see ‘hop farm’.
Mr Little’s, ‘Winfield Farm’, Crouch – at oast houses. (see name and year on bag).
Alf Masters is at left, Les Dunster middle, and ‘on the tip of my tongue’ at right.
Mr Masters was the father of Lou Masters – the blacksmith at the nearby Crouch division of Hyder’s Coachworks.
Winfield Farm occupied a large area of Crouch and Claygate Cross.
see ‘Mr Fuller – motor bike’.
Frank Fuller Jnr – who as a child, had lived at Long Pond Cottages (here) with his grandmother.
At school the boys had called him ‘Granny’.
Doesn’t that bring back memories of nicknames, that we disliked so much?
Interestingly the old census records for Plaxtol show a family by the name of Hider with an I. I must go back and check to see if they were smiths or not. If so the chance of a connection seems high.
Campbell – is 1st Dec a special day for you? If not I may mean 10th August.
Hyders Wrought Ironwork business was at The Spout, Plaxtol for ‘many’ years. (same company).
Former head of the company, a retired ‘Old Dave Hyder’, was living close to the Crouch forge during the 1940s/1950s – and probably longer.
There was a schoolboy named David Hyder living in Ightham, during the late 1940s/early ’50s – but I’m sure, no relation to the above.
I haven’t heard of anyone with the spelling that you mentioned. I’m embarrassed to suggest that they moved, changed the spelling, or are hiding.
Those dates Ian – were they in any particular years?
1937 was the one that first came to mind.
Re Plaxtol – I have yet to trawl back through the various census images. The numbers go into the 1000s now so it could take a while.
The National Archive seems to take the same line as me. See:
There is a Seymour Hyder shown in 1891 as a blacksmith. In 1911 the same guy ( I think) is shown as a grocer.
I’ll contact the Plaxtol History people to see what they know about the origins.
That sounds like someones birthday that has slipped my memory.
I’ll check my “to do” list for sending cards.
You’ve got me puzzled – I’ll also go back through my diaries to 1937.
Do the parishes of BG, Ightham, Wrotham, Platt and Plaxtol cover this quandary?
I may need to look at my sources again for that date.
Plaxtol for the census comes under Ightham, even though some aspects of Wrotham seem to creep everywhere.
Seymour Hyder looks like a contender for the originator of Hyders. Both names – Hyder and Hider – are found in the census. The variation of Hider is more common in the Plaxtol area of Kent for the census entries in 1800s.
Are you accepting of another slight name tweak?
Plaxtol Church – unusual in having no dedication – has a gravestone which bears the following :
William HIDE : died November 22nd, 1830. Aged 49 years.
Sophia, his wife : died May 19th, 1874. Aged 72 years.
Some claim that Hyder and Hider are derived from being the holder of a ‘hide’ or ‘hyde’ of land.
It generally takes more than several centuries for names to change, so as you mentioned, you are definitely looking for a Hyder.
A friend was in the ‘West Country’ tracking descendants (his surname being ‘Roberts’) – he found in church records that this name was ‘Rabbits’ in the 1500s. So Hyder is a piece of cake!
I think the long and the short of it is that spelling only became more standardised after the 1700s as printing became more common and more widespread. Even then adult literacy was a way off. The census and the army’s ( govt) needs to know about the number of able body men ( not yet women) it could muster and raise taxes from drove the need for more data and more standardisation.
Although we may laugh at ridiculously individualised names and spelling variants as some new age fad, the truth is that “normal” spellings are a relatively recent matter.
I did find some Hiders in the Paxtol area but they were not engaged in ironwork or related professions. The Plaxtol history site looks very well put together. I suspect had I been in BG I might have been involved in the creation of something similar, with local contacts.
I have added a new page under docs -> Old shops.
I am unsure when the house where Weeks was changed to a residence as it was during the 60s. My family seem not to recall it as a shop either.
I have now heard back from Plaxtol History group and it seems the guy who started Hyders moved there from Crouch. I may need to revisit the library to check records again. 1969 feature recently posted under documents, last entry currently.
“Old Dave Hyder”,looked to be in his late 70s when living in Crouch in 1950.
It was a bungalow along a short driveway, opposite an impressive house named “High Crouch”. (Miss Keith-Lucas lived there).
He owned land around his home, which included the forge and paired dwellings (opposite “The Chequers”, public house).
He used to ‘get around’ quite a bit locally – regularly visiting Tonbridge, and driven by a youngish man named Douglas.
