Newspaper Stories 1910-1919 - Hartley-Kent: The Website for Hartley

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Newspaper Stories 1910-1919

11 October 1911 - Situation wanted
Eastbourne Gazette
Mr Marchant was living in one of the cottages near Hartley Green.  He would have been one of the people evicted by Small Owners Limited when they bought the estate, because they wanted to sell them.  As he had 5 children he clearly would need a school close by.

Cowman (head) seeks situation, early riser, abstainer, understands oil engine and all machinery, 9½ years in present place, age 42, near school. Apply J Marchant, Fairby Farm, Hartley, Longfield, Kent.
24 October 1911 - The Automatic Landowner - The Mecca of the Small Owner
Evening News
This advertisement, apparently under a pseudonym, relates the sales pitch from Mr Humphrey of Small Owners Limited to a prospective buyer at Hartley.

It was an English day.  A day of autumn compromise.

There was a blunt softness in the air, because across the Kentish downs the wind met no resistance, and was good-tempered accordingly.

The Darracq hummed smoothly along.

We could of course, have trained it straight to Fawkham Station, but we wanted to see what our neighbours were like.

The 1.37 from London Bridge had run us to Dartford in 30 minutes with only one stop.

The 'Bull' - memorable to lovers of Pickwick - was having its front elevation repaired, and was of no interest to us at the moment.  We were faring for Fairby Farm, and could do no more justice to the splendid open road than to skim over it, noting the presence of good breaking up gravel in the soil of the fields and ignoring the romance of a ruined Roman Villa to our right.  Because after all, we were concerned with the present - with its beneficent alloy which we term promise for the future.

A short cut through Fawkham Station over a stile, and we were tramping the good brown loam, over the protesting heads of young turnips (at this time of year!) up a slope crowned with woodland.

Here a hard, dry path revealed itself, carpeted with acorns.

Mr H pointed to a curly monarch on our left with scarse a leaft unmoored from its anchorage yet.

"What would you give for that oak in your garden? £5? £10?"

"Yes, and be glad of it."

The Valley Road

Leaving the wood we stood before long on a shelving slope with a wide view in front of us: undulating land leaning gently to a valley road, with flaming beeches in the middle distance, and away off in a hazy dip, more trees in diminishing masses.

"There is Fawkham Church just below, and a little to this side of it is the site of Fawkham Castle - an ancient keep now belonging to the legends.  Here where we stand would be a fine take off for your aeroplane: plenty of room, no chance of dangerous currents, and open to the west and south. A few acres would serve your turn - "

"The last aeroplane I had was a ____ "

"____ But this land", went on Mr H, "is almost too good for a mere jumping on and off place.  It is meant for a permanent alighting ground, with kisses at the front door, and tennis on a lawn and pottering about with a dibber and pruning hook and watching goldfish in a pond - just here, say."

"Well the friend I told you about has lately been married, and is thinking of coming to the country in order to be free from noise and the least suggestion of business.  This place is not far from the City, as the train flies it is as near as Hampstead or Brixton.  I know you told me so, but I came along to see for myself. What my friend wants is my report of the best 2 acre plot you have got, and it's your turn now."

We located this plot, but I shall not indicate it.  I will just mention that it included a bit of woodland, whether for appearance in the front or quiet enjoyment in the rear pleasance, I decline to say - and a delightful uninterrupted view.

I took out a chart.  Some people might call it a meaningless scrawl, but if you had drawn it yourself you also would refer to it as a chart.  Then I came to grips with Mr H.

"These are my friend's instructions.  First, as to the a house, he doesn't want anything reminiscent of the City; it must be, er, redolent of the soil __"

"In other words, a cottage.  We will make him a plan, free, to any style he desires__"
"With a billiard room?"
"And a motor shed?"
"And, let me see, a poultry run?"
"Yes.  We have an expert - that rare thing, a scientific farm manager - who will both provide the poultry and given him three weeks' lessons in the art of keeping them for both

Pleasure and Profit

"And the eggs, I suppose there will be eggs?"

"If he will put himself in the hands of our manager and is willing to take poultry seriously, he could pay for his two acres in two years, out of the poultry and what he takes out of the land."

"Oh! Will he have to work?"

"No need to.  But 10 to 1 this Fairby air will seduce him into doing it. And you can't worry about business while you are gardening."

