Frittenden Historical Society

Frittenden Historical Society Frittenden Historical Society We are a small, friendly society from a small, friendly village in the Weald of Kent. We were first formed in 1975.

We aim to educate and entertain with talks and presentations about the history of our village and the county in which we live. Our season runs from October through to April and membership costs just £10, which gives free access to talks and events arranged for the season. Non-members are welcome and can attend a talk for £3. Meetings take place at Frittenden Memorial Hall and start at 8pm. Special

exhibitions or outings may have different locations and starting times, but members will be notified accordingly.

07/05/2023
20/04/2023

Our last meeting of the season is on Tuesday 25th April when Andrew Mayfield, a Community Archaeologist who will be telling us about his work and some of the projects he has been recently working on. Last year Andrew won an award from Archaeology UK for his work which takes him across the county.

The meeting will start with our (usually brief) AGM at 8pm in the Memorial Hall.

08/04/2023

If anyone has any photos from the village celebrations of the coronation in June 1953, we would love to have a copy please for the upcoming events. TIA.

Brickworks were a common feature in rural areas and Frittenden was no exception.  The site on Dig Dog Lane served the Co...
23/03/2023

Brickworks were a common feature in rural areas and Frittenden was no exception. The site on Dig Dog Lane served the Cornwallis estate which was once the largest landowner in the village and the county. Next week's speaker, David Cufley, will look back to the nineteenth century and the people who worked in brickworks, such as Frittenden's.

We meet on Tuesday 28th March in the Memorial Hall for an 8pm start. Hope to see you then.

26/02/2023

New book launch on Tuesday 28th February from 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall.
Talk on churchyard surveys and specifically Mill Lane Burial Ground.

Remembrance Day well observed this morning.
13/11/2022

Remembrance Day well observed this morning.

03/10/2022

Our first meeting of the new season is in the Memorial Hall on Tuesday 25th October at 7.30pm. Please join us for social drinks before our speaker, Tony Singleton, will tell us about the windmills and watermills of the Weald.

03/10/2022

Join us in the newly refurbished Memorial Hall for our first meeting on Tuesday 25th October from 7.30pm.

09/09/2022

Following the sad death of Her Majesty the Queen, the committee has decided to postpone the upcoming trip to Rochester Cathedral. The Cathedral will be open for people to sign books of condolence and will have special services, so we thought it inappropriate to continue with our visit.

We will definitely be rearranging this, although probably not until 2023.

Two weeks to go until the trip to Rochester cathedral and places are still available.  A great opportunity for a guided ...
03/09/2022

Two weeks to go until the trip to Rochester cathedral and places are still available. A great opportunity for a guided tour, plus an optional tour of the roof, with cathedral architect, John Bailey. Hope you can join us on Saturday 17th September. Email [email protected] for more info or to book your place.

Our Jubilee exhibition will be in the Memorial Hall on Thurday afternoon and from 10-5 on Friday.  We then move overnigh...
01/06/2022

Our Jubilee exhibition will be in the Memorial Hall on Thurday afternoon and from 10-5 on Friday. We then move overnight to the Parish Field for the village events on Saturday and Sunday. We hope to see you over the weekend. FREE ADMISSION.

27/03/2022

Our talk this Thursday goes back to Elizabethan times and explores the life of Kit Marlowe - dramatist and spy!

Kit Marlowe lived a remarkable double life as the leading dramatist of his day before the emergence of Shakespeare and as a government secret agent, probably a double agent. He was an iconoclastic and violent genius, involved in duels and affrays, but a writer of dazzling plays and poetry and he died a mysterious and controversial premature death.

Geoff Doell will be our guide to this interesting life.

Please note that as phase two of the Memorial Hall renovations has begun, we will be in St Mary's church for this talk, which will start at 8pm. Feedback from the Gardening Society AGM recently held in St Mary's was that it got a bit chilly, so please feel free to come suitably equipped!

22/02/2022

Please be aware the the Memorial Hall car park will not be in use for our meeting on Thursday because of damage to the wall from the recent storms. Our meeting is going ahead as planned, but please be aware that there is only on street parking.

13/02/2022

Next up for the Historical Society is Pluto, but not the Disney dog or the planet. Operation PLUTO (pipeline under the ocean) was a World War II project devised by British boffins and the military to construct undersea pipelines between England and France to fuel the invasion vehicles. The project started in 1942 and one of the pipelines made its way through Frittenden on its way to the sea.

