February 1919 – Dad

Frank George Bangay was born 100 years ago this month.
May his memory live on and his community spirit serve as model for us all.

R I P – EEH Field

RIP Mr Field


A man whose qualities are extolled on a number of pages in this blog, who served as Heateacher at the primary school for many years.



Benchmark – 2016

A new bench has been put in place just off the Wrotham Road where the Tollgate Estate fronts the road. Ever welcome for weary legs on the way to Wrotham or travelling down the other way or simply a place to stop and chat!

Well done to Borough Green Parish Council and thanks to Mike Taylor for sending on the shots. I will put thesesatisfied customers tollagetbench2 on a suitable page shortly.



















Quarry – presentation

Under the Basted group is added a photo of staff at the quarry at a presentation event for long service.

I have 2 possible candidates for this. One is dated 1945 to Mr Hollands for a 50 year medal. The age of those shown suggests he may not be in that group.The other is for Mr. C. Corner on his retirement from the quarry.

Neither explanatory note has a full list of names. If anyone can oblige, please leave a comment.

Site re-vamp Aug 2015

“They’re back” ( O’Rourke 1986)

Following a review of the site, I am in the process of recasting the pages so that they are grouped more by  location first, with identifiable year groupings second.

Please bear with me. Pages may move around over the next few days. Content is otherwise back.

In addition after a prolonged absence the hot spot image map is back – I bet you missed it. So for those of you with tablets things might get even easier.

Due process – updated

A reminder of the term “due process”, partly borrowed from the USA, but an important concept, seemed appropriate.

From wikipaedia we learn: “In clause 39 of Magna Carta, issued in 1215, John, King of England promised: “No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”

In the event of a complaint about a matter agreed by the local council, in this case TMBC, there are certain steps to take to resolve any such grievance.  To the best of my knowledge these are not addressed by the local press,  nor by an elected MP, who has no power over the local council, the body responsible for allocating street names.

In the event the complaint is maladministered the local government ombudsman may be brought in if all other avenues have been exhausted. The Secretary of  State and the High Courts may also offer means of resolution. This is in the case of a real grievance,  which may result where real, not imaginary, harm has been suffered.

With regard to the subject of my last post I am unaware of any actual harm, mental or physical, suffered by the naming of one road after the family. The original suggestion was to call the road “Frank Bangay Way” which request was altered to “Bangays Way”.  This went through the various planning stages and was approved some good while back. If any had objections, then they had the chance to raise them.

If this is to be re-examined this would be an unusual case, but if it concludes with what was originally proposed as the street name, then the wisdom of the first choice may be seen.

I note that a number of the syndicated web reports on this matter suggest that legal action may have been threatened. This is categorically not the case. I am unaware that any family member is “furious”, simply a little exasperated that this matter received wide attention, when the good works that my late Father  undertook should be foremost.  He was one of many residents who created a dynamic, caring and supportive community, which it remains today.  It also exposed the village in which I grew up to pointless criticism – there was no “storm”, nor “controversy” other than that which was fuelled from nowhere.

I have some sympathy now  with sugar lumps having been involved in what appears to have been a storm in a tea cup.

Love and peace to all.

Semiotics and semolina – Frank Bangay – just a name

It seems an article has appeared online relating to a certain street. I have sent the following to the newspaper, exactly as set out here:

Hello Louise,

I understand from Mike Taylor that a matter concerning a street in Borough Green has surfaced. For some reason a villager has expressed the view that the name Bangays Way may be taken as homophobic. While he may perceive things in this way, this seems perhaps overly sensitive and I would have faith in the people of Borough Green to see it as it is meant, simply a tribute to a man who dedicated his life to the area, without any other overtones.

In addition to being Chair of the Parish Council for many years and vice-chair at other times, my late Father helped to energise the village in the post-war period and with many others helped it to acquire the name of “DIY village”. He fought in the war and helped to defeat those who sought to silence others’ views and divergence, gave of his time against those who sent Jews, dissidents, Communists, Gypsies and homosexuals to the death chamber. He was an advocate of freedom of speech.

