Two short stories about a derailment and the fire that destroyed the original station - surprisingly I couldn't find any reference to this in the Gravesend Reporter of that date.
17.6.1900 (Reynolds's Newspaper)
On Friday afternoon the 4 o'clock up train from Dover met with an accident between Fawkham and Farningham Road stations. From some cause, at present not stated, the engine left the rails, but fortunately the carriages kept the metals. A breakdown gang was promptly despatched from Chatham, but considerable delay and inconvenience resulted, in consequence of the up and down trains having both to be worked on the down road.
14.7.1900 (Leicester Chronicle)
The village station at Fawkham, on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, was destroyed by fire on Wednesday. The buildings involved include the ticket office, the parcels office, and the telegraph office.
20 October 1900 - Gravesend Hospital Donations
In the days before the NHS, many local hospitals had to rely on the generosity of the public. The local paper had regular lists of donors. The Hospital Saturday Fund still exists today to give money to medical charities, but back then it was for regular giving out of wages. Patients from Hartley also went to the Workhouse Hospital in Dartford, later West Hill Hospital. While Gravesend also had a workhouse hospital, later St James's Hospital, it does not appear to have dealt with general patients.
Another article dated 4.11.1905 records the donation of the Harvest Festival fruit and vegetables from Hartley Church and the Longfield Hill CofE mission church, and clothing from Mrs Foa of Holywell Park, Hodsoll Street.
The Hon Treasurer (Mr C E Hatten) gratefully acknowledges the receipt of the following:
Hartley National Schools (children's entertainment) - £1.0.0
Capt Andrew's SS Southend Belle £6.0.0
Hospital Saturday - Employees of
Mr T W Box - £1.14.6
Messrs Multon and Wallis - £1.19.3
Gravesend Sanitary Laundry - £1.8.0
The London Portland Cement Company Ltd - £6.17.0
Northfleet Coal and Ballast Company Ltd - £4.0.0
Robins and Co Ltd - £8.14.8
30 November 1900 - Mid Kent Water to come to Hartley
A very important milestone in the history of Hartley. Mid Kent Water announce their intention to get an act of Parliament to extend their area of supply to Hartley, Longfield etc. Without mains water, Hartley would not have been an attractive site for the developers Payne & Trapps and Small Owners Limited.
Board of Trade - Session 1901 - Mid Kent Water (Provisional Order)
Notice is hereby given that the Mid Kent Water Company (hereinafter called "The Company") intend to apply to the Board of Trade, on or before the 23rd day of December next, pursuant to the Gas and Waterworks Facilities Act 1870, for a provisional order (hereinafter called "The Order") to be confirmed by Parliament in the ensuing session, for the following purposes, that is to say -
To extend the existing limits of supply of the Company as defined by the Mid Kent Water Act 1898, and the Mid Kent Water Act 1900, so as to include therein the parishes and places of Ash, Longfield, Hartley, Ridley, Kingsdown and Fawkham, all in the county of Kent, or some part or parts of the said parishes and places respectively, and to extend and apply all or some of the provisions of the Mid Kent Water Act 1900 t, and to enable the Company to exercise such powers and all or some of their powers and authoristies in reference to, or in connection with, the supply of water or otherwise within the said extended limits of supply,, and to lay down, construct and maintain all such mains, pipes, culverts, tanks, service reservoirs, apparatus, machinery, appliances and conveniences as may be necessary or convenient for the purposes of the Order.
To empower the Company to cross, break up, open, alter, divert or stop up and interfere with, either temporarily or permanently, any road, highways, footpaths, streets, public places, bridges, canals, navigations, towing paths, railways, tramways, sewers, drains, pipes, rivers, streams, brooks, and watercourses fo rthe purposes of the Order within such extended limits.
To levy and recover rates, rents and charges in respect of the supply of water within such extended limits, and to vary or extinguish existing rates, rents, and charges, and to confer, vary or extinguish exemptions from the payment of rates, rents and charges.
The Order will incorporate, with or without modification, all or some of the provisions of the Waterworks Clauses Acts 1847 and 1863, and confer on the Company all necessary powers for the purposes aforesaid, and vary or extinguish all rights and privileges which would impede or interfere with such purposes, and confer other rights and privileges.
To alter, amend and repeal, so far as may be necessary, all or som eof the provisions of the Mid Kent Water Act 1898, the Mid Kent Water Act 1900, and any other Act or Order which would interfere with the objects of the order.
And notice is hereby further given that a copy of this advertisement as published in the London Gazette wil, on or before the 30th day of November instant, be deposited for public inspection with the Clerk of the Peace for the county of Kent, at his office at Maidstone, in that county, and also at the office of the board of Trade, Whitehall, London.
Printed copies of the draft provisional order will be deposited at the office of the Board of Trade on or before the 23rd day of December next, and printed copies of the draft Provisional Order when deposited and of the provisional order when made, may be obtained at the offices of Messrs Roberts and Co, 6 Queen Anne's Gate, Westminster SW, at the price of one shilling each.
Every company, corporation or person desirous of making any representation to the Board of Trade, or of bringing before them any objection respecting the application, may do so by letter addressed to the Assistant Secretary of the Railway Department of the Board of Trade, on or before the 15th day of January next ensuing, and copies of such representation or objection must at the same time be sent to the undersigned Parliamentary Agents, and in forwarding to the Board of Trade such objections, the objectors or their agents must state that a copy of the same has been sent to the promoter's agents.
An reference to the local carrier - the first bus service from outlying places to the local town.
A runaway - About half past ten on Monday morning, a horse attached to a van, belonging to Mr Whiffin of Hartley, bolted whilst in Queen Street. It collided with and overturned a barrow on which was a quantity of fish, scattering the latter about the roadway.
8 June 1901 - Mr Levi Dunham at the Magistrates Court
South London Press
Mr Dunham was principally involved in setting up the Newington Vestry rubbish dump at Longfield.
