"Increased prices of electricity for consumers in many parts of Kent were announced yesterday by the West Kent Electricity Company, owing to increased costs. The revised rates will come into force in quarterly accounts after March 20, and in other accounts after January 1. For parts of Beckenham, Bromley, Dartford, Chislehurst, Sidcup, Crayford, Erith and Orpington the lighting flat rate will be 6d a unit, and the all-in rate ½d a unit. For undeveloped areas, inlcuding Ash, Chelsfield, Cudham, Darenth, Downe, Eynsford, Farningham, Fawkham, Hartley, Horton Kirby, Kingsdown, Knockholt, Longfield, Lullingstone, Ridley, Southfleet, Sutton at Hone and Wilmington, the lighting flat rate will be 7d a unit and the all-in rate 1d a unit. In both cases there is to be a 20 per cent increase on power supplies."
[The Times (22.9.1938) had previously announced the lighting flat rate for the rural areas was reduced from 6d to 5½d, so an increase to 7d was over 25%.]
The Christmas Festivities at Hartley were organised by the evauated school staff with the very active cooperation of the village. On Wednesday last week,[NAME] AND [NAME] won the treasure hunt. On Thursday 70 took part in the junior party. The senior party next day was attended by over 100 and the first item was the judging of the Scavenge Hunt which had lasteed 2 days and drew a large number of competitors. [3 NAMES] were the winners, with [NAME]#'s group second. In the evening [2 NAMES] and the pupils of [NAME] helped to entertain the children. [NAME], who was responsible for the organisation, thanked those who had helped to make the festival such a success, especially [NAME] who supervised the catering, and Mr and Mrs Gay for their help at the Country Club. Quite a number of the children were in fancy dress and at a parade Frank Woodall was judged the winner.
Pilley & Talbot - Detached residence on high ground, conveniently situated, 3 bed, bathroom, 2 sitting rooms, kitchen, electric light, large garden. £675
John B Gayes [1916-1993] of Hartley Wood Corner - faulty car lights
"I've brought back the stockings I had from you yesterday. They're too fast for me." "Too fast, what do you mean?" asked the shopkeeper. "Well, when I walk they run," answered the customer. Sent by [NAME], Fairby Grange, Hartley, Dartford, Kent"
Cook housekeeper wanted at Halfacre [now called The Anchorage], Ash Road, annual salary £50
"The School managers met on Monday to receive a report from the Canteen Fund sub-committee. The Rev L G W Lenton, at present home on leave from the BEF, was in the chair. In the absence, through illness of Mr E J Cuff, chairman of the Canteen Committee, Mr Sizmur, Parish Council representative on the School Managers, reviewed the position to date. Though there had been considerable delay, he said, owing to the necessity of obtaining sanction and assistance from three different official bodies, they had now reached the point where the KEC had definitely promised to give equipment and other help, the permission of the Board of Education had been obtained, and plans and specification for the canteen kitchen extension had been prepared and passed by the Rural District Council. The fund collected locally would cover the erection of the kitchen on ground adjoining the school. Tenders were being invited and work could commence very shortly. Considerable satisfaction was expressed by the Managers with the work of the Canteen Fund Sub-Committee."
(1) ARP - public shelter at junction of Hoselands Hill and Station Road, Longfield; and near Pepper Hill, Southfleet; (2) Hartley House - American Tea for wool to make sailors' comforts
"Genuine congratulations to the two women writers, 'A Lover of Justice' and 'Fairplay' for putting the truth into plain English words. Having known two so-called conscientious objectors, neither of whom ever went to a religious service of any denomination although they laid their so called claims to religious belief, it certainly seems to me that there is a lot of humbug and nonsense talked by these selfish men. They are so much wrapped up on their own silly ideas that apparently they would be too selfish to make any effort to defend women who might be in danger should Britain be invaded. It does seem to me that such selfish or funky youths are not going to be any use to the British Empire. Frederick D Welch MRCS, Hartley, Longfield."
[Frederick Day Welch 1878-1953 lived at Dalesford, Castle Hill and is buried at Fawkham Church]
"The March meeting attendance was a record for this year of 49.
Mrs McDonald was elected delegate to the West Kent Federation Annual Meeting, and 4 members drew for the one available visitor's ticket and Mrs J L Cook won it.
Mrs Townley, who presided, reported that 76 knitted garments had been finished for the services, other being on the way.
A demonstration 'Making the most of your rations' was carried out by Mrs McDonald, cookery representative, assisted by Miss Boutcher, Mrs Gates and Mrs Townley, showing successively easily prepared breakfasts that should conteract any tendancy to get out of bed the wrong side, savory meatless and near meatless dinners with the use of potato pastry, and sweets without sugar, also one for the day when it's 12:30 before you know where you are! For tea, cake without eggs, and even jam without sugar were produced. Two excellent recipes for supper dishes concluded the demonstration.
Moving a vote of thanks, Miss Robertson expressed appreciation of these 4 talented members of whom the Institue was proud. The motion was carried with enthusisam."
"Buff rocks, black leghorns, sittings of eggs from healthy stock, 5s 6d. Apply Mrs Stickland, Old Downs, Hartley"
""The Annual General Meeting of the Southern Railway Company was held yesterday at Southern House, Cannon Street Station, London EC. Mr Robert Holland-Martin CB (the Chairman of the Company) presided....
The Chairman, who was received with applause said: ........
Electrification of lines - In listening to the story I have to tell you I want you to remember that, unlike the other three main line railways, the Southern is essentially a passenger as opposed to a goods line. In normal times we used to reckon that 75% of our traffics came from passengers and only 25% from goods.
We have no large manufacturing cities on our system, which owes its success to the far sighted way in which its general managers have always sought to improve the communications between the dormitory towns and the City and to encourage those who work in the City to spend their holidays in the health towns on the sunny outher coast or on visits to the Continent. To that far sightedness is due not only the enormous increase of population that has taken place in South London but also the continual growth of the attractive coast towns which have been placed on the map by ease of access.
To meet that growth and to carry that increasing population we have continued to electrify our lines and to make new ones. On January 1, 1939 we brought into use the lines from Virginia Water to Reading, Ascot and Pirbright Junction, and Frimley to Guildford via Aldershot. By this electrificaion we were able to improve the services operated considerably, increasing by 58% the mileage worked on this section.
Our second scheme for the year, which completed the plans we had given the public, was the electrification of the lines from Gravesend Central to Maidstone West, Swanley to Gillingham, Strood Junction to Rochester Junction, and Otford Junction to Maidstone East, which were opened by the Minister of Transport on the introduction of the summer train service in last July. By this electrification improved services were operated on two ore sections of the line - namely Charing Cross to Maidstone West, and Victoria to Maidstone East and Gillingham, with a resulting increase of 42.7% in the train mileage on these sections.