I haven’t heard of any Hyders owner mentioned, prior to “Old Dave”.
“Old Dave” had cobnut trees growing on his land, bordering the north, east and south elevations of his house.
A little west down Basted Lane, on the farm owned by Mr Leslie Packham, was a larger acreage of same. Mr Packham was the Chief Dental Surgeon at Middlesex Hospital, and described as a “gentleman” farmer.
Local housewives included cobnuts in home-made Christmas cakes. I also ate quite a lot during other parts of the year – cracking the shells with my teeth, which I now regret.
At the time they were known simply as ‘nuts’ to us – but have reappeared on the commercial scene as ‘Kentish Cobnuts’.
There were 2 articles during August about ‘Kentish Cobnuts’ in the Food Section of The Guardian – with all the benefits that they now claim to give, it’s no wonder that I still look like a teenager!
One article featured a grower from Ightham (as we know, they originated in that village) – in the photo the ‘trees’ appeared to be growing wild, compared to nut trees of the 40s and 50s.
A reason that the nuts disappeared for a while, was the labour intensive nature of the picking, and then the removal of the wands around the lower part of the trees during early autumn.
Among other things they can now : (a) reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, by reducing blood pressure and inflammation; (b) help ensure weight loss; and (c) give that “fullness factor”, so that we are left feeling satisfied!!
Mainly on Saturdays, from the late 40s to the mid 50s old Henry Spicer (Henry the Woodman) delivered sacks of firewood by means of horse and cart, to residents of Crouch and Claygate Cross – and probably to other hamlets also.
The source of the firewood was from acres around the house in which he and his landlady/ employer lived – at Hurst Woods.
Henry was about 5 and a half feet tall and of retirement age. It was thirsty work unloading and carrying the sacks of wood along pathways and steps. And there was the collection of payments.
The name of his horse was not generally known – unlike the Winfield Farm horses, Punch, Turpin and Dobbin.
Towards the end of the afternoon, as the horses stood in the meadow just before the oast houses, they would nod over the fence to Henry’s horse as he returned from his delivery route – he nodded back.
By this time, Henry was sometimes fast asleep on board – a few drinks during deliveries having further contributed to his tiredness.
In any situation his horse could be relied upon to take him home safely.
The man with the horse with no name. It sounds like something needing Clint Eastwood to appear with the sun behind him, squinting all the same.
Have you thought about compiling your snippets into a book?
Well no, not yet Ian.
So far, this has been the closest step in that direction.
Thanks for the compliment!
You sure attracted the attention of Clint Eastwood fans, Ian.
Following your February 22nd reply, 3 of them have expressed a wish to see our comments in a more permanent book form – assuming that you will be the author!
Those Clint fans have seen Brian Whiston’s comment, re : that tea-leaf taking a liking to the library book about Borough Green.
They are pressing for the commencement of a book without De Laye.
Following on from your (Feb 22nd) ‘the man with the horse with no name’ – a few have linked this with “The Girl with No Name…….Girl Who Lived with Monkeys”, and think that you are about to commence writing a book!
I think I’d add to that list “The man with no book to write”
So I’ll bid thee farewell.
“The man wiv no book to read, that woulda bin written by his Favourite Author”.
Re : ‘hop farm’ comment/ March 13, 2013.
I think that the gentleman, whose name was ‘on the tip of my tongue’, was — Wilcox. And that he had been a member of the Borough Green Rovers, 1937-38 Kent Junior Cup Final winning team.
The hop garden was of a right-angle configuration, in a valley to the northwest of the Winfield Farm oast houses.
And it was at the base of an apple-treed slope, to the south of Winfield Lane hopper huts. At it’s furthest boundary from the huts was Pond Bottom and the stream which found it’s way west to the River Bourne.
I spent comparatively little time picking hops (did not have a bin or half-bin) and helped others.
I enjoyed eating rice puddings from enamelled metal dishes and drinking tea which had been made in a black billy can, over a fire we had prepared.
At different locations/ times of the year, I picked peas/ beans, strawberries and cobnuts mostly.
The hop pickers staying in the huts were from SE London – one summer (about 7 or 8 years after the photo) I had a girlfriend staying there who was from Eltham.
Just up the road, the ‘Star & Garter’ public house got quite lively on Saturday nights. And Bill “Not as Square as Fred Astaire” Ladbrook, from Ightham, would tap dance on a few tables.
