Newspaper Stories 1950 - 1959 - Hartley-Kent: The Website for Hartley

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Newspaper Stories 1950 - 1959

History > Newspaper Stories 1940 - 1979
29 Mar 1950 Grateful Acknowledgement Chatham Standard
"Mr H Brace of Selbourne, Nurstead Avenue, New Barn, Longfield writes in gratitude 'to a lady and gentleman, who travelled down from Victoria Station by the last train on Saturday evening. When the train arrived at Fawkham Station, I got out rather hurriedly and left a parcel on the seat', Mr Brace states, 'Next morning, I called at the station and was given the parcel, which had been handed to the porter just as the train was moving off. When I add that the parcel contained something of sentimental value that cannot be replaced, you will understand my deep gratitude and appreciation.' "

12 May 1950 Builder Becomes Solicitor's Clerk Chatham News
"John Coulson, 46 of St Aubin, Pescot Avenue, New Barn, Longfield, attended his public examination at the Rochester Bankruptcy Court, on Thursday last week, before the Registrar (Mr M V Mackey), his statement of accounts showing assets of £15 13s 5d only, and a deficiency of £1,868 13s 5d.

He had been a builder, and attributed his failure to lack of capital, restritions on building, bad weather, delay in completing work, and ill health. He was now employed as a solicitor's managing clerk, and agreed with the Assistant official Receiver (Mr Charles S Foulsham) that through the lack of building experience, together with the fact that the trade was too onerous for him to undertake, he found himself in his present position.

Mr Foulsham: I believe that you are willing to offer som money out of your present salary, for the benefit of your creditors? Debtor replied that he was now receiving a salary of £13 a week, and was willing to pay £10 a month, commencing in June. His offer was accepted."

02 Jun 1950 £2,650 Beauty Bill South London Observer
"The 'beautifying Bermondsey' project meant that 150 trees, 3,500 shrubs and 83,000 plants - worth £2,650 had to be raised at the council's horticultural nursery at Fariby Grange, during the past year. In the same period 373 trees were planted in Bermondsey to replace those destroyed by the bombing. A joint garden scheme between the new Henley Close estate and St Mary's Garden Rotherhithe has created an almost rural atmosphere in this highly industrialised area."

09 Jun 1950 Sale of Crops Kentish Express
Advert for sale of growing crops of cherries at Cherry Orchard Farm, Hartley for C G Campkin (5½ acres); and Manor Farm, Hartley for Mrs Warren (1½ acres)

14 Jun 1950 Cricket: Hartley CC v Old Williamsonians Chatham Standard
At Hartley on Saturday, the Old Boys won by 102 runs. Details:

Old Williamsonians 166 for 6 declared (wicket takers: Cooper (3), Christie (1), Crouch (1), Kingston (1)

Hartley 64 all out (G Kingston 3, C Ellerby 0, T Crouch 8, E Harris 7, H Christie 11, D Tindley 6, P Hicks 5, A Brooks 0, C Cooper 15*, P Shepperson 0, R Hatton 1, Extras 8).

01 Jul 1950 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Conservative fete at Old Downs raised £150, two-thirds for party funds. Opened by owner Mrs Stickland

15 Jul 1950 Hartley Cottage for Sale Gravesend Reporter
"Hartley Kent - Overlooking the Village Green. Prall and Prall will offer for sale by auction at Dartford on Wednesday 26th July 1950 at 3pm precisely, the charming detached 17th century brick and flint thatched cottage known at Hartley Cottage, Hartley Green, occupying a high position about 700 ft above sea level. About ½ mile mainline station and easily accessible London, Schools and all travelling facilities. 3/4 bedrooms, Lounge with old brick fireplace, Dining Room, Modern bathroom, Kitchen. Skilfully improved and retaining old world character. Old exposed beams and timbers. Pretty, secluded gardens, including lawns, fruit, shrubberies and flower beds, in all ¾ acre. Company's electricity and water. Freehold, vacant possession. Illustrated particulars and conditions of sale from the solicitors Messrs Baily & Goff, 55 Spital Street, Dartford. The auctioneers: Messrs Prall and Prall, 53 Spital Street, Dartford."

15 Jul 1950 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Dartford RDC Planning Committee
The Hut, Fairby Lane, rated as a dwelling since 1938, let since 1940 to a number of tenants, one has since got a building licence and another a council house. Bought with Leslie Cottage, Ash Road in Aug 1949 by J R T Mawson, he was told by the vendor it was a dwelling. Council ruled he could keep letting it out, provided tenants don't use it as a 'lever' with RDC for building licence or for council houses. Not to be let to families with children.

Bow Arrow Hospital, Dartford
Wanted for tuberculosis wards there - Ward Sisters SRN £375-500 pa full time, 3/6 per hour part time. Staff Nurses £315-415 pa F/T, 2/11 per hour PT. Enrolled Assistant Nurses £285-385 pa F/T, 2/8 per hour P/T. Also TB supplment of £30 pa for F/T.

09 Aug 1950 Cricket: Hartley CC v Medway Insurance Offices Chatham Standard
"A well judged catch by R Prudence from the last ball of the match bowled by Baker gave victory to the Medway Insurance Offices bby 45 runs. Batting first the visitors lost their first 3 wickets for 10 runs. A good stand by Ruzzak and Light, however, pulled the game round and the visitors reached a total of 134 runs. Despite a good partnership between Christy and Moore, Hartley Country Club were dismissed in an hour and a quarter for 89 runs."

Medway Insurance: 134 all out (wicket takers - Christie 2, Withers 2, Homewood 1, Naylor 1, Applegate 1, Cooper 1)

Hartley CC 89 all out (Cooper 8, Shepherson 6, Naylor 0, Hamilton 5, Christy 26, Moore 17, Homewood 13, Applegate 4, R Withers 0, M Withers 0, Hatton 0*, Extras 10)

17 Aug 1950 The Garden (Advert) South London Observer
"Have Greenhouse protection without a greenhouse; do Potting without Pots; illustrated booklets post free - Coles, Grosvenor, Church Road, Hartley, Dartford."

11 Aug 1950 Local News in Brief Kent & Sussex Courier
Corgi puppies for sale, Denning, 4 Hoselands View

04 Oct 1950 Drove 'In Unlawful Position' Chatham Standard
"The driver of a motor assisted pedal cycle, who was said to have fallen from his machine in the path of an overtaking car, causing it to brake and swerve, appeared at Chatham Magistrates Court, on Friday, for driving his machine in an unlawful position.

He was Lawrence Stephen Smith, of Skinner Street, Chatham, and he was fined £1 and a further 10 shillings for failing to comply with the conditions of his provisional licence.

Alec Edward Lyons, of Sun Hill, Fawkham, said that he was driving his van along New Road, Chatham, when defendant pulled out from a side road. He was carrying in his right hand a large petrol can, which seemed to get between his leg and the handlebars. 'He collapsed in front of me and I had to brake and swerve,' said the witness.

PC D H Moggie [1924-2009] said that defendant was the holder of a provisional licence, but he was carrying no 'L' plates on his machine. Smith was also ordered to pay £1 7s 6d costs."

27 Oct 1950 Local News in Brief Sevenoaks Chronicle
Dartford Cattle Market to be moved to Wednesdays including calves, pigs, poultry, rabbits

08 Jan 1951 Local News in Brief Times
Offer for sale of Merchants & Producers Ltd, dir Barry Richards

22 Jan 1951 Town Runs Short of Nurses Daily Herald
"Dartford, with more hospital beds than any other town in Britain, is running short of nurses. So many of them have influenza at West Hill Hospital, largest in the area, that the management is planning emergency running today. One fifth of the staff at two other large hospitals at Dartford have flu. Dulwich Hospital and St Giles Hospital, Camberwell have many nurses on the sick lists, but Acton Hospital has not had a case. A quarter of the workers at some Reading factories are ill, and in one large store more than half the staff is away. One chemist's shop has had to close. Three MPs are to ask questions about the flu epidemic in the Commons on Thursday. Bright Spot: fewer London policemen than usual are off duty through illness."

20 Jul 1951 Prompt Replies to a Broadcast Appeal Bucks Herald
"The subject of a broadcast appeal for witnesses - an accident on the Chesham Chenies Road on Saturday - has resulted in the death of 68 year old Gustavus Bramwell Ehrenborg of Little Gables, Bois Lane, Chesham Bois, in Amersham General Hospital on Monday morning. Professor Ehrenborg was walking at the time when he was involved in a collision with a motor cyclist, Frederick Albert Tomes of Hartley House Cottage, Hartley, Longfield, Kent [1923-2002]. At an inquest opened on Monday afternoon and adjourned until August 23rd the deceased was identified, and following the police message, broadcast immediately before the 8am news on Tuesday morning, 3 replies were received within 1¾ hours."

Sad Death of an Aged Professor Bucks Examiner 31.8.1951

Report of inquest on Gustavus Ehrenborg.... "Telling his story of the accident, the motorcyclist, Frederick Albert Tomes, a 28 year old gardener, of Hartley House Cottage, Hartley, Longfield, Kent, said he was riding towards Chesham on his brother's machine, which was in perfect order, and was travelling at a speed of about 35mph before the accident occurred. As he rounded a bend he saw a man walking to the edge of the road from the gateway of a field on his nearside. The man stopped at the edge. Witness sounded his horn, but when he was 6 or 8 yards away the man walked straight across the road, at an angle towards him. The man was looking down at his walking stick. He walked quickly but not at all hurriedly. Witness applied his brakes hard, and swerved to avoid him. In so doing his front wheel went onto the verge and into the hedge, and his rear wheel swung round. It must, he said, have been the rear wheel which hit deceased. He could not at this time have been going at more than 5mph." Police said there was a skid 21 yards long, but Tomes said it was not his vehicle. Both police and deceased's brother said Prof Ehrenborg blamed himself because he was hard of hearing. Jury agree with coroner with verdict of misadventure.

03 Aug 1951 Local News in Brief Sevenoaks Chronicle
John Norton Free of Perseverence, Castle Hill (Brianne). Car crushed under lorry at traffic lights at Vigo Hill / bypass junction. His three passengers were injured and taken to Sevenoaks Hospital

10 Aug 1951 Local News in Brief Sevenoaks Chronicle
Further details of the road accident in paper of 3/8/51. Fire brigade had to jack up lorry to release car passengers, sadly one of them died in hospital too.

23 Oct 1951 Crofton Park Secondary School Prizegiving Lewisham Borough News
Review of year mentions "the third forms visited a most industrious small organisation, the Fawkham Valley Apiaries, where there are over 200 beehives. 'A few volunteers deliberately collected stings to study under a microscope. A few more wree collected involuntarily - they didn't get as far as the microscope."

14 Dec 1951 Local News in Brief Sevenoaks Chronicle
Kent Agricultural Executive demonstration of orchard renovation at Ambleside, Ash Road, by kind permission of Mr A E Edward (1886-1966) of Meadcot, Ash Road.

31 Dec 1951 Local News in Brief Dartford Rural District Bulletin
This newsletter was published about every 3 months by the council. In 1951 they mention (1) Hartley Art Circle have offered to design a village sign for Hartley; and (2) Mr J W Rich of 11 Merton Avenue won 3rd prize in the Hartley, Longfield and Fawkham section of the Well Kept Gardens Competition.

05 Jan 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Obituary of Thomas Hockley: "A former resident of Hartley, Mr Thomas Hockley, died at Teignmouth, Devon, last week. He lived in Hartley for 23 years and was in business as a haulage contractor…. He was a member of the Hartley Country Club and in the early part of the war served in the Home Guard. He moved to Devon about 9 years ago. A widow, 2 sons and 2 daughters are bereaved. A brother, Mr Fred Hockley, is one of the oldest members of the Hartley Country Club."

05 Jan 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Obituary of Harry Dalton (82) of Cross House, Fawkham. He "was a remarkable old man. In his younger days he was a keen cricketer, and actually took up tennis at the age of 60! He had lived in the house where he died for 60 years and spent all his working life on the Fawkham Manor Estate. He was born at nearby West Yoke, Ash. For over 40 years he was the sexton of Fawkham Church... He was a member of Hartley Country Club and the local branch of the Oddfellows Society..."

05 Jan 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Rev S H Broughton, rector of Longfield is leaving in April due to ill health.

07 Mar 1952 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
KCC added Old Downs as residential home for 25 elderly ladies and matron. Rev Henderson to be chaplain

14 Mar 1952 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Longfield exchange goes automatic, replacing equipment installed in 1925. Now 465 subscribers

14 Mar 1952 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Hartley PC (1) KCC has removed dangerous overhanging tree at Hoselands Hill and others in area. (2) Footpaths to be signposted. (3) Hartley Green cut up by vehicles turning. (4) Ash Road opposite Hoselands Green said to be bad in poor weather. (5) Only 2 members of public at annual parish meeting that followed PC meeting.

21 Mar 1952 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Sudden death of John William Lewis, farmer (59) of Gorsewood Farm. Collapsed in sitting room, natural causes

21 Mar 1952 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Funeral of Fred Wise (80) of 107 Croxted Road, but of Hartley for 35 years.

29 Mar 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Ash and Hartley PCs to meet over disputed boundary Highlands - Appledore, Ash Road

11 Apr 1952 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
KCC Dartford Rural East election: F Goodwin (Con) 1805; G Mellor (Lab) 1470

26 Apr 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Parish Council Elections. Ash no election (7 candidates for 7 seats), Fawkham no election (4 candidates for 5 seats), Hartley (8 candidates for 7 seasts W Ball; AE Edward; DS Hill, CS Jenman; J Phillips; FC Robertson; W Sprenger; JF Tate)

02 May 1952 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
WI thriving with increased membership. Hall built by former members; kitchen recently redecorated and they hope to redecorate changing room

10 May 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Roman stonework found at the base of the tower of Ash Church

10 May 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Advert: H T Cracknell, Taxi Service, Church Road, Hartley

17 May 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley PC (1) Rev Hendeson has applied to close the Churchyard, as PC has already adopted the Burial Acts, they decided to enquire further; (2) Complaint from Miss Lowe that footpath leading from Gorse Way to Gorsewood Road has been wired off. PC to write to owner A H Thompson, although it is not an official footpath. (3) Resident of Hottsfield requested road sign, council didn't want too many "non rural" signs but told residents they could make one themselves.

17 May 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Marriage at Ash of Alfred William Cook of [Weybourne] Church Road and Dorothy May White of 5 Larksfield

23 May 1952 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Discovery of Lullingstone Villa

24 May 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
"Far from the Madding Crowd: When I get old I would like nothing better than to lie in a place like the 'Old Downs' Hartley (pictured), and enjoy the same homely atmosphere as the 38 men and women who live in this home for old people.

Last week I was conducted around this chaming residence by the matron, Miss Lawes, and was astonished at the vitality of the residents.

There was Mrs Field (affectionally known as Sarah)who would be the life and soul of any party with her keen sense of humour and happy disposition. When getting ready for her photograph to be taken, she insisted that they took her cardigan off. Apparently so many gentlemen in the room made her hot and bothered!

Although she is 98 years old, she does not wear spectacles except for reading, and 'likes a bit of sky larking'. Her favourite books by the way are love stories.

Mrs Field (pictured) was born in Tunbridge Wells, but spent some time in Brighton, where she said with a twinkle in her eye 'I had quite a time when I was young'.

Then were was Mrs and Mrs Crampton (pictured), aged 91 and 92 respectively, who have been married for 65 years on June 4th. A grander pair would be hard to find. 'Mary' was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and her husband 'John' spent 25 years in the Thames Division, Metropolitan Police Force.

Mr Crampton related the story of how he dived into the Thames to rescue a drowning lighterman. For this he received a certificate from the Royal Humane Society, which he has hanging on the wall of his bedroom, and of which he is justly proud.

There is Mrs Ware, who is 92 and Mrs Foreman 96. With the other 3 this makes a total of 469 years.

All 38 of the residents are just as pleasant and charming, and all seemed remarkably fit and well when I spoke to them.

Ther is no reason why they should not, because this house for old folks is a really beautiful place.

It was only opened in January, being the 8th opened since 1950, and the emphasis is on colour and brightness.

The bedrooms are of delicate pinks and blues, and over the windows, overlooking the spacious well kept gardens, gay curtains are tastefully arranged. There is nothing dowdy about Old Downs.

All the tranquil calm of the English countryside is to be found there, but the old folks are not bored. Outings are arranged and in the winter film shows will be given in the house.

Most of the residents are unable to walk very far, and when anyone gives any of them a ride in a car their joy knows no bounds.

If any reader has a car and is passing through the locality he could bring much happiness to an old soul, just to drive him or her around the lanes. It would be well worth it just to talk to some of these 'old timers'.

No restrictions are made in this house, and visitors are encouraged. the old folks are given a cup of tea in bed at 7.30 and breakfast in bed at 8.30am.

In the bright airy dining room they sit aound, four at a table, and enjoy their many comforts. Every table has flowers on it, and pictures hang on the wall.

I have been in many hotels but have never seen such charming surroundings and managed quite so efficiently.

IIn case you are thinking of packing your bages and catching the next bus to Hartley, let me remind you that Old Downs is for those who are unable to look after themselves and have noone to look after them.