The Newington Scandal - Mr Dunham at the Police Court - More alleged Defalcations - The Mayor's Evidence
Lambeth police court was crowde on Thursday afternoon on the occation of the hearing fo the summons against Mr L J Dunham (clerk to the late Newington Vestry) for falsification of accounts. Mr Hopkins was the magistrate, and amongst those present in court were the Mayor of Southwark, Alderman Haynes and Cole, Councillors Hamel (who was accommodated with a seat in the inspector's box), W Edwards adn TG Young, ex vestrymean Kirke, Colbrook and Pearson, Messrs J A Johnson (town clerk), Percy Sharp (Mr Dunham's solicitor), B Cohen, W Martin and other well known local gentlemen.
Mr H C Biron, barrister (son of the late magistrate) prosecuted on behalf of the Southwark Borough Council, and mr Travers Humphreys (who was instructed with Mr Charles Matthews) appeared for Mr Dunham, who was accommodated with a seat by the side of his solicitor.
The summons was taken out at the instance of Mr J A Dawes and Mr George Browing (accountant), and the defendant was required to answer the complaint that on June 25, 1886 and on divers dates between that date and March 22, 1897, being then employed by the vestry of St Mary Newington, as vestry clerk, he did wilfully and with intent to defraud alter, mutiliate and falsify certain books of account which then belonged to the said vestry - to wit, the branch drains cash books; and did wilfully and with intent to defraud, omit certain material particulars from such books.
Mr Biron, addressing the magistrate, said: I appear in support of this summons to lay the facts before your worship upon wich Mr Dunham is charged, under the Falsification of Accounts Act, with altering, mutilating and falsifying certain books which were kept by him on behalf of his employers, the Newington Vestry. Mr Dunham had been vestry clerk of the parish on Newington since February 9, 1870, and his duties were defined in the terms of his appointment. Among other duties, he had to keep the cash accounts for the vestry; prepare quarterly, or oftener if required, proper balance sheets and abstracts of the same for the vestry and the committees, and paricularly to prepare balance sheets and abstracts for the auditors with the vouchers, as provided by the Metropolis Local Management Act. Among the books which Mr Dunham kept were the branch drains cash book, and it will be proved that these books were locked up in the safe in his private office, and that all the entries are in his handwriting. Since June 18, 1890, the defendant has enjoyed a large salary of something like £800 a year. Every confidence was reposed in him by the Newington Vestry, and, in consequence, perhaps, greater laxity was allowed than would otherwise have been the case. the charge against mr Dunham is, shortly, this - that from the year 1886 until the end of 1897 he systematically altered the books which it was his duty to keep, with the result that he defrauded the vestry of a very considerable sum of money. Unfortunately, no professional auditors were employed by the vestry, which in itself was somewhat unsatisfactory, and was the subject of comment at the meeting sof the vetry in the years 1896 and 1897. That is possibly the reason why the mutilation of the books ceased in 1897, the latest instance being December 25 of that year. In 1899 Mr Patterson was appointed by the vestry as accountant clerk, and the management of the books was taken over by him in October 1899, since which date Mr Dunahm has had no opportunity of making any such alteration sas I think there can be little doubt he had been in the habit of making during the period in question. By the creation of the new borough of Southwark Mr Dunahm's duties came to an end, and he made representation to the vestry in the month of October 1900, stating that in connection with certain vestry matters he had undertaken duties and labours which were extemely onerous, and suggesting that in consequence a sum of money should be vote to him as a reward for those services. Of course, at that time there was no idea in anyone's mind that there was anything wrong in the relations between Mr Dunham and the vestry, or that he had in any way abused his position of trust. In fact there was a suggestion in the air, which had considerable support in the vestry, that he should be the new town clerk. On November 5 last year the matter was considered, and the vestry voted Mr Dunham a gratuity of £1,000 in respect of his past services. It is a fact that at that time, though it was not known, Mr Dunham had got into considerable arrears; that is to say, he admittedly owed the vestry considerable sums in respect of the moneys which had passed through his hands. That sum was voted on November 5, and on November 14 he went to the Mayor (Mr Dawes) and told him that there was a large deficit, for which he was responsible, in connection with the accounts. His object in doing so was obvious, because that deficit, of course, would have been discovered in any event, and would have led to further investigations of the books, with the result that the extraordinary state of things wihch was subsequently discovered would have been brought to light. Mr Dawes had no idea at that time that there had been anything more than gross carelessness and professional misconduct on the part of Mr Dunham. Certainly he did not think he had been guilty of any criminal conduct. Mr Dawes however, took the view - I think it will be agreed that it was the right view - that under the circumstances it was impossible that Mr Dunham shoudl be appointed town clerk, and in consequence he was not so appointed. With this new light thrown upon his conduct, it became doubtful whether Mr Dunahm had desrved the £1,000 which had been voted, and on January 30, 1901, a special committee was appointed to inquire into the accounts and go through the books. On March 27 an erasure was discovered in one of the books known as the branch drains cash book, a particular figure having been obviously scratched out with a penknife. The balance showed the account which it was Mr Dunham's duty to pay over to the vestry, and by scratching out the first figure the defendant had put £100 in his own pocket. When that was discovered, Mr Dawes saw Mr Dunham, but could get no explanation as to how the erasure came to be made. The books were then placed in the hands of a chartered accountant and thoroughly gone into, with the result that a most remarkable state of affairs was discovered. I will deal first with what is known as the branch drains book. That is a book kept by the vestry with respect to certain moneys expended on drainage works. The vestry themselves do the work, but the owner of the house is charged with it, being required to pay to the vestry beforehand the estimated cost, which is entered in the book. When the work is done, the actual cost is arrived at, and the difference is paid back to the owner. Every year the balance is struck, and the amount shown which Mr Dunham has in hand to pay over to the vestry. We shall show that from 1886 to 1896 there is a deficiency of £1,849 which is concealed by this system of erasure. It is probable that at the time the books were audited by the amateur auditors the figure was there in each case, but was afterwards erased by the defendant, who trusted to the confidence reposed in him that the books would not be very carefully inspected. In 1892 the balance in defendant's hands amounted to £556. It would appear from the book that that sum was carried forward, but there is a long erasure, and in realityno sum is carried forward at all, so that Mr Dunham was able to put that £556 into his own pocket. On September 29, 1895, he inverted the practice of erasure, for it appears taht on that day he paid the sum of £25 on behalf of the vestry, and by inserting the figure "1" before it got credit for £100 more than he had disbursed. We have selected some 8 cases in respect of the drains book which we shall prove before you. Directly this state of things was ascertained by the new body, a letter was written to Mr Dunham, asking for an explanation, and after some delay a long communication was received from Mr Dunham's solicitors, in which they admitted that there were deficiencies amounting to £1,849. About that there was no dispute at all.