David Northcroft will be our guest speaker on Thursday 24th February to tell us more about Operation Pluto and Kent.

Thursday 24th February 2022 – 8pm – Memorial Hall

20/01/2022

Our series of talks resume with a talk on Sissinghurst Castle and the local area in the Second World War. The talk will focus on some of the history of the Sissinghurst Castle Estate and the local area during World War 2 (1939-45). We will look at the lives of Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, and their family, during that time together with life at home and on the farm. As well as, the involvement of the Home Guard and the secret Auxiliary Units particularly during the threat of enemy invasion.

Just a small but important chapter in the long, interesting history of Sissinghurst, both village and Castle. Our speaker is Peter Mellor, a NT volunteer specialising in the Sissinghurst Castle Estate, as well as a military weapons specialist. We start at 8pm on Thursday 27th January 2022 in the Memorial Hall.

‘An obscure and inconsiderable parish’A History of FrittendenYou are invited to the launch of this new book about the pa...
13/11/2021

‘An obscure and inconsiderable parish’

A History of Frittenden

You are invited to the launch of this new book about the parish of Frittenden and its inhabitants. With over 300 pages and 36 illustrations, it charts life in the parish from pre-history to the 1970s.

There are also 11 appendices recording the landowners, farms and farmers, as well as those who served in WW1 and WW2.

The launch will be held in the Memorial Hall, Frittenden on Tuesday 7th December from 7.00-9.00pm.

By the Chairman of the Historical Society, copies will be on sale in the hall priced at £17.

It’s often asked in jest “what did the Romans do for us?”, so if you come to this talk you’ll be able to reply “well in ...
13/11/2021

It’s often asked in jest “what did the Romans do for us?”, so if you come to this talk you’ll be able to reply “well in Kent, they …..”

Our speaker, Elizabeth Blanning, is a Roman specialist and Honorary Curator at the Kent Archaeological Society.

The two Romano British urns found in Legge Wood will also be on display this evening.

Thursday 25th November 2021 – 8pm – Memorial Hall

27/10/2021

Tomorrow's talk (Thursday 28th Oct) is by local conductor and musical director, Michael Withers, and covers medieval and renaissance musical instruments. Michael will be bringing some instruments along with him. We start at 8pm in the Memorial Hall (well ventilated, so wrap up warm and bring blankets if you need!).

27/09/2021

We're looking forward to our first physical meeting since February 2019 and hope to see you all again this coming Thursday at 8pm in the Memorial Hall.

Our first topic is the village charity, the Idenden Trust, which has been in existence since the 1560s, and our guide for the evening is our Chairman, Dr Phil Betts.

There's also the opportunity to view our recent exhibition of cricket in Frittenden through the years.

Membership subscriptions have been reduced for the new season to just £7 per person and we've added this extra talk, so it's amazing value for money.

13/09/2021

We are at the friendly cricket match this Sunday (19th September) with an exhibition of cricket in Frittenden through the years. The game has been played in the village for many years and at different grounds.

19/07/2021
28/04/2021

Apologies, I posted the wrong email address for people to ask for the link to the Maid of Kent talk. Please use [email protected]

Sorry, sorry, sorry!

Don't miss the Zoom talk on the Maid of Kent and our AGM.  Email info@frittendenhistoricalsociety.org.uk to receive the ...
13/04/2021

Don't miss the Zoom talk on the Maid of Kent and our AGM. Email [email protected] to receive the meeting link.

28/03/2021

Looking forward to our AGM and talk on the Maid of Kent on Thursday 29th April. The story of Elizabeth Barton is really interesting and often overlooked in the Henry VIII narrative. This Zoom meeting is open to all, to receive your invitation email or message us.

17/02/2021

TALK ON THE MAID OF KENT AND AGM
On 29th April we will be holding our AGM, followed by a talk about Elizabeth Barton, known as the Maid of Kent, who was a Canterbury nun in the reign of Henry VIII. Her visions and prophesies bought her national and international attention, but ultimately led to her ex*****on in 1534. This free Zoom event is open to members and non-members, so if you would like to join us please email the Secretary, Tor Millard on [email protected] The Zoom link will be circulated, with the AGM papers, prior to the 29th April.