There is a waiting list of 180, who are eligible to enter the home, so all you can do is to wait, and if you are as happy and cheerful as these residents when you are 90, you will have made no mean achievement." JJH

30 May 1952 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Death of Walter Wright of Melbourne, Main Road, Longfield (82) former clerk to HPC

30 May 1952 Sale of Crops Kentish Express
(Advert) "Agricultural Hall, Maidstone. Messrs E J Parker & Sons will conduct their sale of growing crops of Cherries etc at above on Tuesday 3rd July 1952 at 12 noon sharp:

5a 2r 0p at Cherry Orchard Farm, Hartley, Kent for C G Campkin esq

6a 0r 0p North Ash Farm, Ash near Wrotham, for J Ewbank, esq...."

31 May 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Death of Mrs [Mary A] Freeman of Old Downs, aged 96 (picture)

31 May 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Longfield PC to ask for anti-glare lights by railway bridge, following complaints by drivers.

31 May 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Boundary of Hartley and Ash: "….. Arrived at by Dartford Rural District Council on Tuesday, the matter is to go to the County Council for adjudication.

The minutes of the General Purposes Committee before the Rural Council contained a report on a meeting at Ash between representatives of the two parish councils and it was stated taht the report had been submitted to the two village authorities for their observations.

The report stated that Councillor F Tanner, who presided, told the Ash meeting that the Rural Council had suggested that some 17 properties with a total rateable value of £286, in an area south of the Black Lion, Hartley, should be transferred from Ash to Hartley.

The representatives of both parish councils then debated the proposals and counter proposals and stressed the need for community of interest to be maintained.

Ash members stated that if the original proposal of the rural council was put into effect it would cause unecessary hardship to them in the loss of properties and rateable value.

It would appear from the evidence that was offered, Councillor Tanner reported, that both councils had investigated the proposals with commendable thoroughness and each presented an equally good case.

Having regard to the relevant factors - which included community of interest, rateable value, enabling a parish boundary which could be easily recognised and defined, welding a parish into a homogeneous unit and the known wishes of the population - it appeared that the most satisfactory solution would be for the district council:

1. To adopt their original proposal with regard to the area south of the Black Lion and that this should be transferred from Ash to Hartley.

2. To transfer New House Farm and 2 cottages and other houses from Hartley to Ash. In order to avoid unnecessary administrative difficulties it was suggested that the boundary line should run behind the properties on the north west side of Church Road.

Letters from both parish councils wer read to the rural council on Tuesday. Ash agreed to the recommendation contained in the report.

Hartley expressed surprise and it was stated that their members considered them illogical and not a correct representation of the facts as they existed.

In addition, the Hartley letter enclosed a petition signed by 30 residents objecting to the proposals. Any [.......] any justification they stated and the rural council was asked not to proceed with the transfer to Ash parish.

Councillor A E Edward said the people of Hartley were genuinely concerned about the transfer and it was a matter which required very careful consideration before they went to the county and recommended that part of Hartley should be transferred to Ash.

After a considerable discussion, a motion for the reference back of the matter was defeated and it was agreed that the County Council should be asked to adjudicate in the matter."

31 May 1952 Cost of Living Gravesend Reporter
Advert for Market Stores 13-14 Milton Road, Gravesend. Includes 4 packets of soap powder 1s (normally 2s), Hartley's Garden Peas 1/4 per tin, tinned tomatoes 1s per tin, 1lb Marmalade 1s, Penguin Chocolate Biscuits 3½d each, Heinz Mayonnaise 1/6 per jar, Airwick 3/6 per bottle, ½lb Cream Cheese 1/10, Luncheon Meat 1/7 per tin. Advert of 14.6.1952 in Reporter included Kit-e-Kat 1s per tin; Colgate and Gibbs Toothpaste 1/6 or 2/3; Cream Crackers 11½d per half pound box; sweet biscuits 10d per half pound; peanut butter 2s per jar

[Actually they seem more expensive than today. Bank of England Inflation Calculator says prices have increased 30 fold 1952-2021, so one shilling is the equivalent of £1.50 today, but of course the size of the tins is not given here.]

07 Jun 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
"Eamonn Andrews Captivated by Kentish Beauty Spot: What more beautiful site for their annual fete could the Hartley Roman Catholics have found than the daisy covered meadows and the spreading orchards of the Carmelite Friary, Church Road?

But unfortunately the sun did not shine. There were several heavy showers and the grass soon became wet and slippery.

Mr Eamoonn Andrews, the well known radio and television star, who opened the fete humorously refered to the weather and said 'The Carmelites have control of a lot of things, but they have not yet got control of the heavens!'

After telling a number of stories in his familiar Irish brogoe, he said how he envied the local people their Kentish beauty spot.

His advice to everyone present was to 'put their hands deep in their pockets, but not to keep them there!'

Father O'Neill, who had formerly introduced the popular star, called him back to receive a presentation which in the excitement had been forgotten. Mildred Hodgkinson (aged 11) of St Joseph's Convent had the thrill of presenting him with a picture..... " (details of organisers' names, stalls and events). [Also in Dartford Chronicle with pictures 6/6/1952]

07 Jun 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
A H Thompson writes to refuse access between Gorse Way and Gorsewood Road (see 17/5)

21 Jun 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease at Slade Green, Gravesend now in infected area

21 Jun 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
No services at All Saints Church due to repair work as a result of death watch beetle and woodworm

05 Jul 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
"Death of former chairman of Dartford Rural Council: Well known in Hartley for many years, Captain Charles S Bignell died at Beckenham Hospital on Friday. In his early days, Captain Bignell had a successful business career in China. He served in the 1948-18 War, and while an officer in the King's Own Scottish Borderers was badly wounded in France. About 30 years ago he came to Hartley. He was a member of the Dartford Rural District Council from 1930 until 1947, whien he retired for health reasons, and was Chairman of the council from 1941 until 1945. During the last war Captain Bignell was sub -controller of Civil Defence in the Dartford Rural Area. For a number of years he wasw a member of the local Parish Council. For his war services he was awarded the OBE. He took an active part in the formation of the new Hartley Country Club and had a large share in the success of the social and also the sporting side of thsi popular venture. He was Hon Secreatry of the Club for enearly 20 years, and on his retirement was presented with a handsome cheque by the members. Captain Bignell was in his 70th year. He wife died over 7 years ago and he later suffered a second bereavement by the death of his second daughter. Two other daughters are married and live in South Africa and Australia. For the past few years, owing to the state of his health, Captain Bignell had been confined to his house in Church Road, Hartley, and quite recently he was removed to a nursing home at Bormley.... (list of mourners)... Members of Dartford Rural Council paid a silent tribute to the memory of Captain Bignell at thei meeting on Tuesday morning. The Chairman, Mrs Kathleen Wood JP said Captain Bignell was a member of the council for a long time and he was also a past chairman - 'a very excellent Chairman'."

12 Jul 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Poor response for Civil Defence recruitment in Dartford Rural District. Only 116 of which 10 are from Hartley

12 Jul 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Miss Lane claims footpath between Gorse Way and Gorsewood Road has been used as of right by the public for 20 years. Council to investigate further

18 Jul 1952 Two Road Accidents Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"Two accidents in Tonbridge on Monday evening, within 15 minutes, resulted in damage but no personal injuries…. At 5.45pm near the Shipbourne Road - London Road junction, Mr A Shaw of 39 Mill Crescent, Tonbridge, was driving a van involved in a collision with a sports car driven by Nora M Morris of Friezland [Gorse Way], Hartley. Both vehicles were damaged."

26 Jul 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Game over 100 years old called "Dallums" still played at Vigo Inn. Nine skittles about 6 inches high are put on a table and player tries to knock them down with 3 wooden disks. If "29" felled in 3 goes landlord gives them a gallon of beer. Played as best of 5 legs.

28 Jul 1952 Local News in Brief Adelaide Southern Cross
10 bus road trip of 300 Roman Catholics to visit 10 shrines to St Mary will take in Hartley RC Church

02 Aug 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Dartford RDC support widening Fawkham Valley Road and adding a pavement from Fawkham to Longfield, and one immediately to Fawkham School.

09 Aug 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
P C Hewett, a civil servant of [Homefield] Ash Road, Hartley to become Gravesend Scout Commissioner. Been involved in scouting since the 1930s, first in Sidcup.

09 Aug 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Country Club Fete opened by Sir Waldron Smithers MP who spoke against what he claimed was the "spiritual and moral evil of socialism"

16 Aug 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Marriage of Brian Delf and Joan Penney

06 Sep 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Auction of Fairhaven, Manor Drive 3b 2r 1bath, detached garage and 6 acres of arable land, agents Prall and Prall

27 Sep 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Marriage of Fay Baker of Kent Road, Longfield to Albert Rich of 11 Merton Avenue (picture)

27 Sep 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Public Enquiry concerning compulsory purchase application by the Dartford Rural District Council for 1½ acres of land at Main Road, Longfield for 14 houses, owned by Trustees of Thomas Colyer. Tenants J J Barker object to loss of farmland. DRDC said only 18 houses built in Longfield since the war 1/64 of population compared with 1/37 for the rest of the district. They have 29 on the houisng waiting list in Longfield and 10 in Hartley. Land is in outer ring of Greater London Plan, which envisaged 5,000 eventually at Hartley, Longfield and New Barn.

11 Oct 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley PC - J S Phillips resigns due to business commitments. A E Edward coopted

18 Oct 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Meeting to form Hartley (C) Company of Dartford Home Guard at Social Club. Disappointing turn out

01 Nov 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley Young Conservatives win tennis tournament at Orpington

08 Nov 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Telephone subscribers at Southfleet present Mrs J Knight, sub-postmistress with cheque for £41 3s 6d for many years' service before the recent automatic exchange.

08 Nov 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Gravesend Conservatives aim for 10,000 members in the constituency

15 Nov 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley PC noticeboard from top of Hartley Hill found in wood

29 Nov 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Retirement of Alice Whiffen (78) postmistress of Ash for 34 years

27 Dec 1952 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley Players' membership has risen from 65 to 90 over the past year

31 Dec 1952 Local News in Brief Dartford Rural District Bulletin
This newsletter was published about every 3 months by the council. In 1952 they mention (1) one in five private houses is owned by the council, but they announce they are prepared to sell them, will loan money for purchase; (2) Money raised for Lymouth Disaster Fund included Hartley (£30 15s), Ash (£11 2s 7d), Fawkham Church & PC (£36 10s) and Longfield (£15 14s 1d) overall rural district raises £500; (3) Winners of Well Kept Gardens competition in Aged Persons category were 1st Mrs A Rickwood of 1 Hoselands View and 2nd Mrs M Marks of 13 Hoselands View; and (4) articles about Hartley Civil Defence and Hartley Players

03 Apr 1953 Local News in Brief Bucks Herald
Marriage of (Ronald H) Peter Shepperson of [Doverhay] Church Road, Hartley to June Tomes of Wingrave (picture)

12 Jun 1953 Sale of Crops Kentish Express
"Agricultural Hall, Maidstone. Tuesday 16th June 1953 at 12 o'clock. Messrs E J Parker & Sons will sell by auction at above the following growing crops of cherries:

5a 2r at Cherry Gardens, Hartley, Longfield for C F Campkin esq

1a 2r at Hartley Court, Longfield for G B Youard esq...."

[As regards Mr Youard's land there is a similar advert in the Kentish Express 11.6.1954]

01 Jul 1953 Local News in Brief Times
Auction of Longfield Court, 2 cottages and 28 acres

21 Aug 1953 Local News in Brief Kent & Sussex Courier
Marriage of Phyllis Parrett of Yew Tree Cottage to John Corscaden of Hawkhurst (living in St Albans in 2014)

31 Dec 1953 Local News in Brief Times
Obituary of Francis Colin Minnett (1890-1953) MRCVS, Director of Animial Health Trust's Farm livestock research station at Houghton Grange. Qualified at Vet in London and Paris, Royal Veterinary Corps 1914-24. Royal Veterinary College 1924-1939. Posts in India and Pakistan 1939-1949.

31 Dec 1953 Local News in Brief Dartford Rural District Bulletin
This newsletter was published about every 3 months by the council. In 1953 they mention (1) New Village Sign for Hartley unveiled; (2) Rates to be 17s 7¾d in the pound for Kent County Council, 2s 8¼d for DRDC, plus parish rates - Hartley 2d, Longfield 8d + 4d special rate, Ash 4d, Fawkham 2d; (3) Article about vision for future of Hartley

04 Mar 1954 Local News in Brief Times
Local authorities fail to agree on development plans for area

14 May 1954 More Work for Preservation Committee Kentish Express
"Enough overspill in county. Freer building has made more work for the Committee for the Preservation of Rural Kent who welcome any news of proposed building or tree felling. The County Council now consults the committee more frequently and about 20 cases are dealt with each month.

The committee's annual report says they support the KCC in opposing development at Edenbridge and in the Hartley-Longfield area, as both sites are just outside the green belt; and reception areas should be far enough from London not to urbanise the country round it. New or expanded towns should not be dormitories. The Committee thinks London 'overspills' at Ashford, Aylesham, Sheerness, Sittingbourne, Snodland and Tonbridge are sufficient...."

21 May 1954 Council Election Results Kentish Express
Dartford Rural District: Longfield - W M Baker (Lab) 264, A Adams (Cons) 251 Lab Gain (also gained Horton Kirby). Ridley - A R Lucas (ind - unopposed). State of Council: Cons 9 (-2), Lab 9 (+2), Ind 1(-)

Dartford Borough Labour 19 (+1), Dartford Residents and Ratepayers' Assn 3 (-2), Cons 2 (+1). Gravesend Borough: Cons 25 (-), Lab 6 (-), Ind 1 (-). Northfleet Lab All seats (+3), Ratepayers 0 (-3).

03 Jun 1954 Local News in Brief Times
Will of FC Minnett

10 Aug 1954 Local News in Brief Minesota Star Tribune
"Cinders, a black poodle owned by Mrs Heather Venus, will in few years' time be able to curl up on a rug made from its own hair clippings. Mrs Venus, who started spinning 2 years ago gets about 1¼ lb of hair from the dog each year." [Presumably Margaret Elizabeth Venus 1913-2001 of Hamilton, Church Road, is meant]

15 Aug 1954 Local News in Brief Sunday People
Mr A O'Hara of 1 Thames View, Church Road, writes to say he pulled up a tomato plant that had wire worm only for his 5 year old son to bring it to him the next day, saying it had escaped from the stake it was tied to. (Gardening Laughs section) [Alfred George O'Hara 1890-1960]

21 Aug 1954 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Albert Humphey (78) of Rochford, Church Road one of the most popular members of Stone Floral Society, founder member in 1947, he had been Longfield Postmaster for many years, Keen gardner but most of his 1¼ acre garden is orchard

25 Sep 1954 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Bus timetable changes to improve connections at Longfield station - on Sundays the 19:09 and 20:43 from Longfield to Hartley Court and 19.56 from Hartley Court to Gravesend will run 2 mins earlier. Also the 423D route from Watchgate to Wilmington via Dartford will be renumbered 477 for Littlebrook Power Station to Wilmington route.

25 Sep 1954 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
"The Beech Trees of Hoselands Hill

Many residents of Hartley will this autumn miss the golden glory of the beech trees on Hoselands Hill for the trees, long noteworthy, possibly even dangerous, with their gnarled roots protruding from the chalky sub-soil of the banks, have been felled to make room for further road widening on the bend.

And now these roots, like giant teeth, are being extracted.

Yet, the felling of the trees tis not without compensation, for it opens up a wide and beautiful vista, loking toward the river across the Longfield valley.

These old and lovely beeches did not alway project so closely on the road, for the hill was previously widened in the 1920s, before which it was a pleasant country lane.

A well known historian of the village wrote in 1927 ' Hoselands Hill in the past, if steep to climb was pleasing to the eye, but road improvement has shorn it of nearly all its picturesqueness.'

But he conceded that road widening and cutting down trees were necessary to meet the requirements of 'modern' traffic.

It seems, therefore, that earlier than 1927 there wre traffic problems on the hill. It is clear that even then there was much heartburning over the need for spoliation of the country lanes, for the annual parish meeting in March 1954 is reported to have forwarded to the Dartford Rural District Council a resolution strongly opposing the construction of a main road through the village of Hartley.

Apparently in 1924 the approach to Hartley must again be widened. What will happen in another 30 years?"

25 Sep 1954 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley Social Centre announces a varied programme for the next three months. Each event costs 3s 6d or 2s 6d for pensioners. President: Frank Tanner; Secretary: Miss Day.

02 Oct 1954 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Local farmworkers call for £7 a week to make ends meet

16 Oct 1954 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Planning decision not to allow Mr Billings to build on 114 acres but would allow him to build the road on 6½ acres at Old Downs; minister "not satisfied a need has been shown sufficient to justify a departure from the submitted development plan". Will allow development on the Old Downs area because this is shown for housing in the plan. Minister says decision now does not prejudice any future applications for the land.

16 Oct 1954 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley PC: (1) Trees to be planted at Hoselands Hill where the road has been widened; (2) Complaints of variable water pressure in Gorsewood Road and Gorse Way; (3) Concerns that path between Gorsewood Road and Merton Avenue is being blocked by bulding development; (4) Concerns about condition of pond. KCC said it must be cleaned by hand and not digger; (5) Van has knocked off arm of sign at junction with Church Road

12 Nov 1954 £60 Fine and 3 Year Ban after Crash Kentish Express
"[NAME], 20, of Fawkham, bought a motorcycle for £140, rode it to Maidstone and left it in a carpark. When he went for it, the machine was missing. With 2 youths on it, the motorcycle had crashed between Maidstone and Rocheter an £110 damage was done. The driver, David K Hogben (1936-2003), 18, of 66 Catherine Street, Rochester, and the pillion rider, [NAME], 20 of 26 King Street, Rochester, were returning home after going to Maidstone on another motorcycle, which they abandoned.