During the 5 years allocated to certain schemes of electrification your railway had electrified 267 route miles - 619 track miles - and built 828 electric vehicles at a cost of £8.5m making in July last the total number of Southern electrified route miles 709 with 1,760 track miles.
Chatham and Gillingham Electrification -
(1) Restrictions on certain kinds of cultivation; (2) Kent Messenger: Air raid sirens to be tested in Kent on Sunday 31st March at 9.30am. Details of how to tell if it is a real raid at the same time.
Parish council complains of "unneccessary" expense of ARP Wardens
(1) Easter Activities for evacuees; (2) Chantry Cottage, Stack Lane - knitting party for sailors' comforts
(1) To let: Gossy Croft, Hartley Hill - £52 pa; (2) Dudley Sizer [1905-1981] of 1 Church Rd - speeding; (3) Dartford Chronicle to be reduced to 8 pages due to newsprint rationing
(1) WI Preserves Club has applied for 38 cwt of sugar (see also 12/26.7.40); (2) Elsa Benham's stage show for evacuees' canteen
(1) Dozens of Tomato and cucumber plants for sale 2s to 3s 6d per dozen at Keston, Church Road; (2) Marriage at Hartley All Saints conducted by Canon Wallis, of Katherine McDonald [1919-1983] of Newbury, Ash Road to Ronald Lynds [1917-2005] of Longfield. Reception at Newbury, Ash Road, groom returned immediately to regiment.
Obituary of Alice Maud Fitzroy-Mundy of The Bungalow, Church Road (84)
"43 Years a Northfleet Blacksmith
Mr Elvy William Cooper, who for 43 years worked in the two centuries old smithy in Old Perry Street, Northfleet was buried at Gravesend Cemetery on Wednesday, following a service at All Saints' Perry Street, where he had worshipped for many years and used to sing in the choir. Mr Cooper lived at the cottage next to the smithy. He died on Friday last week, aged 77.
Because of ill health he gave up work at the end of March. Now the forge, a landmark in the district for so long, is closed.
Mr Cooper had been a blacksmith over 60 years and had owned the Perry Street forge for 16 years. Previously he worked for Mr H Livings and afterwards for his son. When he went to work for Mr Livings, five men were employed there, but in recent months he had been assisted only by his brother.
Son of a blacksmith who worked at the old Hartley forge for 55 years, Mr Cooper worked at Green Street Green, near Longfield, before coming to Perry Street.
There is a widow and one son."
Does in kindle from 12s 6d etc, over 200 to choose from. Danecourt, Glebe Cottage [Ash Road], Hartley.
(1) Land Girls - picture of them feeding cattle at a Hartley farm; (2) Mr Langton, evacuees' headmaster, recalled to Eitham by LCC
Dartford RDC - aliens banned from area
(1) Savings Group considered; (2) Obituary of Margaret E Elliott of St Johns Lane (69); (3) Burglary at Meadow Cottage, home of Col Francis Willes
"Parish Council: On Thursday last week Mr Sizmur presided. The Rural Council wrote requesting the parishes to remove all public display of parish maps. There were none such in Hartley, but the Council decided to take steps for the removal of the name of Hartley from all signs on shops, churches and other buildings, the chairman undertaking this duty. Advice was received from the Postmaster General that under present conditions it was impossible to meet the requet for later afternoon collections. The widening of St John's Lane was agreed to in principle by the Kent County Council, and the clerk was instructed to press the Rural Council to pursue the matter with the county authorities. The Parish Council has always felt that the widening throughout was the only safe way and the public spirited action of Mr Hoath of Hartley Grange, in offering a 12 foot strip has greatly facilitated the project. The "Dig for Victory" campaign was again considered. It was felt that Hartley is doing its duty, and the clerk reported that no applications for allotments had been received. This offer is still open for any of the fewe who have no plot to cultivate."
"Arrangements have been made by the Parish Council for a dump for old iron in the field of Mr Len Harris [Beulah?], Stack Lane. This will be collected by the senior boys of the day school, under direction of Mr Sizmur, chairman of the Parish Council, a barrow having been provided by the Rural Council."
Treveor, garden party for forces comforts attended by 100
(1) Experimental Dartford RDC scrap metal dump at Hartley; (2) Soldier killed in motor accident on Hoselands Hill
"H S West (trading as West and Son) of Station Road, Swanley, was fined £2 and £3 3s costs on Friday, for failing to comply with a notice requiring him to empty a cesspool in connection with houses at 1 & 2 Jubilee Parade [Ash Road], Hartley." (also in Kent Messenger 3.8.40)
"Hartley Child dies from Burns: A 70 year old woman was congratulated by the coroner at an inquest, at Dartford, on Wednesday, on John Sandall Phillips, aged 9 years, of Trevone, Ash Road, Hartley, who died after being enveloped in flames from a bonfire at a neighbour's house. The woman, Mrs Lavinia Pulford of Hasleholt, Hartley, said that she heard a scream, and saw the boy running in flames. All his clothing except a band round his waist was burned off. She put a mat round him, applied tannic acid, and wrapped him in cloth. The coroner said 'You did very well indeed.'
[NAME] of Hasleholt, the dead boy's playmate, said that at first the bonfire did not go very well, and John Phillips suggested paraffin. They got some, and when John poured it onto the fire it blazed up and caught his clothing alight.
A verdict of misadventure was returned, and the coroner sympathised with the parents on the loss of their only child."
(1) Obituary of Mrs Faith Temple of Oaklands, Church Rd (56); (2) 4-5 tons of scrap metal collected in Hartley
Wedding of Constance E Gillman [1917-1999] of Chilton [now Weybourne], Church Rd to Geoffrey F Towell [1917-2003]
"On Saturday morning while on duty as ARP Warden, Mr Stan Acton  was knocked off his cycle by a motor car [at Station Road]. He has an arm broken in 2 places and badly bruised ribs. He was attended to by the Longfield first aid party before being taken to [the County Hospital, Dartford]"
[item appears twice, additional information from other article in square brackets]
"Chalk Quarrying Project - There is a possibility of a new industry being established at Longfield. Recently a letter was sent to the Parish Council, asking whether they were prepared to sell land at Whitehill….. At the parish meeting on Monday, a resolution was passed authorising the parish council sell 6 acres at Whitehill for not less than £650 for the purpose of establishing works for the quarrying of chalk for the production of highly manufactured products on the site. The land will be sold subject to the sanction of the Ministry of Health and other authorities concerned. [List of those present]."