Mr Hopkins: Was the defendant represented at the audit?
Mr Biron: I understand he was represented by his own accountant. At any rate, an accountant went through the books on his behalf, and these deficiencies, which are admitted, are all concealed from teh face of the books by mean of those mutilations, of which Mr Dunham's solicitors gave no explanation whatever. Indeed, te sisue is entirely evaded in their letter, the only explanation being that Mr Dunham had rendered in the past great service to the vestry, that he had been very much oeverworked, and that inconequence he had not had time to give that attention to the books which ought to have been given to them. Of coure, that is not the point, because these erasures cannot possibly be accounted for by mere lack of time. They were deliberately made, and made in such a way as to conceal the fact that htis large sum of money had found its way into Mr Dunham's pocket. The council therefore had no option but to swear an informatio here and issue this summons. Since the information was sworn, the accountants have carefully examined a book known as the wages cash book. Cheques were drawn on account of wages and handed to Mr Dunham, an don one side of the book the cheques so drawn appear and on the other the moneys paid for wages An investigation of this book shows that from September 29, 1892 to December 25, 1897, by a similar system of falsification, Mr Dunham has failed to account for no less than another £2,140. These are, as far as we have been able to go at present, the facts of the case we propose to lay before you. These mutilations are on a very large scale indeed. What we have done is to select items from tiem to ttime sufficient to show the scheme adotped by Mr Dunham to defraud the vestry, and also the estremely systematic way in which that fraud was carried out. With egard to the wages cash book, we have selected an instance on September 24, 1896, when there was a balance in hand, which ought to have been paid over to the vestry of £209. The first two figures were scratched out, with the result that Mr Dunham only paid over the sum of £9. On December 25, 1897 two sums appear, but by the erasure of the first figure in front of a sum expended by him, he obtained credit for £100 more than he had expended. I shall call the Mayor, the accountant and one or two other witnesses, and shall then ask you to say that Mr Dunahm should be committed for trial on these various charges.
The Mayor in the Box
Mr J A Dawes gave evidence in support of counsel's opening statement. He said the books were never audited by a professional accountant, but by five gentlemen elected by the ratepayers from outside the vestry. In 1896 a motion by Mr Hester to appoint a chartered accountant was discussed. At that meeting a letter was read from Mr Dunham, in which he said that the motion, when read in conjunction with Mr Hester's electioneering address to the ratepayers in May of that year, and the statements published in papers enclosed therewith, contained by innuendo the grave charge against the Finance Committee, the auditors and himself (the defendant) of having falsified the accounts and balance sheets for party purposes, and of having included in the accounts charges not authorised by law. Mr Hester's motion was negatived by the vestry. Another motion, for which he (witness) voted, was brought forward in December 1896, in favour of the accounts being audited by auditors appointed by the Local Government Board, but that motion was also lost. Witness explained to the court how the £1,000 came to be voted to Mr Dunham, and said the vestry had no knowledge of the deficiencies at the time. He then went on to relate the circumstances which led to the appointment of the special committee and the discovery of the alleged falsifications, previous to which the idea of dishonesty had not entered his mind.
Mr Biron: Has Mr Dunham given any explanation of the erasures?
The Mayor: No. In the absence of any explanation we initiated these proceedings.
Reserving the defence
Mr Travers Humphreys: I do not propose, your worship, to ask the witness any questions at this stage, but will reserve them for the trial.
The magistrate intimated that the case would have to be adjourned, as he could not spare any more time that day.
Mr Biron: the evidence of my next witness, the accountant, will be rather long, and I do not think we could conclude it today.
The magistrate: What do you say as to bail?
Mr Travers Humphreys: There is not the smallest fear that Mr Dunham will go away. He appears today in answer to a summons. I would suggest his own recognizances.
Mr Biron offered no objection
The Magistrate: Very well, I will accept his own recognizances in £500; but it must not be assumed that after the books have been put in I shall take the same view.
The case was adjourned till Thursday next.
13 July 1901 - Levi Dunham jailed
South London Press
Levi Dunham was the Vestry Clerk (Chief Executive) of Newington vestry for 30 years. The council did not conduct proper audit of the books he kept but the fraud was discovered when Newington Vestry was abolished and Southwark Borough Council was created. His defence was that he didn't benefit personally but used the money embezzled to promote sales of the fertiliser Newington Mixture from the Longfield Rubbish Dump. The Daily News report of the trial (11.7.1901) said the indictment amounted to 14 feet of parchment because there were so many charges. The South London Chronicle of 18.10.1903 reported that he had been released 3 months' early from his sentence.
Eighteen Months' Imprisonment
The last stage in this painful story, which opened at the Lambeth Police Court but a few weeks ago, was witnessed at the South London Sessions on Wednesday afternoon. On the court resuming after the luncheon hour came the summons from the assistant clerk, "Call upon Levi Joseph Dunham to surrender." A policeman immediately left the court, and returned followed by Mr Dunham, who carried his silk hat and bag in his hand, and mounted the steps with a defiant air.
The Assistant clerk (to the prisoner), Levi Joseph Dunham, under 26 counts of this indictment you are charged with unlawfully and with intent to defraud falsifying certain books, the property of your masters, the late vestry of St Mary, Newington. How say you - are you guilty or not guilty?
The prisoner: I plead guilty.
