Tag Archives: Hawley

Demolished local buildings – a post war list from Dartford Rural Council

The Wellcome Institute has digitised its archive and library and anyone can access the collection online. Amongst the books available online are the Medical Officers’ Reports for Dartford Rural District Council, and these reports contain a variety of statistics on health, births and deaths, vaccinations, housing and food safety.

The housing reports after 1950 contain information about the demolition of housing, including properties in Sutton at Hone, Hawley, South Darenth and Horton Kirby.

In the 1950 report, the only local properties demolished were 5,7 and 9 Devon Road, Sutton at Hone

Nos 5, 7 and 9 Devon Road, Sutton at Hone

In the 1952 report, the only local properties demolished were Nos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Burnt House Lane, Hawley.

In the 1953 report the only properties demolished were the Mill House, South Darenth, and The Old Gills, South Darenth. Additionally, it was agreed that 42 Main Road, Sutton at Hone would not be used for human habitation.

1954 – Flint Cottage, Old Gills, South Darenth was demolished.

1955 – 48 and 50 Main Road, Sutton at Hone were demolished.

1956 – 2 Main Road, Sutton at Hone was demolished

1957 – Spring Villa, Hawley, 30, 40 & 44 Main Road, Sutton at Hone and 1-4 Days Cottages, Horton Kirby were all issued with demolition orders. 1 – 10 Sharps Row, Horton Kirby had a closure order issued, and 5 Giffords Cottages, South Darenth would no longer be let out.

In 1958, Paddock View, Hawley was demolished in May, and Cedar Lawn Cottage, Sutton at Hone and Well Cottage, Dean Bottom were issued with demolition notices.

1959 saw a number of demolished buildings: a bungalow at the rear of Cromwell Villas, Sutton at Hone; Well Cottage, Dean Bottom; Russell House and 1 & 9 Sharps Row, Horton Kirby and Spring Villa, Hawley Road, Hawley.

1960 saw Cedar Lawn Cottage, Devon Road, Sutton at Hone; 2-8 and 10 Sharps Row, Horton Kirby demolished. Closure orders were issued for 38, 40, 42 and 44 Main Road Sutton at Hone and 2 Poplar Cottages, Horton Kirby.

1961 – 1-4 Days Cottages The Street, Horton Kirby were demolished

1962 – 5 & 6 Days Cottages, The Street and 1 – 8 Kemps Cottages in Horton Kirby were demolished.

1966 – Houses demolished or closed: 5 Giffords Cottage, Horton Road, South Darenth; 1-4 Lombard Cottages, Horton Kirby and 50 Main Road, Sutton at Hone

1967 – Houses demolished or closed: 224 to 230 (even) Main Road, Sutton at Hone

1968 – Houses demolished or closed: 1-4 Bank Houses, Hawley Road, Hawley

1969 – Houses demolished or closed: 50 Main Road, Sutton at Hone

1972 – Demolished – 284 to 306 Main Road, Sutton at Hone

29 September 1939 – National Registration Day

Eighty years ago on 29th September, in the first month of the Second World War, every one in the country was recorded on a form, issued to and completed by each household, and the data was used to create National Identity cards. The form recorded the address, first and last name, gender, marital status, date of birth, and occupation.

The completed records give us a snapshot of who was living in the villages at the beginning of the war and often mentions what war work they undertook, although anyone who is still living has their record blacked out.

There is a “Cosy Tea Rooms” near Gostelow’s Butchers, and at Ship Meadows (where Longmarsh View was constructed after the war), had a group of showmen and their families staying on it along with several public works contractors.

At St John’s Jerusalem, Sir Stephen’s wife Lady Bridget and their daughter Miranda were at home, with a parlourmaid, housemaid, kitchenmaid and cook, and some other visitors including children. Sir Stephen himself is recorded as being at the BBC at Langham Place, along with four other colleagues, and was described as Controller BBC (Public Relations).

Strangely there is another entry for St John’s, after Cedar Lawn, which shows Miranda again as well as 15 blanked out entries. At Cedar Lawn, which is where Cedar Drive was built, the owner, Miss Russell, formerly of St John’s, had two ladies living with her who were described as “Official Helpers for Evacuated Children”.

At the top of Devon Road, at Hill Cottage, there are 28 blacked out records, so presumably there were 28 evacuees billeted at the house (which is boggling as the house is not that big….), and other houses in Devon Road do have large numbers of blanked out entries, which may mean that there were a large number of evacuees billeted with residents,

In Hawley, the Bull Hotel (now the Hawley Kitchen) had a number of fitters (armament workers) staying, and at Hawley Manor Mrs Mabel Temple Johnson, described as an invalid lived with her daughter Rosemary Wright, a maid, a lady’s maid as well as two more Official Helpers with Evacuated Children, although apparently not a large number of evacuated children.

The Vicar Caryl Sampson, was living at the Vicarage with his housekeeper, and was also described as Billeting Officer for Sutton at Hone, and seems to have had some evacuees living with him.

