Roads of Hartley - Copse Side (DA3 7DU)
North End of Road
Copse Side lies at the bottom of Hoselands Hill, between the railway and Ash Road. It is named after a bungalow that used to stand where 1, Copse Side is today. It's 20 properties are a mixture of detached and semi-detached houses and bungalows, and are numbered consecutively clockwise. Owing to the nature of the land, most of the houses have sloping land in either the front or back gardens.
Copse Side lies on the site of Hottsfield, which once extended over the railway to where Axton Chase school is today (see aerial photo left). George Day, the owner of North Ash Farm and New House Farm, bought Hottsfield for £330 in 1922, which proved to be a good investment. On 7 August 1924 he conveyed 1 acre to Barbara Gladys Harker for £160, and by January 1925 she and her husband Robert had built the bungalow. This plot equates to 1 and 9-11 Copse Side, with part of 2, 12 and 13. Six years later (6th February 1930) she bought another 1 acre to the south from George Day for £140, thus Mr Day had recovered nearly all the purchase price from the sale of just 2 of the 11 acres he bought in 1922. This plot lay to the south of the original plot of Copse Side and today encompasses numbers 14-20 and the remainder of 12 and 13 Copse Side.
Robert Harker died on 7 October 1932 and is buried in Longfield. The Dartford Chronicle (14.10.32) said he had moved to Hartley from Gravesend, adding "although over 74 years of age, Mr Harker journeyed daily to town, and was a familiar figure among his fellow passengers". He worked for the foreign department of Sutton & Co Ltd. Mrs Harker died in 1934 and the following year her executors sold Copse Side to Wendy Snow for £775. The Snows lived here until 1957.
By 1964 Brewster Estates Limited (the builders of Cherry Trees) had acquired Copse Side. They had also bought the northern part of the road (ie. the site of 3-8 and part of 2 Copse Side) from British Rail. On maps dating from the 1930s this land is shown as "Allotment Gardens". They got planning permission in 1964 (ref 64/94 and 64/95), subject to building a fence or hedge at the back of the plots bordering on Hoselands Hill, on the "road improvement line"; and also on condition they improved the sight line at the junction with Ash Road.
They built the road in 1965, number 4 for example sold for £1,400. The company, which was founded in 1963, is still going and is based in Footscray High Street, Sidcup. They built many other roads in Hartley, including Cherry Trees, Berrylands, and Beechlands Close.