Mr Avory, KC, then described the charges against the accused, which have already been fully reported in the South London Press. He was there, he said, with his learned friend Mr Biron to prosecute, Mr Rufus Isaacs and Mr Charles Matthews being for the defence. It was a case in which he had to perform a very painful duty, because as vestry clerk Mr Dunham had been known to him professionally for many years. Mr Dunham was appointed clerk to the Newington Vestry in 1870, and continued in that office till last year. Since 1890 his salary had been £800 a year. He was solely responsidble for the keeping of the accounts and principal books. Shortly after the borough council came into existence it was found that the books of the vestry showed a balance owing by the defendant of £1,800, and that amount was paid by Mr Dunham in different sums between November and December 1900. It was then supposed that all matters of account had been properly settled. But in consequence of some suspicion a special committee was appointed in January of this year to investigate the books, the result being the discovery of certain erasures. This led to a further investigation by a firm of accountants, and the total deficiencies were found to be £4,572.
Mr Rufus Isaacs then rose to address the court for the defence, but technically there could be no defence, the prisoner having pleaded guilty. The only point put forward was a plea in mitigation of punishment, counsel stating that the accused had not utilised one penny of the money for his own personal benefit, but had expended it all in helping forward the great schemes which he had promoted in the vestry for purposes he could not properly put into the vestry's books in the sense of extending hospitality to a number of persons simply for the purposes of the vestry, and in no way to benefit himself. In connection with the dust depots he expended considerably more than the 2d per ton commission allowed to him by the vestry.
Mr McConnell KC (the chairman): I do not quite follow you. In what way was the commission distributed?
Mr Isaacs replied taht it was distributed to farmers and various persons in order to induce them to purchase the 'mixture'. This great scheme for the disposal of the refuse of the parish was entirely due to the defendant, and it had resulted in the saving of thousands of pounds to the parish.
Mr McConnell said the system of commission was a roundabout way of doing business.
Mr Isaacs: In the furtherance of this scheme the defendant had a great deal to do with the farmers, seeing them and waiting upon them, and he had to spend a great deal of money with them in luncheons, dinners and so forth, giving to these people that which he could not properly, and did not, charge against the vestry.
Mr McConnell: Did the Vestry know this?
Mr Isaacs: That he was spending money, certainly; but that he was spending more money than the amount they were giving him I do not say. Continuing, counsel referred to the electric lighting scheme as having been very expensive to Mr Dunham. It was not suggested by anyone that he had spent the money in extravagant living, in gambling or in anything of that sort; and an analysis of his pass book showed that he had not spent more money than he was receiving as salary. What Mr Dunham had done was this - he had looked upon himself as responsible for those schemes, and had spent money of the vestry which ought not to have gone in the way it did for the purpose of making the schemes a success, and enabling the vestry to get a profit. He hoped that in dealing with this case his lordship would take this into consideration.
Mr McConnell (to Mr Avery): The late Vestry or its successors have received the sum of £1,800 from the prisoner?
Mr Avory: Yes my lord. The £4,572 is in addition to the £1,800 already repaid.
The learned judge, after a private consultation with his colleagues, which occupied a quarter of an hour, passed sentence on prisoner in the presence of a large number of late vestrymen, present aldermen and councillors, and ratepayers of the borough. He said this was one of the gravest cases which could come before a court of quarter sessions. The prisoner had enjoyed a liberal salary and the confidence of the vestry, yet he had in his position of trust deliberately, for a period extending over many years carried on an ingenious scheme of fraudulent bookkeeping and embezzlement. Doubless he would feel the punishment more than many others; but the court could not pass a more lenient sentence of than 18 months' impisonment, with hard labour.
Mr Dunham then left the dock in custody of the prison warder.
5 August 1901 and 7 December 1901 - More accidents at Longfield Station
5.8.1901 Freeman's Journal
Another short article in the London Evening Standard says the van was shunted into a siding and the rest of the train proceeded on its way. The van and all its contents, save a mail bag was destroyed.
Meat, Fish and Newspapers Destroyed - A London Evening News telegram from Margate says - the newspaper train which left London on Saturday morning caught fire at Fawkham. Meat, fish and newspapers were all lost and the mail bag was damaged. Tradesmen at Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs are seriously inconvenienced, as tons of provisions were destroyed. Visitors are despondent because there are no papers. The cause of the fire is unknown. Many passengers were on the train.
Late on Thursday night an up Dover goods train parted in the centre after passing Meopham, on the South Eastern and Chatham Railway. At Fawkham the train was stopped by signal, and the second portion running down a gradient dashed into the first part, throwing several trucks off the line. At this moment the Queensborough Pier goods train approached on the down line and collided with the wreckage. Happily no life was lost, but the driver and fireman of the Queenborough train had a narrow escape, the engine rolling down the embankment.
19.12.1901 (Yorks Evening Post) - Alleged looting from a wrecked train
In connection with the recent collision on the Chatham and South Eastern Railway at Fawkham Junction four of the company's employees were today arrested at New Brompton. The men are charged with stealing from the debris of the two wrecked goods trains valued at £200. The men belonged to the breakdown gang sent to clear the line.
31 August 1901 - Mrs Robert Packman of Hartley Kent
An obituary of Jane Packman, who lived for many years at Hartley Hill Cottage, and died at the age of 96.
Born October 22nd, 1805; Died March 6th, 1901, aged 96 years - A long and interesting life.
Inhabitants of our villages around Gravesend and Dartford would hardly entertain the idea of taking their holidays in places like Ash, Hartley, Ridley or Stansted, but prefer seaside resorts, which, through being badly chosen, often prove unsuitable, and where they derive not a tithe of the beneficial results to their constitutions compared with a quiet resting in the places mentioned above This particularly healthful district is situated 550 feet above the Thames, which can be plainly discerned, and is rich in wooden hill and dale. Among these pleasant surroundings, in 1805, was born Mrs Robert Packman. When only 8 years of age she lost her mother, and until she was married in her 20th year, at Chalk Parish Church, kept house for her father, who was a basket maker. It is said she made as good a housekeeper at 10 as many at 20 years of age. In this parish the lately deceased used to tell that it was then the custom for anyone living outside the district to sleep one night and leave a pocket handkerchief in the house to entite the person to be married in the church, as there were no banns published. Her husband farmed a small holding in Hartley, from which they journeyed to Gravesend to dispose of the produce. They were blessed with 13 children, seven of whom survive her - 4 sons and 3 daughters - Mrs William Russell of Ash being the youngest. Below we give a list of the descendants:
In America - Her own children - 3, grandchildren - 16, great-grandchildren - 44, great-great-grandchildren - 12; total 75.