A picturesque thatched cottage, the property of Mr J C Kershaw, was burnt out on Sunday morning, but the efforts of neighbours armed with stirrup pumps, the auxiliary firemen and the regular fire brigade, saved another 300 year old cottage, the home of five generations of the Goodwin family, and no one was injured. There was an air raid.
[No doubt the paper was not allowed to say the house was destroyed by a Hurricane which had been shot down. The neighbouring property saved was Goodwins Cottage, Church Road. The Gravesend Reporter (Hidden Legacy of War, 21.11.1991) reported that the plane had just been dug up and taken to nearby Shoreham Museum. The Hurricane of Pilot John Gurteen (24) crashed at full throttle, he was thrown clear but sadly died. This was on Battle of Britain day 15 September 1940. An eyewitness wrote to the paper (5.12.1991) "I was a milkman on my round with my boss, Harry Parrett of Hothfield Dairy, Hartley. About midday we were at Hartley Court and heard this air battle above. We saw this furnace coming towards us at full throttle. It crashed about 100 yards away. I jumped over a five bar gate and raced to see what I could do, thinking the pilot was in the inferno. The machine guns were exploding all around and it was hopeless..."]
"An ancient parish church in South East England was damaged during a recent air raid. A bomb fell near the building, and smashed the beautiful stained glass, and did other damage to the fabric.
The Rector, who is doing ARP work, was engaged, during the raid looking after the needs of his parishioners when the church was hit. He is grieved over the loss sustained by the smashing of the stained glass, which must have been at least 300 years old.
The Church is built of flint and stone in the early English style."
[This may be the report of the landmine which fell on Northfield, which blew out the windows of All Saints church, although the windows damaged were nowhere near 300 years old. However the next week the paper reports services are not being held in the church. When the windows were restored after the war, the name of the donor was changed from Trimmer to Summer.]
(1) Gorse Way man fined for speeding; (2) All Saints - Sunday services to be in schoolroom [A clear clue that the reference to a church being damaged the previous week was about All Saints']; (3) Marriage of Miss Joan Hetty Fielder [1916-1990] of the Stores to Frank E Barwood [1912-1991] at Congregational Church
(1) "The Bungalow Light: At Dartford on Friday, Robert Roy Burnsten Wilson [1898-1971] Riverview, Church Road was fined 32s with 8s costs for causing a light to be displayed from his bungalow."; (2) Edward Owen Jones of Elderberry Cottage, Church Road, fined for speeding at Welling
"When Nazis Bombed North Kent Hospital - British Courage Rose above the Storm - High Tributes to Staff
High tributes to the conduct of the staff of a north Kent hospital which received a direct hit in an air raid - 2 women's wards being demolished - were paid at a meeting of the local guardians committee this week.
The chairman said the bombing might easily have caused panic and developed into something worse than it was and the public was indebted to the staff for the way it faced the crisis. This revealed that the care the guardians had always taken in the appointment of the staffs was not wasted. When the storm was at its worst the staffs gave of their best.
"There was the horror of darkness added to the awfulness of the occasion", the chairman added. "It made the work more frightening, but the staff carried on facing every difficulty."
A lady guardian said the master of the hospital kept his head marvellously. She did not think they should diiferentiate as all did their duty and more than their duty.
Another member said "I am not surprised at what the staff did. I am satisfied that our nature is such that we can rise to the occasion when it comes."
It was decided to express the Guardians' thanks to the staff.
A report by a hospital official who was quickly on the scene of the bombing stated: "It was a harrowing scene, and the cries of those trapped in the wreckage were pitiful, but amidst this pandaemonium I did not observe one case of panic amongst the staff, but instead they worked like Trojans, untiringly and unceasingly.
Several of the nurses were clad only in pyjamas with a coat thrown over, as they had no time to dress. I would like to make special mention of the way in which these nurses worked with a calm and efficiency which was inspiring. Sisters and probationers alike worked the night through.
Rescue work was rendered exceedingly difficult throughout the night as the enemy planes were still in the vicinity adn only the minimum of light could be used. At times it was necessary to extinguish all lights when it became apparent that the enemy were close.
The ARP workers worked magnificently and one after another the patients were freed. When daylight came there were still about 6 patients trapped, but eventually they were all accounted for, and when then roll was taken it was found that the casualties amounted to 24 killed, including 2 staff, and 9 patients and 6 staff are injured. Of the injured, only 2 of the patients were serious, and the staff slight.
Whilst it was not my intention to mention any individual as being outstanding in the rescue work, all the staff having worked so wonderfully well, it is only fair that I should mention the names of Dr Green, Sister Gantry and Mr C T Shaw, whose untiring efforts were worthy of recognition."
[This was probably the worst loss of life locally in the whole war. West Hill was then the main local hospital for the Dartford area, which included Hartley. One of the stained glass windows in the chapel survived the bombing and can now be seen in Darent Valley Hospital.]
On Thursday last week, Mr Charles Sizmur presided. A committee of three was appointed to confer at once with the landowner, Mr Hoath, on the widening of St John's Lane, now more urgent with the approach of the second winter under blackout conditions. The chairman reported receipt of £24 for the Spitfire Fund from Mr Dallen, collected from members and friends of the Hartley Sports Club and some £17 collected in the village by 9 authorised collectors. The satisfactory total of £41 had thus already been raised with more to follow from collecting boxes not yet cleared, and other promises. The Clerk was instructed to send a letter of compliment and thanks to the local Auxiliary Fire Service for prompt and efficient work, whereby Mr Goodwin's cottage was saved from destruction or even damage, although the next cottage only a few feet away was totally destroyed during an air battle. Appreciation was expressed of good neighbourly actions following on houses being badly shaken by blast and it was confidently felt that everyone in the parish stood ready to offer immediate shelter where needed pending the operation of official action in similar cases in future. Happily there have been no fatal casualties in Hartley. (Dartford Chronicle of 11.10.40 said the Spitfire Fund was £41 6s 2d)
Glenelm, Castle Hill to let for duration at 32 shillings per week; owner also put James Auto Cycle for sale - £9
"Buried in tons of debris
Mr Jim Sheppard of Bellerive, Gorse Way, Hartley, had a remarkable experience during an air raid in a Midland town. Part of a hotel at which he was staying collapsed while he was in bed, and he fell from the second floor to the basement. He was buried for some hours in tons of debris, and when he was rescued it was found that he was not seriously injured. Mr Sheppard (pictured) tells his story in the following words:
"Having been 20 years on the road, the war forced me to take a clerical post and this I stuck for 12 months. Outdoor workers among your readers will guess how I felt when I obtained another position on the road two weeks ago. I was working the first week, around a northern district where the lucky inhabitants consider it an event if Jerry drops a bomb. I did not see a crater there in 8 days' travelling and had very good nights in bed.
