rural District Council for 1½ acres of land at Main Road, Longfield for 14 houses, owned by Trustees of Thomas Colyer. Tenants J J Barker object to loss of farmland. DRDC said only 18 houses built in Longfield since the war 1/64 of population compared with 1/37 for the rest of the district. They have 29 on the housing waiting list in Longfield and 10 in Hartley. Land is in outer ring of Greater London Plan, which envisaged 5,000 eventually at Hartley, Longfield and New Barn.
11/10/1952Gravesend ReporterHartley PC - J S Phillips resigns due to business commitments. A E Edward coopted
18/10/1952Gravesend ReporterMeeting to form Hartley (C) Company of Dartford Home Guard at Social Club. Disappointing turn out
01/11/1952Gravesend ReporterHartley Young Conservatives win tennis tournament at Orpington
08/11/1952Gravesend ReporterTelephone subscribers at Southfleet present Mrs J Knight, sub-postmistress with cheque for £41 3s 6d for many years' service before the recent automatic exchange.
08/11/1952Gravesend ReporterGravesend Conservatives aim for 10,000 members in the constituency
15/11/1952Gravesend ReporterHartley PC noticeboard from top of Hartley Hill found in wood
29/11/1952Gravesend ReporterRetirement of Alice Whiffen (78) postmistress of Ash for 34 years
27/12/1952Gravesend ReporterHartley Players' membership has risen from 65 to 90 over the past year
03/04/1953Bucks HeraldMarriage of [NAME 1] of Church Road, Hartley to [NAME 2] of Wingrave (picture)
01/07/1953TimesAuction of Longfield Court, 2 cottages and 28 acres
21/08/1953Kent & Sussex CourierMarriage of [NAME] of Yew Tree Cottage to [NAME] of Hawkhurst
28/12/1953TimesDeath of Francis Colin Minnett, 63, DSc, MBE
31/12/1953TimesObituary of FC Minnett
04/03/1954TimesLocal authorities fail to agree on development plans for area
03/06/1954TimesWill of FC Minnett
10/08/1954Minesota Star Tribune"Cinders, a black poodle owned by Mrs Heather Venus, will in few years' time be able to curl up on a rug made from its own hair clippings. Mrs Venus, who started spinning 2 years ago gets about 1¼ lb of hair from the dog each year."
15/08/1954Sunday People[NAME] of 1 Thames View, Church Road, writes to say he pulled up a tomato plant that had wire worm only for his 5 year old son to bring it to him the next day, saying it had escaped from the stake it was tied to. (Gardening Laughs section)_
21/08/1954Gravesend ReporterAlbert Humphey (78) of Rochford, Church Road one of the most popular members of Stone Floral Society, founder member in 1947, he had been Longfield Postmaster for many years, Keen gardner but most of his garden is orchard
25/09/1954Gravesend ReporterBus timetable changes to improve connections at Longfield station
25/09/1954Gravesend ReporterBeautiful beech trees felled to widen bend of Hoselands Hill (see article)
25/09/1954Gravesend ReporterHartley Social Centre announces a varied programme for the next three months. Each event costs 3s 6d or 2s 6d for pensioners. President: Frank Tanner; Secretary: Miss Day.
02/10/1954Gravesend ReporterLocal farmworkers call for £7 a week to make ends meet
16/10/1954Gravesend ReporterPlanning decision not to allow Mr Billings to build on 114 acres but would allow him to build the road at Old Downs
16/10/1954Gravesend ReporterTrees to be planted at Hoselands Hill where the road has been widened
11/02/1955Dartford ChronicleThomas Derek Hemesley (24) fined £3 and £6 costs for careless driving at Whitehill Crossroads, Longfield, where a cyclist was knocked off their bike
20/05/1955Dartford ChronicleLawrence Flury (25) (1929-2007), fitter and turner, of Castle Hill fined £8 with £4 costs for 5 traffic offences, including driving his motorbike for years without a full licence, following accident at Westwood Crossroads, Bean
21/05/1955TimesProfile of Dartford Constituency for election made much closer by boundary changes. The safe Labour area of Erith and Crayford is removed, partly compensated by addition of Swanscombe. However 25,000 Conservative leaning voters have been added from the Dartford Rural District. Labour's current MP for Dartford, Norman Dodds, chose to fight the safer Erith and Crayford, so the seat is a battle between Sidney Irving (Labour) and Peter Walker (Conservative)
22/07/1955Dartford ChronicleFour youths (named, 3 from Longfield, one from Ash Road, Hartley) fined £10 each plus £3 costs for disturbance at Hartley Social Club Dance. 17 year old from Essex Road took microphone and said "This is the Longfield Gang, if you want trouble you can have it." Frank James Crouch (1907-1993), club vice-president, and another were assaulted.
22/07/1955Dartford ChronicleTwo youths from Essex Road fined for using obscene language at Station Road, Longfield (one was also charged with the Social Club Assault above)
03/08/1955Shields Daily EchoFlorence Galt of Briars Way (35) (1920-1994) has triplets to add to brother and sister at West Hill Hospital
13/08/1955Meath Chronicle15 minute RTE radio programme about Our Lady of Hartley RC Church.
04/09/1955Sunday People"Firemen are keeping continuous watch on 60,000 gallons of waste peanut oil blazing in a refuse pit at Brickfield Farm, Longfield, Kent. Flames leaped 60 ft above the pit, oil exploded and 6 cottages were threatened."