In England - Her own children - 4, grandchildren - 16, great-grandchildren - 19, great-great-grandchildren - 9; total 44.
Mr Henry Packman (son) took his family of 9 to America, and they are all living and well in and around Webster City, Ohio. One of his sons, referring in a recent letter to his lately deceased grandmother, writes - "Now I want you to get some pictures of monuments and the prices and see how much money we can raise to put them up a nice monument." Her eyesight was wonderfully keen up to the last, and she retained extraordinary powers of vitality. It was the writer's pleasure to be invited to afternoon tea with her when she had scored her 93rd year, and despite the proffered assistance of ladies, she insister on getting ready and making the tea and clearing the table afterwards. She was greatly attahced to her home, as is substantiated by the fact that she occupied one house for 50 years, and not for a single night slept elsewhere during that period. She was a devout worshipper, and only during the last few years absented herself from divine service.
She was a widow for 36 years, and her bachelor son William lived with her. She was buried with much respect in Hartley Churchyard, by the side of her husband and three daughters.
13 February 1902 - Problems at Longfield Station
Mr Bell - I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to a number of cases which have recently occurred in which goods trains have become divided when running between Fawkham and Farningham on the South Eastern and Chatham Railway resulting in damage; whether he has yet consulted the inspecting officers of the Board of Trade with reference to the general question of breakaways; and whether he proposes to publish Reports from the inspecting officers with regard to the matter.
Mr Gerald Balfour - Since the beginning of 1901 only two such accidents as are referred to by the hon. Member have occurred, so far as the Board of Trade are aware, viz., on the 5th December and the 9th of last month. The general question of breakaways is now under the consideration of the Board's Inspecting Officers of Railways, and when I obtain their Report I will consider the question of publication.
8 July 1902 - "Coronation" Festivities at Longfield
Sometime ago it was proposed by Mr Robson, at a parish council meeting, taht a committee should be formed to carry out the above, and a meeting of the parishioners was called together for that purpose, and resulted in the most successful fete ever held in Longfield.
A procession was formed at the Post Office at 12.30pm adn , headed by the Arethusa Band paraded teh village, afterwards marching to the Parish Church, where a short service was conducted by the Rector (Rev E Smith). The procession was then reformed and , still preceded by the inspiring strains of the band, marched to the Briars, whre they were received on the lawn by Mr Percy Waterer, who had placed his beautiful grounds at the disposal of the committee.
Mr Waterer welcomed the people in the following terms: Friends and neighbours, at the time the announcement was made that a fete would be held here today (Saturday June 28th, 1902) to celebrate the coronation of our king, itw as expected that the ceremony would have alrady takn place, but he suddden and very serious illness of the king, that has been such a shock to the whole world, made it impossible for it to be held, and almost on the eve of the celebration teh Earl Marshal announced the king's commands postponing teh coronation, and consequently all festivities in London; but at the same time he also announced that it was the king's fervent wish that the celebrations in the country should be held as already arranged. It is characteristic of British royalty to think of the welfare and happiness of their subjects, rather than study their own convenience. But when we consider the alarming condition of the king, and teh matters of vast importance that had to received immediate attention, his fireact - to prevent the disappointment of the villagers - was a graciou act indeed. I shall only echo the prayer of every loyal subject in saying that it is our most hearty wish that the king may speedily recover, and live long to carry on the ???? of this mighty empire in the same able manner taht they were conducted for over 60 years by his illustrious mother (loud cheers). Knowing that the parishioners would be anxious in regard to the condition of the king, I wired to Sir Francis Knollys, stating that we were holding a large fete in honour of the king, and should be very pleased to announce any favourable news. I will now read you his reply just to hand "General condition satisfactory. Good night. Out of immediate danger". (cheers)
The wire was posted on a board in the grounds, and was read by hundreds of people from all parts. Every child was provided with a box of chocolate, embossed with a portrait of his majesty, which had been kindly sent by a friend of Mr Waterer; and an adjournment was then made to teh field, wher a capital programme of sports was carried out amid great celebration.
An excellent tea was provided by the committee for all comers, and was splendidly served by the ????? band of helpers. Swings, cocoa-nut bowls etc were immensly popular until 8 o'clock, when the.......(the rest of the photocopy is too difficult to read)
27 September 1902 - Big sale of farm stock
Messrs Cobb - Important Sale of Live and Dead Farming Stock - Hartley, Longfield
About 10 minutes walk from Fawkham Station and 3 miles from Southfleet Station on the SE & C Railway.
Messrs Cobb will sell by Auction at Fairby Farm, on Thursday and Friday, October 2nd and 3rd 1902 at 11 o'clock precisely each day (by order of Sir W Chance, who has let Fairby Farm and laid the remainder of the property down to pasture), the live and dead farming stock on Hartley Court, The Manor and Fairby Farms.
20 Active draught horses
6 milch cows
42 yearling heiffers
333 Kent and half-bred sheep and lambs (otherwise same advert in Maidstone Journal says 377)
10 sows and
about 140 head of poultry
The implements, whih are in excellent condition include waggons, dung, light, and pony carts, shepherd's huts, water barrels, self binders, reapers, mowers, ring and plain rolls, drills, iron and Kent ploughs, horse rakes, horse hoes, iron and wooden barrows, brakes, nidgets, cleaning machines, seed barrows, chaff and turnip cutters, iron tanks, stack cloths, poles and ropes complete; iron and wooden sheep troughs, sheep gates, ladders, wire netting, tools etc etc; also the necessary harness and stable utensils for 20 horses.
