Basted Mill History —     Basted Mill Demolition —-   Haul Road construction

129 responses to “Basted

  1. Do you have a year for the picture of the lady workers at Basted Mill? My grandmother (born 1889) is listed in the 1911 Census as living in Claygate Cross (just half a mile from Basted Mill) and her and her sister occupations are given as Paper Sorters with their father as a Stationary Engineman. It is possible that she is third from the left on the back row, but the date of the picture may indicate that this is not the case.

  2. Here’s a rough guesstimate to work on John! I think Mrs Lilie Bennett (2nd from right, back row) was born approximately 1895, and looks about 15 here! Mrs Buss and Mrs Eaton are in the photo and lived as neighbours at Claygate Cross, but I’m not sure if it was as early as the 1911 Census. Mrs Bennett’s son Bill, married Hazel Rayfield from Tollgate Estate – any relation to you? Or how about Madge Rayfield who lived at the top of Quarry Hill? Hope you have checked back to find this information, and that it is not too mixed up and of some use to you.

  3. John Rayfield : I wasn’t sure where Mrs Buss and Mrs Eaton were on the photo. But going by looks and birthdate, that could be Mrs Buss who is third from left, back row. At the middle of the middle row could be Mrs Eaton. Their families were close, and these 2 ladies were very close. It’s highly likely that they were sisters. Could it be that this was your grandmother and her sister?

    • Basted Paper Mill 1912

      Some of the names below: (- means unknown)

      -, – , Lil Turner, – Mrs. Bennett, –

      – , Clara Carter, – , Mrs. Eaton, -, -, Mrs. Bush

      -, Mrs B Purdy, Mrs. E Payne, Mrs. Buss, -, Ms. Wilmott

      Also in the above are:
      Mrs Ford, Mrs. Broad, Ethel Ashdown.

      This photo appeared in the Sevenoaks Chronicle on 17 August 1995 in an article headed

      Saga of papermill with a tale to tell by Janet Weston.

      Thanks. Above from the web page version of the site. I already replied to John.

  4. Ian : I think that all of the ladies in the photo were rag sorters. John’s grandmother may even have been a paper sorter at Roughway Paper Mill. By the 1940’s, Mrs B and Mrs E each had 2 sons and grandchildren carrying on their family names. So much for that suggestion (about Mrs B) to John / memories go wonky at times!

    • The photo has the text typed out on a a piece of paper used for display.
      Dad usually did this only after having checked with someone who knew those on the photos first hand.
      In other cases he’d put some caveat.

      I have now downloaded the census scans for BG in 1911, including a fair few for Wrotham. I have also briefly looked through neighbouring areas under Wrotham, which subsumed Plaxtol, including bits of Roughway, Dunks Green and a few others I’d have thought to be under Shipbourne. As things stand I think I may have all the BG related dwellings but the only way to be sure is to go through all the images, of which there are several 100s. This could take some time.

  5. Re : ‘Old Basted, Borough Green’, photo.
    ‘Old Basted’ is a fine, half-timbered Elizabethan residence at the top of Plough Hill.
    Could the photographer have exited the ‘Plough’, then snapped away happily at the foot of the hill?
    It could happen to anyone!

  6. Aah! Yes Ian, that has jogged a few memories – an owner of the residence up the hill would have copied that name.
    And venturing up Basted Lane we find the road junction which used to be the centre of Claygate Cross. After ‘The Star’ (Star & Garter) ceased to be a public house, the centre of CC moved south to the bend/frontage of the now private house – no doubt increasing the value of same.
    When I was young, the River Bourne was but a stream – and was known as the Bustey Stream, in Ightham. Futurists tell me that in 50 years time, it will be known as ‘The Mighty River Bourne’.

  7. The Spring, Basted. / photo.
    We are at Plough Hill. With the foliage/plant growth removed, exposing the stonework, it had a better appearance.
    I am in the 1940’s.
    I don’t remember anyone drawing water from same – or even a thirsty dog drinking there.
    Or anyone taking notice of it – or replying to me when I mentioned it.
    I often wondered when the stonework was assembled
    It had fantastic watercress growing within one-third of it – but was undisturbed. Watercress was harvested by a few, at a small spot of the adjacent River Bourne.
    This spring was mysterious, fascinating – and now memorable for me.

    • That’s the most poetic comment to date, though sadly there’s no fund to support prizes.
      The picnic area beside the river where it joins the lake is a tranquil spot and the road attracts little traffic. The houses along where Butterworths used to be do now mean that the spot is perhaps more active on Sundays than once was the case. The sheltered nature of the valley, rich with healthy trees, gives it a special atmosphere.

  8. I’ll ease off the poetry then Ian – until you win the lottery.
    (thanks for warning me!).
    The lake used to be known as Basted Mill Pond, and in the 1940’s looked to be in intermediate condition – when comparing the aquatic vegetation in different photos.
    I see another photo, by the way, with ” The Stream, Basted” describing the River Bourne.
    There was a boat house, with a craft outside, at the south east corner of the lake. No use of them appeared to have occurred for some years – perhaps the aquatic weeding man had retired.
    The swans got quite agitated and noisy if they had their young close by. But they were quite good about it – they only pecked at our shins if we were wearing wellingtons.
    A new fan of yours, who was looking over my shoulder, is describing you as the “Basted Lake District, writer”.

    • Regarding comments not showing immediately. While awaiting moderation, which is now switched on for all comments, these wait in some sort of cyber-limbo till I sanction them. I have to bear in mind that these pages may be used by minors for school project work etc or because someone jhas told them “this ‘ll be interesting” or such things that parents/teachers tell their charges.

  9. Lovely pictures of Basted through time. Is it possible to get copies of them at all? Thanks

    • After some time consuming episodes when people have asked before I am afraid I don’t undertake this. If you let me know which you may be interested in I can see about uploading some higher resolution copies better for printing.

  10. I quite understand. I was interested in the drawing of the mill in all its glory plus the two of Basted CC. 🙂

  11. Mr Fred Lidstone was part time caretaker of the Basted sewer beds, during the mid – 1950s.
    The tomato plants that he had growing there, were the healthiest looking and unbelievably finest tasting, that anyone would be likely to experience in their lifetime.
    As you are probably aware, the seeds of this nightshade family plant, pass unimpeded through us all.
    Fred’s family ate large quatities of them – as did those that were unaware of their habitat. Only a very few actually knew, and Fred had to be extremely vigilant to prevent someone from entering them – and for sure winning a top prize – at Richard Hearne’s Garden Party / Vegetable & Flower Show. To Fred’s credit, honesty reigned supreme.

  12. Ian : I believe that there is a Lidstone mentioned on the 1907, BGFC photo.
    I think Fred is mentioned somewhere as a schoolboy swimmer at Long Pond swimming pool.
    He was later, quite a prominent member of the Culverstone Silver Band.

    Re : Mr Lidstone’s Tomatoes.
    In the past 24 hours, I have been contacted as follows :
    (a) “Vegetable & Flower Show”. The tomato is a fruit. Yes, that was a ‘General Knowledge’ question at school.
    (b) It was “Richard Hearne’s Garden Party, Fete / Fruit, Vegetable & Flower Show”. I was stuck for time and left it “as is”.
    (c) I didn’t put ‘Mr Pastry’ in brackets, after Richard Hearne’s name. No comment.

    Mr Tom Hayes, who lived opposite The Naps or Napps, Crouch – used to win about 9 first prizes. His brother used to be second among prize winners.