Then on the night of the 15th, in my second week, I came to a Midland town. Jerry found this out and paid his first visit for a considerable time. He started dropping 50lb bombs (all small stuff) and incendiaries - I think about 10pm. It quietened down about midnight and I turned in on the top (second) floor of my hotel. At a guess I should say about 1 o'clock it started again.
I was only half asleep when I heard one bomb drop quite close and the next second another one more than very close, for I heard masonry falling I remember I thought to myself - gosh - that's a bit close. It was close for the wall of the room below mine must have caught it, as the next momet my floor began to fall. It wasn't unpleasant as the motion was like being in a lift. For about 2 seconds all was quiet and I began to breathe and I had missed all the bricks. Then came another fall and I was apparently thrown out of bed, my mattress miraculously threw itself around me and debris piled all over me.
There was a final fall and apparently I finished aobut 2 feet from the basement floor - very fortunately for me. I found this out afterwards. The mattress of course, being wrapped around me obviously saved my life. I suppose for about 1 minute I was suffocating as the pressure increased I had my right arm fairly free and was able to grope in a downward motion. A couple of bricks gave way. It was then I found that I was about 2 feet from the basement ground. I could only guess this as, of course, it was pitch dark.
As is perhaps natural, for a few seconds I did a bit of wild struggling with my body, but to no avail. I could not move my feet as they were pinned The air was then coming up to me very nicely and every 5 minutes I yelled out a 'hello' until I heard somebody answer me. I should imagine that the Midland Town's ARP boys were on the scene within 20 minutes. I then realised that all I could do was to keep cool and wait, and of course hoep that they would get to me in time.
My sense of humour had not left me at this particular moment as I remembered I had taken out a 1 shilling (5p) thousand to one Air Raid Insurance the day before, and thought out aloud that I wished I had taken out a dollar's (25p) worth. I then realied that it was no good as the receipt was in the debris. About half an hour after this, I was located but there were literally tons of debris over me, and it took them over 4 hours constant work to remove it, so that they could see where I was.
One of the ARP lads, also blessed with a sense of humour, flashed his torch on me about half an hour when he realised I could take it, and every time had the same words - 'We will have you out of there in no time, there is only about a half ton on you'. Towards the end I was able to indicate the exact position of my body, when a small gap was made above me. I could then push my right hand through and indicate to them where my feet were pinned and so on.
As I reached hospital about 6.30 I estimate that I was an Egyptian Mummy for about 5 hours. I cannot think of the right word - lucky is not strong enough. All I have to show, apart from bruises of course, is a temporarily paralysed foot. As I can walk this does not see to matter much. I was taken to a Military Hospital, and it took me back to Christmas 1915, which was the last time I was in Hospital (after Gallipoli). Did I have a good tiem? I had six pretty nurses dressing me when I was informed that my wife was waiting for me in the corridor. I wonder whether I should have told the nurses I could have dressed myself.
I have lost everything I had with me in the debris, as of course I only came away with my pyjamas. I am thinking of starting a Spitfire fund with the pyjamas; they are worth looking at. Although I have lost everything I expect my usual luck will come to my rescue I have always been lucky. In conclusion I must say that with my first hand experience of the Midland town's ARP service, if this is the standard all over the country , it is an amazing self-sacrificing and efficient service."
[Bellerive is now called Applewood, Gorse Way. It had only just been built in 1939, and Mr and Mrs Sheppard was the first tenants.]
"Private [NAME] of the Royal Artillery was summoned for assaulting William Edward Barlow, of View Point, Merton Avenue, Hartley, at Wilmington on October 25. He pleaded guilty. Mr Bertram Lovell, who appeared for Barlow, said it was one of those regrettable cases arising out of a family squabble. Complainant was father in law of defendant. He did not think it necessary, in view of the plea, to go very far into the matter. Complainant did not want to be vindictive, and if defendant was bound over it would meet the ends of justice and there was no need to occupy the time of the court. The deputy clerk (Mr Tattersall) pointed out that there must be some evidence of the assault. Barlow then stated that his wife and he had had a few 'words', and he tried to make it up. Defendant, who was on 24 hours leave, came out of his bedroom and asked what all the noise was about. 'I told him it was nothing to do with him and that he should not interfere with a man and his wife.' Barlow added, 'He then hit me in the face with his fist.' Cook alleged that Barlow struck him first. 'He had previously hit my wife in the stomach with his knee,' defendant stated. 'When I asked him what all the noise was about, he told me to mind my own business. He hit me in the face with his fist, and I hit him back. I picked him up off the floor and got him to bed.' In dismissing the case under the First Offenders Act, the chairman said the squabble should now stop, and they hoped defendant would in future keep his temper."
Engagement of Capt Algernon E Orde RA [1904-1984] to Helen Mary Walker [1915-1980] of Radnorshire
Sub-Committee of Dartford RDC re widening of St Johns Lane (see also 20.12.40)
Secondhand Wood For Sale, also poultry house. Workshop opposite Miss Boucher's shop, Church Road, Hartley
"A dispute over the ownership of some land at Church Road, Hartley, resulted in a cross summons for assault. The parties were Dora Alice Stokes [1895-1972] of Keston Nursery, Church Road, Hartley; and David Thomas Robson Grey [1884-1968] of Brumleigh, Church Road, Hartley. Mr S Benson appeared for Mr Gray and Mr Hugh Goff for Mrs Stokes. Mrs Stokes had a plot of land with poultry and ducks, and on December 1 when she went to feed the birds she found a piece of fence down. She was putting it up when Mr Gray tried to stop her. She shouted to her husband for help and, it was alleged, tried to punch him and then kicked him. Evidence was given for Mrs Stokes by Edward Owen Jones of church Road, Hartley, Mrs Ellingham and Mr Charles Stokes. Defendant stated that Mrs Stokes tried to put the post up and he tried to prevent her. She became very abusive. He gave her a push and she fell down. She tried to strike him over the fence and kicked him twice. Jack Sopp and Thomas Elliott gave evidence for Gray. Mrs Stokes was fined 10s and the cross summons was dismissed."
Ellerbys Agricultural Contractors advertise for tractor driver
Longfield and District Choral Society became Hartley Choral Society in autumn 1969 holds concert in WI Hall.