"Most true.  Personally, I confine myself to looking on at the gardening, and I know I don't think about business then.  I can only think what a silly way the other chap has of doing things."

"Your friend can choose just how he will have his land laid out.  A well known firm of designers will make him a plan free, flowers here, for instance, vegetables there, fruit trees over yonder, or he can keep the garden for flowers and vegetables and take a portion of an orchard.  One of hte orchards we have is full of 5 year old trees and the price of the land would include the trees in their present perfection."

"Can you advise as to suitable furniture?"

"We will not only advise but suppy, if your friend wishes - and at practically wholesale prices - the kind of furniture that seems to me eminently countrylike and homely.  The sort of thing you pay dear for, as a rule, simply because it is both artistic and appropriate, but of course you friend will choose what pleases him."

"In a sentence - your friend simply tells us what he wants and we supply it.  Land, house, plotted garden, poultry, furniture; and if he buys now the best can easily be ready for him by the summer - the ideal time, of course, for a country life."

"And for health.  By the way, the water ____"
"Is company's water."
"The roads___"
"Council road frontage wherever he selects."
"Access to town easy enough"
"There is a splendid service of trains.  You can get to the city in 37 or 50 minutes, according to your choice of train, both morning and evening. There are even theatre trains from Victoria, Holborn Viaduct and St Paul's at midnight, reaching Fawkham about 12.50."

"Tell him that, in order to make the first year at his cottage more memorable, we will present your friend with a season ticket to town which will hold good to the end of June 1913.  We do not offer free trips to prospective buyers; this free season ticket is only for householders on the residential section of Fairby Farm.  We make the offer as one menas of settling the land quickly."

"It is possible he ay come down and check my report."

"He can do it this way; occupy all the morning with business, take the 1.37 from London Bridge to Dartford, and motor from there.  He could have an hour on the estate, 315 acres you know, get the 4.15 from Fawkham, and be back in the office to wind up business.  Or he could devote midday to the matter; take the 11.20 and return by the 2.46."

"How do your plots work out in shape?"

"We give, to an acre plot, at least 100 feet of frontage and about 400 feet of depth, for £120 to £130 the acre.  If you work out the latest offer I know of anywhere else you find the 20 feet frontage and 100 feet depth ome ou at £2,500 per acre - and more than that.  Our local rates, again, are very low, about 4 shillings in the pound."

"And suppose my friend, as we rather think he has, has got rid of most of his immediately available cash over his recent celebration___"

" We are providing for any such case.  We will take 25 per cent down, and the rest can be paid next year or in 5 years or in 12 years, with a modest 5 per cent on the balances.  As you need hardly be told, all the money he pays is so much to the good, nor lost forever as in the case of rent; in fact, if he chose to avail himself of the 12 year period he would be paying less than rent and making hte place his own all the time.

Aladdin's Lamp

Really, seeing how easy it all is, he could hardly do better if he had Aladdin's Lamp!  We are the slaves of the ring and lamp.  Utter your wish - tell us what you want  - and you become automatically a landlord!"

This majestic wind up dazed me for a time, and we next drove slowly round the farm, Mr H pointing out everything with a modest, no not exactly a modest pride; merely the statistical kind of pride of the man who knows that what he is talking about is a good thing without the possibility of question.

We now took in the features of the land appropriated for small holdings - land into which, I was told, thousands of pounds have been put in fertilisers.  Certainly the look of it was decidedly promising; rich, dark land with a sufficiency of gravel for aeration.  As a sample of fertility, Mr Hu pointed to a field of standing brussels sprouts.  There was £600 worth in view, he said.

I saw a dozen or so of labourers' cottages on the estate; Fairby Grange, which did not pass with the land; orchards mature, and one lovely stretch of 5 year old beauties, trees so regular that one might expect see them labelled 'With care! From Noah's Ark Limited.'  This particular orchard is to go at £100 the acre.

The farm buildings, apart from the cottaage, cost some £2,000 and it is here that lessons will be given in dairying and agriculture.

"We will take the small holder's milk and separate it and make the cream into butter for him, if he likes.  If his produce, in fruit, vegetables, poultry, and the rest, is good enough, we will introduce him to a connection with hotels or institutions who must have the best, and with our methods and organisation we can always supply the best.