22/09/1955Dartford Chronicle[NAME] of Cherry Down, Hottsfield fined £2 for fare evasion. She got on at Longfield but told ticket collector at Bromley South she had come from Swanley and so was issued with a return from there. Plaform staff at Longfield asked for return excess fare when she got back to Longfield, but she would only pay a single claiming she had bought a single at Swanley when she changed trains there. Longfield staff checked and Swanley said they had not issued such a ticket.
22/09/1955Dartford ChronicleHartley Young Conservatives - 50 members attend annual dinner dance.
02/06/1956Dartford ChronicleJohn Neary of Church Road fined £2 for defective silencer on his car at Miskin Road, Dartford. Had been driving since 1927 with only 1 conviction - for speeding.
04/01/1956TimesMarriage of [NAME] (son of Mrs Mason) to [NAME] of Oundle
13/07/1956Dartford ChronicleChurch Garden Fete at Hartley - Record Number of Entries in Flower Show, opened by Mrs L Andrus formerly of Hartley Court, details of stalls and show winners
20/07/1956Dartford ChronicleEltham Crematorium opens on 17 August for Woolwich, Greenwich, Bexley, Dartford, Erith, Chislehurst, Crayford
27/07/1956Dartford Chronicle"One of the most violent storms in living memory swept through the Darent Valley on July 18th", reports of flooding
03/08/1956Dartford ChronicleAnother local storm, with gales up to 70mph on Sunday 29 July. Thickly wooded areas of Fawkham and Longfield said to have suffered badly. Fallen tree on new house at Longfield Court Estate but not yet inhabited
10/08/1956Dartford Chronicle"Building Plans in Two Villages" - appeal by Arthur Chapman of New Barn against refusal of application to build 35 houses at Rectory Meadow after buying land for "more than £2,000". He said council had allowed building in the area. Council said land is in plan not to be developed, would cause Longfield and Hartley to coalesce, and would be a danger to highways, Hoselands Hill being a winding steep road, although they had widened it in 1955. They also point out that planning applications for the site had been refused in 1946 and 1948.
14/09/1956Dartford ChronicleHartley WI Fete raises £55. Discussion whether to hold meetings in evening or afternoons, they choose evenings
21/09/1956Dartford ChronicleHartley Parish Meeting agreed to raise £800 to pay for a new burial ground
21/09/1956Dartford ChronicleDartford RDC will deal with surface water problem near the Black Lion and supply bin problem at War Memorial.
28/09/1956Dartford ChronicleAir Raid sirens to be tested
09/10/1956TimesAuction at Dartford of Fairby Grange and 2½a of land with outline planning permission
12/10/1956Dartford ChronicleLongifeld Parish Council complain of power outages every time there is a thunderstorm locally and persistent low voltage on Sunday lunchtimes and in the evenings
12/10/1956Dartford ChronicleIntroduction of trolley phone service at Joyce Green Hospital. Donated by Friends.
15/10/1956Hartlepool Northern EchoLarge area of Kent as far as Tunbridge Wells blacked out for about an hour due to breakdown at Littlebrook Power Station
19/10/1956Dartford ChronicleHartley PC complains to Kent Agricultural Committee of weed infested land near Larksfield.
19/10/1956Dartford ChronicleKent County Council say kerbing of Hoselands Hill to be included in 1957/58 estimates
19/10/1956Dartford ChronicleOld Downs - KCC to put up sign after confusion caused by construction of Old Downs Road - people visiting home try to go down there.
26/10/1956Dartford Chronicle[NAME] of Manor Drive fined £3 for speeding.
02/11/1956Dartford Chronicle50 attend Hartley and District produce council's Harvest Supper
09/11/1956Dartford ChronicleDartford Cooperative Department Store opened
16/11/1956Dartford ChronicleElectrical fault causes South Darenth Air Raid Siren to go off, causing concerns given international situation (just after the end of the Suez War)
16/11/1956Dartford ChronicleRecent laying of gas mains in Hartley
23/11/1956West Sussex County TimesJohn Allen Harley of Horsham, commercial artist, married [NAME] of the Brew, Hottsfield at Fawkham Church (picture)
14/12/1956Dartford ChronicleHartley WI Annual Meeting. Membership 78. Hall redecorated externally.
21/12/1956Dartford ChronicleRC staff at Southern Hospital ordered by local priest fr A F Colburt (RC Priest of Dartford at the time), not to take part in the Nativity Play because the producers aren't Catholics
28/12/1956Dartford ChronicleDay returns to London from Longfield (Fawkham) Station 6s 6d.
05/01/1957Gravesend ReporterHartley PC (1) Burial Ground - loan from Public Works Loan Board complete. (2) Railways - council complains of late arrival of 5.42 ex Holborn Viaduct train at Longfield, meaning people miss the bus. BR blames weather conditions. (3) Buses - two buses leave Hartley Court about 8am in term time but the larger one is removed in the holidays, on day after Christmas this was too small, 3 were left at Hartley Court and no-one else could be picked up. (4) Roads - Dartford RDC asked for road name sign at Church Road junction and keep left sign at Stocks Hill. Secretary of Old Downs House says the Old Downs Road is causing confusion for visitors and delivery people. At request of Dartford RDC to name road of Gorse Way, council choose Briars Way.
