of Old Barham
Looking down The Street towards the "Duke of
Cumberland" and Valley Road
Looking back up the hill with Mr Hill's bakery on the
right and the "Duke of Cumberland" on the left - nearly hidden
by a tree
Mr C Hills and Mr D Hills, his father outside - what is
now "The Old Bakehouse"
Mr D Hills trying out his new car in The Street
The old hump-backed bridge at the west end of
Both the bridge and house behind it have been demolished.
Valley Road Barham with the Post Office on the right.
Barham Post Office
Derringstone Street looking towards the Ford and Railway
Derringstone Ford looking down South Barham Road during one of the Nailbourne
Railway Hill looking from Derringstone Ford
Said to be Derringstone Street, it looks more like
Railway Hill, taken from the railway bridge, looking down towards the ford.
Barham Soccer Team 1920
Back row - (Not known),
Norman Gasby, Phil Andrews, (Not known), Frank Edwards
Centre row - (Not known), Allen, (Not known), Cyril Hills, J
Front row - Charlie Coltup, (Not known), J Burgess, (Not known),
May Day c1921
(donated by Kay Gascoigne)
Back row - Vera Friend, John Perkins, Hetty Bailey
Centre row - (Not known), John Fox, Rosie Mummery, (Not known),
Leonard Ellen, Linda Hubbard, Ena Andrews
Front row - Daphne Quested, (Not known), Olive Friend
Netball Team 1927
by Kay Gascoigne)
Back row - Marion
Golding, (Not known), Ethel Cornish, Miss Mailey,
(Not known), Violet Martin
Centre row - Doris Stanley, Doris Murphy, (Not known),
Front row - Elsie Pilcher, (Not known), Beaty Fagg
Some of the
villagers mentioned by Mr Edwards
||of Out Elmstead
||brickmaker of Gravel Castle
|Capt. Domult Wright
||of The Yard
||of The Sportsman's Arms
||Lord Kitchener's Private Secretary
||caretaker at Barham Court
||shoemaker of Barham
| Dr F. W. Henderson
||doctor & cricket playing Irishman
||cricketer - of the bakery
||owner of builder's shop
||of the Woodman's Arms
||worked for Colthams near church
||farmer of Heaselands
||ran the Post Office
||owner of Reed Mill
||owned Broome Park
||of the Oast House, Gravel Castle
|Mr and Mrs Lee
||owner of chemist shop
| Mr Mumford
||of the bakery
||carrier of Derringstone
||of Covet Lane
| Percy Allan
||Tubby Keeler's brother
| Rev. James Alcock
||Rector of the Chapel
||Verger and builder's labourer
||owned the forge
||used to sell fish
||of Lodge Lees Farm
||used to sell fish
||woodman and labourer
||gardener at The Lawn
||was a coalman
||woodman and cricketer
||shoemaker of Derringstone
| Willie Hills
Dear Old Barham
by Mr Edwards - written some years ago
Having been born at Derringstone in the
little, then called Wesley Cottage in 1897, I am trying to recall some of
my early memories of the old village.
My parents' house is still standing today
and was used as a surgery twice a week by a doctor who came from Elham on
horseback - a Dr F. W. Henderson, an Irishman, very abrupt but with a warm
heart. He was a good cricketer and played regularly for our
old rivals Elham. As this was long before dentistry as we know
it, I well remember my mother supplying a bowl and jug of hot water to
those unfortunates who required a tooth out. I have head their
yells from mothers kitchen.
My mother was caretaker of the present
Wesley Chapel and Sunday School, now the grocer's shop at the foot of
Derringstone Hill, for many years. I was made to go to chapel
on Sunday mornings and evenings as well as to Sunday School. The first Rector I can remember was the Rev. James Alcock
M.A. and he reigned for a number of years, living in the (now) Old Rectory
in Pond Lane.
I cannot recollect the windmill on Breach
Downs but can remember the old mill stones which lay about on the
Downs. The Mill House was, presumably, the home of the miller
but my only recollection is of the baker, a Mr Mumford who ran the
bakery. He was followed by Mr F. Budden.