We ar ein the midst of

A Specially Fertile District

as you can see for yourself.  As for poultry, Orpington is not for all, to give an example.  Let the smallholder send us his produce; our manager will see to the rest.  Freedom from trouble again, you see our very object, one of the leading features which make our proposition different from any other.  That is the idea of the season ticket and of making you a home complete."

"And the price for this agricultural land?"

"From £32 per acre, and you can buy from 1 to 50, every acre with a hard road frontage.  We have 218 acres set apart for the smallholders; the residential sites account for 97.  That is a council school we are passing.  Grammar schools you can get at Rochester or Chatham, not far."

"Grammar schools remind me of golf.  I don't know why."

"There are links at Gravesend, 4 miles away.  At Rochester is the Royal Medway Club."

"Golf suggests church - naturally."

"There are three within a few minutes: Longfield, Hartley and Fawkham."

"Coming once more to the agricultural land, I notice that most of it is turned."

"Yes, cultivated right up to the date we transfer it".

"You have certainly thought the matter out very thoroughly.  I see no flaw in the proposition."

"My dear sir, we knew from the first what we were looking for.  It is the bare fact that we examined or considered hundreds of estates before we pitched upon Fairby Farm."

"Well you have partly verified our claim that your friend can do the business in half a day.  We shall catch the 4.15 badk to Town (we could have taken an earlier train at Fawkham), and a short talk in our office in our office over cottage plans, garden plotting and selection of furniture would relieve him of all trouble.  He would simply await our note to the effect that his cottage was ready, furnished and aired, the garden laid out, and the hens clucking out there are eggs, fresh eggs, for tomorrow's breakfast.  Let him ask for me at the offices of Small Owners Limited, in Temple Chambers, Temple Avenue, London EC.  I shall be pleased to see him, whether he is quite ready to proceed or not.  Let him ring up 13183 Central or he can call upon our surveyors, Messrs Leopold Farmer and Sons, 46 Gresham Street, EC."

I am asking y friend accordingly to meet Mr H.  I believe he will thank me next summer at 'Woodland Cottage' Fairby Farm.

John Dalma

17 March 1913 - Sale of Hartley Manor

Sir William Chance has disposed of his estate of 600 acres near Fawkham, Kent, known as Hartley Manor.  It is intersected by the South Eastern and Chatham main line.  The land, scheduled in the Domesday Book as belonging to Odo, Bishop of Baieux, was originally called Erclei or Arclei.  The lordship of the manor and the advowson to the living of Hartley are included in the sale, which was carried out by Messrs Nicholas.

13 May 1913 - Daisy crop at Hartley
Pall Mall Gazette

A Million Daisies - Specially grown in England for Today's Decorations

A million daisies (Marguerites) have been gathered from the small owners' farms and sent to all parts of the country for Empire buttonholes and decorations today.  The farms on which they were grown are at Great Leighs in Essex, the Histon District of Cambridgeshire and Fairby at Fawkham in Kent.

This is the first year that hardy English daisies have been grown for Empire Day.  It is a crop that pays the small holder very handsomely, as much as £83 having been made by one grower from an acre.  Last year the daisies grown for the market made more per box than sweet peas  Now that they have become the flower of Empire - the white petals representing the Dominions and the golden centre the Mother country - their cultivation is expected to become increasingly profitable.

For purpose of decoration few flowers, if tastefully arranged, are more graceful.  The novice is sometimes apt to crowd too many in a vase.  Five or six blooms, as a rule, prove far more effective than a crowded bunch.

13 July 1913 - Flowers from Fairby
Belfast Weekly News

Honour for Small Owners
The bouquets and floral decorations of the Royal saloon in connection with the visit of HRH the Princess Henry of Battenberg to Herne Bay to open the King Edward VII Memorial Hall were supplied by Fairbys Limited of 17 Buckingham Palace Road, the distributing department of the Fairby Small Owners' Colony of Fawkham, Kent.

19 March 1914 - The Fairby Village Farm
Ormskirk Advertiser
A very detailed description of the Small Owners Limited Scheme at Hartley, by director George Harold Humphrey.

Successful Small Holdings Experiment
An article which must be of great interest at the present time, when Small Holdings and their creation are so much in the public mind, appears in the March Official Circular of the Central Land Association, from the pen of Mr G H Humphrey.  The scheme, which is here outlined, and with which Mr Humphrey is so clearly associated, is claimed to be the most successful experiment of the kind in this country.