At Chatham on Monday, Hogben was fined a total of £40 and disqualified from driving for 3 years for taking the machine wihtout consent and driving while unlicensed and uninsured. Finch was fined £15 for aiding. Newxt day they appeared on similar charges at Maidstone and were fined £20 10s and disqualified for a year. Asking for time to pay, Hogben said he had no money. The Chairman, Mr C G Larking (referring to Hogben's sstatement that he took the motorcycle after going to a dance): 'Instead of going to dance halls, you can work to get this money. You have a month to pay.' Finch, who was injured when the machine crashed and has not worked since, was also given a month to pay."

17 Dec 1954 Woman Admits 100 Offences West London Observer
"The widow of a Flight Lieutenant who went unscathed through the war as a fighter pilot, but was killed in a motorcycle race in Ireland in 1949 pleaded guilty at West London on Friday to 100 offences of obtaining, or attempting to obtain goods worth £134 from Messrs Harrods Stores, Knightsbridge by using fictitious names.

The widow, Mrs Edith Louise Phillips [1913-1996], 40 of Hasbro, Longfield Avenue, Longfield, Kent was fined a total of £12 and ordered to pay £6 6s costs on 3 charges of false pretences. She asked for 97 other similar offences to be taken into consideration.

Mr A J G Hardwicke, prosecuting, said that during the past 12 months the widow had paid 6 visits to this Knightsbridge store. She had gone to as many as 20 different departments on each visit and bought a great number of small articles. She had them entered to the accounts of people who were purely fictitious. One could not say, added Mr Hardwicke, how many different counters she must have visited in order to work up the grand total of £134 11s 9d in 6 visits. Mr Hardwicke said it was a career which had, sooner or later, to end in detection. When questioned, she admitted her guilt and added, 'Someone did it on my account, and I thought it was very easy. I have done it for a long time.' Saying that the widow had returned over £89 worth of the goods in an unused condition, Mr Hardwicke added that only she could say what she was doing hoarding them up.

After telling the magistrate (Mr J L Pratt) how the woman's husband had been killed in a motorcylce race, Mr T H Church, defending, said that she lived with her 2 children and elderly parents on an income of about £125 a year."

11 Feb 1955 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Thomas Derek Hemesley (24) [Probably 1930-2017] fined £3 and £6 costs for careless driving at Whitehill Crossroads, Longfield, where a cyclist was knocked off their bike

08 Apr 1955 County Council Election Kentish Express
Dartford Rural East result: W Simmons (Con) 2,126 (66.5%) G Mellor (Lab) 1,071 (33.5%). No change. Swing Lab > Con 5.7%

Labour hold Dartford Rural West, Dartford East, Dartford West

20 May 1955 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Lawrence Flury (25) [1929-2007], fitter and turner, of Castle Hill fined £8 with £4 costs for 5 traffic offences, including driving his motorbike for years without a full licence, following accident at Westwood Crossroads, Bean

21 May 1955 Local News in Brief Times
Profile of Dartford Constituency for election made much closer by boundary changes. The safe Labour area of Erith and Crayford is removed, partly compensated by addition of Swanscombe. However 25,000 Conservative leaning voters have been added from the Dartford Rural District. Labour's current MP for Dartford, Norman Dodds, chose to fight the safer Erith and Crayford, so the seat is a battle between Sidney Irving (Labour) and Peter Walker (Conservative)

22 Jul 1955 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Four youths (named, 3 from Longfield, one from Ash Road, Hartley) fined £10 each plus £3 costs for disturbance at Hartley Social Club Dance. 17 year old from Essex Road took microphone and said "This is the Longfield Gang, if you want trouble you can have it." Frank James Crouch (1907-1993), club vice-president, and another were assaulted.

22 Jul 1955 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Two youths from Essex Road fined for using obscene language at Station Road, Longfield (one was also charged with the Social Club Assault above)

03 Aug 1955 Local News in Brief Shields Daily Echo
Florence Galt of Briars Way (35) (1920-1994) has triplets to add to brother and sister at West Hill Hospital

13 Aug 1955 Local News in Brief Meath Chronicle
15 minute RTE radio programme about Our Lady of Hartley RC Church.

04 Sep 1955 Local News in Brief Sunday People
"Firemen are keeping continuous watch on 60,000 gallons of waste peanut oil blazing in a refuse pit at Brickfield Farm, Longfield, Kent. Flames leaped 60 ft above the pit, oil exploded and 6 cottages were threatened."

04 Sep 1955 Oil Fire 'Will Burn for Days' Weekly Despatch
"60,000 gallons of waste peanut oil was burning itself out in a refuse pit at Brickfield Farm, Longfield, Kent, last night, while firemen kept watch. The pit suddenly flared up during Friday night and flames leapt 60 feet high. Loud bangs occurred as drums of oil exploded. At one time, six houses called Mabel Cottages, were threatened. Crowds thronged to the fire. Police had to clear roads to let traffic through. 'Tankers from London have been tipping the oil in for weeks,' said [NAME 1], a member of Longfield Parish Council. 'The fire is expected to burn for days yet. My wife [NAME 2] has been making tea for the firemen and I carry it up to them all day.'"

22 Sep 1955 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
[NAME] of Cherry Down, Hottsfield fined £2 for fare evasion. She got on at Longfield but told ticket collector at Bromley South she had come from Swanley and so was issued with a return from there. Plaform staff at Longfield asked for return excess fare when she got back to Longfield, but she would only pay a single claiming she had bought a single at Swanley when she changed trains there. Longfield staff checked and Swanley said they had not issued such a ticket.

22 Sep 1955 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Hartley Young Conservatives - 50 members attend annual dinner dance. Chairman [NAME]

10 Nov 1955 15 in a Car.. And the Dog Came too Daily Herald
"The police inspector gulped when he saw 52 year old Leslie Woodward driving a landrover along a Gravesend street. For there were 14 women piled in the car and a big labrador dog curled up on the bonnet. Woodward, a farmer of Longfield, Kent, yesterday told Gravesend Magistrates that the women were workers on his farm whom he was taking home after his 5 ton lorry broke down. He said he often took as many as 20 passengers in his landrover when driving on the farm. A charge of carrying an excessive number of passengers was dismissed, but Woodward was fined £5 for not being in a position to retain a full view of the road ahead."

04 Jan 1956 Local News in Brief Times
Marriage of Michael Philip Kelly (son of Mrs Mason) [of Hartley House, Ash Road] to Elizabeth Cullen of Oundle

18 May 1956 County Council Briefs Kentish Express
"A Medway Water Board proposal for a borehole at Fawkham to pump up to 2,500,000 gallons daily is being opposed."

02 Jun 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
John Neary of Church Road fined £2 for defective silencer on his car at Miskin Road, Dartford. Had been driving since 1927 with only 1 conviction - for speeding.

13 Jul 1956 Church Garden Fete at Hartley Dartford Chronicle
"Record number of entries in flower show - In wonderful weather, a gay and happy crowd thronged the garden of the Rectory for the recent annual fete and flower show. The Rector, the Rev J W Henderson, warmly welcomed Mrs L Andrus of Scadbury House, Southfleet, who formally decleared the fete open. Mrs Andrus is no stranger to the village, having been a member of the church for many years when she lived at Hartley Court.

The stalls were well stocked, much of the handwork having been done by members of Mothers' Union and Girls' Friendly Society. In addition there were many side shows nad amusements, including pony rides and swings. Scouts did good business in 'hot dogs' cooked in camp fire style. The boys also provided music and dealt with announcements. A delightful feature was the children's fancy dress parade organised by Miss Audrey Payne. Mrs Andrus was the judge. The class for the most attractive costume was won by [NAME] (Robin Hood); with [NAME] (Bo Peep) 2nd. The class for a fancy dress made for less than 2s 6d was won by [NAME] (Ladybird) with [NAME] (witch) 2nd.

For those who enjoy a more formal parade there was a fine display by the bandof the Gravesend Sea Cadet Corps under their officer Lt D R Jennings RNVR. The cadets performed the ceremony of hoisting their colour and later in the afternoon they 'Beat the Retreat' and marched through the village.

A great attraction at this fete always is the show of fruit, flowers and vegetables. This was beautifully staged in the marquee. Dealing capably with a record number of 200 entries in the 44 different classes were the usual judges, Mr F C Robertson and Mr G Willsmore [1903-1971]. It was srange not to see also teh genial countenance of [NAME], but a cablegram received at the Rectory earlier in the day from Mr and Mrs Brown, who are now in Ontario, Canada, wishing the fete and show success and this was read by the Rector. [NAME] FRHS was the judge and the awards were as follows: ......" [Long list of winners]

20 Jul 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Eltham Crematorium opens on 17 August for Woolwich, Greenwich, Bexley, Dartford, Erith, Chislehurst, Crayford

27 Jul 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
"One of the most violent storms in living memory swept through the Darent Valley on July 18th", reports of flooding

28 Jul 1956 Read - Birth Clitheroe Advertiser
"A former resident of Read now living at Hartley in Kent, [NAME] gave birth to a daughter in an ambulance which was taking her during the night to a nursing home. She is the wife of [NAME] of Merryways, Ash Road, Hartley, who formerly resided in Hapton. [NAME] is very well known in the Burnley district as an elecutionist. The baby [NAME] is Mr and Mrs [NAME] second daughter. Ambulanceman Mr George Davies, he is 52, delivered the baby in the ambulance. His colleague and Mrs Dewhurst's husband assisted him. Mr Davies said later: 'Nothing to it.' He assisted at all the births of his own 12 children except one."

03 Aug 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Another local storm, with gales up to 70mph on Sunday 29 July. Thickly wooded areas of Fawkham and Longfield said to have suffered badly. Fallen tree on new house at Longfield Court Estate but not yet inhabited

08 Aug 1956 Lewisham Way Collision Lewisham Borough News
"There was a slight collision on August 2 in Lewisham Way near to the Marquis of Granby between an Austin motor lorry and a private saloon car, both of which were travelling towards London. The driver of the saloon car, Mr William Charles Smithers of Beauclerk House, Steatham, and Mr Leonard Edmett [1922-1984], a resident of Fawkham, Kent, the lorry driver, escaped injury."

10 Aug 1956 Building Plans in Two Villages Dartford Chronicle
"… Whether land at Old Rectory Meadow, Hoselands Hill, Hartley, should be developed was argued at a Dartford public enquiry on Thursday last week. [NAME] of Southfleet Avenue, New Barn, Longfield, who, after buying the land for more than £2,000 was told he could not develop it, was appealing against the decision. He proposed to build 35 houses with garages.

Dartford RDC refused permission on the ground that the site is included in the Kent Development Plan (Part B) 1953 in an area in which it is intended that the existing uses of lands hsall remain for the most part undisturbed, moreover, adequate provision is made in the plan for primarily residential development in close proximity to the site, and the development would be likely to cause inconvenience and danger to traffic.

The inquiry was conducted by Mr M C Bennett, and inspector of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Mr W Scrivens, counsel for Mr Chapman said the suggestion that that proposed development might cause incovenience and danger to trafffic was at least equally true of the other development allowed by the Rural Council on the hill. 'It seems unreasonable that there should be a rule for one side of the road, and another for the other. There is no consistency here.' complained Mr Scrivens.

The Clerk to the Rural Council, Mr J H Milburn, said it had been planned that Hartley and Longfield should be two separate villages. If the development was allowed, they would be joined up. Mr Brian F Kirby, Engineer and Surveyor of the council recalled two previous applications for planning permission in respect of the site, the first in 1946, the other in 1948. Both were refused he said. A planning assistant in the KCC Roads Department, Mr H V Pitman, said Hoselands Hill was a series of curves, with a 1 in 10 gradient down to the railway bridge. The appeal site was above the level of the road. The road was widened last year to make it safer. 'Nothing should be done to make it more dangerous or detract from the improvements,' he added. Another junction to bring traffic from the proposed estate onto the hill would be unsafe."

14 Sep 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Hartley WI Fete raises £55. Discussion whether to hold meetings in evening or afternoons, they choose evenings

21 Sep 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Hartley Parish Meeting agreed to raise £800 to pay for a new burial ground

21 Sep 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Dartford RDC will deal with surface water problem near the Black Lion and supply bin problem at War Memorial.

28 Sep 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Air Raid sirens to be tested

09 Oct 1956 Local News in Brief Times
Auction at Dartford of Fairby Grange and 2½a of land with outline planning permission

12 Oct 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Longifeld Parish Council complain of power outages every time there is a thunderstorm locally and persistent low voltage on Sunday lunchtimes and in the evenings

12 Oct 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Introduction of trolley phone service at Joyce Green Hospital. Donated by Friends.

15 Oct 1956 Local News in Brief Hartlepool Northern Echo
Large area of Kent as far as Tunbridge Wells blacked out for about an hour due to breakdown at Littlebrook Power Station

19 Oct 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Hartley PC complains to Kent Agricultural Committee of weed infested land near Larksfield.

19 Oct 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Kent County Council say kerbing of Hoselands Hill to be included in 1957/58 estimates

19 Oct 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Old Downs - KCC to put up sign after confusion caused by construction of Old Downs Road - people visiting home try to go down there.

26 Oct 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
[NAME] of Manor Drive fined £3 for speeding.

26 Oct 1956 Sunny Start for Queen's Visit to Medway Towns Kentish Express
"Thousands of people appreciated a gesture by the Queen during her first visit ot the three Medway Towns on one day on Wednesday. In bright sunshine, she declined a drive from Rochester Guildhall to the Cathedral, and walked in procession with the Mayor and Corporation to give the crowds a better view.

After being greeted by the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Cornwallis, and Lady Cornwallis, Her Majesty shook hands with Mr Frederick Kember 27, stationmaster at Meopham - his first appointment. The Queen also met civic leaders of Strood, Meopham and Gravesend. Outside the station the approaches were crowded with children. There little Susan Jackson, aged 8, daughter of the chairman of Meopham Parish Council, stepped forward and handed a bouquet to the Royal visitor.

All other traffic was barred as the Queen's maroon coloured Rolls drove into Rochester, slowing as it passed the many groups of people waiting to see the Queen. At Rochester Guildhall was the first of three rapid ceremonies at which the mayors and corporations of the Medway Towns were introduced to her majesty, who, at Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham, signed the visitors' books and autographed a portrait of herself to commemorate her visit.

Among those lining the route of the first five minutes' walk to the Cathedral were boys of the King's School, Rochester, Combined Cadet Force. The Procession was headed by the Principal Water Bailiff of the City of the City of Rochester, Mr W E Pattenden of Strood, and the Principal Mace Bearer, Mr R Pegg. Her Majesty walked beside the Mayor, Cllr W Wilkinson, who, at a council meeting earlier this month, deplored the fact that the Royal visit would take only 15 minutes.

Greeted at the Cathedral entrance by the Dean of Rochester, the Very Rev T Crick, the Queen paused inside, when, for the first time during the visit, the National Anthem was sung by the Cathedral Congregation, who had balloted for places inside. After signing the visitors' book, Her Majesty inspected the Textus Roffensis, which contains records of the Cathedral from the 12th century. Throughout her 15 minutes' stay in the Cathedral the bells rang.

Back to the royal car and off through the cheering crowds for a 10 minutes' visit to Chatham Town Hall. Then off again to the Gillingham Municipal Buildings for another civic reception.

When this was over, the Queen drove to Brompton Barracks for the main purpose of her visit - to spend time with the officers and men of the Corps of Royal Engineers, of which she is Colonel in Chief. Her visit coincided with two centenaries being celebrated this year by the Corps. In 1856 the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners became incorporated with the Corps of Royal Engineers, and in the same year the Corps Band was formed. At the Barracks, where she was met by the Chief Royal Engineer, Gen Sir Edwin L Morris, Her Majesty inspected a Guard of Honour of 100 men and 3 officers and afterwards spoke to 15 members of the RE Association and 12 warrant officers and sergeants. Among the RE Association members were two Kent men: the General Secretary, Mr J G Walker, of Pembroke Road, Bromley, and Capt J E Harraway of Cornwallis Avenue Gillingham. The Warrant Officers and sergeants included: WO1 A H Bottomley, of Roorkhee Road, Gordon Barracks, Gillingham; S/Sgt E R Pittaway of No 1 Block, Kitchener Barracks, Chatham; and Sgt L L Littlebury of Kirkee Terrace, Gordon Barracks.

Lunch in the mess was a simple meal, at Her Majesty's request. When it was over she visited Gordon Barracks where she watched a demonstration showing how the REs fact the challenge of modern warfare. Her Majesty showed great interest in the static exhibits, including a Robert Howe steam engine, built by Robert Howe and a party of sappers at the school of Military Engineering in 1823. In charge of the engine, still in working order and the oldest in the country, stood Cpl K Forrest, dressed in the uniform of the period. After studying other machines, the Queen was shown a working model of a military port and railway system and spent some time in a map reproduction lorry. Then, from a 30ft Royal Box, specially built by Sapper trainees from RE Brompton workshops, Her Majesty watched a half hour display of the Engineer's latest machines - bulldozers, excavators, minelayers and bridge builders.

After the display Her Majesty who was accompanied by Lady Margaret Hay, drove to Gillingham Station where the Royal Train was waiting to take her back to London. Among those with whom she shook hands before leaving was Maj Sir John Ferguson, Chief Constable of Kent.