Note: The first day's sale will include the sheep, pigs, poultry, harness and portion of the implements. The second day's sale the remainder of the implements, the horses and bullocks.
Luncheon will be provided by ticket at 1 shilling per head.
Catalogues may be obtained at the place of sale; "Railway" inn, Fawkham; "Bull" Hotels, Rochester and Dartford, and of Messrs Cobb, Surveyors and Land Agents, 53 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC and at Higham, near Rochester.
6 Febuary 1903 - No Light
Alexander McLachlan was fined 5 shillings and costs for having no lighted lamp attached to his cart at Hartley, on January 17th. PC Russell gave the facts.
11 December 1904 - A Very Generous Employer
Lloyds Weekly News
James Thomas Smith had bought Fairby Farm in 1859 and sold it to James Timmins Chance in 1899. Mr Smith, who had named his house at Lee after Fairby, died on 6 January 1902. The £1,500 he left to Thomas Coulson, his farm bailiff at Fairby is equivalent to something like £120,000 today.
Bequests to Servants - of his estate of £265,828, the late Mr James Thomas Smith of Fairby House, Lee, Kent, left £4,600 to charities, and to servants he left these legacies: Caroline Brown (cook) £600; James Fowler (coachman) £800; John Howe (head gardener) £700; Thomas Coulson (bailiff) £1,500; Miss Sewell (his wife's companion) £1,000. Mr Smith bequeathed 3 years' wages to all servants of 3 years' standing, one year's to those of 12 months' standing, and £5 each to all who had been with him less than 12 months.
7 October 1905 - Alfred Edwin Gray
The Burdens had only just moved to Hartley, as Mr Burden is not in the 1905 electoral register. It appears Mrs [Rosa] Gray did keep the children in the end, as the two youngest were with her in the 1911 census, when Mr Gray was living on his own in a Church Army Hostel in West Kensington.
Dartford Magistrates Court - before Lieut-Col N Kidd (in the chair) and Mr A M Fleet
Alfred Edwin Gray, of Elizabeth Street, Stone, late of Overy Street, Dartford, was summoned for assaulting his wife at Hartley, on Sept 20th - Complainant said she lived at 24 Overy Street, Dartford, and defendant was her husband. He left her on Tuesday morning, Sept 19th, saying he would not return, and would send the money up. Next day she took their boys up to a coffee house, where she saw defendant having a good dinner He treated the boys to biscuits and milk, and said he was going to take them to his brother's wife at Hartley Green. She said that if he took the children to Hartley Green she would go too. He then caught hold of her fingers and twisted them, with the result that she had been attending the hospital with sprained fingers. Defendant took the boys to Hartley Green, and told his sister in law he was going to take them to London the following Saturday. Eleanor Emma Burden of Hartley Green for the defence, said complainant came to her house on the day that the defendant brought the children and started abusing her. Complainant struck defendant and witness also. She had to go to the constable's house for protection, and during the time she was away complainant was fighting with defendant outside. Frederick John Burden, husband of the last witness, also gave evidence. Defendant said he and his wife had been married 10 years. He had recently discovered that she had had a secret on her mind all that time, and to that fact he attributed the conduct of his wife before him. The bench dismissed the case.
Eleanor Emma Burden summoned the complainant in the last case for assault. She said she put her fingers to her nose, when defendant flew at her like a tiger and struck her in the face. This case was also dismissed.
Alice Gray, of Overy Street, Dartford, was summoned for using obscene language. It appeared that defendant had a quarrel with her relatives at Hartley - she was allowed to go, having been cautioned.
28 November 1905 - Sale of plant at Longfield Brickworks
South Eastern Gazette
The brickworks was where the development at Tuppence House, Main Road, Longfield is today.
To Brickmakers, contractors and others - Fawkham Brick Fields, Longfield, Kent
Close to Fawkham Station and goods yard, and to Longfield siding on the SE and C Ry Chatham main line.
Messrs Dann and Lucas have received instructions from the executors of the late Mr J J Hickmott to sell by auction on Thursday, the 7th day of December 1905 at 11 o'clock precisely in lots:
Brickmaker's Plant - consisting of about 2,000 hack covers, 6,000 feet hack boarding, kiln boards, iron wheeling plates, planks, barrows, wash mill, elevator, 3 pug mills, spouting, pulley wheels, truck wheels, chain wheels, winch, chain drum, driving chains, 7 clay trucks, and a large quantity of trolley rails and sleepers. 12 hp portable engine nearly new by Clayton and Shuttleworh. Contents of blacksmith's shop, drilling machine, vice, engineer's tools and quantity of iron. 8 HP Traction Engine by Aveling and Porter. 6 road trucks, wooden shed, office furniture, quantity of dug flints, and brick rubbish. 4 cart horses and 7 contractor's carts. 5 sets of quoller harness, nag harness, stable tools, set of harrows, iron land roller, plough, horse hay rake, water barrel on wheels, iron tank. Nag horse, dog cart, wagonette, stack of trefolium hay.
May be viewed the 2 days before the sale. Catalogues may be obtained of Mr Seabrook, at the brickfield, and of the auctioneers, 3 Spital Street, Dartford adn 23 Budge Row, Cannon Stret, London EC (PO Tel 26 Dartford, 9244 Central).
24 February 1906 - New accident patients at Gravesend Hospital
A week's worth of accidents requiring hospital treatment. The building works going on at Hartley was most likely to be the building of Grafton House, Ash Road.
Accidents admitted: on Saturday, Henry Holderness (50), sweep, of 8 Barrack Row, Gravesend, overcome by heat while cleaning boiler flues at the Gravesend Sanitary Laundry. Tuesday, Alfred Martin (42), builder's labourer, of 72 Angel Road, Edmonton, scalp wound and fracture of the nasal bones, caused by a fall of a frame while working for Messrs Sheffield Bros, at Hartley. On the same day Thomas Harvey (22), ironmoulder, of 29 Alfred Road, Gravesend, severe burn of eyeball, caused by a splash of hot metal at the works of Messrs E.A and H Sandford. Wednesday, George Longman (9), schoolboy, of 4 Herbert Road, Swanscombe, broken thigh, from a fall while at play.