    • That’s the problem with hosting a site which I did the work on about 5-6 years ago and have merely transferred onto WordPress. Some of it sticks in my mind but much of it, having been transcribed from photos at length, is not ingrained in my memory.

      The tomato is an angiosperm I seem to recall which a quick search supports.

      If people don’t know of Mr Pastry a lengthy explanation would probably leave them none the wiser.

  13. Ian :
    Would it take too much time – and is there enough general interest? – to show the list of Basted, Claygate Cross and Crouch residents from the 1911 Census?

    • The issue is one of copyright. If I post what is subject to Crown Copyright without obtaining permission it is within the realms of possibility that the entire blog be suspended. This applies to material obtained under copyright via That’s not the case with what Dad transcribed by hand back in the 1990s.

      So in short – no. but I’ll look into an alternative.

  14. Re : The 1903 Basted Cricket Club photos.
    I’m afraid that was a little before my time and I cannot readily recognise members.
    However, 50 years later, regular players included :
    Eddie McKellow, Norman Harvey, Eric Harvey, Denis Robinson, John Good, Ernie Clifton, Lou Clifton, Brian Mummery, Tom Merritt, Tim Streatfield, Bernard Maycock, Bill Mummery, Bill Bridge, Don Lidstone, Albert Merritt, and Peter Clout.
    Umpire : Jim Clout.
    Scorer : Harold Carter.
    Sandwich maker and raffle ticket seller : Rose Merritt.

  15. Re : Mill Road, Basted photo.
    To the right of that house was a footpath that terminated approximately opposite the Church of the Good Shepherd.
    Young boys and girls would take that path when walking from Basted/ Claygate Cross to BG and back.
    Returning from the ‘Picture Palace’ cinema on Saturday mornings, boys had great slopes to “ride down” (in the woodland above the house), while imitating their favourite cowboy. Too bad every “cowboy” claimed that the other had ‘missed’.
    There were also creepers that were great to swing down, after having watched a ‘Tarzan’ film.
    The River Bourne runs at the front of the house garden. Opposite the house, over the top of the (unseen) bank, was the Basted Cricket Club ground.

  16. I think that towards the end of WW2, fill had been dumped on the cricket ground, and very little levelling had taken place.
    At the southern boundary was a fence, and at the other side were vegetables/ small fruit bushes growing in soil about 3 feet lower – cultivation did not take place consistently.
    The east end boundary was a few yards away from the top of the bank that I mentioned. There were some horse chestnut trees which may have helped to stop a few ‘six-hit’ balls.
    I have no idea when/ if cricket ceased to be played there, or whatever happened to the (former?) Basted cricket ground.

  17. Ian :
    We are talking about the same cricket ground location.
    As regards boundaries and lost balls : In a 1955 match there, visitors Plaxtol were bowled out for 34 – an over-confident Basted were then all-out for 5!!

    • Ah – that makes sense. I was trying to think where in the valley bottom there might have been enough space. I misunderstood the distance suggested in the words “over the top of the (unseen) bank”, which led me to think that was a nearer location.

  18. Although being all out for 5 runs in that 1955 cricket match, Basted recovered to defeat Plaxtol in the ‘beer match’.
    These were shorter games, played after the main fixture – the losers would pay for the first round of drinks at ‘The Plough’, Plough Hill, Basted/ the ‘home-team’ public house.

    • Campbell – if you let me know your email address I can post a link to a folder containing some of the census pages you may wish to read. I am less than sure which bits though are in which parish. Some parts of may be in Plaxtol, some in Ightham and some would come under Wrotham.

      All of those I collected for the 1911 census remain on the web, where I uploaded them before putting them on my home computer.

      If you include the address in a brief comment I can read it without it being published onto this web site. Once read I can delete it.
      I am not going to make them publicly available for reasons stated.


  19. Ian :
    Yes, those parish boundaries. I remember 60/ 65 years ago, in the Basted/ Claygate Cross/ Crouch area : some voting in Plaxtol and some in St Mary’s Platt. And for some, the BG boundary being close and the Ightham boundary even more close. Though the vast majority of residents considered themselves to be more allied and closer to/ with BG.

    Many thanks for your offer! I have been forwarded some of those 1911 Census details, and promised more.
    I am surprised in this rural area by the number of names that I do not recognise, and the birthplaces ‘far away’ of some husbands and wives. There must have been a shortage of certain workers/ operatives, business operators, etc., in those days.
    Thanks again!

    • I am somewhat relieved you have access to them as there are 777 files taking up about 1.02 Gb which would take a long while to download and quite some time to sift through. At present I cannot see those for Plaxtol, but they are in there somewhere. I think I have uploaded all for the area going back to the 1840s. Had I known about the crown copyright matter and its restrictions I might not have been so diligent.

  20. During the recent bad weather I have been thinking of the BG area, and the hedging and ditching by hand labour, which used to take place some 60 plus years ago. And the flood prevention efficiency of same.

    Nowadays, ditches are not very well/ or hardly maintained, and even with moderate rain nearby land can soon become close to saturation.
    Early January is often a time when the flail-cutter roars by the hedgerows giving them their annual clip, and contributing to ditch debris. And the winds bring a supply of twigs.

    During heavy rain, there is often no land absorbtive capacity remaining, and water runs straight into the waterways causing flooding.
    I hope that the BG area didn’t fare too badly.

    • Certain areas such as that one near the pumping station were affected which often happens as a result of prolonged rain. i.e. it is a rain event rather than a river event. I am not sure how the part of Basted we used to know as the cinder track got on. being in a valley dip I suspect it will have caught quite a lot from the run off from the hills.

      Mike Taylor’s Borough Green news site has some information about how some parts were hit. There’s a link on the link page.

  21. Re : Basted cricketers (December 29, 10:01 pm).
    To those mentioning that Albert Merritt would only have been about 9 years old at the time.

    I was not referring to Albert ‘Smiler’ Merritt, who lived at Claygate Cross – but to his Uncle Albert who lived in Basted, and played some games as wicket-keeper. Uncle Albert was the brother of Tom (Smiler’s father).

  22. Ian :
    I assume that the ‘cinder track’ was the ‘lane’ running south from the foot of Plough Hill, along side the River Bourne.
    And which led to the former Winfield Mill – the structure of which, deteriorated rapidly in the 1940s.

    In the late 40s/ early 50s, ‘Willie’ sheltered there under what cover was remaining, as stone walls fell in the Kentish rag limestone building. His friends, the pigeons, stayed at the ‘top floor’ under the less than scant remains of the roof area.
    The disappearing building served as the family home for Willie and his pigeons.

    During the day, Willie would be seen returning from Walklyns, clutching a bag of day old-plus bread for his pigeons.
    And at harvest time he would have gleanings of grain from the extremity of a cornfield.

    He had a glazed/ shy expression, and regularly would be glancing toward the sky. A local myth was that, in thick London fog a young girl had fallen beneath the wheels of a double- decker bus that he was driving – and that his mind had suffered since.

    Occasionally Willie would sleep on grass beneath the stars, and wake up with the dew. He appeared to be in better health than the average person.

    • That’s the track. It leads through to Winfield Lane, something of a nightmare for cyclists though a buzz at the same time, with its steep slopes and the unfortunate build up of gravel on the bends and what might best be described as silt in the dip by the river which was frequently flooded. My brother-in-law worked on the construction of a property there shortly before leaving for warmer climes.