What the Queen Wore
The smiling Queen was a slender figure in the new jewel colour emerald green. Her fitted velour coat had a wide black astrakhan collar and a full skirt, softly falling into unpressed pleats at the back. Her matching cossack hat was 'waisted' with a narrow black ribbon, ending in a small bow at the back. Her gloves, shoes and handbag were black. She wore three-strands of pearls, pearl earstuds and a coat ornament to match. Her bouquet was orange and yellow, the city of Rochester's colours.

Lady Margaret Hay, who accompanied her Majesty, was in a loosely flowinng coat of jewel blue, with a small hat of brightly shaded feathers, and black accessories."

02 Nov 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
50 attend Hartley and District produce council's Harvest Supper

09 Nov 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Dartford Cooperative Department Store opened

16 Nov 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Electrical fault causes South Darenth Air Raid Siren to go off, causing concerns given international situation

16 Nov 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Recent laying of gas mains in Hartley

23 Nov 1956 Local News in Brief West Sussex County Times
John Allen Harley of Horsham (1917-1989), commercial artist, married [NAME] of the Brew, Hottsfield at Fawkham Church (picture)

14 Dec 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Hartley WI Annual Meeting. Membership 78. Hall redecorated externally.

21 Dec 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
RC staff at Southern Hospital ordered by local priest fr A F Colburt, not to take part in the Nativity Play because the producers aren't Catholics

28 Dec 1956 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Day returns to London from Longfield (Fawkham) Station 6s 6d.

04 Jan 1957 Hartley Resident's Complaint KM - Gravesend Telegraph
"Dear Editor, I should like to call public attention to what is happening in this cul-de-sac off Ash Road, Hartley. Houses are being built and in order to get as many as possible in the area, beautiful trees (copper beech, lime, walnut, pine and fir) as well as evergreen shrubs, are being bulldozed out of the ground.

The Council for the Preservation of Rural England is constantly appealing to the public to respect the beauty of the countryside, and yet the powers that be have apparently given planning permission for this desecration to take place.

My wife and I came here 12 months ago, hoping to spend our few remaining years in rural seclusion and privacy. Alas for our dream!

At present density of building, it will not be many years before Hartley enjoys the dubious title of the most thickly populated area in Kent. As an example of the squeeze, one plot being marked out has a frontage to Ash Road of only 10 feet.

L A Hill, Kaye Cottage, Old Downs, Hartley, Dartford."

[Kaye Cottage is no 18 Old Downs, and is the one older house, being built about 1937. The house in Ash Road referred to is Drymen House, which has a narrow entrance but widens out.]

04 Jan 1957 Property for Sale KM - Gravesend Telegraph
McConnells of Dartford "Hartley (Gorsewood Road) - 80ft frontage in favoured residential area. Price £900 freehold, or would sell in single plots."

Coney estate agents of Hartley Bottom has for sale "Smallholding, Hartley. Bungalow 2 bedrooms, 2 reception, kitchen, bath, 7¼ acres; main water, electricity. Good outbuildings. Freehold £3,000"

05 Jan 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley PC (1) Burial Ground - loan from Public Works Loan Board complete. (2) Railways - council complains of late arrival of 5.42 ex Holborn Viaduct train at Longfield, meaning people miss the bus. BR blames weather conditions. (3) Buses - two buses leave Hartley Court about 8am in term time but the larger one is removed in the holidays, on day after Christmas this was too small, 3 were left at Hartley Court and no-one else could be picked up. (4) Roads - Dartford RDC asked for road name sign at Church Road junction and keep left sign at Stocks Hill. Secretary of Old Downs House says the Old Downs Road is causing confusion for visitors and delivery people. At request of Dartford RDC to name road of Gorse Way, council choose Briars Way.

05 Jan 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
"Christmas Tree at Hoselands View - Agisn this year, by the kindness and generosity of Mr W J Everard CBE, a huge Christmas tree was placed on the green verge at Hoselands View. When illuminated it added greatly to the festive appearance of the village. Residents have also reason to be thankful to Mr Everard for the spring, summer and autumn array of flowers which adorn the roadside outside his house."

05 Jan 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Christmas Services at All Saints all well attended. Church had miniature Nativity Scene of Stable and Crib. Gifts received for mothers and babies under the Tree. Miss Chisholm took Youth Club parties carol singing around the village raising £4 for NCH.

11 Jan 1957 Local News Roundup Gravesend Reporter
Big Gathering at Hartley WI Evening Meeting
"Hartley Women's Institute's decision to hold evening meetings after meeting in the afternoon for 36 years, looks like being a popular move. The January meeting was attended by nearly 60 members and potential members. Another new departure was that the meeting was made an open one and a number of husbands and friends were present." New committee: Mrs John Tate (president), Mrs Goodwin and Mrs Keen (vice-presidents), Mrs Callaby (Treasurer); Mrs M Nugent (handicraft), Mrs Underdown and Mrs Wickham (Drama), Mrs Goodwin (Music), Mrs Tate (produce), Mrs Durrant (home and international), Mrs Scully (magazines), Mrs Skeels (Trading Stall), Mrs D Bayne (outings), Mrs Brimble (refreshments)

Erratic Street Lighting - Longfield Complaint
Longfield Parish Council meeting. (1) "Mr W Atkins complained that the lamps went on and off at irregular intervals and some of them had not been on for several days." Council to write to SEEBOARD. (2) Rector said poor response to Hungarian appeal was down to small typewritten notices. (3) "The council is to hold a site meeting in Hartley Road to survey the streetlighting between the railway bridge and Main Road. Members think there should be better lighting now that the new bungalows are occupied."

Brownies Now
(Hartley) "The recently formed Girl Guide company is flourishing so well that Mrs Hewett is to open a branch of Brownies. The first meeting will be held in the Congregational Hall on Monday."

18 Jan 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Poultry for Sale
"Now booking. Rhode Island Red and Light Sussex pullets. Feb-May delivery - Hart, Laurels Poultry Farm, Manor Lane, Hartley, Dartford."

Hartley Naturalist Club
30 attend annual party.

Sirens to be tested today week
Air raid sirens will be sounded for test purposes in the Dartford Rural area on Friday week, January 25th. A steady note similar to the wartime 'Raiders passed' signal will be sounded for 60 seconds at Wilmington at 9.30am, at Swanley 10am, at Eynsford 11.30am [sic, probably 10.30am is meant], at West Kingsdown 11am and at Hartley 11.30am. This is part of a series of tests being made throughout the county to assess the audibility of sirens recently installed or overhauled."

19 Jan 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Bus service cuts force change of time for Ash WI meetings

01 Feb 1957 Hartley Bowlers will soon have new six rink green KM - Gravesend Telegraph
"The bowls section of Hartley Country Club held a dinner and dance in the club hall on Saturday. Over 100 members and friends attended. The president, Mr William Simmons, spoke of the good spirit of the section and said members looked forward to the completion of a new 6 rink green. The club had moderate success in the past year but everyone had a good time. Mr Simmons said it was a wse decision to form a ladies' section which was flourishing. The president paid warm tributes to the secretary, Mr H B Neale, the treasurer, Mr H Stay, Mr D E Sizer, captain and Mr E Tucker for all their work during the season. He also thanked the greenkeeper, Mr Woodward, for yeoman service in a season which was not too easy......"

02 Feb 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Picture feature on the 109 members of Hartley Country Club Bowls section.

02 Feb 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley PC (1) Rate to be 2d in the £, 1d general rate and 1d for burial ground. (2) Roads - KCC to be asked to turf off banks on Hoselands Hill, concerns about safety of school children if school coach slipped on ice.

08 Feb 1957 Motorcyclist Hurt KM - Gravesend Telegraph
"[NAME], 52 Symons Avenue, Chatham was taken to Gravesend and North Kent Hospital slightly injured on Saturday, after his motorcycle was in collision with a car at the Milton Road and Ordnance Road junction, Gravesend. The car was driven by Mr Arthur Witt, Tree Tops, Hartley."

09 Feb 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Petrol rationing said to have helped buses to run on time.

15 Feb 1957 Crufts Winner KM - Gravesend Telegraph
"Mr W A Ewbank, of Ash near Ridley, pictured with one of his young Lakeland Terrier puppies, Mr Ewbank won a championship at Cruft's Dog Show with one of his many Lakeland Terriers, 'Tindale Tax Inspector' ".

22 Feb 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
…And the Aunts came too!
"The present tenant of Hartley Court, near Gravesend, is a very charming lady from Louisville Kentucky. Mrs G Boys arrived in this country last October and will be staying for a year. She will leave Hartley Court at the end of March and spend her second 6 months in Oxford. I asked Mrs Boys the reason for her visit to England and she told me that her nephew was awarded a Ford Foundation Grant to study English industries and came here with his wife, 2 boys and 2 aunts. 'I am one of the aunts,' she explained. Mrs Boys was most enthusiastic about Hartley Court and about the Kent countryside. She thought it very similar to Kentucky where they have rolling fields and old stone walls. Her big regret was that they would be leaving Hartley before the blossom was at its most beautiful. You must come down from Oxford to see it, Mrs Boys. I promise you it will be well worth a visit!" Elsewhere in the paper there is a report of Mrs Boys's talk to All Saints' Mothers' Union, where she tells them that in America they have tea, coffee and cookies after services in the church parlour.

22 Feb 1957 Plan to Establish a well-balanced Kent KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Map at County Hall shows the shape of things to come.

"If you are worried about the new bypass running right through your back garden, a holiday camp being established next door, or a poster hoarding going up over the road, then the place to visit is the County Hall, Maidstone.

The County Planning Department have devised a relief map which is on show in the lobby. It gives full and up to date details of the County Council's development plans for Kent. Only this week officials were working on the map to include the latest information, so that when county councillors meet next week they will be able to see the latest plans for their town.

Pride of place and biggest flags on the map go to three towns which are described as urban areas large enough to support normal urban facilities, and occupationally well balanced. The residents of the Maidstone area, of Tunbridge Wells and Southborough, and of Sevenoaks can pride themselves on being the three districts which the council does not propose radically to alter. Maidstone and its surrounding area (including Snodland and West Malling) will increase in population from 87,000 to 117,000.

But the majority of towns - including Folkestone, Dover, Deal, the Thanet and Medway Towns, Whitstable and Herne Bay, Sittingbourne and Tonbridge, are listed as not being 'quite up to scratch.' The map hints darkly tha they 'require additional industries.' Queenborough and Sheerness (where the estimated increase in population is from 23,000 to 41,000) is described as an area occupationally well balanced, but not large enough to support facilities such as secondary schools.

And three areas, Ashford, Hartley and Longfield, and Aylesham, are scheduled for substantial extension.

Interesting to lovers of the countryside is the proposed maintenance of windmills, for which the county council will give some financial help - at Herne, Chillenden, Barham, Willesborough, Wittersham, Cranbrook and Keston. A large number of tree preservation areas are shown.

And an ominous dark green patch spreading across the North Downs, and the proposed Green Belt, shows the areas of great landscape value where strict rgulations are to be applied to any form of outdoor advertising. Proposed sites of those holiday camps appear at intervals of a few miles around the coast.

And finally, optimistically and brightly, the map shows the possible routes of bypasses which someone, in some future generation, may construct."

01 Mar 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Inquiry into Hartley Path
"A matter of dispute for years - A footpath which runs from St John's Lane to Socks Farm, Hartley, will be the subject of an inquiry on Monday. This was announced by Mr L U Judge, clerk to Hartley Parish Council, at the monthly meeting. The path runs along the boundaries of several properties until it reaches that of Mr E J T Hitchin, Witzies, Church Road. Then it goes through his and his neighbour's property. Mr Hitchin claims that this part of the path is an unofficial diversion, and that the original footpath took a sharp left turn when it reached his property and skirting his ground crossed Church Road to connect with a path to Manor Drive. Mr Hitchin has been contesting this path for some years now. The council will be represented at the hearing by Mr James Grieve.

A letter from the county estates officer stated that the turfing of the bank on Hoselands Hill was in progress and would seeon be completed. The chairman, Mr W Ball, remarked on the great improvement this had made to the appearence of the hill. No further information was available about the school buses collecting school children on Hoselands Hill. It was, however reported that buses usually stopped now near the war memorial.

Male or Femaie?
Picture of the teams who took part in quiz at Longfield Village Hall: (1) Hartley Parish Church (Mr and Mrs E Walterson, Mrs G E Henderson, Mr K Allmey) (2) Longfield Parish Church (Mr D M Holloway, Mrs F Green, Mr I J Goodwin, Rev C H Sutton) (3) Quizmaster Mr D R Jennings of Longfield School.

Poultry For Sale
"Rhode Island Red and Light Sussex Pullets £16 10s; cocks £3, month old cokerels 3s 6d each - Hart, Laurels Poultry Farm, Manor Drive, Hartley. Phone Longfield 2233."

Percy Hewett
Picture of Percy Hewett [of Stack Lane, Hartley], district scout commissioner making presentation at Swanscombe.

Hartley Social Club reports a year of progress
Annual meeting. Membership 167 up 52 on 1956 (73 joined 21 left). £89 spent on new furniture and fittings and £200 on repairs and redecorations. Overall profit £332. "It was reported that a new tea and coffee bar had been installed in the dance hall and the walls had been covered with board, making the hall more comfortable for social functions....." List of committee members.

Now 13 members of Hartley's new pack.

02 Mar 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley PC (1) Council hopes this year's annual parish meeting won't have rows of empty chairs. (2) Hoselands Hill - council pleased with appearance of new turfing, have been told school coach now stops at the War Memorial rather than Hoselands Hill. (3) Footpath St Johns Lane to Stocks Hill runs through properties of Mr E J T Hitchin and his neighbour "thus involving a great deal of work and expense in maintaining double fences with gates to enclose stock. Mr Hitchin claims that this part of the path is an unofficial diversion, and that the original footpath took a sharp left turn when it reached his property, and, skirting his ground, crossed Church Road to connect with a path to Manor Drive. Mr Hitchin has been contesting this parth for some years..." (4) Burial Ground - wire fence to be put up near pond, tackle and shed to be purchased.

09 Mar 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley Rates to be 17s 5d in the pound (Dartford RDC up 1s 7d)

09 Mar 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley and District Produce Guild mentioned

15 Mar 1957 County Council will replace doomed trees at Longfield KM - Gravesend Telegraph
"Longfield Parish council was told at its meeting that the county surveyor had written stating that 9 fir trees in Hartley Road, Longfield, would have to be cut down to make way for a proposed footpath. An assurance was given, however, that new trees would be planted as the County Council did not wish to detract from teh beauty of the village. At the last meeting the Rector of Longfield, the Rev C H Sutton, who is a member of the council, made a strong protest about the way in which trees in the village were being cutdown. He said there would soon be none left.

Mr S G Hogg complained that along the whole length of the Main Road from Dartford to Longfield Hill more than a dozen road signs had been badly damaged. In each case the sign had been defaced and the top piece pulled over. The clerk .. was asked to write to the county council on the matter. Mr Hogg also drew attention to the dangerous road down into the village from Longfield Hill. He said it was not properly banked on the bends. Mr Hogg suggested that warning signs at each end of the bends would reduce the risk of accidents. A further objection about this section of road came from Mr A E Potter, who said that the hedge at the junction of the New Barn Road with the main road was at present limiting the view around the bend. 'If the hedge was cut, motorists would have a clear view,' he said. The clerk was instructed to write to the county council."

15 Mar 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Dog show winner
Picaroon Ambrose, a Papillon dog owned by Mrs Russell Roberts of the Old Forge, Ash Road wins best in show at South Eastern Toy Dog show at Vauxhall.

Hodsoll Street Village Hall
"The Hodsoll Street Village Hall Association is working very hard to raise money to build a hall to serve the district. The fund, I am told, has passed the £600 mark. A site for it has been presented to the Association. Hodsoll Street is a rather isolated community and there is a real need for a meeting place. I hope it will not be long before work on the hall can start."

16 Mar 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Following withdrawal of Sunday am buses in petrol shortage, several are to be restored including the 10.57 Ash to Gravesend.

16 Mar 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Winnetts - limited number of new builds available in Hartley - 2 bed bungalows with garage, £2,375; 3 bed semis £2,475 to £2,700; 3 bed detached houses with garage £2,495. [Springcroft]

23 Mar 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley and Fawkham Mens Conservative Branch votes to merge with the Women's Branch, who are yet to vote on this

29 Mar 1957 Hartley to Consider a Children's Playground KM - Gravesend Telegraph
"Following a suggestion at Hartley's annual parish meeting on Friday, the parish council is to consider the provision of a children's playing ground. Mr W Ball, council chairman, said the suggestion had been made before, but was not wholly acceptable to parishioners, as it was thought there were plenty of open spaces and the cost of a recreation ground was not warranted. But these open spaces were becoming more and more built upon and there were now more prams with babies to be seen in Hartley than ever before. These children would need somewhere to play in a few year's time. An opposing opinion was expressed that many children converging on the roads to go to a playing field would constitute a danger and they would be safer in their own garden. In his report on the parish council's work, Mr Ball said it had given a good deal of attention to development in the village and also the problem of unadopted roads. Vehicles could not reach houses in some of these roads in the winter. Mr Ball pointed out that builders were not forced to make roads of access to houses they erected and purchasers of houses should be aware of thisl At the parish council meeting it was decided to recommend that the cul de sac off Ash Road be called Old Downs Close. The turning off Gorse Way will be called Briars Way."