Spitfire fund now £66, £34 of which raised by Country Club
Parish Council – Mr Gable coopted in place of A E Edward, who had resigned
(1) Former Old Downs school pupil [NAME] successful in exam for naval cadets special entry (executive and engineering). (in 1945 he was Lieutenant on HMS LIverpool); (2) WI Fruit Preserving Scheme (see article); (3) Razor blade famine in Kent
Adverts: (1) Rooms to let – [NAME], 3 Ash Road; (2) Morris Nine car 1930 for sale £4 – St Anthony’s (now Knoll Cottage), Ash Road
"Nearly all the produce preserved by Hartley and Ash Preserving Depot during July, August and September has now been sold. Nothing is left of the 16cwt 32lb of jam, nor the 1 cwt 6 lb of jely, and only a few bottles of damsons out of the 1,166 bottles remain unsold! It is owing to the untiring efforts of the managing committee and voluntary helpers from Ash and Hartley WIs that nearly 31 cwt of local fruit which would otherwise have been wasted has been preserved for the benefit of the public."
[Miss Chisholm of Hartley WI also explained the scheme to Eynsford WI (Kent Messenger 15.5.1942)]
Adverts: (1) Breeding rabbits and hatching eggs for sale – Glebe Cottage, Hoselands Hill; (2) Wagoner seeks situation – Hodges, Gun Station, Church Road
Dr Evelyn Scott of Old Downs made deputy medical officer
"Robert William Cheesmur (20), a former farm hand, of 1 Ash Road, Hartley, Longfield, sought exemption on religious grounds. He was registered as a conscientious objector, provided he remained in his present occupation, or took up other full time work on the land, civilian ambulance or ARP work.
[Mr Cheesmur (1920-2007) held sincere religious beliefs. He went to Nigeria as a missionary in 1955, before emigrating to Canada. A tree is planted in his memory at Didsbury, Alberta.]
"At a meeting on Saturday in the Congregational hall, called by the head Warden, Mr H T Penney, methods of dealing with incendiary raids were discussed. Although about 70 people attended, 50 of whom had already volunteered, it was stated that the wardens' plan for watching all the 250 scattered houses in the parish would need at least 150 volunteers if the length and frequency of the shifts were not to be unduly burdensome. The matter was referred to a further meeting this Saturday, and meantime, neighbours have been organised into 13 groups covering the whole parish, and are to try out systems of keeping watch during 'alerts'. Each group is provided with at least one stirrup pump, and such other fire fighting apparatus as can be collected or improvised."
"A comprehensive fire watching scheme to cover the whole parish has now been put into operation. The district has been divided into 12 sections, with the following section leaders: Mr Graham, Grafton House, Hoselands Hill; Mr Carter, 6 Ash Road; Mr Solly, Dunster, Ash Road; Mr Appleton, The Stoep, Fairby Lane; Mr Elphick, Annlea, Ash Road; Mr Kitto, The Black Lion; Mr Graham Wood, Hatchlands, Church Road; Miss Chisholm, Restharrow, Church Road; Mr Martin, Rona, Church Road; Mr Hemmings, Gloria, Manor Drive; Mr Soper, Glenholme, Woodland Avenue; and Mr Bishop, Little Stirrups, Church Road. Any volunteer who has not heard from his section leader should get into touch with him or her at once. More volunteers are still needed, and should apply to their nearest section leader."
(1) Dartford A Town of Book Lovers, 25.6% of population borrowed books, compared with 16.9% nationally; (2) Parish Council – KCC have withdrawn objections to widening St John’s Lane; (3) Issue of phone books to residents suspended; (4) Hartley Fire Watching - Arrangements are now in operation in several of the sections. The chief warden has delegated the control to Mr Brain. An ample supply of sand and bags is available.
"Nine members of the WI took part last Thursday in a cooperative effort to salvage the waste piece of ground at the back of the WI Hall. The ground was double trenched in approved style, and it is hoped shortly to be able to sow root crops and salads as a small, though valuable, contribution to the agricultural campaign. Those taking part in operations were Mrs Barrow, Miss Boorman, Mrs Cook, Mrs and Miss Chisholm, Mrs Gates, Miss Rugbys, Mrs Jones and Miss K Townley, ably supported by an interested group of onlookers."
(1) William G Amos of Hartley Green - cycle lamp too bright; (2) £3,810 invested at Hartley PO during war weapons week; (3) Country Club - auction sale raises £38 to war weapons week. AGM - directors LC Troughton and FA Howe reelected, WJ Bye resigns as director, Mr Dallen elected in his place. Part of club let to Kent Education Committee as a school.
"Hartley's share in Dartford and District War Weapons Week totalled £3,810 - considerably more than expected. The greater part of the effort consisted in purchases of certificates, bonds etc in quite small amounts, and some light was thrown on the often asked question "Where did it all come from?" by a remark of a post office official that some of the banknotes passing through his hands had undoubtedly a faint, old world aroma, suggesting that they had lain some while hidden in mattresses or the proverbial stocking! Good business was done through the voluntary selling counters at the school and the Cooperative shop, and local savings groups were active. In addition to the Whist Drives a popular wind up to the week was a Dutch Auction with Mr D N Dallen as auctioneer, in the Country Club, while the competition for the autographed cricket bat, presented by Mr Dallen, and a gramophone, helped to swell the funds. The Women's Institute invested £10 of its balance in Defence Bonds, and Women's Constitutional Society, who had made a similar investment previously, deposited the remainder of its funds in the Post Office Savings Bank." [The Kent Messenger of 15.2.1941 records the gift of the cricket bat, signed by the Australian and English men's and women's test teams. The paper of 1.3.1941 reported on Whist Drives attended by 50 and 76 respectively. The paper of 8.3.1941 also recorded that the total for the whole of Dartford Borough and Rural District was £469,000, while Longfield parish collected nearly £1,800. People were not giving money to the government but lending it by buying savings certificates.]
Peggy Day of Downs View, Ash Rd - no bicycle rear light
"At the annual meeting on Saturday Mr Charles Sizmur presiding, expressed thanks to all the inhabitants for their enthusiastic work during Dartford and District War Weapons Week, which resulted in the splendid total of £3,810 being invested locally - about £4 per head of the population, and one of the best results in the Rural District. Further money, amounting to £53, was raised by various social activities. Two whist drives, organised by Miss Barker, realised £14 2s. The amount contributed by the scholars and teacher of the Hartley C of E School reached the fine totaL of £160 7s. Mr Sizmur also voiced thanks for the splendid response to all calls for civil defence, and hoped that the relativey few individuals who were still not helping would be ispired by this example to join in. Mrs Gates, on behalf of the Women's Institute, drew attention to the fact that fruit preservation had been entrusted by the Ministry of Food to the National Federation of WIs, to be organised by them on a cooperative basis, and that non-institute members were to be appointed on the Village Sub-Committees. Mr Sizmur informed Mrs Gates that the Council were already considering the matter in which they were much interested and would shortly nominate a member to join the Institute Sub-Committee. In reply to Mr Phillips, Mr Sizmur said that the Kent County Council had at last approved the St John's Lane widening scheme, and that a meeting with the landowner had been arranged. It was hoped that a temporary footpath inside the hedge woud thus be provided for pedestrians until such time as it became possible to widen the road. Mr Cuff and Capt Bignell thanked Mr Sizmur for his indefatigable efforts in organising War Savings Week. Thanks were also expressed to Mr Fielder, Hartley's Postmaster, in appreciation of the large amount of work involved in handling the deposits."