At the outset the writer of the article says it is gernerally admitted that agriculture should employ a larger number of the population of this country than it does at present.  Compared with other European countries, the area under agriculture in the United Kingdom employs barely one third of the number which aa similar area employs in other countries.  It was after investigation of small holdings and small holding societies in this country that the organisation under which Fairby Farm is developing was formed in 1911, Mr Humphreys continues:

"We found that small holdings suffered from lack of capital, and the failure and limited success which are generally associated with the movement is due to this fact.  I came to this conclusion that unless it could be proved that small holdings were sufficiently commercially successful to attract capital just in the same way as in any other industrial enterprise, all the propaganda work which was being done by the societies was to no purpose.

Investigating the price of land, it was found that under the Small Holdings Act 1907, many small holders were paying 50 shillings and some even more per acre, or a rent in many cases 50, 60 and 100 per cent more than the rental farmer had paid for the land as a large farm  But enquiry from some of the large estate agents showed that there were many estates in this country which were as suitable for small holdings as any which were being let for 50 shillings per acre, to be purchased at from £18 to £30 per acre.  Land which would be bought for £20 per acre was as good as that which was being let under the 1907 Act at 40 shillings and 50 shillings per acre.  Here then was an opportunity to prepare a scheme of land settlemen which should prove a sound commercial investment.

A scheme of small holding purchase by instalments was prepared and put into operation with such success that a small farm was secured in Essex, divided up into small holding and rapidly disposed of.  This land was sold to th esmall holders at £27 per acre.  As evidence of its suitability for the purpose, one of the small holders told me at the end of the second year that he had made a return of £50 per acre, and that he expected in a year or two's time to make £70 and £80 per acre nett profit from his holding.  I should mention here that I believe him to abe an exceptionally capable small holder, and therefore his figures are above the average return which may be expected.  But his fact also emphasises that a small holder who knew his beuness chose land which could be sold at £27 per acre, and has done extraordinarily well on it. He has told me that he considers this land equal to much of the land which is offered in Cambridgeshire at £80 and £100 per acre, where the demand for small holdings alone has sent up the price of land.  As had been expected, the success of this samll farm had the result of securing outside coercial capital, enabling the organisation, which had been started by my brother and myself, to purchase Fairby, a property sufficiently large for the development of those ideas of organisation and administration which we deemed essential in any large scheme for the creation of small holdings.

Fairby Farm in 1911 was 315 acres in extent and is situated 23 miles from London on the main Chatham line.  From the agricultural point of view it is a fair type of many farms to be found in this country.  It had been cultivated as an average Kentish farm.  50 acres were under fruit, about 40 acres under market garden crops, 60 acres under pasture, and the rest was farmed with straw and root crops.  The fruit plantations were 5 and 6 years old, and gave us admirable data as to what an established small fruit holding woudl produce.  The farm generally was suitable for almost every form of intensive agriculture.  This area was offered for sale in small holdings in the autum of 1911, and was very rapidly taken up. There are altogether some 60 small holders on the farm, and most of them go in for a mixed semi-intensive form of cultuvation.  With regard to the selection of applicants, as a commercial concern it is not possible to influence these very directly, but our policy has been to encourage rather the better type of agriculturalist and the small businessman than the ordinary agricultural labourer.  Although agricultural experience is of course invaluable in farming, it is not so necessary, and has proved indeed sometimes a hindrance when a man takes up a small holding.

The distinction between small holdings and farming has not been sufficiently defined in the past.  A small holder is not a little farmer, and to be successful has very little indeed to learn from a large farmer.  Niether have we found that the men who win the prizes at the local flower shows and grow the largest cabbages and the finest rhubarb become the best small holders. The important thing fo a small holder to learn is to grow what he can sell profitably, and in this way many men who have had something of a ound business trianing, bu tno agricultural experience, become excellent small holders.  A man who came to use 2 years ago with no experience and took up a 5 acre holding (??? fruit)  last year made £180 nett profit after paying all expenses.  I am persuaded in my own mind that there should be no difficulty in creating hundreds of similarly successful small holders in other parts of the United Kingdom.