23/11/2020

Message from the Chairman:
In September, I had the sad task of informing members of the cancellation of the Society’s meetings until the end of the year, due to coronavirus restrictions. At a recent meeting of the Committee, it was agreed to postpone the rest of the schedule up to March 2021. However, we plan to hold the Society’s AGM in April 2021, as usual. If it is not be possible to hold a meeting in the Memorial Hall, arrangements will be made to hold a virtual meeting to which all members will be invited. That meeting will hopefully also include a talk by a speaker, either in person or via ‘Zoom’. Full details will be provided nearer the time.

The Committee are now investigating the provision of two or three events during the summer months, by which time it is hoped that groups will be able to meet outdoors. Again, I will provide more details as they become available, subject of course to any restrictions in place at the time, and the Society’s website, and pages, will be kept up to date with the latest information.

In the meantime, members may be interested to see three videos available on Cranbrook Museum’s site (cranbrookmuseum.org) covering the history of Cranbrook’s Old Shops, The Great Fire of Cranbrook 1840, and The Cranbrook Colony of Artists.

Phil Betts

A message from the Frittenden Poppy Appeal Organiser.For Remembrance 2020, the British Legion has decided that the usual...
24/10/2020

A message from the Frittenden Poppy Appeal Organiser.

For Remembrance 2020, the British Legion has decided that the usual volunteer house-to-house collections should not take place due to Covid-19. But you can still get poppies, and other poppy items like lapel pins etc, from The Bell & Jorrocks and Stable Stores.

Cashless donations can now be made by sending a text to 70545. For a £2 donation, text POPPY2 (for a larger sum, text POPPY5 or 10).
Or you can scan the QR Code

August 2020 sees the 100th anniversary of the unveiling of Frittenden’s War Memorial.  War memorials are a link to event...
23/08/2020

August 2020 sees the 100th anniversary of the unveiling of Frittenden’s War Memorial. War memorials are a link to events that are increasingly beyond living memory and are important records of individual sacrifices. On the first anniversary of the WWI Armistice, in 1919, the Frittenden War Memorial Committee, chaired by Mr Wallace Roseveare, farmer of Pullen Farm, made an appeal to raise £500. The Cook family donated some land for the site of the memorial which was unveiled by Colonel F S W Cornwallis on 11 August 1920.

It is of note that the inscription on Frittenden’s memorial reads “IN THE MEMORY OF THE MEN OF FRITTENDEN WHO LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES” rather than “To The Glorious Dead” found on many war memorials. Sadly, more names needed to be added to the memorial following the ending of WWII.

A rose garden was planted adjacent to the memorial to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and villagers continue to gather at the memorial on Remembrance Sunday, showing that the people of Frittenden have met the aspiration of the Frittenden Memorial Committee in 1919 that the “memorial to be erected to perpetuate the memory of the men of Frittenden who laid down their lives in the service of their country”

11/08/2020

With the new season of the Historical Society due to open in September it seems timely to review our position and update members. A recent meeting of the Committee concluded that it would not be appropriate to ask members to meet in the Memorial Hall with everything that currently entails. We have therefore decided to postpone the meetings scheduled for September, October and November 2020 to the same months in 2021. We shall make a decision about the rest of the new season's meetings, January to April 2021, later this year.

This model of Great Bubhurst was made by Michael Backhouse and presented to the Historical Society by Frank Lindsay, pas...
27/06/2020

This model of Great Bubhurst was made by Michael Backhouse and presented to the Historical Society by Frank Lindsay, past Chairman and first President of the Society. The older part of the house is Tudor, built around 1500, a typical Wealden house of the time, low ceilings and masses of oak timbers.

In 1600 the house was bought by Sir William Smedley and it was let to tenants. For many years the rents went to support a set of almshouses for the poor at Aylesford – aka the Hospital of the Holy Trinity. 1791 a Georgian addition was made, at right angles to the original.

Account books record the receipt of rents, payments to the almshouse occupants, and such items as the cost of visits of the charity trustees to inspect the farms – in 1924 the cost of their lunch was one pound – for six people!

In early 20th century Great Bubhurst was occupied by Edward and Julia Homewood who had 12 children, many of whom emigrated to American and Canada. The 7th child, Charlie emigrated in American in 1912 with his sister Maud, but at start of WW1 he was in Canada with his brother Edward.