Adverts: (1) Egg sittings – Mrs Stickland, Old Downs; (2) Store pigs for sale – Coney, Hartley Bottom
Death of Air Cadet George Norman Stickland, b 4.7.1922
150 attend dance at Country Club to send cigarettes to local POWs.
Obituary of Air Cadet George N Stickland of Old Downs (18)
The many friends they have made throughout Kent during a long life of public service will congratulate Mr and Mrs George Day (pictured) on their golden wedding anniversary, which they celebrated on Monday at their home at North Ash.
Mr and Mrs Day were married at the Baptist Chapel, Meopham, on April 14th 1891. Mr Day was then farming at North Ash, where he and his wife have lived ever since. Their children and grandchildren were present at a family gathering on Monday, to mark the occasion.
Mr Day was for 18 years a member of Kent County Council; for 46 years a member and 17 years chairman of Dartford Rural Council; and for 47 years a Dartford Guardian, for three being chairman of the Board. During the last war he was chairman of the Kent War Agricultural Committee and of the Dartford Military Service Tribunal. He is a Justice of the Peace.
Mrs Day founded the Women's Hour at Ash Chapel, was at one time secretary of the Women's Institute, and also a member of the child Welfare Committee."
"The annual meeting was held on Saturday, Mr C Sizmur presiding. The Hon Treasurer Mr Gomer Davies, reported that though there had been some reduction in the subscriptions, they had come to the end of their second year with a satisfactory balance in hand. Mr Gates, Hon Secretary, reported that the refugee for whom the association was caring was now a young man, nearly 16 years old and 6 ft high, and that he was about to sit for the General Schools Examination at Dartford Grammar School, on which they had every hope he would gain exemption from matriculation. Harry Leucht has done well in mathematics, speaks and writes excellent English and had expressed the wish to be naturalised as an Englishman when he comes of age. The committee recommended that, after the examination, a suitable job should be found for Harry, and the meeting agreed that this was desirable. The officers were reelected, and Messrs J L Cook, F Townley and Mrs Cuff were elected to sit on the committee."
Obituary of Miss Clara Hannah Maria Greenwood, 83, of “Pleasant” (now Copthorne), Ash Road, retired teacher
Advert for recruits to Kent Emergency Land Corps
Wedding of Thomas W Morgan of Greycote, Manor Drive and Dorothy Temple [1916-1997] of Oaklands, Church Road, they are to live at 2 Rose Cottages, Essex Road, Longfield (also Dartford Chronicle 6.6.1941)
Adverts: (1) 1933 Wolseley Car for sale £50 – Woodlands, Ash Road; (2) Home Lodge (now The Bex), Ash Road to let – A V Baker, 47 Devonshire Road, Weston super Mare
Will of Miss Frances Elizabeth Chandos Kirke (£6,673 net) details of charitable bequests
(1) Achibald W T Deering [1916-1997] of Gwenjonal, Church Rd - speeding; (2) Obituary of chairman of Dartford RDC written by Capt Bignell; (3) Cooperative Fruit Preserving Centre at WI Hall
Will of Miss Frances E C Kirke of Braeside (£6,673)
(1) [NAME] of Ash Rd - left car unattended and unlocked (also Chronicle 8.8.1941); (2) Philip N Payne of Windermere, Church Rd - allowed uninsured driver to drive car
"New Chairman of Dartford RDC - Captain C S Bignell appointed
At the meeting of Dartford Rural Council on Tuesday, Captain C S Bignell of Hartley, was appointed chairman in succession to the late Mr F W Ladds, and Mr G W Smith was appointed vice-chairman.
The Rev Stanley Morgan, in agreeing with the appointment of Captain Bignell, said he would do so on condition that Captain Bignell gave up the chairmanship of two committees, the Emergency Committee and the Town Planning Committee, as he did not think it was usual for the chairman of a council to hold the chairmanship of committees as well.
Mr Walter Wright said he agreed with the Rev Morgan's remarks, particularly as Captain Bignell, as chairman of the Emergency Committee, was holding a position of profit.
Captain Bignell strongly resented the suggestion and said he had not drawn the £50 voted to him, which wa in respect of expenses. He had only drawn out of pocket expenses in connection with the work and was really out of pocket over the business.
[Captain Bignell was Hartley's district councillor. He was clearly angry that Longfield's councillor Walter Wright said he shouldn't be chairman when he was holding an office of profit as a paid chairman of another committee. This doesn't appear to be the end of the matter, for Walter Wright was also clerk to Hartley Parish Council and Captain Bignell was a parish councillor too. That council sacked Mr Wright a couple of months later on what many people thought were trumped up charges.]
"Hartley Manor Farm, near Longfield, Kent, 3 miles Meopham, 4½ miles Dartford
Sale of the Valuable Herd of 32 Tuberculin Tested Dairy Cows and Heiffers (the majority of which are Guernsey), 7 Guernsey Heifer Buds, Guernsey Stock Bull, Dairy Shorthorn Bul, 15 months; 8 Guernsey Bull and Heifer Calves, 9 Large and middle white sows (in and with pigs), 5 middle white boards.
Also the superior dairy equipment, which includes 9 galvanised and wooden corn bins, 6 domed milking pails, bottle crates and carriers, capping and bottling machines, wash up bins by Perkins, vertical diesel boiler with oil storage tank by Perkins, Electrolux refrigerator, sterilising cabinet by Perkins, churn steriliser by Perkins, milk weighing scales, ocolers and hoppers, Alfa Laval and Diabolo separators, 5 gross glass milk bottles, 2 pig weighing machines, Austin 7 delivery van etc
Which Messrs E J Parker and sons will sell by auction on the premises by instruction from D N Dallen esq (who is giving up keeping stock) on Monday 11th August 1941, at 2pm...
[As we shall see, Mr Dallen was not leaving the farm, just giving up stock keeping.]
