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With 30,000+ individual visitors Wateringbury Remembered has touched every part of the world. It is a conduit to bring together memories of the village and its people.

Please contribute anything you may have, either memories or photographs that you are happy to share with like minded viewers.

Its your website.

Email anything you have to:


Kent Messenger 10th August 2017

Interesting cutting from The Kent Messenger 10th August 2017

Gas Pipe Layers in Pizien Well Wateringbury

 Courtesy of Dail Whiting

Dail kindly sent us the above photo and following words. 
The date of the stamp on the back of the photo is 1907. I know the men (Leney's Workers) were laying gas pipes because I know a lady who was born in, and still lives in one of  the cottages nearby.  She seems to agree with that date, and knows that the gas pipes are on the left side of the road,  and the water pipes are on the right heading up Pizien Well Road  towards ‘The Wheatsheaf’.

Pte A.F. Ongley

Peter Ongley writes with the following:-

Born January 1874 Wateringbury Kent, married 1900 Dover Kent, d.1915 France.  Buried in Calais Southern Cemetery, Avenue de St. Expuréry in Commonwealth War section. Son of Frederick Ongley, b Wateringbury 1843 d.1909, and Mary Grace b.East Malling 1851 d.1927. (son of  Charles Ongley (tailor), b. Wateringbury 1816 and Elizebeth,)  They lived in Wateringbury Street - which I think is now Tonbridge Road?  He is not mentioned on the Memeorial as he was not living in Wateringbury at the time.
Courtesy of Peter Ongley

Dail Whiting advised that Peter Ongley’s ancestors lived towards the top of the present Bow Road, where Mac Clarke’s barber shop used to be, next door to  Boorman’s butcher’s shop.
In the mid 19th century,  the  top part of the road was known as ‘The Street’ right down to about the present  ‘Hillside’  development, after which the road was called  Bow Road.

Heritage Day - 9th September 2017

Wateringbury Local History Society's plans to unveil 7 blue plaques in Wateringbury on Saturday 9th September.  Starting at  the South Gates of Wateringbury Place (Matthias Lucas)  at 10.30 a.m. and ending at the Red House (Ellen Terry) by noon. 

Following the unveiling there will be an exhibition in the Church - displays of memorabilia, photos etc associated with the 7 people commemorated, from noon to 4.00 p.m. with ploughman's lunches and teas giving people the opportunity to socialise. 

Anything you could contribute to the displays (e.g. photos, beer bottles)  would also be appreciated.

Wateringbury Scout Group 1929

Can we name any of these guys that were the Wateringbury Scout Group in 1929?

Mary Brown outside her house in Bow Road 1943/44

Mike kindly wrote:

Hello, found this photo of my grandmother Mary Brown outside her house in Bow Road, (next  to the district nurses if I remember correctly) My uncle Ron and Aunt Rene Hubbard lived further down in Shamrock Villas. He worked in the brewery up road. Cousins Carol, Jean lived there. Hope this is of interest . Regards Mike Frere.

Beer Barrel Seal - Jude & Co

Dave Clarke kindly sent a couple of photos of an object he found which he has since established is a large brass ring from a beer barrel seal, where the tap is hammered into the barrel. 

Dave went on to link it to the Brewery and found the below.

If anyone has more information then please add a comment.

Could you all have a look in the loft?

Do you have anything that may be of interest to other readers of this site? What you think maybe just an old photo may be really interesting to other readers of Wateringbuy Remembered.

Please have a dig around in your loft and let us have a look at what you find.

If you do not have the means of scanning the photo and would be willing to let me borrow it I will keep it very safe and return it to you the next day. 

Please feel free to contact me on either   or call me on 01732 849227.

Thank you in advance.



"Keith Harden, a nephew of the deceased, is sad to pass the news that Betty Taylor (nee Kirby) passed away earlier this month.  Betty was born in The Fir Tree public house in Canon Lane, Wateringbury, the younger daughter of Edward and Gladys Kirby, in April 1925. Gladys Kirby was formerly of the Martin family, a very well known family in the area.   Although Betty left Wateringbury on marriage just after the end of World War II, she never forgot her roots and maintained written contact with ex-school friends and neighbours until the day she died; there are probably people still living in the area who knew her or knew of her.  Her memory was as prodigious as her letter writing and her notes of her early life are probably worthy of an article in themselves at sometime in the future.  Her last year in Hull was particularly sad because her two sons, Michael and John, predeceased their mother and her niece Wendy, daughter of older half-sister Joan, also died.  She is survived by her daughter Patricia."