      I think Winfield Mill features on some of the photos with its stonework being removed to form part of the recreation ground gates and probably the wall making the barrier between the Village hall car park and the cemetery.

  23. Eliza Carter built Winfield Mill in 1836.
    Bob Ladbrook, who served a gas-fitting apprenticeship under your father, was a great-grandson of Eliza.

    William Hardiman, Bob’s grandfather, had been born out-of-wedlock.
    It had been promised that Eliza’s impressive library of books would be left to William – but it didn’t materialize.

    Mr Hardiman was a ‘very good friend’ of Benjamin Harrison, the Ightham archaeologist.
    I read that as well (written by Mr Harrison) in a copy of the book “Harrison of Ightham” – given by the archaeologist to William, thanking him for his friendship.

  24. Hmm…now I’m a little unsure about Ezra being William’s dad – because of the year 1836.
    What I do know for sure is that Mr Hardiman’s father was the owner of Winfield Farm, Crouch – and I did know his name so well – it could be Ezra, but it escapes me at the moment
    Mr Hardiman was choirmaster and organist at St Peter’s Church, Ightham for 40 years.

  25. I doubled my intake of gingko biloba capsules yesterday.
    I’m now 96% sure that the surname of the owner of Winfield Farm was “Carter”, and that was also the surname of William’s dad.
    That leaves the name Eliza (not Ezra) to be sorted out. Almost there!

  26. During early July 1952, in his last school term there, Freddy Bailey was the only pupil at Plaxtol Primary School who resided in the Crouch/ Claygate Cross/ Basted area.
    He lived adjacent to the Star & Garter public house at Claygate Cross, and on his way to school walked down Winfield Lane turning left down Bourne Lane.
    But on this particular morning he was halted at the River Bourne. Known as the local ‘dragonfly capital’, the insects blocked his way.
    The largest of these then came at him and he turned-tail, running back up the hill. The dragonfly caught up with him and each time Freddy increased his pace, his pursuer flew faster.
    Freddy continued on and on, finally reaching/ running up the path from the road to his house.
    The dragonfly turned back – this was already higher ground, and with Freddy’s home elevated above the road the dragonfly probably found conditions too dry for his liking.
    A week or so later, that same dragonfly chased him back home again.
    Who woulda beleft it? (as Johnny Geddes used to say) – that happening again and no witnesses.

  27. Freddy Bailey’s mum Jane used to say there was something about Freddy and flies, besides dragonflies.
    His favourite comic had been The Dandy, and the first thing he read in it was ‘Freddy the Fearless Fly’.

    After leaving Wrotham Road School, Freddy bought himself the largest radio to enter Claygate Cross.
    He played Top 20 Pops in his garden during warmish Sunday afternoons.
    In 1957, when Andy Williams’ “Butterfly” came on he turned it up to maximum volume. Even hard of hearing people at Crouch House home for the elderly said they could hear Andy Williams when they ventured out for a short walk.

  28. Ian :
    Re : The Summerhouse Tragedy.
    In some quarters, there is still much interest in the 1908 unsolved murder of Mrs Caroline Luard.
    She was the wife of Major General Charles Luard, and the murder occurred at the summerhouse close to their Ightham Knoll residence. It ended in death for both of them.
    As you visit The Crown Point Inn, to enjoy its famous cuisine, I wonder if you are aware that the entrance to the summerhouse is within 20 yards from its doors.

    The aforementioned William Hardiman [Jan 28/ 29, Feb 3] was on the Jury, and one of those to receive anonymous letters which attempted to influence their minds.

  29. On the Francis Frith website, a writer mentioned that her great-aunt was working as a housekeeper for the Luards at their Ightham Mote residence, when the murder took place there in 1908.

    Interestingly, although several miles from the correct location, Major General Luard was a member of the Selby family who had owned Ightham Mote until 1889.
    Another member of the family was Dame Selby, who allegedly embroidered that message to the King, warning of the Gunpowder Plot.

  30. Just came across this fascinating website, for which many thanks. Back in the late 50s, before 1960 saw me whisked away for National Service, I had the real honour of captaining Basted Cricket Club. You`ve mentioned most of the people I had the privilege of playing with. A few more – David May, Peter Hudson, Tony Allen, Jimmy Ford, Ralph Evenden and his brother Don. I also played football for Platt alongside my brother-in-law Bill Webb, the Scott brothers, Ziggy Malzigus, etc….

    This has brought back so many good memories. Thank you.

  31. I should have mentioned that in those days my parents ran the Royal Oak at Wrotham Heath but it was through playing football for Platt that I met my wife, Pat Webb that was, and we have now been happily married for 53 years. I do a blog at where you will find quite a lot of reminiscences about cricket in those days. Have to confess that we didn`t move to Wrotham Heath until I was about 13, so my roots are still in Hampshire, as is my devotion to Southampton FC. Lastly, I have very vague memories of Campbell Higgins from those days – most of my memories are pretty vague – so maybe we can rekindle some?

  32. campbell higgins

    I remember attending St Mary’s Platt Sunday School for a while, with the future Mrs Pat Hopgood.
    I was about 7 years old at the time – she won a prize – I didn’t.
    I later attended another Sunday school, where there was less competition and I did win a prize.

  33. campbell higgins

    Following on, in case someone is checking this.
    When commencing at Platt Sunday School you had to be 8 years of age.
    When I walked in that first time the teacher looked at me doubtfully and said that I looked a bit small to be there.
    I told her that I was 8, but she didn’t seem too convinced, and I think that she smiled about it for a second or two.
    Luckily, she didn’t ask me to return with my birth certificate.

  34. campbell higgins

    Yeh ‘an blimey mate, Snopper was mentioning something about needing a license not to own a television

  35. campbell higgins

    Peter ‘Snopper’ Hopgood’s brother-in-law, father-in-law and cousin-in-law are mentioned in the “Football in 50’s” comment – 6th of January,2014.

  36. campbell higgins

    Re : That 6th of January comment.
    Although Snopper’s dog-in-law attended games at King George’s Field, Platt, he did not travel to the Final at Raley’s Field, Sevenoaks.

  37. campbell higgins

    It’s funny how it works sometimes with website photos.
    Snopper played defence for Platt during the late 1950s. Godfrey Bathurst played in goal and at times outside left.
    Snopper was courting Pat Webb during this time – she was Godfrey’s neighbour and they lived opposite Platt Church.
    Snopper and Godfrey would bounce punny/ egg yoke jokes off of one another, by the roadside, during evening hours.
    They were considered to be quite entertaining, with Blue Anchor patrons and ‘The Archers’ and ‘Coronation Street’ fans lured to their performances.
    However, neither of these buddies got to appear in the extensive Platt United website photo index.

  38. campbell higgins

    Who’d a thunk it – all of those seasons ago, when Pat was serving Snopper his half-time half an orange at King George’s Field?
    Snopper and his misses will both reach the milestone three quarters of a century age, this year.

  39. campbell higgins

    Snopper represented both St Mary’s Platt 1st XI and Reserves.
    He played for the Reserves when they finished first in the Sevenoaks & District League Division 3, during the 1958-59 season. I’m not sure for how many games – or if he still polishes his medal.
    They were unbeaten during that campaign – conceding 20 goals in 20 games [For 85 Against 20].

    Other members of that team included :
    Tommy Marmont (goalkeeper), Bill Weekes (captain), Peter Acott, Walt Higgins, Harry Hawkes, Eddie Maynard, Bobby Hollebon, Dugald Chirnside, Maurice Rye, Roger Ransley and Les Slade.