In dividing Fairby a basis of ownership was decided upon for two reasons. Firstly that ownership would be more attractive to the commerial poeple we desired to interest, as it would offer a better return on their capital.  Secondly, we found that ownership had much greater attraction for the best small holders than any system of tenancy.  With the Fairby system which is now fairly well know as the 'depot system' of agricultural organisation, we carry on the farm staff, buildings, horses, implements, just as they were conducted under the later owner and farmer.  Most small holders in other districts have a stable, a horse or pony, a cart, a plough [.......................................................................] labour is used to cultvate the farm and to keep all the unsold land in at least as high a state of cultiviation as it was when we took it over.  Similarly, the requirements of small holders wiht regard to seeds, implements, netting, fencing etc are met through the Buying Department. The farm staff is in charge of a foreman who is chosen for his experience of market garden and fruit crops.  In additiona to the use of the buildings as a Depot, ertain portions of them have been adapted to provide the other departments which the scheme includes.  In the Machinery Building there is an efficient oil engine and shafting runs to the chaff cutting machine, root pulpers and oat crushers, also to the Joinery Shop where the window frames and other joinery used in the Building Department for the erection of houses and temporary buildings are made.  Teh power is also used in connection with some of the machinery in the Jam Factory.  With the Jam Factory on the spot the small holder at Fairby is sure of anett market price on his holding which is nearly always better than the nett price that he could expect on an exceptionally good day at Covent Garden.  In connection with the Depot there is also a 5 acre market garden, including a long glass and mushroom house whih is being developed to provide experimental data for the small holders.  It is hoped during the coming year to instal several similar glass houses on the small holdings.  Many small holders would go in for glass were it not for the captial involved.  It is proposed at Fariby to build  glass  houses for the small holders and sell them to them on a deferred payment system over a term of years.

Another development which is also under consideration is a plant for the dessication of vegetables.  This it is considered will deal wiht the surplus of vegetables just the same as the Jam Factory deals with the surplus of fruit.  We have always considered that a small holding colony should not only produce successful small holders, but should promote the prosperity of the district in which they are situated.  That this has been the case at Fairby is very evident.  Under the old system of farming, Fairby in 1910 employed only about 7 men per 100 acres.  Under present conditions the estate is employing 25 men for each 100 acres. The local tradesmen testify to the increased prosperity which they have experienced as a result of the settlement at Fairby.  Even the Railway Company last year considered it advisable to open a new stateion in the district.  With these facts in mind we welcomed the opportunity which arose last year to purchase an adjoining 600 acres, being the Hartley Manor Estate, which in its turn is developing as satisfactorily as Fairby has done.

In conclusion, I consider that we have abundantly proved at Fairby the economic soundness of small holdings and the suitability of the Englishman for intensive cultivation.  Further we have showen that the United Kingdom can offer better opportunities than any of our Colonies to any man who wishes for an agricultural life and is willing to work hard.  Several of the returned Colonials who have settled down at Fairby have made similar remarks to me.  One in particular who approached us 2 years ago would not believe, afeter 22 years' experience in Canada that a living could be made off less than 100 acres of land.  After being assured that 5 acres under our system was sufficient to provide a good income, and with the additional proisse that if he could not make a living from it, we would take his house and 5 acres of land back at the price he paid for them, he decided to settle at Fairby.  Last year he tells me he made £164 nett profit off his 5 acres.  Comment is needless.  What has been done at Fairby can be done in many other parts of the country.  Fairby is the first serious attempt to bring sound finane, business organisation and suitable applicants together, for the extension of small holdings in this country.

With regard to the question of cooperation, I feel sure that ultimately Fairby will become entire cooperative.  Our system of organisation takes the place of cooperation for the time, as the capital it represents provides the implements and organisation for combined working  When, however the small holders have put their individual undertakings on a osund comercial basis, they will know aht they require and jut how far cooperative management will benefit them."

2 January 1915 - Progress at Fairby
Kent Messenger

Village Industry
The new Hartley Agricultural Colony is making satisfactory progress.   The Rural Development Company has taken over the business of Small Owners Limited, on the Fairby Farm and Hartley Manor Estates, is providing additional facilities for the promotion of local industries, including poultry farming, pig-keeping and a bacon factory.  The colony has, of course, been somewhat affected by the war, 14 of the residents and the company's staff have joined the colours, but there is a good prospoect of business being greatly developed by the increased demand for produce of all kinds.  The projected Fairby Fair had to be indefinitely postponed, but a poultry conference is to be held on January 4th.  The social side is not by any means overlooked, as the Cooperative Society and the Ladies' League and the Social Club are all flourishing.  In spite of the war, several newcomers have taken up residence during the last few months.