Can we help Lucy

Hello John,

I wonder if you can help.  I moved to Wateringbury just over a year ago into Mill Lane House, Mill Lane.  I have been researching the history of the house and have found various snippets of information in the various booklets that have been published on Wateringbury.

I have also very much enjoyed reading through the blog posts on Wateringbury remembered and have found a reference to Mill Lane House from Nick Bond who used to live in the house in the 50s.  I have been put in touch with Nick but alas he did not have any photographs of the house.

Do you know of the existence of any photographs of Mill Lane House?

Many thanks,

Lucy Goodwin

School Photos from the late 50's ????

Hi Everyone, can we help?

Nick asks.......

Dear John,

Still hoping for some school photos from the mid-late 50's.  Any chance, do you think?

Nick Bond

Can we identify the house in the picture below.

Received the following from Steve....are we able to identify?


Please find attached photo which had been in my Mother's album and she had always said it was "Dad's house in Kent".

My Father born in Wateringbury 1921,  his Father Alfred lived at Fullers Corner employed as farm labourer and I assume my Dad lived there too.

I would be interested to see if anyone can recognised the property I know it's not the best picture but you never know, I believe the Latters' lived in Pizen Well and possibly other addresses in town and a possible link at Mereworth to.

Here's hoping

Kind regards

Steve Latter

Outside 61 Bow Road Wateringbury - Mid 1930's

Dail kindly reminded me of a photo I in fact had myself. It was taken outside of number 61 Bow Road, a lovely little cottage. It is from the mid 1930's and is of my Mum, Teresa Morgan who lived just a few doors away in New Cottages Bow Road at the time.

Kent Messenger 30/09/2016 - Wateringbury School 40 years old

Photo Courtesy of Gary Randall

Gary kindly sent the above photo and writes; a school photo taken in 1976, this was the year the new school was opened, I went there for six months before leaving in the July to start at Clare Park in East Malling in September of 76, I can remember most of the "kids" in the pic, but there are one or two that sorry I can't remember if anyone can help, then please do.

TOP ROW-  Gary Randall (me), Barry Weston, Desmond Willows, John Mckirdy, Chris Burgess, ? ?, Stephen Turk, Jason Cockett, Derek Piper.
MIDDLE ROW-  Roland Adams, Tanya Hazelwood, Karl Blake, Amanda Holland, Karen Wells, (Teacher) Penny Lythe, Julie Greenwood, Amanda Deakin, Ian Coleman, Helen Annells, Richard Brightman.
BOTTOM ROW-  Julie Maitland, Corin Shippey, ? ?, Judith Dawson, Maureen Brotherwood, Patricia Tait, Patricia Newick, Amanda Cordrey, Liz Mills 

Additional names kindly added by Patricia Tait Tappenden - Windsor, CT USA

Wateringbury and the Somme

‘Wateringbury and the Somme’
Friday 21st October 2016 – 7.30pm
St John the Baptist Church, Wateringbury
In the centenary year of the Battle of the Somme, this talk by Colonel William English, a serving officer from Wateringbury, and Terry Bird, a local historian, will look at the battle, the village in 1916 and those men who served in the battle.

Tickets £5 on the door

Doors open 7pm – Refreshments available

Email from Alan Jude

We  received the following email from Alan Jude and would be interested to pass back anything to Alan that you our readers feel relevant via the website.
Please comment below or send your notes via email.

 I’ve been looking into my family history and find that the brewery was founded by my great great grandfather (I think there are the right number of greats there!) John Beal Jude in about 1840 (ref. Brief History of Jude Hanbury and Co Ltd).