  40. campbell higgins

    I do not know Ian, but Les would have been a ‘likely’ candidate to reside at Fairfield – and I definitely wouldn’t delete that.
    He was related to a few members/associates of the Platt FC organisation by marriage – including above-mentioned skipper, Bill Weekes.
    And Tim, Alf, Andy and Trevor Shaw appear in photos on the Platt United FC website.

    As to that probable ‘England call up’. With Woy stating that he is currently going “all-out attack”, Sponner might consider it to be a wee bit wisky to link up with the 3 Lions Squad at present. Please excuse the w’s – it’s the first time I’ve done this, and I promise it will not be repeated. Cubs honour – though I was only in Ightham Cubs for 6 months. Someone stole the new lights off my bike, outside the cub’s hut, and I wasn’t able to attend again.

  41. campbell higgins

    Snopper and Ian :
    Following several decades of disappointment I would be more than happy (not to mention shocked) if Anglie, with their contingent of Saints players, defeat Kostarika by 5 goals to nil tomorrow night.
    Ever an optimist, I would be almost as joyous as if we had reached the semi-final.

    • I’d like to see some stats somewhere confirming the accuracy of England’s passing in the Italy match compared to the next 2. I’ll go and do some digging. CR did not look like they were overly bothered what happened in the match. If it’s all a sign for the Euros in 2016 ….

  42. campbell higgins

    Plough Hill was traditionally from ‘The Plough’ public house down to ‘Bridge House’ private residence.
    The condition of the stone walls at either side of this stretch of road is now nothing but disgraceful.
    There is little or no mortar left in most of the joints, with overgrown weeds holding much of (what’s left of) the stonework in position.
    The owners responsible for this eyesore should have had timely repairs/ maintenance carried out years ago.
    Perhaps they are penniless.

  43. campbell higgins

    It’s not only about those stone walls, but in parts of Basted/ Claygate Cross/ Crouch……..oh well, that’s for another time.

    But Ian – on reflection, didn’t that feel like the 3 Lions (Pussycats?) had peaked against Italy?
    Maybe we’ll have to savour that game for a while – thanks for that cheerful research!

  44. campbell higgins

    Too true.
    There used to be neat, hand-trimmed hedgerows c/w bird’s nests.
    Grass banks with damson trees spaced every so often.
    Nice views maintained – not this privacy, caused by high densely-packed trees, bushes and other wildness – might as well have 12 feet high cinder block walls by the side of roadways.
    And the same encroachment is encouraged on to public footpaths.
    The owners and councils responsible for this, are not like the rural folk that we used to know!

  45. campbell higgins

    Ian :
    Re : Your comment of March 5, 2014.

    From that same family, Sir Thomas Colyer-Ferguson’s daughter, Polly, became the first wife of Walter Monckton.
    Successful in a variety of careers, Walter is mostly remembered for his role as legal adviser to Edward VIII during the 1936 Abdication Crisis. Walter, with Edward VIII and Winston Churchill, formed a close-knit ‘working’ friendship.

    Walter was born at Ightham Warren, Plaxtol (those Parish boundaries again!). He was the son of Frank Monckton, a local paper manufacturer – I wonder which mill?

    During the 1940s/50s, I spoke with a few ladies from the BG area, who as young girls had attended Ightham Sunday School during the years 1915 to 1920. Most mentioned that they’d had a “crush” on Walter, who had been their Sunday school teacher.
    I have been a ‘little familiar’ using his Christian name – locals referred to him as ‘Walter Monckton’, from the time before his later titles.

    If the name ‘rings a (more recent) bell’ : Walter’s grand-daughter, Rosa Monckton, was a close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales.

  46. campbell higgins

    Re : June 21, 9:22 am comment.

    According to information from the Sevenoaks and District Football League website, Platt United Reserves FC have folded.
    They have been replaced in the same Division 1, by their 1st XI which played last season in Division 2 (East), of the Kent County League.
    Unless he polished away too much of the surface, Peter ‘Snopper’ Hopgood’s 1958-59 medal could be worth considerably more now.

  47. campbell higgins

    Re : Stangate Quarry.

    A photo caught my eye as I was looking at one of Mike Taylor’s interesting websites.
    It showed 3 youngsters playing on a ‘loco skip’ at Stangate Quarry during the early 1950s.
    They were :
    (a) Tony O’Dell, who lived in Chapel Street and was born in 1940.
    He attended BG Primary School at the time of this photo.
    He later played in goal for Wrotham Road School football team, and joined the Merchant Navy at 16 years of age.
    (b) Sue Ashby – I recognise the name, but cannot ‘place her’.
    I wonder if she was a sister of ‘Bronk’ Ashby? He was also from Chapel Street, and the same age as Tony.
    Bronk unfortunately drowned one summer, in an incident at a quarry pond. A quarry worker – ‘Tich’ Bowman – tried valiantly to save him.
    And (c) Jackie ——- [her surname is broken up]. Mike describes her as “my Jackie in the middle, little horror”. I assume that she is Mike’s wife?
    Tony is at the front of the photo – the only one who can be identified clearly.

  48. campbell higgins

    Re : Sue Ashby – July 27 comment.

    Or, she could be the sister of Jimmy and Malcom Ashby [Bronk’s cousins].
    Jimmy was born in 1940, and Malcom 1941.
    Where are you Sue? We need your help here.
    Here’s thanking you in advance!

  49. campbell higgins

    Re : July 11, 2014 comment.

    Well folks, just move over to “Basted Mill 1880” in this ‘Docs/ Basted’ section – and there you will find a reprinted article about Monckton’s paper manufacturing business. Enjoy your read!

  50. campbell higgins

    See also, same section – “Mill History”. ‘Largely taken from Basted Paper Mills – W.E.Bridge (1948)’.

    I wonder if that was written by Bill Bridge? (same initials). He was from Plaxtol, and played for Basted Cricket Club during the early to mid-1950s. He looked to have been born at the commencement of the 20th C.

  51. campbell higgins

    Following on : More about W. E. (Bill) Bridge.

    In hindsight, Bill was probably a good several years younger than he looked – maybe partly due to those post-game cricket ‘beer matches’.
    He was ‘well spoken’ and a ‘natural’ MC/ toastmaster.
    Bill was also the captain of his own cricket team – Tartan XI.

  52. campbell higgins

    There ought to be a law ……..
    On the 21st of July, former Basted Cricket Club captain, Snopper Pete Hopgood protested to Leybourne Parish Council about “a big deposit of horse dung right in the middle of the path” used by himself and many others.
    Though if only I’d known – just what my roses needed.

  53. campbell higgins

    Re : Two of the top bowling performances, For and Against Basted Cricket Club.

    For :
    Tom Merritt, in 1955 – 9 wickets for 16 runs, versus Sennocke C.C. (Sevenoaks).
    Against :
    Charlie “Bunny” Bone, in 1975 – 8 wickets for 22 runs, for Plaxtol C.C.

  54. campbell higgins

    Re : Lou Clifton’s discovery of players for Basted Cricket Club.

    I feel fairly sure that former captain, Peter Hopgood, was introduced to BCC by Lou – who lived in the Wrotham Heath/ Addington area?
    I do not remember any talk of Peter coming from Hampshire, and struggle to remember his family in the Royal Oak, Wrotham Heath, and didn’t realise that he later became captain of BCC.
    I do remember him as an extremely pleasant, likeable young man – with a ‘coltish’/ easy run on football and cricket pitches.
    And I remember his father-in-law, proudly mentioning his quite rapid progression after commencing employment at Malling RDC.