05/01/1957Gravesend Reporter"Christmas Tree at Hoselands View - Agisn this year, by the kindness and generosity of Mr W J Everard CBE, a huge Christmas tree was placed on the green verge at Hoselands View. When illuminated it added greatly to the festive appearance of the village. Residents have also reason to be thankful to Mr Everard for the spring, summer and autumn array of flowers which adorn the roadside outside his house."
05/01/1957Gravesend ReporterChristmas Services at All Saints all well attended. Church had miniature Nativity Scene of Stable and Crib. Gifts received for mothers and babies under the Tree. Miss Chisholm took Youth Club parties carol singing around the village raising £4 for NCH.
12/01/1957Gravesend ReporterFirst meeting of WI after changing from afternoon to evening meetings.
19/01/1957Gravesend ReporterBus service cuts force change of time for Ash WI meetings
02/02/1957Gravesend ReporterPicture feature on the 109 members of Hartley Country Club Bowls section.
02/02/1957Gravesend ReporterHartley PC (1) Rate to be 2d in the £, 1d general rate and 1d for burial ground. (2) Roads - KCC to be asked to turf off banks on Hoselands Hill, concerns about safety of school children if school coach slipped on ice.
09/02/1957Gravesend ReporterPetrol rationing said to have helped buses to run on time.
02/03/1957Gravesend ReporterHartley PC (1) Council hopes this year's annual parish meeting won't have rows of empty chairs. (2) Hoselands Hill - council pleased with appearance of new turfing, have been told school coach now stops at the War Memorial rather than Hoselands Hill. (3) Footpath St Johns Lane to Stocks Hill runs through properties of Mr E J T Hitchin and his neighbour "thus involving a great deal of work and expense in maintaining double fences with gates to enclose stock. Mr Hitchin claims that this part of the path is an unofficial diversion, and that the original footpath took a sharp left turn when it reached his property, and, skirting his ground, crossed Church Road to connect with a path to Manor Drive. Mr Hitchin has been contesting this parth for some years..." (4) Burial Ground - wire fence to be put up near pond, tackle and shed to be purchased.
02/03/1957Gravesend ReporterSocial Club has 167 members, up 52 from last year.
09/03/1957Gravesend ReporterHartley Rates to be 17s 5d in the pound (Dartford RDC up 1s 7d)
09/03/1957Gravesend ReporterHartley and District Produce Guild mentioned
16/03/1957Gravesend ReporterFollowing withdrawal of Sunday am buses in petrol shortage, several are to be restored including the 10.57 Ash to Gravesend.
16/03/1957Gravesend ReporterWinnetts - limited number of new builds available in Hartley - 2 bed bungalows with garage, £2,375; 3 bed semis £2,475 to £2,700; 3 bed detached houses with garage £2,495.
23/03/1957Gravesend ReporterHartley and Fawkham Mens Conservative Branch votes to merge with the Women's Branch, who are yet to vote on this
30/03/1957Gravesend ReporterHartley PC's name of Briars Way accepted by Dartford RDC. DRDC want an entirely different name for Old Downs, but PC think residents won't like that. Old Downs Close suggested.
06/04/1957Gravesend ReporterLeslie George Evans (26) (1930-1980) of Butler's Place, Ash fined £15 for stealing 1 cwt of potatoes from his employer D Hemesley, and for other offences.
06/04/1957Gravesend ReporterCompulsory Purchase notice by Dartford RDC for the purposes of the Housing Acts 1936-1957, for 8.63 acres of land between Wellfield, Larksfield and Woodland Avenue of unknown owner.
06/04/1957Gravesend Reporter"Fairby Grange, Ash Road, Hartley. This beautiful 17th century house will be open from 14th April 1957 as a private eventide and convalescent home. Particualars available from resident matron, Mrs D Parry SEN, SCM."
13/04/1957Gravesend ReporterTrustees of Fairby Grange Convalescent Home for Bermondsey give public notice they intend to sell 16 acres of land behind house (4 acres leased for 14 years) for £4,000 unless they receive objection or higher offer.
13/04/1957Gravesend ReporterMens and Womens Conservative Branches agree to dissolve and reform as one association. President: W J Everard; Vice President: Miss E Barker, William Ball
20/04/1957Gravesend ReporterReview and pictures of Hartley Players "Treasure or Pelican"
04/05/1957Gravesend ReporterFairby Grange Cottages for Sale, all three for £660. 16 acres offered at Fairby for £4,000
11/05/1957Gravesend ReporterWinnetts - Springcroft Estate: 4 new 3 bed bungalows with garages, £2,495 each. 1 x semi 3 bed house with garage and central heating £2,700 (completed)
11/05/1957Gravesend ReporterAnnual Parochial Church Meeting (All Saints'). Record number of 201 on electoral roll. Sunday School has 30 with 25 regular attendees. Increase in numbers especially at main festivals.
11/05/1957Gravesend ReporterInterview and picture of Petty Officer Edward MacKenzie, recently moved to Longfield Hill, member of Scott's last Antarctic expedition.
18/05/1957Gravesend Reporter11 out of 22 Hartley Primary School pupils pass the 11 plus exam
18/05/1957Gravesend ReporterConservatives gain Longfield from Labour in Dartford RDC election, 60% turnout
01/06/1957Gravesend ReporterPicture of Hartley Country Club Snooker winnrs at Gravesend League
01/06/1957British Medical JournalOwner going abroad wishes to sell 3/4 bed house in Hartley with 2 acres of ground and 2 garages £5,950 (probably Johns, Johns Close - then Church Road)
08/06/1957Gravesend Reporter30th anniversary of Congregational Church Sunday School