29 Mar 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Longfield and Southfleet British Legion
Membership increased in previous year from 138 to 255. Biggest rise in Kent. [Paper of 19/4/1957 said the branch nearly closed a few years' previously due to falling numbers]

House for Sale
Modern detached house at Hartley, 3 bedroom, large garden £4,000.

30 Mar 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Hartley PC's name of Briars Way accepted by Dartford RDC. DRDC want an entirely different name for Old Downs, but PC think residents won't like that. Old Downs Close suggested.

06 Apr 1957 Theft of Potatoes at Ash Gravesend Reporter
Leslie George Evans (26) (1930-1980) of Butler's Place, Ash fined £15 for stealing 1 cwt of potatoes from his employer D Hemesley, and for other offences.

06 Apr 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Compulsory Purchase notice by Dartford RDC for the purposes of the Housing Acts 1936-1957, for 8.63 acres of land between Wellfield, Larksfield and Woodland Avenue of unknown owner.

06 Apr 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
(Advert) "Fairby Grange, Ash Road, Hartley. This beautiful 17th century house will be open from 14th April 1957 as a private eventide and convalescent home. Particualars available from resident matron, Mrs D Parry SEN, SCM."

12 Apr 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Fawkham Village Hall
"As Mr Billings, of Fawkham Manor, owner of the Village Hall, has offered to supply paint and certain materials for the repair of the Village Hall, and Mr H Bean, Wayside, Fawkham, has offered to initiate a working party for the hall, the parish council has decided to assume for a years from June 1st, the lease of the building without any repair covenant on either side."

Men and Women unite

Hartley and Fawkham Men's and Women's Conservative Branches vote to dissolve themselves and to create new joint association. Dartford Agent said idea didn't come from them but National party preferred this as it avoided duplication of effort.

Longfield Residents Want to Keep their fir trees
Locals unhappy with KCC's proposals for Hartley Road. Resident of road Mr P Maice said "he had lived in Longfield for over 20 years and if it was deprived of its trees it would lose its rural character and become suburbanised." Local Tree Warden, Mr Baker called for a tree preservation order.

Hartley Players
Picture of cast of "Treasure on Pelican".

For Sale
"David Brown (1954) VO Tractor. Austin 3 way van (1950) for sale. Willmot, Hartley, Dartford. Longfield 3236".

13 Apr 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Trustees of Fairby Grange Convalescent Home for Bermondsey give public notice they intend to sell 16 acres of land behind house (4 acres leased for 14 years) for £4,000 unless they receive objection or higher offer.

13 Apr 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Mens and Womens Conservative Branches agree to dissolve and reform as one association. President: W J Everard; Vice President: Miss E Barker, William Ball

16 Apr 1957 A Widow Admits £87 Arrears Lewisham Borough News
"Widowed [NAME] of Dartmouth Road, Forest Hill was said to owe Herbert George Austin, of Hartley, Kent, £87 rent arrears when he sued her in Lambeth County Court. Mr Austin told the Registrar that the rent was £7 a month. At first Mrs Smith did not agree with Mr Austin about the figures, but after the case had been adjouned for a short while she said she did owe £87. She offered to pay £5 monthly, and an order was made for possession in 28 days if she did not keep to that offer and pay the current rent."

[Mr Austin (1891-1962) lived at Chatenay, Manor Drive]

19 Apr 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Borderline Case
"Summoned at Dartford on Friday for failing to conform to a traffic sign at Bexley, Charles Thomas Scully [1909-1997], Red House, Hartley, who pleaded not guilty was fined £2. He told the Bench, 'I believe I crossed the lights on yellow. To have stopped would have left my car obstructing the crossing... I think it was a borderline case.' "

Longfield planning appeal decision
Appeal by T W Crouch of Salts Farm dismissed. He had wanted to build a house between Salts Farm and Bramblewood.

20 Apr 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Review and pictures of Hartley Players "Treasure or Pelican"

03 May 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Hartley Parish Council
"4 acres of open space have been scheduled in St John's Lane. A communication was read from the Fairby Grange Convalescent Home that 3 cottages were up to offer for £660; also a further 16 acres, a portion of which was let off on a 14 years' lease, was up for tender at £4,000.... It was brought to the notice of the council that 2 high stiles on the footpath leading from Fairby Lane to Castle Hill had been wantonly destroyed. Complaints had been made by residents in Fairby Lane that numbers of young cyclists rode along the lane at speed, to the danger of the public. The clerk is to notify the police."

Hartley Woman Driver Fined
"Following a crash between a car, driven by a woman teacher and a lorry at Betsham Crossroads, Southfleet, both drivers were summoned for careless driving. At Dartford on Friday, the woman, Mrs Jessie Eleanor Polley [1899-1992] was convicted and fined £7, while the summons against the lorry driver was dismissed. They appeared in separate courts. Mrs Polley told the bench she saw a lorry coming very fast down the middle of the road. She accelerated across the road. The lorry struck the rear of her car. The lorry driver, [NAME], Small Grains, Fawkham, said he saw the car approaching the crossroads at about 5-10mph, but easing up as if to give him the right of way. Teh car seemed to accelerate and he braked as hard as he could before the crash."

04 May 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Fairby Grange Cottages for Sale, all three for £660. 16 acres offered at Fairby for £4,000

10 May 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
All Saints' Annual Church Meeting
Rector said attendance was up, especially at great festivals. Electoral Roll was highest ever at 201. Sunday School membership was 30 with average attendance of 25. Guild for Older Children also flourishing. Mr Fletcher and Mr Solly re-elected as churchwardens.

Stocks Farm Planning Appeal
Appeal by Mr J Neary against refusal of planning permission for 2 houses on land adjoining Stocks Farm was dismissed. Minister said it would be undesirable ribbon development, and building on this 240 foot frontage could not be considered as infilling.

General's Passing
"The funeral took place at Fawkham parish church on Tuesday for Maj-Gen Edward Ambrose Woods CB CBE MC RA, who died in a nursing home at Tunbridge Wells on Friday. Maj-Gen Woods and his wife and daughter lived at Fawkham before the last war. He was for some years president of the Gravesend branch of the RA Old Comrades' Assocation. Maj-Gen Woods retired from teh army after the war. He had been ill for a long time. Cremation was a Charing."

Ash Church Annual Parochial Meeting North and south aisles have had aluminium roofing added and at the same time repairs to many of the timbers. Repairs to south face of church tower still needed. New boiler installed thanks to Sir Maurice Hutton and silver challice presented by Mr W Simmons. 78 names on electoral roll. Mr W Simmons elected as Rector's warden. Brig R M Villiers as People's warden.

Hodsoll Street Hall After 3rd dance this year fund is now at £700 and building works will commence soon.

Student Nurse is Longfield Fete 'Queen' Picture of 9 entrants to British Legion Fete Queen and presentation to winner [NAME], 141 Main Road, Longfield. Contest held at dance at Hartley Country Club.

Hartley Road Footpath Plan 'A waste of public money'

KCC say cutting down of fir trees to make footpath at Hartley Road will go ahead, to be replaced by new trees. Lack of funds means it will be done in two stages. Mr W Baker PC chairman said it was a waste of public money. At Dr Read's suggestion the parish council also called for a footpath at the railway bridge where the lack of one was very dangerous.

11 May 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Winnetts - Springcroft Estate: 4 new 3 bed bungalows with garages, £2,495 each. 1 x semi 3 bed house with garage and central heating £2,700 (completed)

11 May 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Interview and picture of Petty Officer Edward MacKenzie, recently moved to Longfield Hill, member of Scott's last Antarctic expedition.

17 May 1957 Election Results Kentish Express
Dartford RDC - Longfield: F Sims (Con) 412, W M Baker (Lab) 330 Cons gain, turnout 60% (also gained back Horton Kirby). Composition of Council: Cons 12 (+2), Lab 7 (-2), Ind 1.

Dartford Borough: Lab 17 (+1), Cons & Ratepayers 7 (-1). Gravesend Borough: Cons 21 (-4), Lab 10 (+4), Ind 1 (-)

18 May 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
11 out of 22 Hartley Primary School pupils pass the 11 plus exam

24 May 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Fatal Collapse on Holiday Eve
"A few hours before he was due to go on a fortnight's holiday at Worthing with his wife, Dr Charles Montague Lawrence, Somerleyton, Merton Avenue, Hartley, collapsed and died at his home on Saturday. He was 77. Dr Lawrence retired after 50 years in the medical profession six years ago and came to live at Hartley. His widow - he was married twice previously - is a sister of Mrs Percy Bartholemew, wife of the Southfleet racehorse owner. Although qualified as a doctor, Dr Lawrence served for 3 years throughout the Boer War as a cavalry scout. In the second world war he was a Home Guard captain, trained a Red Cross unit and served on medical panels in addition to his practice. He was hon surgeon to St John Ambulance Brigade Divisions at Bedford, Salisbury and Hove, where he was at various times in practice. He was assistant County Commissioner of Boy Scouts in Bedfordshire. During his retirement he disovered a talent for oil painting and painted many landscapes. He was a non-acting member of Hartley Players. Bereaved are two daughters and a son, [NAME], music master at a grammar school in Chipping Norton, who officiated at the private service at Eltham Crematorium."

Fine Record
"Of the 22 pupils of Hartley Primary School who sat for the 11 plus examination this year, ten were offered grammar school places and one a place at a technical school. One boy offered a grammar school place has preferred to accept a place at a technical school....." (List of successful entrants). Also advert by KCC for cook at Hartley school, catering for approximately 100 diners daily.

Car for Sale
1937 Rover 14, £110, engine rebored, crank grind etc, running well, appearence fair; owner going abroad - 7 Woodlands Avenue, Hartley, Dartford."

Houses for Sale
"Bungalow for sale, £2,850 1 year old, lounge/dining room 24x12, 2 bedrooms, 7 Woodlands Avenue, Hartley, Dartford.

"Hartley: attractive modern detached house, hall, lounge, dining, ½ tiled kitchen, 3 good bedrooms, ½ tiled bathroom; detached brick garage, very pleasant and well maintained gardens, approximately ½ acre, £3,950. Further plot of land at rear, £450."

"Hartley - detached family residence standing in its own lovely secluded mature grounds of nearly 2 acres, within easy reach of Fawkham railway station etc, 4 bedrooms, bathroom and separate WC (rubber floors), large lounge, dining room, cloakroom, study, lounge/hall, large kitchen (Rayburn cook and heat stove). Many extras which include detached bungalow, 2 detached garages, workshop etc, £5,950 freehold. Champion and Waterman, 15 Lowfield Street, Dartford..."

29 May 1957 Three Authorities Oppose Hartley Planning Appeal Gravesend Reporter
"When Mrs M Ayres makes an appeal at Dartford next month against a planning decision over land at Castle Hill, Hartley, she will be opposed by 3 authorities.

Dartford RDC who object to the proposed erection of dwelling houses on this particular site.

The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, whose land commissioner claims that building would be harmful to farm interests; and // Medway Water Board, who say that the area lies within a gathering ground of the underground water supply from whom water for human consumption is drawn.

Mrs Ayres' appeal is to be hear by an inspector of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Mr A G Shoosmith OBE at the Rural Council Offices, West Hill on October 24th. The council's objection are on the ground that the site is outside the areas designated for development and that 'piecemeal' development of the type suggested, would prejudice the establishment of a natural green belt round Hartley. Other land exists which is more suitably located it claims. The water board alleges that the houses, in the absence of main drainage, would be likely to increase the danger of pollution to the water supply."

31 May 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Hartley Parish Council
Council ask Dartford Rural Council for litter bin outside confectioner's shop on the Parade. No plans for road widening or pavements in Ash Road according to KCC. Fencing on burial ground completed and small exchange of land completed to straighten the boundary. Land earmarked for playing field in St Johns Lane.

Articles for Sale
"5 months old Decca TV, 17in with VHF radio, cost £91 sell £75, perfect condition. Also 4 piece bedroom suite, dark walnut, Tudor copy, £108, new 3 years ago, perfect £80. Owner going abroad - 7 Woodlands Avenue, Hartley, Dartford."

01 Jun 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Picture of Hartley Country Club Snooker winnrs at Gravesend League

01 Jun 1957 Local News in Brief British Medical Journal
Owner going abroad wishes to sell 3/4 bed house in Hartley with 2 acres of ground and 2 garages £5,950 (probably Johns, Johns Close - then Church Road)

07 Jun 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Dartford Rural District Council
Report says composition of council was 11 Conservative 7 Labour 1 Independent. Council approves Hartley - Longfield Drainage Scheme.

08 Jun 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
30th anniversary of Congregational Church Sunday School

15 Jun 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
AGM of Naturalist Club. Rev Henderson said he had a letter from Mrs J Gates (secretary) in 1944 suggesting such a club be formed. Mr & Mrs Gates are moving to Sussex.

21 Jun 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Hartley Youth Club
Membership up, and now they have to run a waiting list. Local resident has offered use of their tennis court 2 evenings a week.

Longfield KH Club
12th anniversary.

22 Jun 1957 Local News in Brief Dartford Chronicle
Cartoon drawings of all the members and scorer of the Hartley Country Club Cricket Team

29 Jun 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
New houses for sale at Woodland Avenue - 2 bed semi £2,350, 3 bed semi £2,475, 3 bed det £2,750. Pilley & Talbot, Hartley

05 Jul 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Traffic danger to children at Hartley causes concern
"At Hartley Parish Council meeting, concern was expressed about the danger from traffic to children attending the Convent School in Church Road. There have been several near accidents. It was stated that the school signes were not visible and in the narrow, winding lane there was no room for two vehicles travelling in opposite directions to pass if a child was walking along the road. It was decided to aske for the school signes to be resited and large white 'slow' to be painted on the road at each approach to the school.

It was agreed to call the attention of the Agriculture Committee to the increase of rabbits in the district. Complaints were received from residents in Woodlands Avenue (unadopted road) that the GPO had excavated the path there to lay telephone cable and had left it in a much worse state than before. The clerk was asked to approach the GPO about this matter.

The council is to recommend that the cul de sac off Ash Road be called Old Downs, instead of Old Downs Close, to meet the wishes of residents of the road. A letter from Mr Hill stated that passengers using the south bound bus stop in Ash Road near the Memorial had caused the bank to become very worn. The counicl is to try to get a proper alighting platform...."

'Mrs Grove' opens British Legion Fete at Longfield
Picture of Miss Ruth Dunning who plays Mrs Grove in BBC TV serial 'The Grove Family' [said to be Britain's first soap opera] presenting rose bowl to Fete Queen.

06 Jul 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
HPC - (1) Residents of Old Downs attend meeting to object to any change of name of road, even to Old Downs Close. Council agree to rescind their decision to add "Close". (2) New Litter bin at The Parade, Ash Road. (3) Church Road said to be hazardous for children attending RC school, road is too narrow for 2 cars to pass if child walking along road. Council think speed limit should be 10mph but road doesn't even have 30mph limit. Council to ask for "Slow" markings in road and school signs to be resited. (4) Buses - south bound bus stop at War Memorial in Ash Road said to be hazardous, potentially slippery worn away bank, council to speak to new owner. (5) Council to speak to County Agricultural Executive about increase in rabbits in the district. (6) Residents of unadopted Woodland Avenue complain of damage made by GPO in laying telephone cables

12 Jul 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
£230 raised at Hartley Church Fete
Report of fete held at Rectory Garden including prize winners. Article includes 2 pictures of entrants to baby show and their mothers. Music and loud speaker provided by Hartley and Longfield Scouts. Displays by Gravesend Sea Cadets and Barbara Fothergill School of Dancing.

New Woolworths for Gravesend
"It was confirmed officially this week that Bryant and Rackstraw's former shop premises on the corner of High Street and King Street will become a new Woolworths store. The building, the top floor of which was severely damaged by fire last month, will be demolished between September and the end of the year. Work on building the new store will take about a year." [Paper of 2/8/57 said deal to buy site and adjoining shops worth £150,000 and probably greatest in Gravesend's history. the Bryant store had been there over 100 years]

Inventor of the Tank
"The death has occurred of Major Walter Gordon Wilson CMG MICE Hon MI Mech E of The Elms, Itchen Abbas, Winchester, who formerly lived at Charton Manor, Farningham. He was 83.... Major Wilson collaborated with Sir William Tritton in the designing of the original tank. A tank was sited on a wayside green in Farningham High Street in 1920 as a tribute to Major Wilson. Following a proposal that the tank should be sold as scrap metal, a lively parish meeting in April 1938 decided by 74 votes to 5 that it should be retained. But the tank was eventually removed in 1940." [Peter Goodwin in the Hart, said their family hay business at Ash supplied Major Wilson]

Hartley Road Footpath: Work to Start Soon
"Longfield Parish Council at its monthly meeting, received a letter from the county surveyor that work on the new footpath on the east side of Hartley Road, Longfield would start soon. The council and residents in the road have objected to the construction of this footpath as it will mean felling a number of trees.

The county surveyor also stated that the parish council's suggestion that a subway be built under the railway bridge halfway up Hartley Road was too costly to consider at present, but would be considered in the future as part of the development plan for the area. Mr A E Potter, vice chairman said it was never suggested a subway was wanted: 'At the site meeting we had with representatives of the county council 2 months ago, one of them said that as there was little room to construct a path under the bridge, the county council would probably have to build a subway. The subway suggestion never came from the council.' The clerk... is to write to the county council on these lines.

In reply to the council's request for a bus shelter at the junction of Station Road and Essex Road, the Transport Commission replied that the high working costs of the bus services would not allow shelters to be built at present. Mr W M Baker, chairman, suggested the matter be left over for the time being."