    I know for sure, that Lou brought along Denis Robinson to BCC in 1954. Denis had played several seasons for Norfolk in the Minor Counties League.
    His first game was against BG at the Recreation Ground, and while exhibiting impressive strokes was easily the top scorer.
    I’ve just remembered now, Denis giving me a couple of Wisden annuals.

    I’m sure too, that Lou would have later brought his son Roger along to join BCC. Roger appears in photos as a player with Platt United FC, on their website.

  55. campbell higgins

    Re : Two Basted Cricket Club annual highlights – when times were simpler!

    Arguably the home and away fixtures most looked forward to, during the first half of the 1950s, were those against Stone in Oxney. The village is in the parish of Stone-cum-Ebony, and on the eastern side of the Isle of Oxney.

    They were family days of enjoyment and cricket – a festival-like atmosphere at both venues with an impressive preparation of food and drink at both the cricket ground and local pub. Children would look forward to the different accents and landscapes/ building styles also – not to mention plenty of soft drinks, ice cream, cake and other sweet stuff.
    It generally took until Tuesday to recover.

  56. campbell higgins

    You’re not kidding!
    I had an enormously sweet tooth while young.
    Sometimes on Saturday mornings – while collecting money from paper round customers, I would spend most of my weekly wage in Station Road. This would be at the bakers at the top, and in a sweet shop at the north end of Spencer’s Cottages.
    I’m not that tall (sounds better than on the short side), and during the last 3 years have dropped 2 and a half stones by cutting back big time on carbohydrates.
    Better late than never.

  57. Your post a couple of days ago about Basted CC `highlights` certainly brought back memories of those all day, two innings a side games against Stone in Oxney and it reminded me of another highlight in the Basted calendar. Each year we had the pleasure of playing against a team from South London called Dominica, comprised of gracious,
    talented gentlemen of West Indian extraction who simply loved their days out in the Kent countryside playing and usually beating the yeomen of Basted.Here`s a link to a post I put on my blog back in 2007 –

  58. As an old romantic, I quite often revisit the Basted CC ground which I rediscovered a few years ago and posted this on my blog – I hope the link works. A few weeks ago, Leybourne Parish Council arranged for a guest speaker as part of the Annual Parish Meeting. The guest speaker was Bob Ogley, ex-editor of the Sevenoaks Chronicle. The last time I saw Bob was on the Basted ground when he and his brother played for Buckhurst – Bob and I had an enjoyable time remembering those encounters.

    On a Platt CC subject, I very often go up to Platt Woods with our retriever (who doesn`t retrieve) and sometimes I park by the church to have a look at the Webb family grave. Last weekend I also paid my respects to the grave of MR Barton, who played for Platt and captained Surrey in his day. Here`s a link to my blog post about him –

    I`ve got more stories – sorry.

  59. You kindly mentioned Lou Clifton who did indeed introduce me to Basted CC when I was about 14 or 15. He lived in one of the Daisy Cottages at Wrotham Heath just up from the Royal Oak and he and I used to cycle to the ground on practice nights (yes, we did practice a bit) and on Sundays for matches. I remember my first game for Basted was away at Shipbourne – I went in last but Jimmy Rayfield and I put on a bit of a stand – I managed 8 not out but Jim did much better. Lou had a charming wife who worked in the Royal Oak and a charming daughter (Pam)…..but that`s another story.

  60. Local gentlemen of a certain age will doubtless recall the activities of Sweeney Furminger in his emporium down Western Road. Here`s a link to a post on my blog I did back in 2007 –

    I hope I have not done him a disservice?

  61. campbell higgins

    Peter :
    Good memories in your 2007 post, referred to above/ 19th.
    Several points that you mentioned were new to me – and I’d forgotten a few.
    For those who have not yet read same, I will not spoil it for them by repeating here.
    But do you remember how much Rose Merritt was charging for raffle tickets? (I am trying any way I can to stump you!).

    And do you remember those times by the roadside, leaning against Platt Church wall – joking around with Godfrey Bathurst? Years later, Peter Acott was still repeating some of that material – getting his timing right.

    Do you still see your (also likeable) brother-in-law Bill? Borough Green winger Bob Geddes, mentioned that a benefit of retiring from the game, was to get away from Bill’s elbows. Bill used them and was almost a foot taller than Bob.

  62. campbell higgins

    Re : My comment earlier today [disappeared at moment], and use of ‘points’.
    Like the sides of an angle [not really], which could be only inches across near the angle itself, but spread to many miles if extended sufficiently – I require my use of ‘points’ to be extended.
    “Any excuse ……….”

  63. Sorry, Campbell, but the price of raffle tickets has eluded me, although I do remember the tea, sandwiches and cakes that Rose and her mates produced was 1/6d. Another name has come to mind – Norman Brown, who played for BCC and was, I think, manager of the Invicta Fencing Co., where the new houses are now off Long Mill Lane. I `took over` Norman`s lodgings with Charlie Powell and his wife in Station Road when Norman moved out and before I went off to do my National Service.

    Yes, I remember the banter on the conker bank/ church wall at Platt with Godfrey, Peter Smith and others. Pat`s Mum used to come out of Maddox Cottages on the stroke of 9.00pm each evening to call her in – you could set a watch by it.

    Bill`s still going well in to his 80s now – lives at East Malling and we see him now and again.

  64. campbell higgins

    Re : Where were you on the night of the Great Storm – October 16, 1987?

    In his comment of Aug 19 @ 7pm, Peter Hopgood mentions Bob Ogley, the former editor of the Sevenoaks Chronicle.
    My mother was friendly with Bob, and bought several of his books ‘In the Wake of the Hurricane’ – sending copies to relatives and friends.
    Mum said it felt like ‘the end of the world’ that night, and that the roof would lift off.
    And she wouldn’t have been considering that during the 1950s, and maybe later,most wall plates to which the rafters were nailed were not secured by straps, ties or anchors.
    A bricklayer would tamp the plates onto a bed of mortar, which had been spread on the top of the brick or block walls.
    The roof carcassing framed members, roof tile system and plates would rely on the mortar bed to prevent movement.
    But hurricanes don’t occur that often, do they?

  65. campbell higgins

    Re : Stangate Quarry comments (July 27/ 29).

    As I was contemplating getting out of bed this morning, the name ‘Pearl Ashby’ entered my mind.
    I’m now pretty sure – 98% – that she was Bronk’s sister.
    Performing my best to remember, I checked to see if she looked like ‘Sue’ Ashby in Mike’s photo – she didn’t.
    The mystery continues ……..
    While at school, Tony’s surname was spelt O’dell. [small ‘d’].
    Richard Butter called him ‘Oddle’ – Nobby Clark, Mick Bennett and a few others, ‘Curly’.
    While the vast majority called him Tony – he was lucky.
    I’m sure he will not mind if I mention, that he used to say : “I don’t mind what they call me, as long as it’s not late for dinner”. [It was a corny ‘in-joke’, based on Yorkshire/ Lancashire humour].

  66. campbell higgins

    On second thoughts Ian,
    I think it actually went : “You can call me anything you like – as long as you (or, but) don’t call me late for dinner”.
    Sorry! But it did sound better in 1954.
    I think that Jimmy Clitheroe or Ken Dodd came up with that, a couple of years later even.