My uncle went to Whitbreads Head Office once, many years ago, and there amongst the brass plaques of businesses owned by them was Jude Hanbury and Co. I don’t know anything about Mr. Hanbury except the old story that’s been passed down the family, whether true or not I don’t know, that My great great grandfather and Mr Hanbury had an agreement that whoever died first, the other would inherit the business. Mr. Hanbury, so the story goes, liked his drink and died quite early on. As I say, this story has been passed down many generations and is probably a yarn!

I hope this is of interest and any further information I can help you with please let me know and I would be very interested to hear of anything you or your bloggers know.

I would be interested to know if any of the old brewery remains but I doubt it but hope to come and have a look round Wateringbury very soon.

Best regards

Alan Jude.

Alan adds the following notes: 

Bow Road, Wateringbury showing Jude Hanbury & Co brewery, 1915.

Dane John Brewery, Canterbury, Kent

History:  The business was established at Kent Brewery, Wateringbury, Kent, in about 1840 by J B Jude and by 1878 was trading as Jude, Hanbury & Co, Jude, Hanbury & Co Ltd. was registered in 1919 as a limited liability company to acquire the business. The company acquired Ash’s East Kent Brewery Co Ltd, Dane John Brewery, Canterbury, Kent in 1923 and transferred its brewing from Wateringbury to Canterbury during 1924. It was taken over, along with about 200 licensed houses,
by Whitbread & Co Ltd, London, in 1929 and ceased to brew in 1933. The company went into liquidation in 1961.    
(From Google Books)    

The Mill Track - A Pretty Walk.

When I was very young (around 6 in the photo, 1959 ish) the track running through the farmland between Bow Road and ending just below the mill pond where it meets Love Lane was a lovely evening walk. My Mum and Dad would often walk it on a Sunday evening in summer. We could walk from Bow Road through to the mill pond and then on to The Harrow pub in Old Road for a beer for dad and Vimto for me! Where it met love Lane there were Oast Houses and Hopping Huts and the area would be alive with Hop Picking in September every year.
The picture below shows the same track earlier in 1925 from almost the same spot with the brewery in the background.

Sadly today this track is very overgrown and looks nothing like it does here and sadly no longer a 'Pretty Walk'

Henry Gunner - The Wheatsheaf Wateringbury

Sadly the below email was stuck in the ether for several months and the below opportunity no longer exists to purchase the medals. I do though feel it would be good to leave the information on the website just for reference.

First of all, let me congratulate you on your very interesting and well documented website. It is so fascinating to read and to look at the old photographs.
Now, please allow me to introduce myself. I am a Military dealer/researcher from Bournemouth. Recently I was sold some 1st W.W. medals that had been rescued from a“tip” near Oxford. The medals are the usual “Pip,  Squeek and Wilfred”. That is the 1914-15 Star, silver War Medal & the end of War Victory Medal. They are all correctly named to 61294 DVR. H.GUNNER. I have been on Ancestry this morning and discovered that Henry Gunner lived at the Wheatsheaf Inn at Wateringbury. He was 38 years old when enlisting for 1st W.W. service and gave his occupation as licensee. His next of kin was listed as Emily Gunner of the Wheatsheaf.  Henry married Emily in 1911 in Tonbridge.(a widow previously known as Emily Fagg).  Emily had a daughter from a previous marriage Freda Fagg.  Henry was invalided out of the Army (a driver with the Royal Engineers), but I have not discovered why.  If anyone would be interested in purchasing these medals before I put them on the open market I would be happy to offer them at a special price.  £60.00 plus postage.
Yours sincerely,

E. Morris - Grocer & Draper - Tonbridge Road Wateringbury C 1905

When I was a young lad in the late 1950's this store was owned by Mr & Mrs Furz (not sure of the spelling). I remember my Mum asking me to go to buy Ham which was sliced on the counter on a large machine with a large round blade. You requested the thickness of the slice by a number. The shop is now a house and considerable remodeling of the front section has been made. It stands between the once butchers shop H.R. Skinner's on its left and Mr Bolts newsagent on its right, almost opposite The Queens Head Pub on the Tonbridge road.
Mick Marchant kindly writes as follows:-
"I do remember the shop especially early seventies as the guy and his sister ran it the guy who showed me cranking thumb .
I can remember this being Burgess's and the sister and brother who ran the shop ( I think she ran it, he was just there ) but he would be in the Queens head at six he was ex RAF and was a pilot who flew in the far east and during the start of the mission there was radio silence so the pilots would hold a hand up and crank a there thumbs meaning happy hunting".