15/06/1957Gravesend ReporterAGM of Naturalist Club. Rev Henderson said he had a letter from Mrs J Gates (secretary) in 1944 suggesting such a club be formed. Mr & Mrs Gates are moving to Sussex.
22/06/1957Dartford ChronicleCartoon drawings of all the members and scorer of the Hartley Country Club Cricket Team
29/06/1957Gravesend ReporterNew houses for sale at Woodland Avenue - 2 bed semi £2,350, 3 bed semi £2,475, 3 bed det £2,750. Pilley & Talbot, Hartley
13/07/1957Gravesend Reporter"Hartley Parish Church Fete and Produce Show". Picture of display by Barbara Fothergill School of Dancing. 200 entries for photo competition. Was meant to be opened by Alf Edwards, BBC TV Artist but he could not attend. (Poor quality photocopy)
20/07/1957Gravesend ReporterWinnetts - 2 bungalows under construction in Gresham Avenue, 2 bed £2,750, 3 bed £2,950 (probably Roylands and Ivy Hatch)
21/07/1957Sunday People"They call her a witch: If little Dora Stokes could work the black magic they credit her with, she would start off willing her neighbours to have more sense. For the villagers of Hartley, Kent, have spread rumours that she is a witch and they all shun her. And that is putting the 61 year old widow out of business. Mrs Stokes stroked a black cat by her hearth at her home last night and explained: 'For years I supplied the village with flowers and goats' milk and helped out with dress making. Then the word went round and now nobody comes to see me.' The widow admitted she could see into the future. But a witch? 'Definately not,' she said, pointing to her new power assisted bicycle. 'Does that look like a broomstick?'"
27/07/1957Gravesend ReporterWedding at West Malling Baptist Church between Graham Henry Wood of Hatchlands, Church Road and Mary Wedybury
29/06/1957Gravesend ReporterNew Bungalows for sale at Woodland Avenue £2,350 to £2,750
06/07/1957Gravesend ReporterHPC - (1) Residents of Old Downs attend meeting to object to any change of name of road, even to Old Downs Close. Council agree to rescind their decision to add "Close". (2) New Litter bin at The Parade, Ash Road. (3) Church Road said to be hazardous for children attending RC school, road is too narrow for 2 cars to pass if child walking along road. Council think speed limit should be 10mph but road doesn't even have 30mph limit. Council to ask for "Slow" markings in road and school signs to be resited. (4) Buses - south bound bus stop at War Memorial in Ash Road said to be hazardous, potentially slippery worn away bank, council to speak to new owner. (5) Council to speak to County Agricultural Executive about increase in rabbits in the district. (6) Residents of unadopted Woodland Avenue complain of damage made by GPO in laying telephone cables
13/07/1957Gravesend ReporterObituary of Frederick Charles Townley (79). Born Clitheroe, lived in Hartley for 27 years, retired advertising specialist.
27/07/1957Gravesend ReporterR E Jury & Co - 4 detached houses and garages at Hartley for sale £2,495 inclusive of road charges
27/07/1957Gravesend ReporterComplaints of dumping of cesspool contents in wood at Ridley
03/08/1957Gravesend ReporterMr Hitchens to appeal footpath decision with support of [NAME] of Stocks Mead. Mr Billings denies some footpaths from Hartley to Fawkham exist, but county surveyor says he is wrong
10/08/1957Gravesend ReporterConservative fete at Country Club opened by Peter Walker.
17/08/1957Gravesend ReporterObituary of W J Bye of The Firs, Manor Drive, who died at the Southern Hospital 13/8. He was formerly newsagent at Longfield, retired 1939, founder member (1926) and committee member of Constitutional Club, one of first directors of Country Club (1935) and cricketer for club.
17/08/1957Gravesend ReporterMusic exam success: G3 piano - List of names, including G2 piano - Linda Prime
21/09/1957Gravesend Reporter"Did Estates Director have a stroke before car accident? - Inquest Query. Did Company Director Richard Talbot have a stroke shortly before his 32hp car careered down Hoselands Hill? This possibility was probed by Coroner mr S O Matthews at the Dartford Inquest on Wednesday, when the jury returned a verdict of misadventure on Mr Talbot, who died in West Hill Hospital, 5 days after the accident. An Estates Director, he was 72 and lived at Gorse Way, Hartley. Evidence of Identification was given by a son-in-law, Dr James Jenman of Round Street, Cobham. He said Mr Talbot has suffered from blood pressure which limited his physical activities, but he was mentally quite alert. His father in law knew his blood pressure was fairly high. Strokes had occurred in other members of his family. There was nothing to suggest it was dangerous for him to drive. Dr Peter Read of The Court, Longfield, told the coroner he was called to a road accident at Hoselands Hill. He saw Mr Talbot who was injured and unconscious. he later examined Mr Talbot and found that he had had a left sided stroke. This may have been due to a clot of blood in the brain or spasm of the vessels, either of which woudl be likely to cause instant unconsciousness. Miss Violet Rix of Dover Road East, Northfleet, a clerk at Ash Road, Hartley, said that she was told Mr Talbot had been outside in his car for some time on September 4th. He was in the driving seat when she spoke to him and he said he was afraid of hitting some concrete posts, one of which was about 10 inches to