2 April 1915 - Soldiers' Joke with an amusing sequel
Western Gazette

According to a local journal, a farm labourer at Hartley, Kent, captured a military balloon, but the only reward he received for his bravery has been ridicule.

Whilst at work he heard voices overhead, enquiring the position of Hartley.  At once, imagining that enemies were upon him, he asked "Are you Germans?"

"Yes" replied the occupants of the balloon in chorus, whereupn Hodge at once seized the rope hanging from the aircraft and secured it round a telephone post, and made off for help.

The occupants however, were British soldiers, who were forced to deflate the balloon and return by rail!

11 June 1915 - Walkers, Don't bother visiting Hartley!
Evening News
The article includes a map and pictures of Southfleet Church, Cottages and the Wheatsheaf Pub

The Footpath Way - No. 14 The Land of Shrimps, Apples and Hops
On leaving Gravesend Central Station you will probably wish to spend some time in exploring the picturesque purlieus of the town.  The narrow High Street and the riverside district are full of character.

You will pick up the walk by returning to the ain road that runs parallel wiht the river, then either walk or (better still) take the tram ot Northfleet Church.  Getting off here, go through the churchyard left of the building and, turning left when out of it, another path will be found that continues to Springhead.  At first it is not inviting.  But it soon improves, and runs alongside the stream running down from Springhead.

When you come at last to a road there is an open path opposite which should be noted as continuing the walk.

But you may care first to turn a few yards to the right and get some light refreshments at the house beyond, which is famous for its fare and is much patronised by the Gravesend folk.  It has pleasant gardens, watercress beds, a monkey house, an ancient giant of a willow tree, and bubbling waters of the spring that gives the place its name; in all sufficient attractions to make it almost worthy to adopt the phrase of Rosherville Gardens as its motto: The Place to spend a happy day.

But suppose we get on with the walk.  Take the aforesaid path and continue along it to a crossroad.  The follow the Betsham road rightwards (sign-posted) to that hamlet at another crossroads.

Here turn to the left and go up the Longfield and Fawkham Road, through hopfields and apple orchards, till you reach the next crossroad at the oddly picturesque corner by the thatched public house, the Old Wheatsheaf.

A land of small holdings

Turn to the right past this a little way to a stile on the left, and over it, take the left path forward and down to the road in the valley below.  If you like to follow the indicated route on the map from this point to Fawkham church, which I took, it will be easy to pick up.

The path is signposted from the lane ahead.  But I do not advise it.  There is little of interest at Fawkham Church, and the land between it and Hartley, to the Black Lion, is cut up in small holdings.  However flourishing these may be they do not add to the beauty of the landscape.

It is better to turn along the road leftwards, instead of going on to Fawkham church (The SE and C Railway station lies to the right as you pass the Railway Hotel).

Note when just beyond the second right turning, a signposted footpath on the left ('To Southfleet').  This rises sharply up an unfenced, stiffish hillside, almost opposite Longfield Church in the valley.

A good view point

This path is to be followed.  It commands fine views when the crest of the hill is reached, over rolling fields, orchards, and in the distance the river.

It ends at length in a rough cart track.  By turning left along this and keeping forward on reaching a road with a better surface, you will come into the very pleasing and pretty village of Southfleet.

A fine grey old church, many gabled ancient cottage, and wide branched trees combine to make Southfleet one of the prettiest villages in Kent.

With a look at the map you will be able to see how to reach Southfleet Station, or to return via Springhead by footpath from the churchyard here.

But my route was to leave the church and follow the land that dips downhill past the Ship Inn and then rises to another lane that opposes it.  By turning right here for a little way you will pick up a path on the left (an obvious continuation of another on the right) that leads into Perry Street, a hamlet of Gravesend.

Then, keeping forward by the continuing rough road, and following the same direction when in town, you will come to the tramlines, and can so rach the Central Station.  For the curious in gastronomy, Gravesend natives (freshly boiled shrimps) are to be had in the little shops in West Street.

And, mind you, they are not to be despised eaten with thin brown bread and butter and lashings of hot tea at the end of a 12 to 14 mile walk, such as this, through Kentish orchards, hop gardens and cornfields.

Outward: Victoria, Charing Cross etc to Gravesend, 3 shillings return.  Or (a cheaper route) from Fenchurch Street, 1s 9d return, including ferry, whichever is convenient.