From my mother's kitchen window, looking
over what is now Heaselands, I have seen all those top fields at the back
cropped with corn and, at the end of the harvest, at least halk a dozen
stacks in the yard to the side of the house. Farmed by a Mr
Jimmy Wates for many years, those were the days of horses, waggoners and
their mates, together with the old Kent plough, out in the fields at 6am
in the summer with four horses, "take-out" for dinner at 2
o'clock, horses to stable and all fodder to cut before the
evening. What a change now!
No water was laid on to the village in my
early days; everybody had wells and there must be dozens of them still in
Barham today. I can remember them laying the water main right
in front of our gate and it was a great thrill for us youngsters to see
them lifting along rows of joined pipes and then lowering them into the
Bricks were made at Barham for a long time
and the clay used was brought from a field where Mr Chant's house now
stands. It was carried from there to the "plug-hole" as it
was called, next to the little bungalow in the brickfield. It
was then put into the mixing machine which was turned around by
horsepower. I have seen rows and rows of freshly made bricks
laid out to dry before being burnt in the kiln, which was opposite the
cottage. It was always a great thrill to see the faggots,
hundreds of them, being burned.
Woodcutting employed quite a few of the
locals and I was always fascinated by the expert manner in which trees
were felled and lopped, faggots made and stacked and poles left for sale
in the woods to make fencing and hurdles. No one worried about
logs in those days - coal being 1s 6d per cwt.
I have seen bad flooding of lower roads by
the Nailbourne before the bridges were built. The water used
to run over the roads, to the consternation of the majority with horses
and carts and the minority with motor cars.
I can remember the very heavy four-in-hand
coach, complete with trumpeter, running from Folkestone to Canterbury and
back during the summer. They used to change horses, I think,
at Elham and the Black Robin. I believe the coach was owned
and run by the Vanderbilt family of Folkestone and was for the
wealthy. It was a splendid sight to watch the coach with its
four great horses galloping up Derringstone Hill.
Whilst on the subject of horses, the Royal
Mail was carried from Elham to Canterbury by road in all weathers and one
needed a good horse for that journey.
Regarding transport, the railway was in
operation and unless you possessed a pony and cart, was the only medium of
travel. It was considered a very great treat to go to the
station for a ride to Canterbury, the fare being 6d. The
station staff in those days was a Station Master (called a Toll Collector)
and two porters. The name of the Station Master was indicated over the
door leading to the platform where a huge bell was standing, and as soon
as the train was sighted, either at South Barham or Greenhills bridge, the
porter would give sufficient warning with a very rigorous ring of the bell
to get people onto the platform in time.
Mr Dumbrell was the first Station Master I
can remember and others who followed were Messrs Port, Pope and Croxon.
The Station Master's house was at Beggars Hill, or Railway Hill, opposite
the railway bridge since demolished. The four cottages on
either side of the bridge were occupied by railway employees - porters and
feddlers as they were called.
As a boy I took great interest in cricket
and used to go to the cricket ground at Broome Park to watch our locals
play. Such stalwarts as Fred Budden, F Lee, Willie Hills (who
always bowled underhand with a lot of success) and Percy Allan come to
mind. I can remember old Capt. Wright (nicknamed Domult) and
his old horse rolling and cutting the pitch.
Our cricket was confined to evening games
on Breach Downs where the present council houses now stand and enthusiasm
was tremendous. Of course we were barred from the "Holy
of Holies" and we made do with bats made of wattle slays.
Names like Nobby Keeler, Shanucks Newman, Waxy Page and all of the Colthup
family went to make up a band of enthusiastic cricketers and was forming
the nucleus of a very good "Village XI" of later years of which
I was proud to be captain.
Football was not played at all in my
younger days at school. Children had hoops and some of them
were pretty considerable in size and weight. These were
trundled to school from as far away as Denton, Womenswold, Marley and even
from Royal Oak - and in all weathers too.