  67. campbell higgins

    Peter :
    And I’m sure you will remember John Bromley, from the Plaxtol/ Shipbourne area.
    On Saturdays, he collected small payments for Prudential Insurance in the Basted/ Claygate Cross/ Crouch area – and probably wider.He sped around those lanes on an autocycle.
    The low availability of players on some Saturdays, also helped contribute to the low scoring mentioned Jan 2/ 2014, in the game versus Plaxtol. And I assume that by the time you became captain, Saturday fixtures had pretty well ceased for Basted CC?

  68. Campbell :

    Yes I do recall John Bromley who had quite a fearsome reputation as a batsman. I`m pretty sure he played in the game I mentioned above – August 19th @7.15pm – but I really don`t ever remember playing for Basted on a Saturday; I played cricket for Platt on Saturdays and Basted on Sundays (ah, the energy of youth.) I wasn`t appointed captain until I was 18, I think – great memories of those couple of seasons in the sun before National Service beckoned and the daunting task if captaining players like Eddie McKellow, Tom Merritt and the rest of the team. I`ve often wondered what happened to the old scorebooks – any ideas?

  69. campbell higgins

    Peter : Your Aug 20 comment/ “Something for the Weekend, Sir?”
    I was younger than yourself when visiting Sweeney.
    And he wouldn’t have mentioned to me “would you like something for the weekend, Sir?”
    I was fresh faced, and looked younger than my early to mid-teens – and didn’t need razor blades for a weekend shave, until a few years later.

  70. Re : Peter’s wondering about where those old Basted CC scorebooks got to.
    During the early 1950s, the scorebook stayed in the Basted pavilion, before and after the game.
    Harold Carter was the scorer and lived in the house, within where Mill Road meets Mill Lane. But he didn’t take it home with him – I don’t think he even knew how it got to away fixtures, and back again.
    So here we go again – one more mystery to solve – but Ian got us positively started on Sept 9th.

  71. Peter :
    Re : Your batting partner Jimmy Rayfield (Aug 19 @ 7:15 pm).
    I remember Jim Rayfield the BG Reserves goalkeeper – but he didn’t play for BCC.
    It’s keeping me awake nights – can you please enlighten me about ‘your’ James? Thank you.

  72. A mystery indeed, but one that may never be solved? I suppose in my wistful dotage I would like to look back through those pages with the names of team mates and opponents rekindling memories of those golden days. I might even like to confirm my crowning moments – five for nine against some team, 55 against Odhams Press – but overlook the preponderance of mediocrity. As with Dylan Thomas`s White Book of Llareggub, maybe I`m looking for the little maps of the islands of my contentment.

  73. Peter :
    Can you submit a few details of your crowning moments – especially the earlier years?
    Versus Odhams Press e.g., how much more of a local derby could there be than that? With some BCC members turning out for Odhams, maybe?
    And John Good might have been captaining Odhams – with his father, their umpire?
    And five for nine seems to ring a bell, also. You are gradually bringing these memories back to me, as I write.

  74. Campbell, I have a clear recollection of batting with Jimmy Rayfield in what was my very first game for Basted. It`s not the kind of rite of passage you forget but the curious thing is that I cannot recall every playing in the same side as Jim again – maybe he was moonlighting or more likely Basted were short of players…..well, they did give me a game that day.

  75. Peter :
    I think I got a little excited and jumped the gun – and that there were two (at least?) named James Rayfield.
    I don’t think that the one I referred to was a cricketer.
    He was bespectacled, born about 1934, and lived at Quarry Hill, BG. He appears in about 3 or 4 photos in the DOCS, Football in 50s section.

  76. Crowning moments? Not too many I`m afraid beyond the couple I`ve already mentioned, but one of the reasons to try and track down the old scorebooks was to see whether there were any others worth a mention. Don`t forget that the Basted double was 100 runs and 10 wickets in a season!! On the question of scoring, I can`t recall Harold Carter undertaking that role (wasn`t he a local courier/delivery chap?) but I do recall Brian Webb doing it – he lived at the time with his parents in Spring Cottage at the bottom of the hill down from the cricket ground. I used to see Brian in those days – he worked for Maidstone and District as a mechanic and later in life I think he had a farm at Dux Lane, Plaxtol. I also used to see him in Tesco`s at Larkfield but it`s been a few years since I have seen him.
    I suppose my real pleasure came from captaining the side – for example, we could always get Johnny Woodhams out by having a leg slip and Eddie McKellow would bowl him a gentle one down the leg side; Johnnie couldn`t resist it and was usually caught. Putting a disgruntled Bernie Maycock on for just one over to break a partnership (such a shame that he passed away so young.)

    The Odhams Press matches were an annual event, as the ground was owned by Odhams at the time. I remember Mr. Good captaining their side and everyone called him Mr. Good – I think he was the manager there but I never got to know his first name. There were some Basted players playing for Odhams in those games – Jimmy Ford, Don Lidstone, etc., but they were always good days. My how the surrounds of the ground have changed over half a century. I always remember there was a cabbage field where the little wood is now and we were forever hunting for cricket balls there. I never knew what happened to the pavillion – when I finished National Service the club had moved to Tonbridge, playing on their very smart Sportsground behind the Castle and I never regained contact after that – I started moving round the country to get experience in my work and Pat and I moved away for some years before returning in, I think which time my cricket `career` had come to an end

    I`m enjoying these trips down memory lane – I just hope I`m not becoming boring, but those days were so special.,

  77. Peter :
    That was Harold Woodhams from Western Rd, who was the BG ‘moving man’.
    It seemed that everyone used him sometime or other. He played in goal for a few different BG clubs during the 1920s and 30s. But man, what a character was Harold!
    Brian Webb’s father was an electrician. Harold Carter lived just across the width of Mill Lane and a stone wall from Spring Cottage. Compared to your age when you started playing – Brian, David May and Peter Hudson participated when older.
    Medium pace bowler, Brian Mummery, had been playing 2 or 3 years for BCC – prior to the age of 14.
    And by that age had moved to Pembury with his family – and retired from cricket!

    I assume that was BG footballer John Woodhams – and that he was playing for BG CC?
    While at Wrotham Rd School, John had won stockman awards with the Young Farmer’s Club. I believe they had been the first school YFC in the country.
    Don Lidstone moved to E. Malling round about 1960. He became a member of the Parish Council and his first appointment was being in charge of footpaths. While the irrepressible Eddie McKellow was glancing at the scorebook, he would have something humorous to say about the No. 10 or 11 – “Don Lippyton”.
    Eddie and Bernard Maycock were teammates with Platt FC during the late 1940s – as were Tom Merritt and Ernie Clifton.
    Mr Good was part of ‘upper management’ at Odhams, and I believe he was connected with accounting. He lived just south of the foot of Plough Hill, west of the River Bourne.
    I had quite a few (forgotten!) memories about Jimmy Ford. I’m pretty sure that he lived in the house which appears in the Mill Rd photo (mentioned Dec 30, 2013).

  78. Re : Harold Carter/ Harold Woodhams.
    I’m feeling uncomfortable about this, but have been urged to mention that HAROLD THE CARTER, in large lettering on the latter’s lorry, would have been beneficial for his business.
    Not to mention that it looks to be a blatant steal from Peter’s Sept 18 post.