the side of his front wheel. He then started the car and drove off very quickly. Mrs Winifred Hollister, of Old Downs, Hartley, told the coroner that she was driving uphill towards Hartley from Longfield when she saw, on her side of the road, a large grey car being driven towards her very fast. It appeared to be out of control. "I swerved as much as possible to my right, but before I could get out of the way this car hit me on my near side, tearing off the wing." stated Mrs Hollister. The other car went on past, she said, and when she got out she saw it stopped right across the road behind hers. Mr Talbot was lying in the side of the road. Evidence was given by Mr Paul Fifield, a laundry van driver, of Old Road East, Gravesend, that when he went to Mr Talbot's car the handbrake was on and the gear was in neutral."
21/09/1957Gravesend ReporterPlanning appeal by Mrs M Ayres over land at Castle Hill opposed by Dartford RDC (prejudice future green belt around Hartley), MAFF (loss of agricultural land) and Medway Water Board (potential pollution of water supply as no mains drainage)
22/09/1957Sunday People"Howzat for a story of guts" - paper tells of how Ben Alexander (1940-2005) overcame a disability to become one of the Country Club's top cricketers (see article)
28/09/1957Gravesend Reporter"The funeral of Mr George Bassano of The Croft, Ash Road, Hartley took place on Saturday, a service being held before cremation at Eltham. Mr Bassano had no connection with Small Owners Ltd, but merely purchased lands from this company in 1913, shortly after he came to reside at Hartley. It should be stated that he ran his own concert party many years ago, and it was as "Phil Mayford" he appeared with his party. His sudden death last week came as a shock to his many friends in this district."
03/01/1958TimesSeed drill for sale by owner of 1 Thamesview Farm
25/03/1958Daily HeraldIda Somerton Bellerby, former concert pianist and dog breeder of Church Road, Hartley, fined £2 and banned from keeping dogs for 25 years after being found guilty of neglect which she had denied. Her 27 Rhodesian Ridgebacks (out of only 100 in the country) ordered to be sold. She got first one "Lady of Emasne" in Kenya in 1936, she mated it with Princess Elizabeth's "Just of Bamba", so all her dogs are related to the now Queen's dog.
16/06/1958Coventry Evening TelegraphMarriage of Neal Warner of Coventry, surveyor, to Erica Leaning of Ealing at Ealing. They will live at 20 Old Downs, Hartley
17/06/1958TimesMarriage of Elizabeth Abraham of St Adwen
27/06/1958Kent & Sussex CourierDeath of Rector of Hartley and passenger in road accident (see article)
07/08/1958TimesThree men, including haulage contractor Frank Archie Boulding of Thames View Farm, Hartley, charged with fraud relating to sale of meat at Bow Street Magistrates. Remanded on bail pending trial.
11/10/1958Gravesend Reporter"Proud Day for a Hartley Mother: Proudest but saddest mother in Britain on Sunday October 19th, will be 72 years old Mrs Mary Florence Grace Appleton, of Holly Cottage, Hartley. On that day Mrs Appleton, the retired headmistress of the former Fairby High School at Hartley, will be representing all the mothers of this country who lost a son in the war. She has been selected by the Air Council to attend a special service of reconsecration of the restored church of St Clement Danes in London. It was blitzed during the war. The service will be attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Mrs Appleton and her husband, Mr Charles Appleton, lost two of their three sons in the conflict, and only a miracle saved the third. All 3 served in the RAF. The youngest son, Pilot Officer Llewellyn Lister Appleton, aged 24, was a fighter pilot based at the famous Biggin Hill. On May 12th 1940, he went out on patrol over Belgium. He did not return. The eldest son, Karl, aged 30, was an officer in the Fleet Air Arm, having transferred from the RAF. In March 1943 he led his formation over the Mediterranean. He did not return. The second son, William, was a test pilot in India during the war. When the Japs struck at Singapore he took his plane to the air to fight them. The plane crashed into a hillside and he was the only one to survive. Before he collapsed unconsious and badly burned, he pulled one of the crew clear from the wreckage. It was some time before he wa found and taken to hospital. Because he was so badly injured, it was considered too dangerous to move him to a hospital ship. The Jap invaders were creeping nearer. He was left behind. The hospital ship was bombed. The hospital was captured by the Japs and Mr Appleton had to survive British bombs before he went into captivity for over 3 years. Today he is the air attache in Bucharest. Mr and Mrs Appleton have 3 daughters. The eldest Miss Dorothy Appleton, served in the Red Cross during the war. The other two were too young to take part. Now both are married and living in Canada."
04/02/1959TatlerPicture of Mr E G Russell-Roberts of Picaroon Kennels, Hartley with one of their Papillon dogs at Crufts
22/06/1959TimesGoverness (PNEU preferred) for girls aged 10 and 8.   Mason
10/08/1959TimesMarriage of Susan Richards in America
24 May 1952 - Far from the Madding Crowd
Gravesend Reporter
When the house came on the market in 1950, it was bought by Kent County Council, who turned it into a retirement home.