From the Message Board

Judy Macdonald says:

It is now 5 years since your blog helped with information on Frank Clark. I have now found him and we correspond. Though he is many miles from Melbourne! I would like to transcribe from a recent letter of his, about his memories of 22 Glebe Meadow, after I sent him a copy of some information from your site: " I remember several of the folk mentioned, especially our immediate neighbours, Jones, Smith & Clarke, and the chimney sweep. The Jones's were very friendly. Not only would he bring us 2 bottles of porter every Friday evening, but would bring us in to see the TV show, possible the only TV set in Glebe Meadows! The porter was from his night work at the brewery, just off the main road near us. At that time, the brewery kept a team of beautiful farm cart horses, of the Clydesdale breed, to deliver large carts of brew to nearby public houses., but also had trucks for distance. We lived at 22 from about the middle of '53 to middle of 1960. Towards the end of the 50s, Anne [sister] started as a nurse at Salford Royal Hospital near Manchester...I was home [22 Glebe] on leave in the Spring of 1960 with a newly purchased 2nd hand motor bike - a 350cc A. J. S....I helped pack up the house and move them to Manchester...While at Glebe Meadow I had planned to build an aviary in our garden...but settled for the small room at the corner of 22, used to keep garden tools." Thank you Wateringbury blog for helping me solve a long standing puzzle! Cheers, Judy

Posted on : 2015-10-08 07:58:30

Before Main Drainage

I don't remember the exact year but I do remember the major event of main drainage coming to the village and in particular Glebe Meadow where I lived. It was probably sometime mid 1960's prior to which we had two large sewers at the bottom of Glebe Meadow on an area that we call the grass. 

It was an area left over from building the houses of Glebe Meadow and it had a sand pit that was the remains of the building sand as this was the storage area during construction. On this area there were two large frying pan shaped sewers, constructed of brick and concrete. The handles of the frying pan shape structures were the sewerage inlet pipes leading from the rows of houses, one from the row on Bow Road side and one from the newer rows. One of the inlet pipes was square in construction and the other had a rounded top.

Believe it or not as kids we played on these sewers running along the inlet pipe constructions, the square shape much easier than the rounded top one. There were always lose concrete slabs on the top of the sewer where the tankers would drop pipes and suck out the sewerage every so often when they needed emptying. The whole village could smell when that happened!

There were always stories of kids who fell into the sewers and the threats of being thrown in them by the larger lads threatening us smaller kids!

Do you remember these constructions and better still do you have any photos or stories about them to share with us?

If you do, please mail them to

Whitbreads Brewery - Bow Road Wateringbury

Model Rail Enthusiast needed

Hans writes from the Netherlands as he is looking for help with his model railroad.

On vacation in England last year he passed through Wateringbury on route from Tunbridge Wells when he saw the Cow Gates of Wateringbury Level Crossing and so he started again with the British standard OO gauge. With Wateringbury AS Central theme.

Hans is looking for any local enthusiast that can help him with his research of the period 1945 - 1960.

Please take a look at Hans website Blog and contact him directly or via this website.

Thanks for your help and good luck to Hans...

Little Hermitage - Danns Lane Wateringbury

For Sale on Ebay is a Victorian Scrap Album (9.5" x 7.5" ) with signature Fanny Spencer on first page with a pressed Edelweiss flower picked in Switzerland in 1877. Various loose bits including a 6" x 4" photo of The Little Hermitage, Wateringbury and an 8" x 6" photo of the Hermitage, Wateringbury, both with the Victorian family posed outside. Another loose piece is the pressed leaf of a silver tree picked on Table Mountain, Cape Town in 1862.

Was Fanny Spencer the owner in the mid 1800's?

The house is still there today sadly looking a little less grand.  The ground floor windows in the top picture no longer go to the ground and the central one has been moved and turned into a door.

The below is courtesy of Google Street View and shows it as it is today.