Houses for Sale at Springcroft // "Hartley: compact detached houses with garage £2,495. Four only remaining. One semi-detached £2,300, room for garage. Road charges included. Charming rural surroundings. Apply R E Jury & Co, Suffolk Road, Gravesend...."

13 Jul 1957 Hartley Parish Church Fete and Produce Show Gravesend Reporter
£230 raised for Church Funds plus proceeds of Whist Drive to be held in WI Hall. Picture of display by Barbara Fothergill School of Dancing. 200 entries for photo competition but produce entries down due to dry weather. . Was meant to be opened by Alf Edwards, BBC TV Artist but he could not attend.

13 Jul 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Obituary of Frederick Charles Townley (79). Born Clitheroe, lived in Hartley for 27 years, retired advertising specialist.

19 Jul 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Rural Electricity Breakdown
About 800 consumers in the North Kent Countryside were without electricity for periods varying between 2 and 4 hours on the evening of Thursday last week through the failure of an insulator on an overhead line at West Kingsdown. Ash, Fawkham, West Kingsdown and part of Hartley were affected."

Properties for Sale
"Hartley: Post war detached bungalow, completed 1954, situated in picturesque wooded surroundings and within reasonable access of local shops, buses and trains. Central heating throughout, 2 double bedrooms, ½ tiled bathroom, lounge, ½ tiled kitchen/breakfast room (14ft x 12ft). Ideal boiler; detached brick garage (20ft x 9ft); large garden. Price £3,250 freehold. Additional plot for sale (55ft x 105ft) - Champion and Waterman, 15 Lowfield Street, Dartford...."

"Longfield: superior post war detached bungalow, completed approx 12 months, and within few minutes walk of railway station, buses, and local shops. 2 double bedrooms, ½ tiled bathroom, large lounge with dining recess, kitchen with dual hot water system; garage space. Good garden. Price £2,675 freehold. Champion and Waterman..."

20 Jul 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Winnetts - 2 bungalows under construction in Gresham Avenue, 2 bed £2,750, 3 bed £2,950 (probably Roylands and Ivy Hatch)

21 Jul 1957 Local News in Brief Sunday People
"They call her a witch: If little Dora Stokes could work the black magic they credit her with, she would start off willing her neighbours to have more sense. For the villagers of Hartley, Kent, have spread rumours that she is a witch and they all shun her. And that is putting the 61 year old widow out of business. Mrs Stokes stroked a black cat by her hearth at her home last night and explained: 'For years I supplied the village with flowers and goats' milk and helped out with dress making. Then the word went round and now nobody comes to see me.' The widow admitted she could see into the future. But a witch? 'Definately not,' she said, pointing to her new power assisted bicycle. 'Does that look like a broomstick?'"

27 Jul 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Wedding at West Malling Baptist Church between [NAME] of Hatchlands [Blue Firs], Church Road and [NAME].

27 Jul 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Complaints of dumping of cesspool contents in wood at Ridley

02 Aug 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
She will be missed
"Mrs Brooks, who has been the leader of the Darby and Joan Club since its inauguration, is retiring. At a meeting at the Old Downs she was presented with a garden chair and an autograph book signed by all the members of the club as a token of the appreciation for the work she had done for the club in the past 6 years. Mrs Short, who is taking up the position for the time being, was introduced to members. There was tea and an entertainment given by various members of the club. Mrs Shambrook gave a monologue....."

First Fete for Hartley Old Folk raised over £80
Organised by matron Mrs P M Crowther, assisted by staff and residents, money to go to amenities for the home. Opened by former mayor of Gravesend Miss Agnes Johnson. Music provided by Culverstone Silver Band, also display by dance pupils of Lucy Barfield.

More phones for Dartford
"Mr Ernest Maples (Postmaster General) has informed Mr Sydney Irving (Lab Dartford), in a Parliamentary written answer, that 54 of the 482 Dartford Exchange applicants awaiting telephones in January have now been connected. He has added 'the majority of the remainder should be accommodated laster this year when additional exchange equipments and new cables will be ready for service.' The start of the Exchange building extension has unfortunately been delayed, but it should be under way by the end of the year. The whole work, including installation of the equipment for 2,300 more lines, was planned for completion in just over 3 years."

Disagreement over footpaths
Hartley Parish Council and Mr R J Billings, who lives at Fawkham Manor, do not see eye to eye over footpaths from Hartley to Fawkham. When the council met, the police wrote saying inquiries had been made about damaged stiles on the footpaths from Hartley to Fawkham and cyclists had been cautioned. The police were advised by Mr Billings that the stiles would not be replaced as they were not official rights of way. The council did not agree wiht this view, as the footpaths had been used by the public for years and were scheduled on the map. A letter was read from Mrs Hudson, Stocks Mead, Church Road, supporting an appeal by Mr EJT Hitchin against the decision at a public meeting that no diversion would be admitted to the footpath from Stocks Farm to St John's Lane. The council does not oppose the appeal.

It was reported that a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture would visit the district regarding the reinfestation of rabbits and subsequent damage to crops......

Mr L U Judge, clerk, reported that a site meeting with the traffic authorities would be arranged to discuss road safety near the RC School in Church Road."

09 Aug 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Popular Dog Show
"The dog show, as usual, was the big feature of Hartley and Fawkham Conservative Association fair in the grounds of Hartley Country Club, on Monday. Mr Peter Walker, prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Dartford, opened the fair...." (article includes 2 pictures)

Houses for Sale
"New properties: Arthur Kent & Co, 124/126 Broadway, Bexleyheath 1244/5 are able to offer the following new properties. Plans and specifications, decorations to choice. Hartley £2,250 - one pair of semi-detached houses. Long gardens. Garage Space. Truly rural surroundings. Easy for buses and station. 3 bedrooms, 2 reception, kitchen, boiler. batheroom, good hall. [Probably these are Pyrmont and Rosendene, Woodland Avenue]. Hartley, £2,025 - detached double fronted bungalow. Plot approximately 55ft x 210ft. Good hall, 2 bedrooms, lounge, large kitchen, boiler, bathroom..."

16 Aug 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Prison for Soldier
"Said to have been born 20 years ago, Peter David Packham RASC [1937-2012, born Ash] stationed at Lufton Camp, Yeovil was gaoled for 6 months at Dartford on Tuesday last week for stealing a pedal cycle belonging to [NAME] of Downs View [11], Ash Road, Hartley. Det Cons [NAME] (Northfleet) said Packham was seen by the Essex policein possession of the cycle and made a statemetn in which he said he had overstayed his leave. 'I had a row with my girl friend and we have parted,' he said, 'I had a walk round the country, saw the bike and pinched it.' Day had asked for two other offences to be taken into account."

17 Aug 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Obituary of W J Bye of The Firs, Manor Drive, who died at the Southern Hospital 13/8. He was formerly newsagent at Longfield, retired 1939, founder member (1926) and committee member of Constitutional Club, one of first directors of Country Club (1935) and cricketer for club.

17 Aug 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Music exam success: G3 piano - [NAME] and [NAME]; G2 piano - Linda Prime; G1 piano - [NAME]; G3 (theory) - [NAME]; G1 (theory) - [NAME], [NAME].

23 Aug 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Hemesley's Advert
"Greengrocers!! You can obtain regular supplies of all home grown and imported produce, ex-depot or direct delivery from D Hemesley Ltd, Woodlands, Hartley, Nr Dartford. Tel Longfield 3394/5."

Hodsoll Street en Fete
"A fine afternoon brought many people to the annual fete of the Hodsoll Street and Ridley Village Hall Association in Terry's Field on Saturday......" Details of competition winners, and picture of flower show winners.

30 Aug 1957 A Car in the front room! KM - Gravesend Telegraph
"A car which swerved off the road at Sevenoaks early on Sunday demolished the front part of a house, which had to be shored up before the vehicle could be removed. The accident occurred just after midnight when [NAME] of June Hill, Manor Drive, Hartley near Gravesend, was driving along Crampton's Road, Sevenoaks. The car crashed into the front room of No 75, demolishing the bay window and finishing up with two-thirds of the car inside the room. Police decided it would be dangerous to the structure if the car was removed without first shoring up the house and a local builder strutted the front of the building with timber. No one was injured."

31 Aug 1957 Hartley Man was in the Pilgrimage Train Crash Gravesend Reporter
"Mr Donald Bishop, aged 26, or Rosaria [now Bergers], Gorsewood Road, Hartley, was one of a party of young British Catholics involved in a train crash in France in the early hours of Wednesday. They were homeward bound from a pilgrimage in Rome.

Mr Bishop, who arrived home yesterday (Thursday) morning told the Reporter, 'I was awakened at about 2.10 by a terrific jolt to find the engine and the first 8 carriages had gone off the rails. I was in the 8th carriage, which was partially derailed. The first 6 carriages were the worst damaged, and it was remarkable that no-one was seriously injured. Two girls were detained in hospital in France. There was absolutely no panic. We finished our journey in what I can only describe as two [??? too faded].'

A second train, carrying hundreds more British pilgrims, which was fiollowing, was stopped just in time by the guard of the crashed train. But the pilgrims on this second train had troubles enough. 60 of them were suffering from an epidemic of suspected Asian flu. Whe the party left on board the Channel steamer 'Maid of Orleans' from Boulogne on Wednesday night, 5 of them went on stretchers.

Mr Bishop, who is a member of the Northfleet section of the Young Christian Worker Movement, was the only local representative at the pilgrimage attended by over 30,000 young people from all over the world. He saved for 2 years to be able to make the trip. The highlight of the pilgrimage was a mass congress in the square of St Peter's Rome on Sunday, when the Pope gave his blessing. It was estimated that something like 300,000 people were packed into the square for the ceremony. On the previous day Mr Bishop took part in a spectacular torchlight procession in Rome."

06 Sep 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Longfield called a 'dump' at Council meeting
"The village of Longfield was called 'a dump' at Tuesday's meeting of Dartford Rural Council during a debate on a proposal which would result in 55 acres of land on the north side of the main road near the Whitehill crossroads being used for housing development [Part of this land would presumably be the future Northdown Road, although that is only 8½ acres]. The council was asked to agree to the piece of land being included in the Hartley, Longfield and Meopham town maps. The idea was to substitute it for 'any further ribbon development fronting the main road outside the immediate confines of the centre of the village.' Mr A E Edward said development ther was getting to the position when Longfield would extend along one side of the road as far as New Barn. 'We are simply suggesting that further development could take place in the village centre.' Mr F T C Sims said Longfield was becoming a 'dump' and Mr G Mellor, agreeing with the him, said the problem of turing it into a decent looking village would have to be tackled. 'But it cannot be done by just adding to it.' he said. The proposal was attacked by Mr L L Reeves, leader of the minority Labour group, because he said the plan was an 'almost ovrnight change of policy without any justification. It was a betrayal of the idea of the developmentof Longfield, Hartley, New Barn and parts of Meopham as an area which would retain all the existing characteristics and amenities of a rural district,' he said. The proposal was referred back to the Town and Country Planning committee for further consideration by 8 votes to 3....."

Council also refused application for rate relief by Hartley Country Club.

Poor fruit crop, but wheat yield satisfactory
"North Kent farmers report that the harvest has been good. Rain has meant the loss of some whet, but the yield has been very satisfactory and considering the dry spring, barley did well though the crop is below average. Spring oats suffered somewhat from the drought. The fruit crop is poorish. There is generally a shortage of cooking apples with the biggest shortage in Bramleys. Worcesters are plentiful. The plum crop is extremely poor. Potatoes have picked up well and a fair crop is expected. Root crops are good and winter greens look promising, although somewhat backward. Although the hay crop was light the quality was good."

13 Sep 1957 Village Library Closes KM - Gravesend Telegraph
"No demand for it in Fawkham.

Because the demand for it had shrunk almost to vanishing point, the branch of the County Library at Fawkham has been closed. It had been in existence for 27 years. Mrs Green, Billet Hill, Ash, who started the branch when she lived at Fawkham and had been the librarian ever since, told a reporter: 'We used to have over 100 people come to the library each week, but latterly it was used by only 4 or 5 people. It is sad to see the library close, there seems little demand for it now. I blame TV and the fact that so many women in Fawkham now go out to work and have little time for reading.' The library was stocked with 100 fiction books and 60 non-fiction volumes. At a meeting of the parish council the closure of the library was regretted. The children's branch of the county library is carried on at the village school."

21 Sep 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
"Did Estates Director have a stroke before car accident? - Inquest Query. Did Company Director Richard Talbot have a stroke shortly before his 32hp car careered down Hoselands Hill? This possibility was probed by Coroner mr S O Matthews at the Dartford Inquest on Wednesday, when the jury returned a verdict of misadventure on Mr Talbot, who died in West Hill Hospital, 5 days after the accident. An Estates Director, he was 72 and lived at Gorse Way, Hartley. Evidence of Identification was given by a son-in-law, Dr James Jenman of Round Street, Cobham. He said Mr Talbot has suffered from blood pressure which limited his physical activities, but he was mentally quite alert. His father in law knew his blood pressure was fairly high. Strokes had occurred in other members of his family. There was nothing to suggest it was dangerous for him to drive. Dr Peter Read of The Court, Longfield, told the coroner he was called to a road accident at Hoselands Hill. He saw Mr Talbot who was injured and unconscious. he later examined Mr Talbot and found that he had had a left sided stroke. This may have been due to a clot of blood in the brain or spasm of the vessels, either of which woudl be likely to cause instant unconsciousness. Miss Violet Rix of Dover Road East, Northfleet, a clerk at Ash Road, Hartley, said that she was told Mr Talbot had been outside in his car for some time on September 4th. He was in the driving seat when she spoke to him and he said he was afraid of hitting some concrete posts, one of which was about 10 inches to the side of his front wheel. He then started the car and drove off very quickly. Mrs Winifred Hollister, of Old Downs, Hartley, told the coroner that she was driving uphill towards Hartley from Longfield when she saw, on her side of the road, a large grey car being driven towards her very fast. It appeared to be out of control. "I swerved as much as possible to my right, but before I could get out of the way this car hit me on my near side, tearing off the wing." stated Mrs Hollister. The other car went on past, she said, and when she got out she saw it stopped right across the road behind hers. Mr Talbot was lying in the side of the road. Evidence was given by Mr Paul Fifield, a laundry van driver, of Old Road East, Gravesend, that when he went to Mr Talbot's car the handbrake was on and the gear was in neutral."

21 Sep 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
Planning appeal by Mrs M Ayres over land at Castle Hill opposed by Dartford RDC (prejudice future green belt around Hartley), MAFF (loss of agricultural land) and Medway Water Board (potential pollution of water supply as no mains drainage)

22 Sep 1957 Local News in Brief Sunday People
"Howzat for a story of guts: A year ago young Ben Alexander (1940-2005) was a boy with a golden future as a cricketer before him. The 17 year old Gravesend engineering apprentice was booked for a trial with Kent County Cricket Club. Then came disaster - or what everyone imagined was disaster - Ben blew off his left hand. He went down to the garden shed behind his home in Church Road, Hartley, near Dartford, and started juggling with a home made bomb. The bomb went off. Team mates in Hartley Country Club XI said this was the end of Ben as a cricketer. Letters of sympathy poured in. But the boys of the Hartley XI left one factor out of the reckoning - the lion like guts of Ben Alexander. From hospitals at Dartford and Roehampton he sent defiantly cheerful messages. 'Thanks for the sympathy boys, but I'll be playing again.' And this week his cricketing pals are proud and glad to admit their gloomy prophesies were wrong. For brave Ben Alexander has battled his way to 350 rund for his club for an average of 14 - not bad, when top class club batsmen usually average about 23! Add to this his record of 40 wickets and you have an achievement which is miraculous for a lad with Ben's handicap. How did he do it? Ben will pat his artificial hand with pride and tell you - 'Here's the secret.' For when the doctors got around to fixing that artificial hand, Ben told them all about his love of cricket. Sympathetically they nodded their heads. And they devised for Ben a special clamp which gives a good strong grip to the handle of a cricket bat. Talk to team mate Eric Harris about Ben Alexander and more facts abou the cricketing wizard ermerge. Says Eric: 'Ben takes catches in deep field like I would pick cherries off a tree. He's safer than most two-handed men.' Ben is nothing if not independent. He never bemoans his fate. And he insists on dressing without any help. Today he'll be buckling on his pad for the last time this season. He has a home match against South Beddington. And he will be playing just as skilfully as he did before that bomb exploded. Let Eric Harris - former skipper of the team have the last word: 'That Ben has made a come back at all is astounding. That he has made it in one season is miraculous.' Which all goes to show what a lad with guts can do." (Picture)

27 Sep 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Advert for Lucy Barfield's School of Dance
"Learn to Dance before the New Year! Instruction by Lucy Barfield AISTD.

Ballroom Classes will be held every Tuesday from October 15th. The under 30s at 7.30pm; over 30s 8.45 till 10pm. Individual attention assured - Private lessons taken, course of 6 lessons 30 shillings.

Ballet classes for children are now being held every Friday. 5-7 years at 4pm. 8 years and over 4.45 till 5.45pm

All classes are held in the WI Hall, Ash Road, Hartley.

For any enquiries ring Longfield 2273 or write 'Westfield', Church Road, Hartley, Dartford."

Ash Parish Council
Sevenoaks postmaster to look into complaint that some properties in North Ash only get one delivery a day. County Council has experimented with new boring scheme to dispose of surface water on Billet Hill.