1916 – Hawley’s disabled soldier – Frank Wynn Chapman

The Dartford Express – November 10th 1916

This article appeared in the Dartford Express on 10th November 1916, but unfortunately I have not yet managed to work out the identity of the soldier.  The Myrtles, which is now 2 semi detached houses, seems to have had a number of lodgers, as John Tingle, who is commemorated on the Sutton at Hone War Memorial and in the Farningham Homes for Little Boys Roll of Honour, also lived at the Myrtles.

Rood Ashton House was the family home of the Long family, near West Ashton, Wiltshire.  During the Great War it was a convalescent home for wounded soldiers and sailors.

The Myrtles today


Thanks to Malcolm Scott looking further back in the census records than I had done, the Chapman family has been found in the 1891 census, living at the Myrtles.

Charles and his (blind) wife Ellen, were living at The Myrtles with their son William, but they had two other sons, Charles (who died in 1900), and Frank Winn, our disabled soldier.

Frank Winn was born on 10th August 1874, and joined the Welsh Fusiliers in January 1890, and served 21 years with the regiment, serving in Crete, Malta, Egypt, China and India, and finally left in April 1911.

On 29th August 1914, Frank having been working as a messenger, re-enlisted on 29th August 1914 in London, and served briefly on the Western Front before being taken prisoner, and then repatriated back to England in a prisoner exchange. Frank was discharged from the army as being unfit for military service on 28th June 1915. His wounds were described as being a gun shot wound to his right leg, and his right arm and his left hand had been amputated. In December 1916 he was awarded a Silver War Badge.

His bride was Ellen Elizabeth Braithwaite, and they married in late 1916. After spending time in Wiltshire, the couple moved to Birkbeck Avenue, Ealing, and Frank died there in 1949.

The brother who was working at Eynsford Paper Mill, was William Michael, who had married Ellen Sarah Gibson at St John’s in 1899. The couple had a daughter, Violet Kathleen, who married in 1930 to Cecil Roberts, and the couple were living in the High Street, Dartford, where Cecil ran a hairdresser’s salon.

Remembering Dunkirk – 75 years later

The War Memorial lists three men who were lost during the evacuation of Dunkirk in May and June 1940

Douglas John Macpherson was born in Hawley,  joined the Royal Navy in 1926, and married in November 1934 at St John’s to Florence Amy Docksee, and the couple had two children. At the time of his death, Douglas’s family were living in Bexley.

Douglas was serving on HMS Boadicea, which had been in Chatham for a refit since the beginning of May 1940, and on the 9th June HMS Boadicea set sail for Le Havre, France to assist in the evacuation of British troops. On the 10th June, the warship was severely damaged by Junkers Ju 87 “Stuka” dive bombers that knocked out her engines and boilers. Douglas was an Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class, and so was probably killed during the raid.  He was buried at Alverstock Cemetery, Gosport.

HMS Boadicea

HMS Boadicea during WWII – Imperial War Museum

Richard Swaffer was serving as a Driver in the Royal Army Service Corps, and died during the retreat, his date of death is given as between 31st May and 1st June 1940.  He is buried in the De Panne Communal Cemetery in France.

Donald Eastburn Waterman was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 140 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, having been a member of the Honorable Artillery Company before the war.  His father was Bertie Waterman, a well known Dartford Auctioneer, who lived in Wilmington (Donald is commemorated on the Wilmington War Memorial), and his mother helped raise funds for a Comfort Fund for troops in Wilmington. Donald was married, and he and his wife Chloe were living in Sutton at Hone in 1939.

Donald died between the 28th and the 31st of May and is buried in Dunkirk Town Cemetery. His death was not confirmed until October 1940.

Do you have a Kentish Toilet Cistern ?

1910 Alfred Clifford Kentish Water Syphon

This advert appeared a January 1910 edition of the Dartford Chronicle – and it seems there was a manufacturer of toilet cisterns in Hawley.

The testamonials shown on the advert name two local people, Mr Butters of Hawley Post Office, and James Birch of Sutton at Hone.  It would be interesting to know if anyone still has one of these cisterns lurking in an old outside toilet.

According to the 1911 Census, Alfred Clifford was living at Claremont House, Hawley Road, Dartford, and is shown as being a plumber, living with his father and a housekeeper, and was born in Dartford, his father James had been a baker.  At some point after the 1911 census, Alfred marries Alice Maud, and dies in 1947, still living at Claremont House, Hawley Road.

in a 1899 Directory, he is listed as Alfred Clifford, inventor, patentee and manufacturer of Clifford’s reliable eel, rat, vermin & animal traps; 2 prize medals awarded at Truro and Scarborough exhibitions, Hawley Road, Dartford and at Wilmington.

In a 1918 directory, he is listed as a Rat & Vermin Trap Manufacturer, Hawley Road, Wilmington.