Help Needed

Hi everyone, 

I am attempting to trace my family tree and my relatives came from Wateringbury.
My grandmother was Laura Isabel Shepherd nee Manser.
Her husband was Frederick G Shepherd.
They had several children and possibly lived somewhere near the old mill?
Maybe I have some connection with the Shepherd pictures already on the site?
Ada, Lily & Doris?
Any info or old photos would be deeply appreciated as I haven't gone back any further than Laura's Dad who was George James Manser born 1883.

Kind regards


New Publications by Christine Byron

Christine Byron has two new publications available to purchase.

Wateringbury and Life in the 1950s and also up-dated Lest We Forget  Wateringbury in WW2, this is the fifth revision with more pictures etc, the first little book  was 30 years ago!!!

Both are available from the Post Office and cost £5 each, all proceeds to help with the upkeep of our beautiful village church. 


"Anyone that finds this website of interest will love both of these publications. I read them over the weekend with imense interest and was reminded of things I had long forgotten about daily life in the 50's as well as many names I remembered from my childhood days in the village. Great to see my Grandfather (Fredk James Gilham) mentioned as Innkeeper at The Harrow Inn at the outbreak of war.
 John Gilham - Wateringbury Remembered

Reader AE Stephens writes

We received a short email from what seems to be from Australia which reads as follows:-

I lived in Wateringbury Station House from 1956-1957 'My father Leslie Mayes was Station Master.  Dad had Teston Halt  and either East or West Farleigh under his control also. Ken Philpott was one of the two porters. I would be happy to see more history of the area. AE Stephens (Mayes)

AE Stephens( Nee Mayes) 

Additional mail from Anne:-

Thank you for your prompt reply to my email. I only came across your site
yesterday and I am not overly cluey with computers so this will be trial and
error. I now live in Adelaide South Australia (since 1960) My brother Malcolm
went to Wateringbury primary school I attended Maidstone Technical Girls
high School. Because of the position of the station we were more involved in
St Mary the Virgin Church Nettlestead where I was in the choir and other
activities. Our Rector was Reverend Barton There was a long yard up to the
actual station with a bank and huge blackberry hedge between the yard and
the brewery. ( Where the school is now.) Our house was part of the actual
station buildings with our lounge window below the level of the platform. We
could only see the passengers feet. The rest of the house was further along
over the booking office and porters room. My father had an office near the
new foot bridge. We were very lucky because the railway embankment protected
us when the river flooded. One other thing I remember was the numbers of the
Buses I caught. The number 7 ran through Wateringbury and the Number33 ran
down past the station.
About 10 years ago my older brother obtained a DVD from the cab of an
electric train from Maidstone West to Paddock Wood along the former steam
line and then through Tonbridge to London Bridge. I see that the old Station
House still stands but nothing else is the same. Sadly just after we left a
young boy was killed crossing the line after getting off the train. I
believe his name was Jones and his Father was Lay Reader at St Mary's
Lastly for now I remember when a beer tanker over turned just up the hill at
Teston. I was on the bus coming home from school and we were held up
briefly. All of the kids on the buses were joking about drunken fish in the
river because the beer drained down the hill. Will try and send some
memories later. Many thanks Anne Stephens.
P.S. We were in Wateringbury   from 1956-57 to May 1960 ( not clear last

1970's & 80's Memories of Chris Stones

Chris Stones who has lived in Wateringbury all his life kindly shares with us some photos and memories from School and the Cricket Club.

Chris feels he remembers most of the names but if you know better and can correct any then please let us know. Also if you can confirm the date that would also be great.