28 Sep 1957 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
"The funeral of Mr George Bassano of The Croft, Ash Road, Hartley took place on Saturday, a service being held before cremation at Eltham. Mr Bassano had no connection with Small Owners Ltd, but merely purchased lands from this company in 1913, shortly after he came to reside at Hartley. It should be stated that he ran his own concert party many years ago, and it was as "Phil Mayford" he appeared with his party. His sudden death last week came as a shock to his many friends in this district."

04 Oct 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Council told of noise nuisance after dance
"Hartley Parish Council is supporting a complaint by a resident about the alledged nuisance arising from Saturday night dances at Hartley Social Club. In a letter read at a meeting of the council, the resident complained that the parking faciliities were inadequate and consequently cars and motorcycles were parked in the road and elsewhere to the inconvenience of occupiers of adjoining property. In addition, when the dances terminated at midnight there was a great deal of noise and disturbance as the dancers dispersed, particularly from motorcycles which raced up and down Ash Road for no apparent reason. The writer said he had no objection to village dances as such, but these dances attracted people from places outside Hartley, and their standards of behaviour were not good. He proposed to take legal action to enndeavour to obtain assurances from the appropriate authority that the music and dancing licence granted to the club should be renewed only upon conditions providing for the prevention of nuisance and, if necessary, for police supervision. Mr A E Edward and Mr Grieve supported the complaint, and it was agreed that letters should be sent to the licensing authority and to the police.

Dartford Rural Council asked the council's opinion about a proposal to divert the footpath between St John's Lane and Le Stocks Farm in Church Road. The council will not oppose the diversion.

In a discussion on the Kent Development Plan and its effect on green belts, Mr Ball said he thought there was a certain flexibility in the areas of green belts. The main purpose of such belts seemed to be to prevent villages merging into one another. Mr Edward pointed out that in view of proposed buidling development in North West Kent, it seemed probable that the green belt in this area would disappear altogether.

Referring to a proposed drainage scheme affecting parts of Ash Road and Church Road, as outlined in a letter from the Dartford Rural Council, Mr Edward said that such a scheme was regarded as a matter of urgency in view of hte number of houses recently built in Hartley."

Is your phone call really necessary?
"Many Kent firms this week had printed notices placed by their telephones. They read 'Is your call really necessary?' Telephone charges, both for rental and calls, went up on Tuesday. So did postal rates.

In the Canterbury telephone area, which covers most of Kent, the announcement of the increased charges had already resulted in a number of subscribers asking for their connection to be severed. The sales manager told a reporter that about one subscriber in 60 had given up the telephone (1,071 subscribers out of 64,162) On the Whitstable exchange 65 out of 2,052 have ceased subscription; Faversham 21 out of 841; Canterbury City 79 out of 3,400.

Before the announcement, the waiting list for telephones had been cut down by thousands, and in some places people could get one within a day or two of making the request."

Weds while awaiting trial
[NAME] (21) given 2 years probation for receiving stolen duffle coat and sweater which he admitted. Plea of not guilty to breaking into offices of J Stone & Co of Gravesend accepted. He was of Gravesend but now living with in-laws in Hartley.

11 Oct 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Flu hits Rural Clergy
Meopham lay readers help out at Hartley, Stansted and Meopham due to clergy there coming down with flu. [October was the first peak of the 1957/58 flu pandemic]

New Rector of Cliffe
"New rector of Cliffe and Cooling will be the Rev J W Henderson AKC rector of Hartley, near Dartford. He will be instituted and inducted to the livings after Christmas. Mr Henderson is succeeding Canon F S Gammon, who is retiring after 47 years in the ministry, including 19 years at Cliffe.

Ordained nearly 20 years ago, he hed curacies at Welling and Orpington before coming to Hartley. where he followed the Rev LGW Lenton. Nearly 2 years ago he was appointed Rural Dean of Cobham....."

25 Oct 1957 Ploughing Match Postponed because of rain KM - Gravesend Telegraph
North Kent Ploughing Match at Hedge Place Farm, Stone. Competition revived in 1953 after lapse of 29 years. Prize list included 2nd prize for thatching awarded to [NAME] employed by Mr M T Fulford of Hartley [New House Farm]

01 Nov 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Hartley Parish Council
Buses - landing stage to be provided for stop at War Memorial. Concerns about poor connections with other buses in new timetables. Some buses now driver only. Green Belt - concerns about building in green belt, Cllr Edward said at this rate there would be no green belt between the river and Hartley.

Fairby Grange
Advert says they have vacancies following opening of extra wing.

Geese for Sale
"4 Geese, £1 each - Briar Cottage, Gorsewood Road, Hartley, Dartford."

House for Sale
(Porter Putt & Fletcher) "Hartley - post war detached house, high position with good views and near station. Hall, through lounge, dining, cloakroom, ½ tiled kitchen, 4 bedrooms, ½ tiled bathroom, w.c.; 2 garages, approximately 1 acre, excellent condition. £4,450. [Description would seem to fit Mark House, Ash Road, at the top of Hoselands Hill]

08 Nov 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Golden Wedding
"Mr and Mrs A Humphrey, Rochford, Church Road, Hartley, have just celebrated their golden wedding. They were married at St Nicholas Church, Newbury, Berks and first came to live in Hartley in 1912. In 1929 Mr Humphrey went to Longfield as sub-postmaster where he stayed until he retired in 1945 and returned to Hartley. Mr Humphrey has won many trophies for his exhibitions of sweet peas, chrysanthemums and carnations."

Village will fight any move to deprive it of a rector
"Any attempt to merge Hartley with another parish or parishes so that it no longer had its own rector, will be strongly resisted by local church people. This was made quite clear at All Saints' Parish Church harvest supper in Hartley Country Club hall on Saturday which was well attended. The Rector (the Rev J W Henderson) referred to his forthcoming departure to Cliffe and said his main concern was for the future of All Saints' Church. He appealed for loyalty and support for its officers. [NAME] emphasised that Hartley church must be kept open and any scheme to combine Hartley with other parishes for ecclesiastical purposes should be resisted. [NAME] strongly supported this view. He said it was essential that Hartley should have its own rector...."

15 Nov 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Three on Machine // "Summoned for being one of two persons in addition to the rider carried on a motorcycle and for abetting the driver in riding on land off the highway, [NAME], 18, of Rosaria, Gorsewood Road, was fined a total of £2 at Gravesend on Friday."

Kent Beekeepers' Show
F C Robertson of Hartley won Best Shell or Frame of Come Honey prize.

Buses 'too late or too early'
Longfield Parish Council complain about bus service. Excuse of bus company for not allowing passengers to alight from 489 at King Street, Gravesend described as 'tommy rot' by council chairman. A E Potter gave report of meeting on green belts, he felt they didn't really exist here. Proposal would be that land around village centres would need good reason to build.

22 Nov 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Hartley Naturalist Club
8 new members enrolled, expected total membership will be 40 by December.

Hartley Players
Review of 'And this was odd' performed at the Country Club Hall.

29 Nov 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Country Club
Members agree to increase subscriptions to cover £200 increase in rates bill. It was said the main income for the club was the bar profits.

'Housing plan would destroy rural characteristics'
"Hartley Parish Council ast its monthly meeting with the chairman of the Rural Council's town and country planning committee regarding the revision of teh Hartley, Longfield and Meopham town map, and expressed concern at the proposal to house 18 persons to the acre. It was considered that this density would permanently destroy the rural characteristics of the area. It was decided to press for a reduction in the propsed density.

With regard for a suggested site for playing fields, Mr James Grieve pointed out that the council had previously suggested that land in St John's Lane should be reserved for this purpose. It was decided to draw the attention of the County Council to htis point.

No information was available regarding the refusal of permission to develop a building site on Hoselands Hill.

It was reported that arrangements had been completed for provision of a layby for the bus stop at Hartley War Memorial and that consideration was being given bo the improvement of traffic conditions at the junction of Church Road and St John's Lane."

Hartley Guides
Picture - "The handkerchief lady at the 1st Hartley Guides' Christmas Bazaar being admired by the opener Miss D Walley."

06 Dec 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Bishop to think again about proposed merger of parish
"When the Bishop of Rochester attended a meeting of Hartley Parish Church Council to discuss his proposal to merge the parishes of Hartley and Longfield, he was told by Mr E R Collins, secretary to the council, and Mr W Ball, who is also chairman of Hartley Parish Council, that parishioners of Hartley were strongly opposed to the proposed merger. There has been a Rector of Hartley since the 12th century. Mr W Ball produced a graph which he had prepared giving particulars of the parish including its present and probable future population and development.

The bishop told the council he was very impressed by the earnestness of the arguments put forward and most particularly so by the obvious strength and enthusiasm of hte youth of the parish show by the younger members of the council. This he considered to be a most important factor. He told the council that in the light of what he had learned from the meeting he thought it only right that his proposal should be reviewed and further consideration given to the possibility of appointing a new rector of Hartley....."

Village needs baby clinic
Fawkham parish council supports call for one in Fawkham. Improvements and redecoration to village hall completed. Signposts to mark 9 main footpaths to be erected.

13 Dec 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Villagers get their way
"New rector will be appointed. Villagers of Hartley near Dartford, have won their battle to have another rector appointed in succession to the Rev J W Henderson, who is leaving early in the new year. This week it was announced that the living of Hartley had been offered to the Rev Edward Tennick, who has been vicar of East Farleigh, near Maidstone, since 1949. Mr Tennick is expected to accept the appointment, but will not take it up until Easter. The patron of the living is Miss I King...... Mr Tennick trained for the ministry at St Aidan's College, Birkenhead. He was ordained deacon in the Sheffield diocese in 1940 and priest the following year. He held curacies at Worsboroguh and Frodingham, and was priest in charge of Belton in the Isle of Axholme for 3 years until coming to East Farleigh. [For some reason he did not take up the offer of the post]

Hartley Evening WI
37th annual meeting heard of increased membership since switching to the evening.

27 Dec 1957 Local News Roundup KM - Gravesend Telegraph
Children Entertain
End of term performance of singing and percussion by under 8s and Nativity Play by older chlildren at Hartley Primary School, followed by PTA party for the children. Children had subscribed to gift for Rev Henderson. Mentions headmistress Miss Barnes and teachers Mrs Sidwell and Mrs Walters.

Scouts Active
"....on Friday the 4th annual carol service was held round a 'camp' fire in the attractively decorated hall at the Scout headquarters at Hartley Social Club...."

27 Dec 1957 90, he walks 4 miles daily to get a drink KM - Gravesend Telegraph
"Mr Leslie Miller, landlord of the George Inn, Meopham, is very proud of one of his regular customers - Mr Ralph Cleghorn Bensted, who walks 2 miles every day from his home Horns Oak, Harvel, up the very steep White Post Hill for his drink and then home again. Many of Mr Miller's young 'regulars' do not walk that far, and Mr Bensted is 90 years old.

'I guess I am active for my age,' said Mr Bensted, 'I suppose it was my 50 years farming in Manitoba that has made me fit and strong.'

Mr Bensted arrived in Canada in 1889, shortly after his 21st birthday party at sea. When he got there he was given a 160 acre plot of land by the government, but no place to live. 'My first few days in Manitoba were spent cutting down trees to build myself a log cabin,' he said. 'Canada certainly had the pioneer spirit then. As soon as it became known that I had arrived, people came from miles around to help me build a farmhouse.'

Mr Bensted has only been bak in England for 8 years. He was born at Longfield Court, Longfield and his father and grandfather were owners of Hartley Court Farm, Hartley, near Gravesend.

'Farming was very hard when I first arrived in Canada,' he stated, 'I had to made do with my 160 acre farm for a long time, but eventually I managed to double the size of it.'

Mr Bensted has never had a cold and never wears an overcoat in England. He believes the rugged climate of Canada has had a lot to do with his freedom from colds and chills. 'Out there the cold is very dry,' he said, 'and you don't feel it so much. But when I first went there I heard of several settlers who were frozen tod eath in their beds, because something went wrong with the furnace in their home.' Mr Bensted considers the English winter is 'very tame, but terribly unhealthy.' He thinks people of this country are much colder than the weather. 'Folk seldom stop and talk to you,' he said. 'In Canada one would discuss problems with a stranger.'

Mr Bensted, who lives with his brother, Mr William Bensted, aged 74, and his sister, Miss Mary Bensted, 84, does not consider himself very tough, but many of his friends do. Mr Miller recalled how one morning he was chatting with Mr Bensted about some seed potatoes. 'In the afternoon,' said Mr Miller, 'I was surprised to see Mr Bensted arrive at my house with a 28lb sack of potatoes which he had carried on his back all the way from Harvel. A man a third of his age would have thought twic about doing that.'

During his 50 years in Canada, Mr Bensted made 2 trips to England, one a social visit and the other, in 1914 with the Canadian Army. During his half century in the Commonwealth, Mr Bensted has seen many changes. When he first went there the roads were bad. Now everyone has a car. 'My heart,' he said, 'will always be in Canada.'

Disaster struck the Bensteds in July 1954, when their farmhouse was gutted by fire. Both Mr Bensted and his brother were in bed when the fire broke out and were lucky to escape from the blazing building. They live in a new house built on the site."

03 Jan 1958 Local News in Brief Times
Seed drill for sale by owner of 1 Thamesview Farm

25 Mar 1958 Local News in Brief Daily Herald
Ida Somerton Bellerby [1891-1972], former concert pianist and dog breeder of Church Road, Hartley, fined £2 and banned from keeping dogs for 25 years after being found guilty of neglect which she had denied. Her 27 Rhodesian Ridgebacks (out of only 100 in the country) ordered to be sold. She got first one "Lady of Emasne" in Kenya in 1936, she mated it with Princess Elizabeth's "Just of Bamba", so all her dogs are related to the now Queen's dog.

18 Apr 1958 County Council Election Kentish Express
Dartford Rural East result: W Simmons (Con) 2,027 (63.1%) D J Wise (Lab) 1,187+F2750 (33.5%). No change. Swing Con > Lab 1.7%

Labour hold Dartford Rural West, Dartford East, Dartford West

02 May 1958 Fawkham Young Farmers Club Kentish Express
"Fawkham club has recently been opened officially. As the village has no other active youth groups, and is somewhat isolated, there is great need to provide this group of young people with a club for themselves. If the local community will help over the first difficulties, the club should prove a centre of lively interest for the young people in Fawkham. Mr John Brennan has been elected the club leader and Miss Anna Meaden is the secretary. The club is meeting every Wednesday evening."

16 May 1958 County Election Results Kentish Express
Dartford Rural District Council (elected by thirds). Hartley - M H Farage (Cons) 522, W M Baker (Lab) 81. Council Cons 10 (-4), Lab 9 (+4), Ind 1. Labour appear to have gained 3 seats in Swanley and 1 in Sutton at Hone

Dartford Borough Lab 18 (+1), Ind 4 (-), Cons 2 (-1); Gravesend Borough Cons 21 (-), Lab 10 (-), Ind 1 (-). At the time Northfleet was a separate Urban District.

16 Jun 1958 Local News in Brief Coventry Evening Telegraph
Marriage of Neal Warner [1925-2004] of Coventry, surveyor, to Erica Leaning [1934-2015] of Ealing at Ealing. They will live at 20 Old Downs, Hartley

17 Jun 1958 Local News in Brief Times
Marriage of [NAME] of St Adwen

27 Jun 1958 Local News in Brief Kent & Sussex Courier
"The Rev B D Williams who was assistant curate of St Paul's Church, Rusthall, for 3 years, died in a road accident at Hawkinge, near Folkestone, on Thursday, last week. He was 53. Mr Williams, who became priest in charge at Rusthall in November, accepted the living of Hartley, near Dartford, at the beginning of this year and was instituted as rector of the parish on April 19. Mrs Helen Elsie Irene Bryant, 45, of Hartley Rectory, Dartford, was also fatally injured in the crash. An inquest was opened on Monday by the Folkestone coroner, Mr N W Franks. After hearing medical evidence he adjourned the inquiry until July 10. He said a further postponement might be necessary if injured witnesses were not fit to give evidence. Mr Williams's Austin van, travelling twoards Folkestone, was in collistion with an estate car on the main Folkestone-Canterbury road. [NAME], aged 17, a passenger in the rector's van was detained suffering from shock in Folkestone hospital. The driver of the estate car, which was travelling in the opposite direction, was [NAME], aged 21, of the Spinning Wheel, Barham, near Canterbury. He received a fractured wrist and suffered from shock. Evidence of identification was given [NAME] of 10 Eversley Way, Folkestone. Dr [NAME], casualty officer at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone, said Mr Williams and Mrs Bryant were brought to the casualty department on thursday afternoon. Mrs Bryant who was unconscious, died almost immediately. She was suffering from multiple injuries. Mr Williams was deeply unconscious and died an hour later. Dr [NAME], pathologist the the hospital, said Mrs Bryant died as a result of breaking her ribs. Mr Williams died from shock due to internal haemorrhage and multiple injuries."

07 Aug 1958 Local News in Brief Times
Three men, including haulage contractor Frank Archie Boulding [1910-1963] of Thames View Farm, Hartley, charged with fraud relating to sale of meat at Bow Street Magistrates. Remanded on bail pending trial.

03 Oct 1958 Austin 8 for sale Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"Austin 8 1938 Good Condition, £75; Austin 7 1937, good condition £45. Kenwood, Ash Road, Hartley, Kent. Longfield 3350."