When I get old I would like nothing better than to lie in a place like the 'Old Downs' Hartley (pictured), and enjoy the same homely atmosphere as the 38 men and women who live in this home for old people.

Last week I was conducted around this chaming residence by the matron, Miss Lawes, and was astonished at the vitality of the residents.

There was Mrs Field (affectionally known as Sarah)who would be the life adn soul of any party with her keen sense of humour and happy disposition.  When getting ready for her photograph to be taken, she insisted that they took her cardigan off.  Apparently so many gentlemen in the room made her hot and bothered!

Although she is 98 years old, she does not wear spectacles except for reading, and 'likes a bit of sky larking'.  Her favourite books by the way are love stories.

Mrs Field (pictured) was born in Tunbridge Wells, but spent some time in Brighton, where she said with a twinkle in her eye 'I had quite a time when I was young'.

Then were was Mrs and Mrs Crampton (pictured), aged 91 and 92 respectively, who have been married for 65 years on June 4th.  A grander pair would be hard to find.  'Mary' was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and her husband 'John' spent 25 years in the Thames Division, Metropolitan Police Force.

Mr Crampton related the story of how he dived into the Thames to rescue a drowning lighterman.  For this he received a certificate from the Royal Humane Society, which he has hanging on the wall of his bedroom, and of which he is justly proud.

There is Mrs Ware, who is 92 and Mrs Foreman 96.  With the other 3 this makes a total of 469 years.

All 38 of the residents are just as pleasant and charming, and all seemed remarkably fit adn well when I spoke to them.

Ther is no reason why they should not, because this house for old folks is a really beautiful place.

It was only opened in January, being the 8th opened since 1950, and the emphasis is on colour and brightness.

The bedrooms are of delicate pinks and blues, and over the windows, overlooking the spacious well kept gardens, gay curtains are tastefully arranged.  There is nothing dowdy about Old Downs.

All the tranquil calm of the English countryside is to be found there, but the old folks are not bored.  Outings are arranged and in the winter film shows will be given in the house.

Most of the residents are unable to walk very far, and when anyone gives any of them a ride in a car their joy knows no bounds.

If any reader has a car and is passing through the locality he could bring much happiness to an old soul, just to drive him or her around the lanes.  It would be well worth it just to talk to some of these 'old timers'.

No restrictions are made in this house, and visitors are encouraged.  the old folks are given a cup of tea in bed at 7.30 and breakfast in bed at 8.30am.

In the bright airy dining room they sit aound, four at a table, and enjoy their many comforts.  Every table has flowers on it, and pictures hang on the wall.

I have been in many hotels but have never seen such charming surroundings and managed quite so efficiently.

IIn case you are thinking of packing your bages and catching the next bus to Hartley, let me remind you that Old Downs is for those who are unable to look after themselves and have noone to look after them.

There is a waiting list of 180, who are eligible to enter the home, so all you can do is to wait, and if you are as happy and cheerful  as these residents when you are 90, you will have made no mean achievement."  JJH

31 May 1952 - Boundary of Hartley and Ash:
Gravesend Reporter
The final boundary change was for Hartley to be extended along Ash Road from the Black Lion to Chapelwood Road.  Then as now, Ash is a much larger parish geographically than Hartley, but at the time had fewer properties, so they were unhappy at losing rates income.  Their response was that if Hartley were to get the properties in Ash Road then they wanted a similar number in Church Road to compensate.  

"….. Arrived at by Dartford Rural District Council on Tuesday, the matter is to go to the County Council for adjudication.

The minutes of the General Purposes Committee before the Rural Council contained a report on a meeting at Ash between representatives of the two parish councils and it was stated taht the report had been submitted to the two village authorities for their observations.

The report stated that Councillor F Tanner, who presided, told the Ash meeting that the Rural Council had suggested that some 17 properties with a total rateable value of £286, in an area south of the Black Lion, Hartley, should be transferred from Ash to Hartley.

The representatives of both parish councils then debated the proposals and counter proposals and stressed the need for community of interest to be maintained.

Ash members stated that if the original proposal of the rural council was put into effect it would cause unecessary hardship to them in the loss of properties and rateable value.

It would appear from the evidence that was offered, Councillor Tanner reported, that both councils had investigated the proposals with commendable thoroughness adn each presented an equally good case.

Having regard to the relevant factors - which included community of interest, rateable value, enabling a parish boundary which could be easily recognised and defined, welding a parish into a homogeneous unit and the known wishes of the population - it appeared that the most satisfactory solution would be for the district council:

1.  To adopt their original proposal with regard to the area south of the Black Lion and that this should be transferred from Ash to Hartley.

2.  To transfer New House Farm and   2 cottages and other houses from Hartley to Ash.  In order to avoid unnecessary administrative difficulties it was suggested that the boundary line should run behind the properties on the north west side of Church Road.