All of my school days were spent at Barham and as I was
a cripple, I was carried to school in a truck for a year or
two. Mr and Mrs Lee were the heads and were very
popular. Children used to walk for as much as four miles to school,
perhaps wet through and only an old Tortoise stove to stand around - and
no canteen dinners!
In my parents' home I well
remember we had a side drum for many years, although I cannot recall the
village band. I understood it was a drum and fife band of
which my brother was apparently a drummer. The big drum was
kept at the school. I must mention here that about the time of
the band, the squire of the village, who resided at The Shrubbery (now
Little Manor) was returning to Barham from India and his carriage was
pulled by men of the village from the station to his home.
Major Meakin was squire for many years and he had the first tennis court
laid in Barham. It was near sacrilege for us youngsters to
hang about and look through the fence to see them playing.
Court was the big house in Barham but alas empty and derelict - with only
a caretaker to look after it. His name was West (nickname -
Cutter) and he used to chase us boys out of Barham Court park where we
used to pick up wood for kindling.
I remember the
whole school being assembled in the field adjoining the railway on the
occasion of the State Visit by the President of the French Republic
visiting Canterbury. He came from Folkestone via the Elham
Valley and we all had little flags to wave - and I dare say a day's holiday
My father was an agricultural engineer
employed by Messrs Arters of Hillyfield Works (now the Jali factory) and
he used to drive one of the steam engines and threshing machines from farm
to farm, threshing their stacks of corn. I have known him get
up at 3am to walk to Chillenden or thereabouts to get up steam for a day's
work. His wages were £1 -6s-0d weekly.
cannot remember the hop gardens but I understood that the fields through
the old brickyard to Courtlands were all hopfields. The
presence of the oast house at the bottom of Gravel Castle and at Out
Elmstead prove this.
All the big houses had their
carriages and pairs, complete with footmen, cocked hats and jack
boots. The Lawn (now Barham House), The Shrubbery and Denne
Hill all kept very fine stables.
The first motor
car I can remember belonged to the doctor who came from Elham.
It was a small open air De Dion Bouton, the driver being perched high and
exposed in all weathers. Then came the char-a-banc with solid tyre
and seats that sloped right to the back, Pullmans I think they were
called. Previous to these, horse drawn brakes were common and
i have known them come to the Sportsman's Arms from as far away as Margate
for their annual outing.
Now just a few details
about people and places: -
above the farm was a holiday home for children and the farm
was occupied by a farmer named Collyer. I went to school with
Henry and he was quite a character.
has not changed much from the old days. The shed,
if it is still there, next to Broome Park Villas was a stable for the
Barham to Elham postman (Mr Harwood) who lived in the now Buff Cottage and
later moved to Vale View, Beggars Hill (now Railway Hill).
to Derringstone House and adjoining (now Brown Cottage) used
to be a butchers shop. I have faint recollections of
this. Opposite Derringstone Hill House used to
live Mr and Mrs Clem Gausby who ran a dairy farm from there.
As we lived almost opposite I must have gone many a time for a halfpenny
worth of milk. They had a large family and were very much
respected. In the summer Mr Gausby would employ a number of
women to turn his hay crop. This was in the days of scythe
work before mowers.
Next to the chapel where Fernleigh
now stands was a large carpenter's and wheelwright's shed. I
cannot remember the name over the top but can remember it being removed
and the present house being built by Eales of Lyminge.
to the Chapel, which my mother looked after for many
years. One instance which stands out in my memory is the
plague of flies that invaded the Chapel and made the whole ceiling black,
rendering services impossible. I believe they were fumigated
out and my mother had a frightful mess to clear up.
opposite hasn't changed much. Some very good
stables used to be there. My earliest recollections of
occupants were old Aaron Prescott, an agricultural engineer whom I looked
after in later years until he died.
still with the same photograph of the England
Cricket XI has not changed much. The landlord in my young days
was Chick Hall who was very popular. I wonder how many people
in Barham can remember the quoits club which was run by the landlord and
played in a field at the rear of the Chapel.