16 June 1906 - Sale by Payne and Trapps
Their estate comprised the future roads of Merton Avenue, Wellfield, Wellfield Estate, Larksfield, Gresham Avenue and Woodland Avenue. Other adverts for sales on 7 June (Reporter 2.6.1906), 15 August (Reporter 4.8.1906), 12 August 1908 (Daily Express). One of the adverts falsely claims that the company had redeemed the tithe on the estate.
Sales by Auction - Fawkham, near Gravesend, Kent.
The Fawkham Park Estate, close to station, a splendid and profitable investment
Messrs Payne Trapps and Co beg to announce that the next sale of 125 freehold sites, averaging 25 feet frontage, by a depth of 220 feet, will take place in a marquee upon that estate on Monday June 25th, 1906. Intending Gravesend purchasers will leave the Royal Mews, New Road, Gravesend on day of sale by brake at 11.30 o'clock; luncheon provided.....
Messrs Payne Trapps and Co will sell in a marquee upon the estate on Wednesday, August 15th 1906 at 1.30 o'clock 62 choice freehold sites, each 25 feet frontage, and 200 feet in depth or thereabouts, absolutely ripe for the erection of bungalow and villa residences, free of tithe and land tax. No law costs. Admirably adapted as a residential district for Londoners. The railway service is good. Season tickets 1 shilling per day The estate presents splendid opportunity for the investment of capital. Builders and speculators should lose no time in putting up some attractive villas. A good and profitable remuneration must result therefrom. The water mains are laid past the estate. A brake will convey intending purchasers from Gravesend, leaving the Royal Mews, New Road, Gravesend at 11.30 o'clock on day of sale. Luncheon will be provided. Full particulars etc may be obtained of Mr E Y Skinner, Estate Agent, Wrotham Road, Gravesend; and of Messrs Payne, Trapps and Co, Auctioneers, 11 Queen Victoria Street EC (telephone 6008 Bank).
Daily Express, 8.8.1908
Suburban Kent - on main line - Fawkham - Important to builders - Fawkham Park Estate - Almost Adjoining Station
Messrs Payne, Trapps and Co will hold a final sale upon this well known and popular estate on Wednesday next, August 12, when 51 exceedingly choice sites will be offered. Each site is about 25 ft by 220 ft. Building operations going on. Water main laid past estate One of the most healthy and picturesque parts accessible to the London business an Cheap season tickets. Intending purchasers will leave Holborn on day of sale by the 11.30 train, calling at Elephant and Castle and Herne Hill. Luncheon provided Full particulars apply Payne, Trapps & Co, 11 Queen Victoria Street EC.
6 April 1907 - Publican's Tragic Death
The very sad case of George Wansbury who was dealing with the 1907 economic slump and crippling varicose veins.
Mr George Charles Wansbury, the well known licencee of the Black Lion Inn, Hartley, who had reached the age of 61, committed suicide on Good Friday morning by cutting his throat with a razor. At the inquest the widow stated that her husband had not enjoyed very good health lately. He had suffered from varicose veins in his legs, and business worried him a great deal, trade being bad. During Thursday night she got out of bed two or three times to see to him. She got up about 5 o'clock on Friday morning, and he then appeared to be asleep. When she returned to him he had cut his throat. She immediately summoned the doctor and bound the wound up, but deceased expired just before the doctor arrived about 9.30. Her husband had said he was very tired of his life, and could not pay his way, money coming in so bad, but she had never anticipated this would happen. After other evidence, the jury returned a verdict of 'suicide whilst labouring under temporary mental derangement'. The greatest sympathy is felt for the widow and family.
1 June 1907 - Complaint against Longfield tip rejected
This is an extract of a report of the Dartford Rural District Council meeting.
House Refuse at Longfield
The Medical officer read his report (dated May 27th), for submission to the Local Government Board, in regard to the deposit of house refuse at Longfield railway siding. He found the condition much the same as a month previously. A large heap of refuse was still there, but most of the paper had disappeared. The refuse was gradually being carted away to land at Hartley to be ploughed in, as he was informed, immediately. He could hardly think any fumes could be carried over quarter of a mile, which was the distance to the nearest house. As regarded the siding, he was of opinion it was not a public nuisance.
The Rev E Smith said there was much less nuisance now than at any time during the 13 years he had known the place.
The Chairman: And you live as near as the gentleman who complains?
The Rev E Smith: Oh! Quite. I thoroughly endorse the report.
Other members expressed the opinion that the report was a good one.
12 November 1907 - Buying a Land Plot
This article gives a good example of the sales tactics of "Champagne Developers" like Payne and Trapps at Hartley.
In the Dartford County Court on Wednesday, the South Tankerton Estate Company Ltd sued Lancelot E Dunmall of Briars Lodge, Longfield for the balance due in respect of the purchase of a plot of land. For the plaintiffs it was stated that the defendant was at Whitstable on the day of an auction sale, and purchased a plot of land, not by auction. Defendant signed a contract to pay a deposit, and to pay the remainder by instalments - Mr Wilkinson, the secretary of the company, in cross examination by Mr Clinch, admitted that cheap tickets were given to people to go to the sale, and a free luncheon was provided. He did not agree that the people invited had as much as they liked of whiskey and soda and "that sort of thing". Beer and whiskey and soda were provided, but not without restriction. The defendant stated that his brother, having 2 tickets, asked him to go to the sale. They partook of the luncheon at Whitstable, and attended the sale. The lot was not sold, but Mr Ford, a commission agent, persuaded him to buy a plot of land, saying that he had a plot next to it. Witness was given to understand that he would have to pay 20 shillings as a deposit and 20 shillings a year afterwards and that all the drainage was paid for. Nothing was said about the roads. Cross examined - witness said that he was not present during the whole of the sale, and did not hear the auctioneer's opening remarks. His honour said that whether the system of giving luncheons and beer and whiskey and other such things was a good system or not, or one to be recommended was not a matter for him. Personally, he thought it was a bad system. The only question was whether the whole of those instalments were due The agreement stood. He thought it was sufficiently clear from the wording that the whole of the instalments actually due could be sued for. The two instalments for March and September could be sued for, and therefore there would be judgement with costs for those, with interest according to the conditions, and sewerage money (£3). He was afraid the defendand would find this land very expensive before he was done. It was advisable that such persons should take advice before buying land like that.