Back row: 
Alastair McDonald, Sarah Wilmarsh, David Hutchins (only person I've met who could solve the Rubik's cube!), Janine Collins, Bruce Easter, Andrew Worthington, Cris Thornton

Next row: 
Kelly Walsh, Gemma Riley, Julie Beaney, Kirsty someone or other!, Karen Cheeseman, 
Carolyn Byron, Clare Coates

Next row: 
Justin Hills, Craig Diment, Chris Stone (myself), Simon Waller, James Suddick, Steven Dozin, Hayden Brown, Jonathan Vincent, Chris Andrew, Trevor Shippey

Front row: 
Anthea Bowden, Emma Hardy, Michelle Dixon, Janine Greenwood, Mrs Golborn, 
Joanne Siers, Karen Gray, Nicola Overnall, Carol Lee


A photo taken from Chris's bedroom window in Allington Gardens in the late 70's early 80's


Wateringbury School Cricket Club

From Left to right:
Chris Andrew, Trevor Shippey, Craig Diment, Steven Dozin, 
Chris Stones (me), Bruce Easter, Janine Collins, Nicola Overnall, Duncan Witts, 
Kirsty someone or other!, Janine Greenwood, Michelle Dixon.
Adults were Mike Witts & Cyril Davey.



All photos and words Courtesy of Chris Stone

Shop on Tonbridge Road Wateringbury - Mid 1930's

Janice Leaney kindly sends the following photo of her Grandmothers shop. 
It stood on the Tonbridge Road next to the old Kings Head Hotel. 
This photograph was taken in the mid 1930's.
A lovely photo and a piece of Wateringbury History.

"Janice writes: here is a pic of my grandmothers shop with my mother Ivy Seager and her sister Dorothy in front circa mid 1930's. This shop faced the Tonbridge Rd. and would have been side on to the back of the old Wateringbury Hotel. Note large stone in right hand corner - if you look at your pic #49 you will see the same stone I think it was a mile marker. Jan  Leaney"

This Shop can also be seen in the following two photographs showing its position relative to the Cross Roads and Old Kings Head Hotel.
.. Above the shop is behind the cart and full photo below
Again, above is the shop a little later and this time the stone Janice refers to is clearly visible. Below the full photo when cars had arrived but traffic lights had not.

The Railway - Wateringbury 1910

The Railway Wateringbury
A great photo from 1910 which I assume would be Hopping Time as there seems too many people around for any other time of year and there were Hopper Huts on the riverbank around this time. Amazing to think so much fun outside the Railway pub and looks like even The Telegraph pub a few yards up the road with no traffic on the road. This photo is available to purchase from Fotolibra.

Click on the photo to go to Fotolibra website.
or click below: 

Reader Message

 A Message from Nick Bond

It's been a while since I visited your website.
The photo of the Mill Pond & Old Mill House reminded me that on a recent visit to Wateringbury I met a lady who told me that the house where we lived between 1953-1959 (Mill Lane House) was owned by the owner of Wateringbury Brewery and was where he kept his horses and the stables which we used as a double garage was where they were kept.  I never knew this until now but remembering the size of the garage, it makes sense.     Apparently, he lived in Old Mill House.  However, when we lived in Mill Lane House, Old Mill House was occupied by Canon Key.
The mill pond shown in the picture was where my sister nearly drowned.  Luckily, the friends we were with pulled her out completely soaked and covered in dripping weeds.  I'll never forget it!
Just some snippets of information for you.
I went to Wateringbury school from '54-59 and it would be wonderful to see a class photo from that time.  Does anyone out there have one?  Unfortunately, I don't.

Thanks and best regards,

Nick Bond

Dail has kindly replied as follows:-

Regarding the message on your board relating to Mill Lane House and the “Old Mill House”.
The large house on the south side of the Upper Mill Pond now known as Broomsdown  was originally called Maylodge.  In  the late 19th century it was the home of Richard Fremlin, a younger brother of Ralph Fremlin who in 1861 founded the brewery in Maidstone which bore the Fremlin name. Though at a later date Richard joined his brother’s business in Maidstone, he remained a Wateringbury resident and was primarily a Wateringbury hop grower at Mill Farm until his death in 1916.
Mill Lane House and stables belonged to the Fremlin’s of Maidstone brewery fame , not one  of the two Wateringbury Brewers who were Jude Hanbury & Co and Frederick Leney and Sons.
You may remember John, the horse that belonged to the Phoenix brewery on Bow Road used to graze where The Brucks now stands. His stable was adjoined to the cottages aptly called Stable Cottage where I believe your relatives  lived.  Now pulled down,  the old stable and cottage use to stand at the top of the entrance to the Phoenix brewery yard. now Leney Road.