As old favourites were sung, teary-eyed patrons would mention – ” they don’t write songs like that any more, do they?”
As hop picking season came to a close, it quietened down, and things returned to normal.
Re : The Bill Ladbrook description which included ‘square’.
Bill was about 40 years of age when he acquired that in 1957 – and tap dancing had somewhat died out in popularity by that time.
A vocal rendition of “Singing the Blues” (sung a little earlier by Guy Mitchell and Tommy Steele) had also become a part of his routine.
I’m sure that a few in their 70’s, will inform me that I’m a few months early with ‘square’.
I’ve still heard nowt of an owner of Hyders Ltd, prior to ‘Old Dave’.
I’m fairly sure that he was the founder.
I believe it was during the mid to late 1940s, that his son Dave took over from him, and was still in charge during the early 70s.
Att : Christine – daughter of Frank on his motor bike.
We know you’ve been busy, but with your Auntie Lilie and Grandmother being Cunninghams, it has been muttered a few times – ‘Will she nae come back again?’ [followed by the usual ‘sorry’].
It’s reminded me that my great-grandfather, George Ashmore Roberts, was a poet.
He had a few books published by Glasgow University Press, round about 1910.
With my Christian name, it has been mentioned to me more than once, that if a desert island had 2 inhabitants – one would be Scottish.
Att: Campbell Higgins
It’s a bit off-topic, bu I just came across your comment about George Ashmore Roberts, and he was my great-great-grandfather! Do you have any more info about him?
Hallo, I was born during the early to mid-1940’s – and am formerly from Trosley/Trottiscliffe. I had quite a few friends/acquaintances from the Borough Green area.
Regarding the poet, that was quite a coincidence.
Some think that indeed, if they are the same person you should definitely consider buying a lottery ticket.
Best of luck!
I see that a Campbell D. W. Higgins was married in 1980, in Maidstone.
“Our” Campbell had links with Maidstone – that might have been his grandson.
“Maidstone, I remember it well….” is asking if you/we would like to put anything up.
There have not been too many Campbell Higgins in West, and Mid Kent – you could mention him there.
Hmmm, Campbell D. W. Higgins might have been Campbell’s son or nephew too.
Campbell’s Mum Anne, was Scottish – the D. could have been for Donald, and W. after Campbell’s Uncle Bill.
From comment about your Uncle George/ Bandy Fuller in another section : “but Dad and all in the family called him Blondie”.
Do you think that his nicknames might have originated when he was very young?
‘No one’ remembers him being bandy, or blonde!
See : Willard Transport photo, bottom left.
Roy Willard stands at end/ left side of photo, with his sister and 3 brothers.
I have erred on several occasions by calling him ‘Ray’. I was sure I was correct.
See : THEMED – Sport – Football in 50s.
Roy appears in left side photos – 5th, 7th, and 9th rows from top. And in lower middle photo – 11th row from top.
Roy played at right back.
On his blog site, former Basted Cricket Club captain Peter Hopgood mentions Roy being a team mate of his, during the latter half of the 1950s.
Re : The M&D 1937 bus strike photo.
To get the ball rolling and give others a chance, I’ll just mention 5 of those on picket duty.
Charlie Swan lived in Platt – at the north/ commencement stretch of Long Mill Lane.
George Farmer at Sunnyside, Sevenoaks Road.
Bill Clements at Hill View. Though I’m not quite sure if it was 1 – or 2, of those W.Clements.
Ted Ivy at Windmill Hill, Wrotham Heath.
And George Acott in Maidstone Road.
Seeing as it’s going back a bit, I’ve been asked to name a few children of those above-mentioned strikers.
Doreen, daughter of Charlie Swan.
Mick (‘Salmon’), son of George Farmer.
The two Bill Clements : I think they are Bill Senior and Bill Junior.
Keith, son of George Acott.
Ted Ivy used to repair our wireless, and charge our batteries for us – but I’ve forgotten the names of his children (they would be octogenarians by now!).
See : DOCS – World Wars – Scouts Victory Parade, 1945.
That looks like George Acott’s eldest son – without a uniform yet – marching nearside/ at start of the J.E.Baldock, Chemist shop. He looks like he’s really concentrating.
Re : February 22, 2014 comment.
Oh! how could I possibly have forgotten the Winfield Farm horse, Prince?
A silvery, white, grey mixture – shining in the sunshine and showers – he was so well liked.
And Prince would even probably have made Clint squint – during early April!
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