Letters from both parish councils were read to the rural council on Tuesday.  Ash agreed to the recommendation contained in the report.

Hartley expressed surprise and it was stated that their members considered them illogical and not a correct representation of the facts as they existed.

In addition, the Hartley letter enclosed a petition signed by 30 residents objecting to the proposals.  Any [.......] any justification they stated and the rural council was asked not to proceed with the transfer to Ash parish.

Councillor A E Edward said the people of Hartley were genuinely concerned about the transfer and it was a matter which required very careful consideration before they went to the county and recommended that part of Hartley should be transferred to Ash.

After a considerable discussion, a motion for the reference back of the matter was defeated and it was agreed that the County Council should be asked to adjudicate in the matter."

5 July 1952 - "Death of former chairman of Dartford Rural Council
Gravesend Messenger

"Well known in Hartley for many years, Captain Charles S Bignell died at Beckenham Hospital on Friday.  In his early days, Captain Bignell had a successful business career in China.  He served in the 1948-18 War, and while an officer in the King's Own Scottish Borderers was badly wounded in France.  About 30 years ago he came to Hartley.  He was a member of the Dartford Rural District Council from 1930 until 1947, whien he retired for health reasons, and was Chairman of the council from 1941 until 1945.    During the last war Captain Bignell was sub -controller of Civil Defence in the Dartford Rural Area.  For a number of years he wasw a member of the local Parish Council.  For his war services he was awarded the OBE.  He took an active part in the formation of the new Hartley Country Club and had a large share in the success of the social adn also the sporting side of thsi popular venture.  He was Hon Secreatry of the Club for enearly 20 years, and on his retirement was presented with a handsome cheque by the members.  Captain Bignell was in his 70th year.  He wife died over 7 years ago and he later suffered a second bereavement by the death of his second daughter.  Two other daughters are married and live in South Africa and Australia.  For the past few years, owing to the state of his health, Captain Bignell had been confined to his house in Church Road, Hartley, adn quite recently he was removed to a nursing home at Bormley.... (list of mourners)... Members of Dartford Rural Council paid a silent tribute to the memory of Captain Bignell at thei meeting on Tuesday morning.  The Chairman, Mrs Kathleen Wood JP said Captain Bignell was a member of the council for a long time and he was also a past chairman - 'a very excellent Chairman'."

7 June 1952 - Eamonn Andrews Captivated by Kentish Beauty Spot
Gravesend Reporter

"What more beautiful site for their annual fete could the Hartley Roman Catholics have found than the daisy covered meadows and the spreading orchards of the Carmelite Friary, Church Road?

But unfortunately the sun did not shine.  There were several heavy showers and the grass soon became wet and slippery.

Mr Eamoonn Andrews, the well known radio and television star, who opened the fete humorously refered to the weather and said 'The Carmelites have control of a lot of things, but they have not yet got control of the heavens!'

After telling a number of stories in his familiar Irish brogoe, he said how he envied the local people their Kentish beauty spot.

His advice to everyone present was to 'put their hands deep in their pockets, but not to keep them there!'

Father O'Neill, who had formerly introduced the popular star, called him back to receive a presentation which in the excitement had been forgotten.  [NAME] (aged 11) of St Joseph's Convent had the thrill of presenting him with a picture..... " (details of organisers' names, stalls and events).

25 September 1954 - The Beech Trees of Hoselands Hill
Gravesend Reporter

"Many residents of Hartley will this autumn miss the golden glory of the beech trees on Hoselands Hill for the trees, long noteworthy, possibly even dangerous, with their gnarled roots protruding from the chalky sub-soil of the banks, have been felled to make room for further road widening on the bend.

And now these roots, like giant teeth, are being extracted.

Yet, the felling of the trees is not without compensation, for it opens up a wide and beautiful vista, loking toward the river across the Longfield valley.

These old and lovely beeches did not alway project so closely on the road, for the hill was previously widened in the 1920s, before which it was a pleasant country lane.

A well known historian of the village wrote in 1927 ' Hoselands Hill in the past, if steep to climb was pleasing to the eye, but road improvement has shorn it of nearly all its picturesqueness.'

But he conceded that road widening and cutting down trees were necessary to meet the requirements of 'modern' traffic.

It seems, therefore, that earlier than 1927 there wre traffic problems on the hill.  It is clear that even then there was much heartburning over the need for spoliation of the country lanes, for the annual parish meeting in March 1954 is reported to have forwarded to the Dartford Rural District Council a resolution strongly opposing the construction of a main road through the village of Hartley.

Apparently in 1924 the approach to Hartley must again be widened.  What will happen in another 30 years?"