(1) Parish Council - Mr Meddick resigns over winding up of Ash Rural Sanitary Committee; (2) Country Club Whist Drive for Navy Comforts
All Saints - national day of prayer; collection for Lord Mayor of London's distress fund
(1) Archibald W T Deering of Church Rd denies paternity of child by [NAME] (18); (2) Ratepayers Association founded; chairman DTR Gray; secretary C D Mayley of The Baytrees, Gorse Way; (3) Boy guilty of "abominable cruelty" to dog - discovered by Mr Campkin of Cherry Orchard and Mrs Allkins of The Glebe; (4) Rural Youth Movement: first sports meeting includes Hartley
"Men in civvies carrying cudgels and broomsticks may replace the armed battle dressed Home Guards who nightly patrol the lanes about the village of Hartley (Kent). That is, if an order to disband the platoon which takes effect tomorrow is not withdrawn.
The order is the outcome of a petition from the 41 NCOs and men against the commissioning and appointment as second-in-command of a farmer, Deryck Dallen, 29.
The petition was sent to the Battalion CO Colonel Moseley. A platoon meeting was called and the other ranks were asked to carry on. But they were not satisfield. They still did their night patrols, but refused to attend Sunday parades, at which the new officer would be present.
A meeting of the platoon is to be called next week to discuss future plans. In the meantime..... "The matter is being decided by superior authorities." Brigadier General T A Andrus Home Guard Major, Company Commander who signed the disbandment order said yesterday."
Home Guard to be disbanded due to objections to appointment of Deryck Dallen as 2nd in command (3.10.41 - to be reformed)
"They refuse to accept a Whitehall decision that their Home Guard platoon be disbanded, and three of the villagers have been appointed to tell the war lords that they can't do this to Hartley.
The trouble started when the forty men who comprise the village platoon decided that they disapproved the appointment of local farmer Deryck Dallen as their commanding officer, choice of the village socialites.
They agreed among themselves to carry on with their nightly patrols, but refused to attend parades and asked for Mr Dallen's resignation.
The War Office backed Mr Dallen, and told him to stay put. As the villagers remained stubbon, the platoon was disbanded.
That was on Thursday. Last night, the villagers crowded the Parish Hall, and raised their protest against Whitehall dictatorship. Mr Gray, the chairman, said: "We are in a neighbourhood where we may bete a lot of parachutists and we can't depend on neighbouring platoons."
"If it is a matter of going to to War Office and stirring up trouble, we must press this home", said a villager.
Timid souls who suggested that the War Office woudl not rescind a decision were scorned. Hartley refused to ask, as a compromise, for the reforming of the platoon. Hartley wants its own platoon restored."
Home Guard: applications for new platoon to Lt J R Stevens, Hazel Lodge, ash Rd
Deryck N Dallen of Hartley Manor Farm - blackout offence (car)
(1) Ratepayers Assn - 60 at meeting, 115 members; (2) Country Club: YMCA & Red Cross Dance - RAF Dance Band Aid for Russia Whist Drive at Country Club (5.12.41); (3) No progress on Hartley School Canteen; (4) WI Drama Group (many named); (5) Protest meeting about increased rates due to cesspool emptying
"In your 'Gossip of the Day' you mention the Light Brigade and Balaclava (1854).
In 1883 I drove a gentleman to The Manor, Hartley, Kent, the residence of Colonel Evelyn. To my surprise, the groom in charge of the stables turned out to be a friend of mine, and hailed from Wilmington, where I was employed. I was shown a fine old charger that the colonel as a subaltern, rode in the famous charge of the Light Brigade.
On returning to England the charger was pensioned off, though still young. A splendid pasture wsa given to the Colonel's favourite, but he was always stabled in inclement weather.
The old charger had one very amusing trait. He would have a day's hunting. Let the West Kent fox or stag hounds be anywhere near and the cry of the hounds or sound of the huntsman's horn reach the ears of the old charger, that was enough, over the hedge he would go, have his day's hunting, always running well up to hounds.
Wherever the hunt finished was immaterial to the old horse, he would see the last of it, then make tracks for home, taking his own time, jump back into the paddock, and then make for the stable, where he knew a feed of corn awaited him.
No one at the Manor worried about him, and the hunt would have felt lost without him. The hunt seemed to get as much fun out of the old charger as they did from riding to hounds. The whole countryside knew him and he was never interfered with, no matter whose land he passed over when making short cuts for home.
In fancy I can hear the groom now, singing 'Six hundred stalwart warriors.' That was his favourite song, and no other horse in the stable, according to the groom, could be compared with the old charger, which, at the time I saw him, was well over 30 years old.
TA Acton (Burton Leonard)"
"Hartley Girl Guide Company report a successful recruiting campaign. Hartley Brownies have found a Tawny and she will be enrolled on November 22nd.... There is urgent need for more Guiders, especially at Longfield, where it is hoped to reopen the company for local and evacuee children as soon as Guiders can be found."
"Wanted - smart strong girl or woman to do butcher's country round with motor van. No previous experience necessary; driving taught. Write with particulars of age etc, to Sizer, Family Butchers, Hartley, Nr Longfield, Kent."
"Hartley Manor Farm, Hartley near Longfield, Kent - Important sale of live and dead farming stock. Including match pair of roan cart geldings (8 years old), bay cob, bay hunter, 3 cows (one with calf at foal), 2 Guernsey heifer calves (6 months).
Two single horse wagons, dung cart on pneumatics, cob size farm cart, plain and Cambridge rolls, 3 furrow Cockshutt plough, 3 iron ploughs, harrows, iron water barrel, 2 mowing machines, 2 horse rakes, swathe turner, 8 ft iron dredge, 3 corn drills, sedd borrows, hay elevator, hay sweep, self binder, iron brakes, manure distributor, tractor cultivator, trailer, corn mill, iron saw bench, 5 hp Lister engine, platform scals, protable forge, 2 stack cloths, chaff cutter, 11 iron tanks and water troughs, paraffin tnks, 5 large iron corn bins, quoiler, chain and plough harness, Fordson Tractor on pneumatics, 8 poultry houses up to 20ft x 12 ft, portable sheds, 60b ft erectio of timber and iron piggeries, 4 pig huts, 30 iron hurdles, sheep netting, barbed wire, corrugated iron glavanised feeding barrow, 70 sleepers, pig troughs, 400ft run light railway, turntable, tip wagon and flat top trolley, quantity bricks, small tools and effects whch Messrs E J Parker and Sons are favoured with instructions from Mr D N Dallen to sell by auction on Monday 15th December 1941, commencing at 11 o'clock precisely."
"Morris 8 hp, excellent condition, any trial, Saturday or Sunday, taxed, insured - Powell, Valley Wood, Castle Hill, Hartley, near Longfield."