19 November 1907 - Sanitary Problems
This is a letter from "Antiseptic" criticising Dartford RDC's decision to abandon collecting rubbish and emptying cesspools in the parishes of Ash, Hartley, Longfield, Fawkham, Ridley and Southfleet. This appears to go back to the original decision in 1895 to commence collections and emptying, which had been bitterly opposed by some prominent local people, including attendees at the Hartley Parish meeting. The writer of this letter lived in Longfield and there is a good chance he was J Walter Newcomb who had also written to the council to complain. He makes the point that the change benefits the richer inhabitants.
Referring to hyour recent leading rticle particuarly referring to the actions of the Dartford Guardians, I suggest that there is room for an article in your paper on the question of "Are men of leisure men of ability?"
I admit that it is very good of the members of the Guardians to give up a day every fortnight to attend their respective boards, but whether those members are capable of looking after the business of those boards, and are prepared to study the interests of the ratepayers is an open question. I will give you an instance For some years past the anitry arrangements of thi village have been looked after by the Sanitary Inspector of this district, and in referring to sanitary arrangements, I mean the most important, viz. the emptying of cesspools. In carrying uut this work a van, pup, and hose and a body of men were the chief factors, the cost being willingly borne by the ratepayers. Now, without any notification, this scheme has been abruptly stopped by some person or persons, the consequence being that the inhabitants were suddenly thrown on their own resources to empty their own cesspools, which in many cases were full, and some overflowing, and will be so from time to time until this scheme is resumed, or a better one substituted. In the meantime scarlet fever is raging in the village, and the sanitary arrangements are worse thn they were 50 years ago.
An unsigned and apparently unofficial circular was delivered to me by hand on November 7th, suggesting how to get the work done, viz, by hiring horses and men from a local contractor at specified charges. I do not know who is responsibile for the issuing of this circular, but it is scandalous that important work of this description shoudl be treated in this manner and if it is the work of the Rural District Council, why do they not allow a bold front, and advise the inhabitants officially what is going to be done or what has been done.
I will send you this circular, and you will see that it states that the Rural District Council will discontinue the work of cesspool emptying from September 30th 1907, and this circular was handed round on November 7th. Do the Council think that owners or the tenants, say of cottage property, are going to pay 27 shillings a day for cesspool emptying? To leave the arrangement for emptying of cesspools to each tenant seems to me madness, and can never work satisfactorily from a sanitary point. You may as well leave the upkeep of roads to each ratepayer to do his share, and so do away with the rate for such upkeep.
Yours faithfully, "Anitseptic", Longfield Kent
A sanitary van and tackle is stationed at the Brickfield, Longfield, and may be used, free of charge, upon application being made either to Mr J Foster, Longfield, or to Mr Longhurst, Sanitary Inspector Longfield, under the following stipulations: (1) That an experienced man under the direction of Mr Foster is employed to superintend the work at a charge of 5 shillings per day, or 3 shillings per half day. (2) That the van and tackle be returned in a clean and proper condition immediately after use.
Persons desirous of using the van and tackle must make their own arrangements for the hire of horses and labour, but an experienced man must in every case accompany the van. For the information of owners and occupiers, the committee beg to state that Mr Foster agrees to provide men and horses at the rate of 22 shillings per day, this does not include the charge in the 1st stipulation above mentioned.
10 April 1909 - George Day's Strawberries
George Day of North Ash Farm was to find that contracts with the railways were in the latter's favour
At owner's risk - George Day v the SE & C Railway Company.
This was a claim for £9 17s for damages sustained by the plaintiff, who is a fruit grower at North Ash, near Wrotham, through negligence of the Company's servants. Mr E Lovell solicitor, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr H E Fraser for the Company.
The plaintiff's case was that on Friday the 10th July, he received a telephone message from the stationmaster at Fawkham, inquiring whether he knew that the special early morning fruit train had been taken off, and asking whether he had any strawberries to send to the London markets the next day. Plaintiff replied that he had 200 pecks, and the stationmaster thereupon offered to despatch them by early morning passenger trains on the Saturday. Plaintiff accordingly sent 191 baskets to the Fawkham Station, but they were not despatched to London by the trains indicated, with the result that when the strawberries arrived at the markets they only fetched 1 shilling to 1s 6d a peck, whereas had they got there earlier they could have realised from 3 shillings to 3s 6d. This loss was alleged to be due to the negligence of the stationmaster, and hence the claim for damages.
The defence was that the plaintiff signed the ordinary contract note sending the fruit to the station for delivery by the company in London at owner's risk, and that therefore, the company were not actionable.
His honour agreed with Mr Fraser's contention, and ruled that the action must be dismissed.
10 April 1909 - Obituary of Colonel Godfrey Hildebrand
Army and Navy Gazette
Col Godfrey Hildebrand, retired pay, late RE, died suddenly of heart failure on the 27th ult at Hartley Court, Longfield, Kent, aged 64.
Obtaining his commission as Lieutenant Oct 18, 1864, he became captain, Dec 5, 1877; Major Oct 18, 1884; and Lieutenant Colonel half pay Oct 18, 1891. Becoming Lieutenant-Colonel RE Dec 31, 1891, he was appointed Assistant Inspector-General of Fortifications July 1, 1894, being reappointed to that post on the expiration of his 5 years as regimental Lieutenant-Colonel. He received the brevet of Colonel Dec 31, 1895, and the substantive rank Nov 8, 1897, when he was appointed Deputy Inspector-General of Fortifications, a position he held until he retired June 1, 1902. Col Hildebrand, who acted for some time as joint secretary to the Joint Naval and Military Committee on Defence, was granted a Distinguished Service Reward March 28, 1903.