22 September 1957 - Howzat for a story of guts
Sunday People

"A year ago young Ben Alexander (1940-2005) was a boy with a golden future as a cricketer before him.  The 17 year old Gravesend engineering apprentice was booked for a trial with Kent County Cricket Club.  Then came disaster - or what everyone imagined was disaster - Ben blew off his left hand.  He went down to the garden shed behind his home in Church Road, Hartley, near Dartford, and started juggling with a home made bomb.  The bomb went off.  Team mates in Hartley Country Club XI said this was the end of Ben as a cricketer.  Letters of sympathy poured in.  But the boys of the Hartley XI left one factor out of the reckoning - the lion like guts of Ben Alexander.  From hospitals at Dartford and Roehampton he sent defiantly cheerful messages. 'Thanks for the sympathy boys, but I'll be playing again.'  And this week his cricketing pals are proud and glad to admit their gloomy prophesies were wrong.  For brave Ben Alexander has battled his way to 350 runs for his club for an average of 14 - not bad, when top class club batsmen usually average about 23!  Add to this his record of 40 wickets and you have an achievement which is miraculous for a lad with Ben's handicap.  How did he do it?  Ben will pat his artificial hand with pride and tell you - 'Here's the secret.' For when the doctors got around to fixing that artificial hand, Ben told them all about his love of cricket.  Sympathetically they nodded their heads.  And they devised for Ben a special clamp which gives a good strong grip to the handle of a cricket bat.  Talk to team mate Eric Harris about Ben Alexander and more facts abou the cricketing wizard ermerge.  Says Eric: 'Ben takes catches in deep field like I would pick cherries off a tree.  He's safer than most two-handed men.'  Ben is nothing if not independent.  He never bemoans his fate.  And he insists on dressing without any help.  Today he'll be buckling on his pad for the last time this season.  He has a home match against South Beddington.  And he will be playing just as skilfully as he did before that bomb exploded.  Let Eric Harris - former skipper of the team have the last word: 'That Ben has made a come back at all is astounding.  That he has made it in one season is miraculous.'  Which all goes to show what a lad with guts can do." (Picture)

27 June 1958 - Death of Hartley's Rector in road accident
Kent and Sussex Courier

"The Rev B D Williams who was assistant curate of St Paul's Church, Rusthall, for 3 years, died in a road accident at Hawkinge, near Folkestone, on Thursday, last week.  He was 53.  Mr Williams, who became priest in charge at Rusthall in November, accepted the living of Hartley, near Dartford, at the beginning of this year and was instituted as rector of the parish on April 19.  Mrs Helen Elsie Irene Bryant, 45, of Hartley Rectory, Dartford, was also fatally injured in the crash.  An inquest was opened on Monday by the Folkestone coroner, Mr N W Franks.  After hearing medical evidence he adjourned the inquiry until July 10.  He said a further postponement might be necessary if injured witnesses were not fit to give evidence.  Mr Williams's Austin van, travelling twoards Folkestone, was in collistion with an estate car on the main Folkestone-Canterbury road.  [NAME], aged 17, a passenger in the rector's van was detained suffering from shock in Folkestone hospital.  The driver of the estate car, which was travelling in the opposite direction, was [NAME], aged 21, of the Spinning Wheel, Barham, near Canterbury.  He received a fractured wrist and suffered from shock.  Evidence of identification was given by [NAME] of 10 Eversley Way, Folkestone.  Dr Pamela Jean Callagahan, casualty officer at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone, said Mr Williams and Mrs Bryant were brought to the casualty department on thursday afternoon.  Mrs Bryant who was unconscious, died almost immediately.  She was suffering from multiple injuries.  Mr Williams was deeply unconscious and died an hour later.  Dr B M King, pathologist the the hospital, said Mrs Bryant died as a result of breaking her ribs.  Mr Williams died from shock due to internal haemorrhage and multiple injuries."

11 October 1958 -  Proud  Day for a Hartley Mother
Gravesend Reporter

"Proudest but saddest mother in Britain on Sunday  October 19th, will be 72 years old Mrs Mary Florence Grace Appleton, of Holly  Cottage, Hartley.  On that day Mrs  Appleton, the retired headmistress of the former Fairby High School at  Hartley, will be representing all the mothers of this country who lost a son  in the war.  She has been selected by  the Air Council to attend a special service of reconsecration of the restored  church of St Clement Danes in London.  It was blitzed during the war.  The service will be attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.  Mrs Appleton and her husband, Mr Charles  Appleton, lost two of their three sons in the conflict, and only a miracle  saved the third.  All 3 served in the  RAF.  The youngest son, Pilot Officer  Llewellyn Lister Appleton, aged 24, was a fighter pilot based at the famous  Biggin Hill.  On May 12th 1940, he went  out on patrol over Belgium.  He did not  return.  The eldest son, Karl, aged 30,  was an officer in the Fleet Air Arm, having transferred from the RAF.  In March 1943 he led his formation over the  Mediterranean.  He did not return.  The second son, [NAME], was a test pilot  in India during the war.  When the Japs  struck at Singapore he took his plane to the air to fight them.  The plane crashed into a hillside and he  was the only one to survive.  Before he  collapsed unconsious and badly burned, he pulled one of the crew clear from  the wreckage.  It was some time before  he was found and taken to hospital.  Because he was so badly injured, it was considered too dangerous to  move him to a hospital ship.  The Jap  invaders were creeping nearer.  He was  left behind.  The hospital ship was  bombed.  The hospital was captured by  the Japs and Mr Appleton had to survive British bombs before he went into  captivity for over 3 years.  Today he  is the air attache in Bucharest.  Mr  and Mrs Appleton have 3 daughters.  The  eldest Miss Dorothy Appleton, served in the Red Cross during the war.  The other two were too young to take  part.  Now both are married and living  in Canada."

© Content P Mayer 2000-2018.  Created with WebSite X5
Back to content