  79. I seem to have got my Harolds mixed up so you`re right, Campbell, about Harold the scorer – it`s come back to me now.
    I certainly played at the same time as David May – he was attending Maidstone Grammar School at the time, I think – and Peter Hudson – he and I once hired a boat for a week and `sailed` from Maidstone to Tonbridge and back. I wonder what happened to Peter, who was a very useful change bowler.

    One who always got people`s names wrong was Don Evenden – he was another who had difficulty with `Lidstone`; he and his brother Ralph played for BCC. Ralph worked at Reuthe`s nursery at Crown Point, Ightham, which specialises in rhododendrons and azaleas, Ralph always referred to them as `lime haters` – he had one of those very quiet Velocette motor bikes. Don Lidstone was a bit more of a serious biker – I was his pillion passenger once when we went up to The Oval for a test match.

    You`re also right about Jimmy Ford – he did indeed live in the cottage as it was then in Mill Road. He was a really good character but something of an accidental wicket keeper. I think one of our star players (as well as Eddie and Tom Merritt) was Tony Allen, rather well spoken, commuted to London and back every day. He lived in one of those cottages behind The Plough. He could really play and a couple of things of his rubbed off in me – even if you`re playing forward defensive, always push it hard…..and never, ever argue with scorers.

    (Until he retired recently, my eldest son, David, worked with Dick Harvey`s son – Dickj and his brother Eric quite regularly opened the batting for us.) The memories just keep coming back. Thank you.

  80. Peter :
    David May attended Maidstone Technical School, but may have transferred to the Grammar School later. He had been quite a good goalkeeper during his schooldays.
    Peter Hudson lived just above the hopper huts in Winfield Lane, and married a young lady who lived opposite The Chequers, Crouch. He served an apprenticeship, as a carpenter and joiner, with Hyders of Plaxtol. And he played right back for St Georges (Wrotham).
    Ralph Evenden would be red faced, and look slightly knackered, as he came off the pitch and removed his pads. Right now, it would feel quite peaceful to listen to Ralph’s Velocette. Yes, rhododendrons love acidity and sandy soil – as you no doubt appreciate during your walks through Platt Woods.
    Don Evenden played for Ightham FC, and later served on the committee of BG FC.
    Don Lidstone was kind hearted, and took young neighbours to Tonbridge FC games at the Angel Ground. Also to Camber Sands, accompanied by his dad, mum, sister and nephew in their car. Pronouncing his name “Don Lippyton” was part of Eddie McKellow’s friendly joking.
    Jimmy Ford was one of those who played regularly in the Saturday games – I still can’t remember him very well, but wearing those wicket keeper pads he sort of waddled a little, didn’t he ?
    Ron Woodger also lived at Plough Terrace, and worked with Tom Merritt at the quarry. His daughter has always lived in that row (now named ‘Hill View’) – I believe she bought and moved into No. 6. Anyway, you can ask her – she is nice and friendly and serves in The Plough (which was featured quite recently in a mainly West Kent ‘real ale’ type booklet).
    In an earlier post I mentioned ‘Norman’ Harvey – I just couldn’t remember Dick’s name. Knowing my mistake, I even thought I was referring to Neil Harvey (whose name I had forgotten even more).

  81. Peter :
    I was wondering if Pat was still seeing her cousin, Judy Bourne, who was living at Tollgate Estate – as was David May.
    I believe that both Pat and Judy attended Maidstone Technical School – with Judy being a year younger.
    And I suppose that was a similar situation to yourself and Pat – Derek Emery, who was from Shipbourne, playing for Platt FC after commencing his courtship with Judy.
    Your father-in-law was quite impressed that Derek had been training with Tonbridge, who were then in the Southern League, and playing some games with their Reserve team.
    There were some very nice people associated with Platt FC at that time, which could have helped your marriages to materialize.
    PS. Looking back, I think you had already started playing for Platt, when you met Pat?

  82. Campbell,
    I`ve consulted Pat, who says that the Bourne sisters weren`t actually her cousins and it was Josie, not Judy, who married Derek but Pat hasn`t seen her for years.

    You`re right about the nice people running Platt FC and it was where Pat and I first `exchanged glances.` She and Godfrey Bathurst`s sister,Ann, aka Chunky, used to make the half time tea, so we really met across a crowded changing room intoxicated by the aroma of Sloan`s liniment. Their combined charms were something of a distraction from the half time team talks…… Harry Hawkes used to manage the team and there were good men like Fred Selman, Tom Wimsett Snr., all of whom made it a real pleasure to be associated with the club.

  83. Peter :
    Was Ann Bathurst the girlfriend of Colin Scott, when Pat and yourself were exchanging those first glances?

    I’m trying to piece this together – among those living opposite Platt Church were?
    (I) Pat and her family, (ii) Godfrey and his family, (iii) Steve Webb and his son Dave, (iv) Johnnie Geddes and his wife, and (v) Frank Davies and his wife.

    I recollect, in what seemed like during a not too long period of time :
    (a) A lorry driver at the north end having his vehicle catch fire, then him sit in his cab for a while with flames around him.
    (b) Godfrey jumping off of his ‘hot’ motor bike, and it lying on the road in flames.
    and (c) Shortly after moving there, Frank Davies having a chimney fire. Seeming to be a fairly straightforward job, he had decided to sweep it himself.

    When you consulted Pat, did you say Bourne or Broad? Although Josie Broad, who lived opposite The Blue Anchor, married a sailor from Shoreham.

  84. Oh Ian!
    You say such nice things. If only ……

  85. Campbell :

    I`m sorry but I can`t confirm the Colin Scott/Chunky Bathurst connection – it`s possible as I can at least confirm that there seemed to be a degree of largesse with Chunky`s charms – allegedly.

    Maddox Cottages – Pat and her family in No. 3; Steve and his Mum until she passed away in No.2; the Bathurst family in No. 3 and when they moved away, Frank Davies and Margaret took over the house. They had two daughters – Penny and Sally.

    Pat recalls an Army chap coming off his motorbike outside the Blue Anchor. He broke his leg, went to hospital and Pat`s Dad, Bill Webb, looked after the bike until the soldier recovered – he was `stationed` up at Mereworth Woods.

    Definitely Josie Bourne – Pat was also very friendly with the Broad family, including Josie, (didn`t Glenn have something to do with Platt FC?) who lived opposite the Blue Anchor.

    Hope this helps a bit.

  86. With Peter enjoying his trips down Memory Lane, I’ll have to wave over my well-clipped hedge to him as he saunters by.
    I feel like I’m living there. I should have the kettle on ……

  87. Thanks for that Peter!

    Colin and Ann did have a relationship for a while – but it was not long term.
    They did not indulge in long term relationships – but were not lonely for long. At a few of the Annual Dinner and Dance events, Colin would be maintaining two romances, at different areas of the Memorial Hall.
    His girlfriends were inclined to be well built.
    Chris Scott didn’t do too badly in that department either.
    For the few seasons that Chris and Colin were playing alongside Dave Webb, the trio were really something, weren’t they?
    I remember a Cup round game, at King George’s Field, versus Town Malling United. As TMU’s legendry Percy Macey, was leaving the pitch at half time, he was mentioning about Colin being “as hard as nails”.

    When Josie Broad’s sailor boyfriend was home – and not seeing her, he was playing centre forward for Shoreham United.
    Josie’s younger sister was courting an officer from the Mereworth Woods Army camp.
    Glenn is the Secretary of Platt Utd FC. He and his brother Melvyn played for Platt.
    During 1954-55, on weekday evenings, I picked peas and beans with Josie’s mum at Geoff Bacon’s farm.
    Bob Morphy was foreman. During the latter half of the 1940s, while Tom Merritt and Ernie Clifton were teammates for Platt FC, Bob was a member of the committee.