1919 Christmas & Boxing Day Football Matches

Once the Great War had concluded, Sutton at Hone (known as Sutton Athletic) and Hawley Football clubs started up again, as local football leagues had been abandoned in 1914 “for the duration”.  Both Sutton Athletic and Hawley played in the Darenth Valley League, and Hawley also played in the Dartford & District League.

On Christmas Day morning in 1919 the local ‘big’ match was between Hawley and Sutton Athletic, with the teams playing at Hawley, where Hawley won 3 – 2.

hawley - football field

The Football Field in Hawley – with cattle grazing. This postcard shows Leigh Place (in the middle of the card) and Hawley Terrace (to the right), with Shirehall Road in the distance. Part of this field is now covered by the M25 embankments.

On Boxing Day the return match was played at Sutton, when Hawley lost to Sutton for the first time that season, the score being 2 – 0, and it is noted that the match was watched by some 1,000 spectators.  The first Sutton Athletic goal was scored by J. Foster after 15 minutes, and their next attempt was blocked by Hawley’s W. Chalcraft.  The second Sutton goal was again scored by J. Foster, before half time, and J. Foster had scored both Sutton goals during the Christmas Day match the day before.

However the Christmas Day match in Hawley ended with two court cases thanks to brawling in the Bull Hotel at Hawley after the match and both cases were caused by the same incident.

On Tuesday 30th December at Dartford Police Court, Harry Tidy, papermaker, living at Bank Houses, Hawley, was charged with afflicting grievous bodily harm on Alfred Couchman, licensee of the Bull Hotel in Hawley on Christmas Day.

After the Hawley v Sutton Athletic match on Christmas Day, a group of about 14 men entered the Bull Inn and called for three glasses of bitter each at about 2.40pm.  At 2.55pm, time was called as the pub was due to close at 3pm, and it was very full,  but the group tried to order another 14 glasses of bitter but were told that it was closing time and they were too late.

Mr Tidy first swept a tray with 14 glasses off the counter, breaking them all and damaging the piano with broken glass.  Mr Tidy (who was not known to Mr Couchman) then went after Mr Couchman, striking him in the chest with his fist, knocking him down, injuring his back, chest and arm.

After the assault “the party had to be got rid of by a sort of scramble” and Mr Tidy managed to smash several bottles of  wine and spirits before he was safely back on the ‘public’ side of the bar and removed from the premises.

Edward Langridge, a stoker, of 2 Leigh Place, Hawley, corroborated the account given by Mr Couchman.

PC Clayton stated that he had been contacted at 3.15pm and then went in search of the prisoner, whom he found the following day (Boxing Day) at the football ground in Sutton at Hone.  Mr Tidy, when asked if he  was present at the time of the assault , said “Yes, but I do not know what happened.  I am very sorry“.

As Mr Couchman thought his arm had been broken in this attack, he consulted Dr Renton, and had his arm x-rayed at the Livingstone Hospital.

The case was adjourned as Dr Renton was unavailable, and his opinion was required

On Thursday 1st January (it was not a public holiday), Dr Renton stated that Mr Couchman was suffering from shock and was knocked about when he examined him on Boxing Day.  After x-raying his arm it was clear it was not broken but it appeared to have been twisted and it would be a considerable time before he could lift weights with it.

Mr Tidy was committed for trial.

The following day, a second court case took place at the Dartford Petty Sessions,  where Frederick John Barnett (48) and Frederick William Barnett (20), father and son, pleaded not guilty to assaulting Ernest Couchman at Hawley on Christmas Day.

Ernest Couchman, the son of Alfred Couchman, had tried to clear the pub at closing time and he was hit by Frederick Barnett senior and Frederick Barnett Junior stripped and wanted to fight. During the struggle Ernest Couchman’s jacket and waistcoat were pulled off, he was much hurt and assistance had to be fetched to get rid of both the Barnetts.

Sydney Arthur Dimond, 4 St John’s Terrace, Sutton at Hone, said he saw both the Barnetts at the Bull on Christmas Day and Mr Barnett senior had struck Ernest Couchman in the back.  Edward Langridge, Frederick James Castle and Alfred Couchman corroborated.

The magistrates took a serious view of the case but as neither Barnett previous convictions, the were given the option of either a fine or going to prison. Frederick Barnett senior was fined £4 or a month and Frederick Barnett junior was fined £2 or 14 days.

Mr Tidy was back in court the following week where he pleaded guilty to common assault. It was stated that until this incident he had had an exemplary character, and had served in France and Gallipoli, and had been gassed.  Mr Tidy expressed regret to Mr Couchman for the injury he suffered as an indirect result of the blow.

The Bench decided, in light of his previous good character, to bound Tidy over for 6 months for the sum of £10.


Welcome to this local history blog

Whilst researching for the new publication ‘Never Such Innocence’ – Sutton at Hone and Hawley during the Great War, there were a number of items that could not be included in the book because of space constraints.

The intention is to publish these “extras” as well as any other local history snippets about the villages of Sutton at Hone and Hawley along with related photos and images.

Sutton at Hone parish church

St John the Baptist Church at Sutton-at-Hone


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