Arms is considerably altered now. I can remember it
had a little porch in the front. The landlady was Jessie Wise
who used to sell sweets. I can well recollect the brewers'
drays bringing the huge barrels of beer and lowering them to the cellars,
always a popular sight for us youngsters.
was owned by Miss Yorke and the road ran by the front
entrance with a nasty bend at the bottom of Station Road (now Heathfield
Way). I have seen many a nasty accident there and indeed it is
known that on a rough stormy night, galloping hooves can be
heard. This stretch of road was known as the Parsonage.
down towards the lower end of Derringstone was Mount's shop, now
closed. I had my first job there - 8am till 8pm at 4s-0d per
week. Next to that was the Forge House and of
course, the Smithy, owned by Slabs Quested. Forges were always
busy in those days and we youngsters used to take our iron hoops there to
be mended at a halfpenny a time.
the forge at Lochee Villas was the village carrier, a Mr
Willis who plied from Barham to Canterbury daily with his two horses and
bus. My brother worked for him at one time. On his
death the business was carried on by his brothers for quite some time
until the advent of motor transport.
Going on up
Beggars Hill (now Railway Hill) on the left-hand side was old Waxy Page's
boot repairing shop, Lyttleholm it is now, and I think the
marks of the window on the road side are still there today.
(and I cannot remember if there ever was a veterinary surgeon or not) on
the wall facing the bridge, you could read at one time in quite large
letters "Dunkin - Veterinary Surgeon". Next to
Lyttleholm was the entrance to Hill's shop and bakehouse. This
was Cyril and Doug's grandfather and he was a stalwart of the
Chapel. We used to take our cakes to be baked there every
weekend for 1d.
Coming along the the lower road
(Valley Road) to Barham is The Grove, all very changed now. I
can remember Dr Cole living there and later on old Bogey Foster who used
to keep bloodhounds. Along the lower road there was a
magnificent row of lime trees from The Grove bridge right up to Hill's old
shop in Barham Street (The Street), but alas, they are all gone now.
passing I must mention the old Parish Room, or the "Tin
Tabernacle" as it was called, situated off Station Road (now
Heathfield Way). It was constructed entirely of corrugated
sheets, lined on the inside and in those days it met the requirements of
the parish. I had many enjoyable times and can remember the
visits of the very popular Bridge Minstrels. The hall was
destroyed by fire one evening and for years there was no place for parish
I can remember Greenbanks being
built and occupied by a Mr Barlettwho only had one arm (hence the
recollection). Opposite the school before the present bridge
was built (now removed) was a builder's shop run by a Mr George Knight, a
great churchman - and opposite the Duke of Cumberland was
the chemist's shop owned by a Mr Finn. I can recall the huge
bottles of coloured water in the window. On his death the shop
finished and Barham has never had a chemist's shop since. Next
to The Nook (now the Old House) was the old Post Office run
by John Gausby.
I must mention the village
shoemaker, one legged Dan Rogers who had his shop adjoining Mill
House. I have sat in his shop many times yarning away
mostly about cricket, of which he was a geat follower. He was
also a member of the Church Choir for many years.
must record one incident during the introduction of the Budget which
aparently the farmers resented. I recall standing on the
bridge beside the school, the river being in full flood, and watching at
least a dozen locals on horseback galloping along the lower road and on
reaching the bridge, solemnly throwing a small wooden coffin marked
"The Budget" into the Nailbourne amid cheers from onlookers.
is the home of my mother and father-in-law and everyone knows
it as a landmark in Barham. You could stand at Barham Mill and
look over towards Marley and see Reed Mill, owned by Johnny
White going merrily round. This mill was demolished leaving
Barham Mill to remain a preserved monument (until burned down during
I must finally mention Broome
Park when I was employed as a telegraph boy at the Old Post Office
during the early part of the 1914-18 war. I delivered
telegrams to Lord Kitchener who was then in residence at
Broome. There was no telephone in those days, certainly not in
Barham and I have gone as often as four or five times a day to Broome
Parkvia the footpath from Hillyfields and then across the park
going to deliver to Colonel Fitzgerald, Kitchener's Private Secretary and
to Lord Kitchener himself for any replies to telegrams which were in code.