    Did Pat attend Valerie Arthur’s evening ‘Tuesday Club’, round about 1953?
    It involved ‘old time dancing’, and was held in the Memorial Hall.

  88. There`s a lot there, Campbell. Thanks.
    As I recall, the Scott brothers lived with their Mum (Kath – who worked at the Royal Oak when we were there) in a cottage up Seven Mile Lane, close to Comp crossroads. I always thought Chris was the footballer, Colin the battler.

    Well, Pat and I have had a 53 year marriage, so I guess that qualifies as a long term relationship. Love at first sight – one look at those big brown eyes and all that – and we got married when I was doing my National Service out in Germany. I panicked a bit as I thought that if I didn`t sweep her off her feet then someone else might while I was away.

    Pat did indeed attend Valerie`s `Thursday Club` – she assures me it was Thursday – I think we spent Tuesdays on the conker bank by the church – and they put on a musical show each year, which Pat took part in. If I recall correctly, Valerie had the little shop next to Micawbers and dressed `interestingly?`

    Take care.


  89. Peter :
    Valerie Arthur looked a little like Nancy Spain didn’t she?
    And she wore those men’s shirts and corduroy trousers – and neckerchiefs which looked like they’d been made out of Italian restaurant tablecloths.
    Some evenings in her darkened shop (yes, next to Mr Micawbers’) a group would dabble in ‘Spiritualism’. Valerie conducted the séances.
    Tommy Marmont ate carrots for a week, then pressed his nose against the glass to try and make out what was going on. He said he couldn’t see that much happening – but that the talking was a bit weird – and he was sick of carrots.

    You mentioned Pat’s big brown eyes …..
    During the early 60s, I overheard Daisy Lowes and Rene Fuller speak of your mother-in-law’s prettiness.
    They were working part time at Platt Primary School – looking after children at mealtime was included in their duties. I have wondered since, if Pat’s mum was also working there at that time.

  90. Peter :
    Yes there were some, definitely interested in Pat – but they didn’t have your looks and money.

  91. I’m sure that Peter heard various reminiscences from locals, about the bomb damage to The Royal Oak and nearby buildings, during October 1940.
    With William Brown being 10 years old that year, the stories about his efforts to be helpful, would have been comforting for young people – and some not so young.

  92. I was thinking about Peter….writers….cricket….scorers….
    And that Charles Dickens used to be the scorer during the annual cricket match between Gad’s Hill Place and the local villagers.

  93. I have been asked to ‘de-fog’ my Sept 27 @ 10:53 am thoughts a little.

    Recently, Peter rather prolifically wrote 7 blog posts in 8 days – a few of his readers calling him “Dickens”.
    The villagers referred to were from Gad’s Hill, where CD was the next best thing to being squire.

    Basted Cricket Club’s closest games to Gad’s Hill, were versus Mockbeggar CC (a hamlet near Highham).

  94. Re : Mine of Sept 25 @ 8:36 pm.

    Three weeks ago, in a hotel sitting room, I picked up a copy of ‘William Carries On’ and flicked through it’s pages of 1941 happenings.
    It influenced me to mistakenly mention that he was 10 years of age in 1940.
    When I saw the post appear there, I remembered that he was perennially aged 11.
    Yesterday, I received a phone call reminding me of my error.

  95. campbell higgins

    Going back to Valerie Arthur ……

    She was a nice person, and popular with those of all ages.
    Something I remember, were photos displayed in her shop window following the 1948 Platt Fete, at King George’s Field.
    Front and centre was fancy dress winner, Valerie Hill, who lived about 100 yards south of the shop.
    About 6 or 7 years of age, she was an ‘Olympic athlete’, c/w an impressive left shoulder to right hip winner’s sash, and equally impressive torch. Of course, the Olympics were held in London that year.
    Although not going to the fete together, 3 of the 4 main onlookers in the photo were from Claygate Cross, which created some interest there – and visits to view Valerie’s display.

  96. campbell higgins

    Correction : Sept 20 @ 2:25 pm.

    It was Bob Evenden, not Don, who played for Ightham FC, and later served on the committee of BG FC.

  97. Campbell:
    Sorry for the delay – been away for a week or so in Devon, so I`ve got a bit of catching up to do. Here goes:-

    Your recollections of Valerie reminded me of one of the rituals at Platt Fete, which always included a competition to see which dog owner looked most like their pooch. I`m fairly sure it was won every year by Freda Cross who had a Pekinese. Her husband, Brian, is of course permanently perpetuated as one of the signatories to the Bye-laws on display at the entrances to Platt Woods.

    I really have no recollection of tales concerning bomb damage to the Royal Oak – maybe I`ve forgotten – but I spent the first five years of my life in a house in a village alongside Southampton Water. Southampton was bombed most nights during the war, of course, and I remember sleeping under the stairs and, having been born in 1939 and only experienced the wartime way of life, I really thought that that was how life was.

    Pat confirms that her Mum didn`t actually work at the school – but I can confirm that she was a really lovely lady in so many ways. Like mother like daughter?

    Your comment concerning looks and money are, of course, entirely accurate…….

  98. campbell higgins

    Peter :

    I have pulled to the surface of my mind, what might be optimistically called approximate.
    Two people killed in the general area of the Royal Oak kitchen, including the cook, and 4 or 5 injured.

    I mainly seem to remember being squeezed with others, into one of those ‘cages’ made up of wire mesh panels, under the largest/ sturdiest table. Many families had the ‘Morrison’ shelter, which by comparison, came in a ‘sophisticated’ kit-form.

  99. campbell higgins

    Re : The Summerhouse Tragedy. See : Comments/ March 4 and 5, 2014.

    Written by a daughter of Mr. Hardiman (she was born the year of the murder).

    The murder was very much talked about in our youth, and we used to go huckleberry-ing in the area where the bungalow stood.
    The flagstones remained and we used to view a big stain which we were led to believe was Mrs. Luard’s blood stain.

    My father knew all of the parties involved and was a member of the inquest jury.
    He would never commit himself, but we always had the feeling he thought General Luard was (underlined) involved.
    Mrs. Stuart the other lady lived at Oldbury about 5 minutes from our old home.

    c.h. – Mrs. Stuart visited Ightham Knoll that afternoon.
    The Hardiman’s home was next to the Cob Tree Inn.
    Maybe compared to the large houses of visitors to the summerhouse/ bungalow, it has been described as a ‘little building’. But in a contemporary photo/ postcard, it doesn’t look little.

  100. campbell higgins

    This is to inform ex- Basted Cricket Club captain, Peter Hopgood, that Magna Carta is no relation whatsoever to former Basted CC scorer, Harold Carter.
    Or to Harold’s sisters, who worked in Mr. Clark’s BG High Street grocery store.

    Harold worked at Odham’s Press, and was scorer for them when they played Basted CC in 1953/ or ’54.
    The scorer who replaced Harold that day, (for Basted), took over the job ‘permanently’ – well, until Brian Webb came along?

  101. My dad was sent to borough green when he was about 10 in 1943,he worked on a hop farm he thinks was called Tarpoles? For someone called Ernie,he has fond memories here.he is coming up for his 90th birthday and a little unwell,so
    It would be great if you had any photos to show him,he talks about his time on the farm often.

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