"Gordon Longhurst [1932-2002], aged 9 of 15 Valley Villas, has collected another £1 for the Lord Mayor's Air Raid Distress by making and selling Christmas cards. His achievement was acknowledged by the BBC on Sunday night. This is Gordon's second effort in a few weeks."
Meeting fixed Sunday opening for cinemas at 4pm. Rev Stanley Morgan complained that this was affecting Sunday School attendance. No progress yet on provision of School Canteens at Hartley, Swanley and (West) Kingsdown, County Council say they are waiting a report.
Funeral held at Meopham for Edward Wellard of Elim, New Road, aged 85. Born in Hartley, he lived in Luddesdown for 60 years, being appointed postmaster there before 1914 to his retirement in 1937.
Longfield - "[NAME] was the winner of the beautifully decorated iced cake which brought in £8 14s for the Merchant Navy. The cake was made by [NAME] and iced by [NAME]."
"At a parish meeting held at the WI Hall, Hartley, a resolution was passed, asking the parish council to resign and 'permit the of the representation of the parish in conformity with the wishes of the electorate.' It was proposed by Mr G Moore and seconded by Mr HS Bennett. Another resolution, proposed by Mr Gray, condemned the action of the parish council in proceedig with its apparent intention to terminate the appointment of the clerk (Mr W Wright) and protested against the suggested proposal to spend public money in seeking legal advice. Disapproval was expressed of the action of the parish council in asking the Dartford Rural Council to undertake the emptying of the cesspits in the village, whereby the rates may be substantially increased, and it was decided to send a deputation, consisting of Messrs Penney, Mayley and Gray, to interview the Rural Council. The parishes of Ash, Kingsdown, Fawkham and Ridley are to be represented also if they wish."
"At the meeting on Thursday last week, Mr HT Penney wrote declining the invitation to serve as a coopted member, on the grounds that he was a signatory of the notice calling the parish meeting which had voted for the resignation of the council, although he had formerly been agreeable to serving. Mr WH Chisholm said he was surprised at Mr Penney's attitude in view of the national appeals which had been made to everyone to cooperate and avoid raising controversial issues. Miss Barker said the invitation to Mr Penney showed that the council for its part was willing to cooperate. Resolutions passed at a parish meeting called by signatories on December 2nd were next considered. The council noted with interest that the parish meeting had appointed a deputation to learn from the Rural Council what the arrangements for the future disposal of sewage involved. The proposals had, of course, been before the Parish Council at several previous meetings and they were in full agreement with the RDC. Further motions referred to their previous demands for the Council's resignation. Captain Bignell said he had no more intention of resigning than any of his fellow councillors. He understood that the Ratepayers' Association had approached the county council, and he welcomed the fullest possible enquiry, to which there was general assent. Mr WB Gable asked the clerk whether, in his experience, it was usual for the chairman of a parish council to be asked to call a meeting before electors took the discourteous course of calling it themselves. Mr Wright said it was usual in the ordinary way, but if the intention of the meeting was to attack the council they naturally would not ask. The council went into committee on a motion of Mr WB Gable that consideration be given to the determination of Mr Wright's appointment as Clerk."
[It appears this meeting is straight out of the politician's playbook of 'playing the man not the ball'. That is, attacking their opponents rather than deal with the points they raise.]
"Miss McCrinick, assistant librarian under the KEC spoke on books, at the meeting on Thursday last wee,. Afterwards she complimented Mrs Balchin, the local voluntary librarian, on having so popularised the Hartley Library Centre that the number of borrowers had increased by leaps and bounds...."
Letter from HT Penney of Windyridge to Dartford RDC
Picture feature on seven Gravesend Women and their jobs - milk round, butcher's assistant, postlady, railway porter, waste paper collectors and lorry driver.
"Valuable work of Gravesend Citizens' Advice Bureau
An answer to every question might well be the motto of the Gravesend CAB.
Every Tuesday and Friday at the bureau headquarters at 36 Harmer Street, there is a succession of callers from every section of the community.
Opened last July, the CAB has already dealt with more than 1,000 individual enquiries.
Run entirely by volunteers, teh bureau is part of the network of CABs which have been established all over the country to help people with wartime problems.
When you go to 36 Harmer Street, you are ushered into a warm and comfortable waiting room where particulars of your business are obtained.
Then you are taken upstairs to the main inquiry office which is presided over by Mrs W Ongley Miller, local hon secretary, assisted by Mrs Povey, assisant hon secretary, and Mrs RS Barrie, chairman of the committee which consists off the following ladies: Mrs Knights, Mrs Croft, Mrs Hibbs, Mrs Bennett, Miss Dunn, Mrs Lester, Mrs Austin and Mrs R Jones.
All inquiries are dealt with in a tactful and sympathetic manner.
'There is not the slightest doubt that CABs have come to stay', said Mrs Miller to a reporter. 'We deal mostly with wartime problems, but we also have many queries which could arise in peace time. When the Gravesend bureau was opened, we formed an advisory council consisting of a solicitor, insurance inspector, hospital official, inspector of taxes, relieving officer, NSPCC inspector etc, who have kindly undertaken to help us with queries. The fact that we can call on the experience of these people enables us to deal quickly with problems which might otherwise take some time to sort out.'
Mrs Miller added that great interest was being taken in the advisory council, and many inquiries as to its working and composition had been received from other bureaux, who were anxious to form them in their areas.
The Gravesend bureau has been successful in tracing several missing people. A letter was received from Canada asking for assistance in finding a relative. It was not long before he was found.
Mrs Miller is particularly grateful to the CID officers of the local police, who are always ready to give advice and help.
Most of the inquiries relate to war damage insurance and compensation, and there are also many applications for advice in regard to allowances to wives of servicemen.
A special department has been established to deal with Red Cross messages.
Questions relating to the Rent Act, hire purchase, mortgages and extra clothing coupons for children are also dealt with.
A growing phase of the work of the bureau is in relation to domestic problems.
At the moment the bureau is hot on the trail of a large quantity of potatoes which are missing from an allotment in the Home Counties.
A man who worked the allotment has to move to the Gravesend district and made arrangements for a friend to harvest the potatoes.
When this man went to dig them up, he found the military authorities had taken over the land and the potatoes were gone.
The Government pay 50 per cent of the cost of running the CAB and the other 50 per cent comes from the National Council of Social Service.
The Gravesend bureau also has a small fund of its own to help with the work.
The increasing number of sellers shows how much the services of the bureau are appreciated and it is seldom that the officers are able to get away at the normal closing time.
But this does not worry them one bit. They are happy in the knowledge they are doing a really useful job."