13 August 1915 - Put that light out
Kent Messenger

The Lighting Order - More Summonses
Several summonses under the Lighting Order were heard at Dartford on Friday.

Percy Dennis of Hartley, was summonsed at the person in charge for not keeping the lights at the Hartley Social Club's premises effectively shaded on July 18th.  Harold Bare and Albert Humphreys, two other officials of the club, were also summoned in respect of the same offence.

Police Sergeant Binfield said he saw a bright light coming from a billiard room occupied by the club.  He went to the room and found Dennis and Bare playing billiards.  There were 6 acetalyne lights over the table, and the windows were only shaded by linen blinds  Bare told witness when the Order came in he had the blinds put up, and if they were not sufficient he would have some of darker material supplied at once.  Witness replied that he would be reported.

Bare said he had no intimation from the police that the curtains were not sufficient, though they had been in use for a long time. 30 or 40 people used the room.

Humphreys, the owner, said until the officer called he had not the slightest idea the lights were not sufficiently obscured.  He immediately ordered the club to be closed, and this was done.  Had they been notified they would have covered the windows at once.

The case was dismissed.

Annie Sales, Minchin Cottage, Hartley Road, was charged with a similar offence on the 19th and pleaded guilty.

Police Sergeant Binfield said he saw a light pass the front door and go upstairs lighting 4 windows.  He told defendant there was too much light, and she put the light out in all but one window, and that was darkened by a cloth.

Mrs Sales said she had to have a light for the baby.

Defendant's husband, it was stated, had enlisted, and she and a sister occupied the house.

Fined 5 shillings.

3 November 1915 - The Gables for Sale
The Bystander
The advert contains a good picture of the house.  The Gables is on Ash Road at the top of Hoselands Hill.

The Gables, Hartley, near Longfield, Kent.  For Sale £1,100 Freehold.
This charming little property occupies a very attractive situation on high ground, overlooking one of the prettiest rural districts.  Only ¼ mile from station, village and church; 3 reception and 5 bedrooms, bathroom (h & c), and usual offices; motor garage and other out-buildings; tennis lawn and spinney; with well stocked gardens of about 1 acre.  For further particulars address 'Owner' as above.

12 January 1918 - News from Longfield
Kent Messenger

A correspondent writes: The parishioners are feeling the pinch of food restriction, as they are not entitled to the full benefit of the food economy arrangements in force at Gravesend, where so many of them were accustomed to do their shopping, but it is hoped they may soon benefit by arrangements to be made by their own district and parish committee.

At the Churches
Last Sunday there wre unusually large ongregations at the church intercession service in response to the King's appeal, and the offertories to the Red Cross Fund were large and generous.  Services were held at the Mission at Longfield Hill, conducted by Mr Thurnell. The services there have been very infrequent for some time past, as the railway arrangements have made it very inconvenient for preachers to get here, but it is hoped that the services may be held more often in the future.  The choir Christmas Tree was held on Wednesday at the house of Mr Cromer (?Cromar), and was greatly enjoyed and appreciated by the youthful choristers.

For War Funds
Two successful entertainments given by Mr and Mrs Fielder and their friends, in the Village Club Room, realised £11 1s 4½d on behalf of the Local Wounded Sailors' and Soldiers' Fund and the Kentish Prisoners of War in Germany.  The room on each evening was well filled, and it must be gratifying to the promoters to see teir efforts on behalf of such a good cause so well supported.  The programme was a lengthy one.  Each item was very efficiently rendered and gained well merited appluase from an appreciative audience.  Although it would be invidious to specially refer to any individual artiste, mention may be made of Miss Jessie Moon, who gave great assistance as pianist.  The programme consisted of mandolin duiet by Mrs Trevillian and friends; pianoforte solo Miss Ridgers; songs by the Misses Goodwin and Wells, Mr Fielder and Gunner Ball; children's sketch "The Green Dwarf", the Misses Leigh, Fielder, Caller, Longhurst and Robinson and Masters Longhurst, Caller, Richard Fielder, Simes and Foster; sketch "Doing our Bit", Mesdames Fielder and Allen, and the Misses Grenby, Peacock and Grant; sketch "The Railway Waiting Room", Mrs Fielder, the Misses Grant, Peacock, Harris and Morris, and Messrs T and R E Fielder.

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