10 Oct 1958 Hartley Naturalist Club Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
Pictures of members of the club and three winners of Fancy Dress Parade - 1st [NAME] (aged 7, butterfly); 2nd [NAME] (aged 6 Blackbird); 3rd [NAME] (aged 8, Holly & Snow)

Paper of this week also has advert for 1,000 Fire King Wallflowers 35s; 1,000 Sweet Williams 50s from Hemesley. Longfield 3394/5.

11 Oct 1958 Local News in Brief Gravesend Reporter
"Proud Day for a Hartley Mother: Proudest but saddest mother in Britain on Sunday October 19th, will be 72 years old Mrs Mary Florence Grace Appleton, of Holly Cottage, Hartley. On that day Mrs Appleton, the retired headmistress of the former Fairby High School at Hartley, will be representing all the mothers of this country who lost a son in the war. She has been selected by the Air Council to attend a special service of reconsecration of the restored church of St Clement Danes in London. It was blitzed during the war. The service will be attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Mrs Appleton and her husband, Mr Charles Appleton, lost two of their three sons in the conflict, and only a miracle saved the third. All 3 served in the RAF. The youngest son, Pilot Officer Llewellyn Lister Appleton, aged 24, was a fighter pilot based at the famous Biggin Hill. On May 12th 1940, he went out on patrol over Belgium. He did not return. The eldest son, Karl, aged 30, was an officer in the Fleet Air Arm, having transferred from the RAF. In March 1943 he led his formation over the Mediterranean. He did not return. The second son, William [prob James William Appleton 1914-1976], was a test pilot in India during the war. When the Japs struck at Singapore he took his plane to the air to fight them. The plane crashed into a hillside and he was the only one to survive. Before he collapsed unconsious and badly burned, he pulled one of the crew clear from the wreckage. It was some time before he wa found and taken to hospital. Because he was so badly injured, it was considered too dangerous to move him to a hospital ship. The Jap invaders were creeping nearer. He was left behind. The hospital ship was bombed. The hospital was captured by the Japs and Mr Appleton had to survive British bombs before he went into captivity for over 3 years. Today he is the air attache in Bucharest. Mr and Mrs Appleton have 3 daughters. The eldest Miss [NAME], served in the Red Cross during the war. The other two were too young to take part. Now both are married and living in Canada."

17 Oct 1958 North Kent Ploughing Match Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
Two pictures from North Kent Ploughing Match at Hartley.

Week's paper also has advert for 2 Saanen Stud Goats born 1955 and 1957, cheap to good homes - Keston Nursery.

05 Dec 1958 Farmworker Wanted. Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"Farmworker wanted. Suit man with small pension. Age between 55 and 60. Wife or relative to do occasional work in adjacent house. Excellent bungalow on service - Apply Warren, Hartley Manor Farm, Hartley, Near Dartford, Kent."

16 Jan 1959 Hottsfield House for Sale Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"Messrs Porter Putt & Fletcher… offer the following properties for sale: Hartley, Hottsfield - very attractive modern detached semi-bungalow. Hall, lounge/dining room, large kitchen, sun lounge, 4 bedrooms, bathroom, brick garage, excellent condition, £3,800" [I think this is probably Rorty Crankle, formerly called Sandhurst]

23 Jan 1959 Chickens for sale Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
(Advert) D.O. R.I.R [Rhode Island Red] and L.S. [Light Sussex] Pullets, £14 per 100. Cockerels £3. Hatching weekly - Hart, The Laurels, Manor Lane, Hartley, Dartford."

04 Feb 1959 Local News in Brief Tatler
Picture of Mr E G Russell-Roberts of Picaroon Kennels, Hartley with one of their Papillon dogs at Crufts [The Old Forge, Ash Road]

13 Feb 1959 100,000 Houses Built in Kent Since War Kentish Express
"Over 60,000 were council homes. Since April 1945, over 106,550 houses have been built by councils or housing associations. Private building has also been at a fast rate and to date 45,948 private houses have been built since 1945. Most private houses have been built at Orpington Here 4,530 have already been built and another 257 are under construction. Gillinghan has built more council houses than any other council in the county, Nearly 3,000 have gone up since the war and 82 are being built. A lot of development has also taken place in Dartford Rural District. Over 2,220 council houses have been put up plus another 3,207 private houses."

10 Apr 1959 Miss Top Typist Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"17 years old [NAME] [pictured] who lives at Arden [Gorsewood Road], Hartley near Dartford, has won first prize for the intermediate typing examination held by the London Chamber of Commerce. The examination consists of a set paper, tabulation and a speed test of 45 words a minute."

24 Apr 1959 Council Elections Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
Dartford Rural District candidates include Hartley: Miss E A Everard (Cons - ship owner [poss 1923-2013]); Mrs L F Brakefield (Lab - housewife [poss 1899-1970])

15 May 1959 They're off on a 2,000 miles' tour of Europe Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"8 members of the Young Conservatives' Branch at Hartley near Gravesend, are to go on a 2,000 miles' tour of the Continent at the end of the month. They will start from Gravesend, cross to Calais, and then go through France, Switzerland and Italy in a Dormobile. They will camp each night. Organiser of the 15 day trip is 23 years old Mr [NAME] of June Hill, Hartley, chairman of the Young Conservatives. Other members of the party are [NAME], Brushwood, Main Road, Longfield;[NAME], Ashenden, Gorsewood, Hartley; [NAME], Elwine, Ash Road, Hartley; [NAME], 1 Wye Road, Gravesend; [NAME], 129 Darnley Road, Gravesend; [NAME], Loxwood, Gorsewood Road, Hartley; and [NAME], 25 Villa Road, Mid Higham, near Gravesend. The trip will cost each member of the party £30."

29 May 1959 Adverts Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
(Advert - Porter Putt & Fletcher of Gravesend) "Hartley - Green Way. Modern semi-detached bungalow, convenient shops and station, hall, lounge, half tiled kitchen with Rayburn, 3 bedrooms, half tiled bathroom, built in garage, £2,700"

[Probably no. 3 which changed hands in 1959, but possibly no 7 which changed hands in 1960]

"New house. 40 minutes Victoria. Oil fired central heating, 3 bedrooms, lounge, dining, kitchen, bathroom, cloakroom, garage, garden, £3,850. Beck, Windrush, Ash Road, Hartley, Dartford."

Kent Educational Committee
Hartley CE Primary School. Female part time assistant for clerical and other non-teaching duties required for 5 hours weekly during term time. Salary 3s 6d per hour...."

12 Jun 1959 Kent Man Cleared of 'Fatstock' Charge Kentish Express
"Old Bailey Acquittal in Conspiracy Case.

Frank A Boulding [1910-1963], 48, haulage contractor, of Thames View Farm, Hartley, was acquitted at the Old Bailey, on Tuesday, of conspiracy and forging receipts, arising with an alleged fraud in connection with a Ministry scheme for fatstock payments. He pleaded not guilty.

Henry W Eaton, 57, of Upper Road, Plaistow, London E, horse and cattle dealer and director of 3 companies, who was said to be 'the centre and mainspring' of a conspiracy, was jailed for 4 years. A Ministry grader, of London, was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months, and a Norwich horse and cattle dealer to 15 months. H Eaton & Son Ltd of London, was fined £4,000. These three men in the conspiracy were found guilty of conspiring to defraud teh Ministry by submitting false presentation forms and payment certificates, and preparing forged movement books and receipts."

22 Jun 1959 Local News in Brief Times
Governess (PNEU preferred) for girls aged 10 and 8. Mason

10 Aug 1959 Local News in Brief Times
Marriage of [NAME] in America

21 Aug 1959 Kent Man's Invention to be shown in London Maidstone Telegraph
"An invention by a Kent man will be seen by thousands of visitors to the Do-It-Yourself Exhibition at Olympia, London from September 3rd to 19th. It is a seed sower shown by Mr A G O'Hara of Thames View, Hartley, Near Dartford. It is one of the 16 inventions selected from many submitted from all parts of Britain and Eire for display in a special section at the exhibition. In past years, several inventions selected for display have been taken up by manufacturers."

04 Sep 1959 Old Downs Assistant Matron required Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
(Advert) "Kent County Council require Assistant Matron (Resident) at the Old Downs, Hartley, Longfield, providing accommodation for 39 old people (men and women). Candidates need not have done this work before provided they possess genuine interest in care and welfare of old people, and are likely to meet requirements within a short time. Salary £325 to £365 a year, with residential emoluments valued at £144 a year...."

18 Sep 1959 Cowman Wanted Maidstone Telegraph
"Good cowman wanted in few weeks' time - Fulford, New House Farm, Hartley, Dartford."

02 Oct 1959 Fawkham Pumping Station Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
(Public Notice) "Water Acts 1945 and 1948. Medway Water Board. Fawkham Pumping Station.

Notice is hereby given that the Medway Water Board… are about to apply to the Minister of Housing and Local Government for an order under section 23 of the Water Act 1945....

The general effect of the order will be:

(1) To empower the Board on or under land situated partly in the parish of Fawkham and partly in the parish of Longfield... to // (a) Construct, alter or continue and maintain a well or borehold and pumping station; and

(b) construct and maintain (in addition to the works authorised by section 4 of the 3rd schedule to the Water Act 1945) all such wells, boreholes, adits and headings as may be necessary for augmenting or improving the supply of water obtainable by means of the well or borehold and pumping station referred to in subparagraph (a) of this paragraph.

2 To empower the Board to take for the purposes of their undertakig any underground waters from the chalk formation (not being water flowing in a defined channel) which may be intercepted by means of any of the works mentioned in the last foregoing paragraph but not exceeding a greater quantity of water than:

(a) 548,000,000 gallons in any one year reckoned from 9am on the 1st day of January to 9am on the 1st day of January in the following year; or

(b) 2,000,000 gallons in any one day of 24 hours reckoned from 9am.

3 To authorise the Board to acquire by compulsion land in the said parishes and rural district for the purposes of the said works........"

16 Oct 1959 It's the Confident Look Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"It's the confident look for Great Dane Helena of Ashthorpe from her young playmate, 9 years old [NAME]. She will be out to justify that confidence when she defends the two silver cups she won last year at this Saturday's Dane of the Year Show at Wimbledon. Helena, who also has one challenge certificate and 48 other awards, belongs to Derek's mother, Mrs R Drinkwater [Joan V Drinkwater 1922-1965] of Church Road, Hartley, near Dartford."

06 Nov 1959 Hartley Country Club an Asset to the District Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"Hartley Country Club is in a flourishing state and there are many more young members which augurs well for its future. This was stated by Mr William Simmons at the 25th annual dinner in the beautifully decorated club hall on Saturday in proposing a toast to the club. 'The club is such an asset to social life in Hartley and the surrounding area that it is in danger of being taken for granted,' said Mr Simmons, 'All it sports sections are doing well.' Mr Simmons paid tribute to the work of the officers, especially the chairman, secretary and treasurer.

Responding, Mr Paul Barlow, chairman, reviewedd the past year which had brough many problems, not least of which was the appointment of a new steward and stewardess and groundsman. They had also to find a new secretary and treasurer and was glad to say that Mr H Bennett and Mr H Neale were very efficiently carrying out these duties. Mr Barlow said the club was particularly fortunate in its present chairman of the entertainments committee, Mr E Cherry, whose energy and organisation was proving of the greatest value to the club. Mr Barlow expressed his great appreciation of the support given him by the members of the Board and looked forward with confidence to the future of the club. He hoped that members would make greater use of its facilities.

Major P J Powell proposed a toast to the ladies and Mrs M E Venus responded. Mr W H Pearcey welcomed the guests and Mr T J Bligh responded."

06 Nov 1959 Door will be old folk's way of escape from flooding Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
(Longfield Parish Council) "A wall to keep back flood water is not to be built near the old people's flats at Whitehill Cross Roads, Longfield, the Parish Council was informed on Monday. Instead there will be a door built to connect the ground floor to the upstairs flat, so that if there is flooding as there was last year, the residents will be able to easily get to safety. 'This is the most fantastic think I have ever heard,' said Dr Peter Read, 'They are providing an escape hatch so that the risk of drowning is slightly less.' As ther are other flood precautions being taken near the spot, the council agreed to wait for further development.

Regarding complaints about smoke nuisance from the refuse tip at Longfield Siding, the council was informed by Southwark Borough Council, the users of the tip, that the inconvenience was regretted and that there had been no fires there for 2 weeks. What often looked like smoke was in fact steam from a railway engine. Mr F Sims said he had never heard anything so fatuous as the remark about steam. He sometimes laid choking in bed from the bad smell from the tip which often came right into the village. The council was told that people in the New Barn area were petitioning to have the nuisance stopped.

The county council, it was stated, thought the best site for the proposed subway under the railway line at Hartley Road was on the east side of the road on the same side as Fawkham Station. If constructed on the west side the cost would be increased by about 50 per cent. The parish council thinks the subway should be on the west side. 'You can't value in pounds, shillings and pence the cost to people who lose parts of their gardens when they are small anyway,' said Dr Read."

[Mr Sims 1915-1981 lived in the Drive, New Barn, so was fairly close to the tip]

12 Nov 1959 Hartley Social Club is Going Well Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"The early days of Hartley Social Club during which there was a struggle to attact members and money, were recalled by its president, Mr D T R Gray at the 25th anniversary dinner in the club hall which had been attractively decorated by the entertainments secretary, Mr Derek Crouch. More than 50 members were present.

In a toast to the club, [NAME], president of the Kent Branch of the Club and Institute Union, said the union was one of the largest social organisations in the country with 3,500 clubs and more than 2 million members. 'It is the village clubs such as Hartley which are the backbone of the union and help it attain its objects,' siad Mr McCombie. He paid an eloquent tribute to the work done for the union by Mr Gray.

Mr Gray in his reply said the club had long since overcome its difficulties and was now highly successful. He praised the club officers in running the club with voluntary labour, especially Mr F J Crouch, vice president; Mr H S Bennett, secretary; and [NAME], entertainments secretary. The ladies and guests were welcomed by [NAME] and [NAME], education and games secretary of the Kent branch of the Institute Union, responded."

04 Dec 1959 Fatal Collapse at Car Wheel Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"While driving his car along Cobham Terrace, Greenhithe, in the fog on Tuesday night on his way home, Mr Leslie William Allden, 47, of [1] Fairby Lane, Hartley, near Gravesend, collapsed and died at the wheel. The car crashed into the grass verge. Mr Allden, a married man with no family, was in business as a chemist at High Street, Greenhithe."

04 Dec 1959 Bank Clerk Wanted Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
(Advert) "Martins Bank Ltd, Longfield have a vacancy for Junior Lady Clerk, age 16/18, for general clerical duties. Good standard of education necessary. Salary from £300 p.a. according to age. Phone Longfield 2189 for interview."

25 Dec 1959 Mr Arthur Potter has Served Longfield Well Tonbridge Free Press (KM)
"One of the finest public servants the north Kent village of Longfield has is 68 years old Mr Arthur Edward Potter (pictured), who lives at 27 Essex Road.

He was born in a tiny Suffolk village, the 8th child of a family of 14. When he was 12 his father died and young Arthur had to start work to help keep his family.

In 1911 he joined the Royal Navy and during the first world war saw service in the Dardenelles and in the Battle of Jutland. During the winter of 1919 he was serving in a destroyer in the Baltic during the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and in 1920 still in destroyers he was in Irish waters during the Irish trouble.

Leaving the Navy in 1924 with the rank of Leading Seaman, he worked in various places until he obtained employment in Longfield in 1928. Almost from the time he arrived in the village, Mr Potter has devoted himself to public work and anything that has to do with the betterment of the parish commands his keen support.

He played the tenor horn in Longfield Band and was its secretary. To his great regret the band faded out in 1928 owing to lack of support. But Mr Potter soon found his leisure time fully occupied. He joined the committee of the once flourishing Longfield Horticultural Society, the Village Hall committee and the committee of the local football club. In 1929, Mr Potter joined the British Legion and devoted himself to work for the local branch. Within a year he was appointed secretary. 4 years later he became vice-chairman. After 5 years he took over the chairmanship and held this office for 9 years. When he resigened he was made a life member of the branch. For a time the branch went into suspension, but when it was reformed Mr Potter was once again called upon to take the job of chairman. He carried on until 1957 when he was elected a vice president and a year later he was honoured by being elected president. Recently when he relinquished this post he was made a life vice-president, a fitting reward for a man who more than 30 years has worked so hard for the welfare of ex-servicemen and their dependents.

For 28 years Mr Potter has served on the Parish Council and is its present vice-chairman. He has seen street lighting brought into the village and is hoping with all other Longfield residents that it will not be long before the main drainage scheme for the village is carried out. He is also anxious to see the village provided with a recreation ground.

Keenly interested in education, Mr Potter has since 1951 been a governor of Northfleet Boys' and Girls' Secondary Schools and since 1944 has been a member of the Board of Managers of Longfield Primary School. His ambition is to see a secondary school built in the Longfield area to avoid the long journeys of some pupils and to provide a centre for further education in the evenings. He has been chairman of the Longfield Youth Club Management Committee since its inception and as a founder member of the Longfield Hill Community Hall committee he worked hard to get the community hall built there.

During the last war Mr Potter served as a volunteer in Civil Defence and was leader of a heavy rescue party. In this capacity he was called out to nearly all the major incidents in the Dartford Rural Area.

Mr Potter is very proud of a clock that was presented to him on his retirement by Dartford Rural Council for whom he worked in the housing department for nearly 30 years as a ganger and later as storekeeper. Since he retired earlier this year he spends much of his time on his allotment. 'Longfield has lost much of its rural charm since I have been here,' he said, 'and is becoming a small town.' "

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