Days before the outbreak of the Great War, the Sutton at Hone Carnival was held on Saturday 24th July 1914 , at the Ship Meadow (which is where the Longmarsh View estate is now). The annual Carnival was held to raise funds to help the poor of the village by providing coal and other necessities.
The day started with the Procession, which was formed at Mr Chaplin’s Farm (which is probably Sutton Court Farm, which was next to Sutton Court), just before 2pm, and the procession walked along the Main Road, with the band of the Darenth Industrial Colony leading them.
Once everyone had arrived at the Meadow, a series of sporting races and fancy dress competitions were held during the day followed by a Concert in the evening.
Four local Fire Brigades (which at this time were paid for by their local parish councils) competed for the Challenge Cup. All the brigades competed in two events, and the winners were the team who were fastest overall overall, and Captain Farnham, of the Sidcup Fire Brigade, acted as judge.
Hose Cart Drill: Dartford 31 seconds; Horton Kirby 26 2-5 seconds; Swanscombe 37 1-5 seconds; Sutton 25 3-5 seconds.
Steamer turn-out: Swanscombe 66 seconds; Dartford 67 seconds; Sutton 47 seconds; Horton Kinry 48 1-5 seconds.
The aggregated times were: Sutton at Hone 106 2-5 seconds; Horton Kirby 109 seconds; Swanscombe 141 4-5 seconds and Dartford 142 seconds.
This would be the fifth time that the Sutton at Hone Fire Brigade had won the Challenge Cup.
There was a series of Fancy Dress Competitions judged by Mr A. M. Fleet and his sister Miss Fleet (they lived at Darenth Grange and owned much of the land in the area).
Fancy Dress – the Children’s competition
1. Misses Nellie & Dolly Glover (Darby and Joan)
2. Dorothy Hughes (Mother Hubbard)
3. Philip Glover (Hero of the Mine)
Consolation prizes were awarded to: Alice Barlow, Dorothy Birch, Amy Birch, Dorothy Walden, Emily Walden, Philip Glover, Alice Glover, Sam Hudson, Miss Palmer, Miss Fountain, William George and Francis Barber.
Best Decorated Tradesmen’s Turnout: 1. Mr G. J. Garrett (Blacksmith’s Forge) (whose premises were in the village near the school, and who would lose a son during the War) 2. Dartford Brewery (owned by Captain Kidd, whose son Frederick married a Miss Russell of St. John’s Jerusalem, and they would live in the house during the Great War)
Fancy Costumes – the Gentlemens Competition: 1. Mr Bennett (Red Indian) 2. Mr A. Williams (Knight in Armour)
Fancy Costumes – the Ladies Competition: 1. Miss Robinson (indian Squaw) 2. Miss May Turner (Cigarettes)
Best Decorated Bicycle: 1. P W Preddy (A Summer’s Day) 2. Tom Relph (Aeroplane) (a member of Sutton Scouts)
There were also a large number of races held during the afternoon for both children and adults. The Sports officials were:
Starter – Mr C.M.Ovenden (who lived in Mill Road and worked in the Paper Mills)
Captain – Mr H.J. Gilbert
Judges – Messrs C. Ovenden and Mr. C.F. Groom (Parish Clerk)
Handicapper – Mr C. Ovenden
Stewards of the Courtse – Messrs F. Clarke, Nat Gearing and C. Woodgate
Secretary – Mr G.W. Mayne
100 Yards Flat Handicap – boys under 10 : 1. A Carter ; 2. Frank Bennett; 3. Tom Birch
100 Yards Flat Handicap, girls under 10 : 1. Florrie Cammell; 2. Queenie Manning; 3. Hilda Martin
Flat Race, boys under 14: 1. A Ball ; 2. Ted Elliott; 3. Len Bevan
Flat Race, girls 10- 14: 1. Doris Cammell, 2. Joyce Harper; 3. Emily Palmer
Flat Race, boys 10-14: 1. Ernest Mockridge; 2. Wilfrid Neaves; 3. Ted Elliott
One Mile Handicap (open): 1. D A Wells (H and D.S.A.), 82 yards ; 2. H.J. Gilbert (H. and D.S.A.) scratch.
440 yards handicap, boys 14-18: 1. B. Elliott; 2. S. Smith; 3. H. Acton
Boy Scouts Race: 1. L. Bevan; 2. A. Ball; 3. R. Ovenden (who later become the brother in law of George Gunner, POW in WWI)
880 Yards Handicap (open): 1. T.C. Palmer (H and D.S.A.), 55 yrds; 2. W. E. Whiffen (H. and D.S.A.) 20 yards; 3. H. J. Gilbert (H. and D.S.A.) scratch
Marathon Race (4 miles) was the feature race of the day, there were seven starters and the course went via Franks Hall and Horton Kirby.
1. C.M. Ovenden (H. and D.S.A.) (the Starter of the Sports races)
2. T. Wilson (H and D.S.A.)
3. H. J. Gilbert (H and D.S.A.)
There were some fun races held as well
Apple Bobbing: 1. A Russell; 2. G. Turner; 3. G Lee.
Slow Cycle Race (which is much harder than it sounds): 1. Millard; 2. Wood
Egg and Spoon Race (this seems to have been only open to ladies): 1. Mrs A Skeys; 2. Mrs Mayne: 3. Miss Russell
At the conclusion of all the races, the prizes were presented by Mr. A. M. Fleet.
In the evening a Concert was held with a lengthy programme, with performances by Messrs P.G. Hammond, G. Gladwell, Tom Hendon, Will Thomas, Wal & Dayne, and Miss Bowie. Mr I. A. Jarvis acted as accompanist.
The Carnival Committee were: F. Clarke (Chairman); G. Waghorn (Vice Chairman), C. Woodgate, A. Stevens, E. Moor, N. Gearing, G. Henry, and E. Phillips.
Hon Treasurer – H G Bennett (Henry G. Bennett of The Foresters public house, Main Road) and Hon Secretaries – T. Russell & G. W. Mayne.