I do not wish for the name of Bangay to be slurred, nor for what strikes me as petty playground bullying, literally name calling, to go unchecked.  I am pretty sure that the LGBT community would also consider that this grievance was rather poorly based. There are many issues surrounding gay rights which may be worthy of our time: simply misreading street signs in a wilful manner is unlikely to promote a positive response to more deserving matters. Sadly I see Mr. Tucker-Bell’s position as little better than the homophobia which he claims to decry. It is insensitive. If he had understood – which he claims to – that this is a family name, he might have appreciated the upset and offense which he has triggered.  As public servants all four of Frank’s children have worked with and contributed to policies on diversity, in an even handed and professional manner. In my employment I have actively promoted such policy. It therefore seems doubly ironic that this should surface as an issue in this fashion.

If this matter is resolved by changing the street name to Frank Bangay Way I trust that this will keep all parties happy. I hope that all can move on having learned from the experience, mindful of the view that if living in a community, agreement is reached by thoughtful discussion and reflection, endeavouring to see all points of view in a sympathetic way.

Kind regards,

Ian Bangay


Has anybody here seen Kelly?

Actually the person in question here is called Mary. For details of what I am referring to please see Mike Taylor’s site:


Perhaps a few readers might recognise the building and have pictures of the people shown.



Apologies to Florrie Ford.


Railway Borough Green – Sevenoaks to Maidstone – June 1874

This piece below is taken from a news report on the opening of the railway line through Wrotham and Borough Green.

The Daily News, London Tuesday 2 June 1874


Yesterday a short line of railway was opened between Sevenoaks and Maidstone, which gives a second direct railway communication between the metropolis and the latter town. The line was commenced so far back as 1865, but owing to certain unforeseen circumstances its progress was stopped, and its continuation was only taken up in April last year. The line is 15 1/2 miles in length, and has four stations between the terminal points of Maidstone and Sevenoaks, viz, Barming, Malling, Wrotham and Kemsing. The line now being fit for traffic. The principal persons connected with the undertaking determined to open it with a public ceremonial. Accordingly, a special train started from Maidstone yesterday, accompanied by Mr. J. Clifford, Mayor of Maidstone, and several members of the Corporation; Major Dickson, M.P., Director of the Maidstone and Sevenoaks Extension Company; Sir Sydney Waterlow M.P.; director of the London, Chatham and Dover &c., to inspect the new line. The new stations were decorated with flags and flowers and groups of sight-seers testified to the satisfaction felt on the appearance of the steam locomotive amongst them. The country through which the new line passes is very pretty, and will afford a pleasant mode of transit between the metropolis and Maidstone. On the return of the visitors to Maidstone, the company partook of an excellent dejeuner in the Corn Exchange, which was ornamented with flags and flowers. The principal street between the station and the place of meeting – Week-street- was like the Corn Exchange itself, richly decorated; indeed, the whole town bore the appearance of a general holiday. “Welcome to Maidstone,” “Success to the New Line,” and other welcoming mottoes, were frequent, and a Maidstone band received the visitors with “See the conquering hero comes.” The Mayor presided at the dejeuner, and the usual loyal and constitutional toasts having been drunk, the Chairman proposed “The Prosperity of the New Line,” which was responded to by Major Dickson, M.P., and Sir Sydney Waterlow, M.P. Major Dickson referred to the deficiency of railway facilities under which Maidstone laboured, and said that the first fruits of the energy of the directors of the new line was in a reduction in fares (from 16s. 6d. to 12s. 6d. on a return first-class fare). The new railway line was handed over to the London, Chatham and Dover Company and he trusted it would be a new starting-point in the prosperity of Maidstone. Sir S. Waterlow, M.P., contrasted the former position of the shareholders with their present one; but, favourable as that contrast was, he hoped that what had been done would only stimulate them to further exertions, and that this line would be the first section of a new line to the coast. (Cheers). He could only say that in his new position as one of the directors of the company, the town of Maidstone and its interests would not suffer in his hands.

Village Hall – 50 years on


The celebration for the Village Hall’s 50 th birthday takes place this weekend.  If you have memories about the building you would like to share, please feel free to add a comment.

I shall look to upload the rest of the booklet in a suitable resolution.