Charlie and Edward during their WW1 service with Canadian forces. They saw action at the Battle of Festubert (1915) where Edward was injured, discharged as medically unfit and returned to Canada. C continued to serve and joined the Royal Flying Corps. He was killed in training crash and is buried St Mary’s Churchyard.

I see the cricket ground is being prepared for a potential return, so thought these images from our archives were approp...
23/05/2020

I see the cricket ground is being prepared for a potential return, so thought these images from our archives were appropriate. In the 1920/30s the cricket ground was at Parsonage farm, rented from Charles Chantler (on the map it was field 565). I've put up some fixture cards from the 1930s and the team photos of the Men's and Ladies' teams from 1936. I bet the games between them were great events in the village.

23/05/2020

Coronavirus - an historical opportunity

With many national crises we are given the opportunity to leave a record of how the community coped. The impact of WWII on Frittenden has recently been illustrated, to a limited extent, by documents published on the Historical Society’s website (see http://www.frittendenhistoricalsociety.co.uk/frittenden/file/VE_Day_75.php).

The current coronavirus emergency gives us another such opportunity to show future generations how Frittenden reacted to, for example, the lockdown. If you have kept a diary, if you wish to write of your experience and to leave a record, or have an artefact that relates to the emergency, please either provide a copy to the Historical Society, or enable the Society to take a copy. These will be added to our archive. Should you wish, we can restrict access to those documents.

You can contact the Society via email at [email protected]

This is the hand written roll of honour for those from Frittenden who served in the Second World War.  The names with a ...
17/05/2020

This is the hand written roll of honour for those from Frittenden who served in the Second World War. The names with a + sign beside them are those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We will remember them.

As was the case after the end of WWI, there was also a house building drive after WWII.  To meet the shortage and bring ...
08/05/2020

As was the case after the end of WWI, there was also a house building drive after WWII. To meet the shortage and bring the cost of housing down, a new form of construction was pioneered, commonly called ‘PRC’ (Pre-cast Reinforced Concrete). These houses were quick to assemble and required less skilled labour than a traditional build. There were proprietary brands developed and marketed by different builders. Largely made from concrete panels reinforced with steel then bolted together or constructed with a steel frame, they included various kinds, such as Airey, examples of which were at Weald View, Frittenden. These were refurbished with brick cladding in the 1990s.

The Limes, Frittenden were a more conventional solution to the housing shortage. These are also examples of the higher quality specification (plans shown) for council housing in the years after the war, certainly in comparison to private developments For example council houses were required to have a separate kitchen and the minimum dimensions of bedrooms were mandatory.

At the end of the Second World War every child in England received a letter from the King.  The King thought it would be...
08/05/2020

At the end of the Second World War every child in England received a letter from the King. The King thought it would be important for the children to know the dates of all the events in the war. The letter was a signed personal message to all the children in the country and the reverse included all the important dates in the war. This was sent to British children in 1946 to commemorate the post WW2 London Victory Celebrations which were held on the 8th June 1946. The scroll was authorised and sent on behalf of the King. It features the Kings Crest, message and printed signature.(Thanks to John Day for the letter)

In the preparation for D-Day the "boffins" came up with PLUTO - Pipelines Under the Ocean, to support Operation in June ...
08/05/2020

In the preparation for D-Day the "boffins" came up with PLUTO - Pipelines Under the Ocean, to support Operation in June 1944. There were two pipeline crossing points: the primary serving the Normandy beaches and running from Southampton to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight and thence to Sandown and on to the Cherbourg peninsular, and a secondary crossing from Dungeness to Boulogne.

Allied forces on the European continent required a tremendous amount of fuel. Pipelines were considered necessary to relieve dependence on oil tankers, which could be slowed by bad weather, were vulnerable to German submarines, and were also needed in the Pacific War.

The PLUTO pipeline which passed through Frittenden ran from The Isle of Grain to the secondary station, code-named “Dumbo”, situated at Dungeness (see Map1). The pipeline passed through Frittenden (Map 2), entering the Parish through Parsonage Farm, crossing the Cranbrook Road just south of the 30mph limit, crossing Sand Lane just north of Newlands and crossing the river close to the footbridge where footpaths WC276 and WC259 converge (thanks to Adrian Bone and Rob Lewis for this info). The blue line on the map joins the known way points although the actual route of the pipe might have differed slightly. The photo is of the pumping stations at Dungeness, disguised as bungalows.

The village had it's own Dad's Army during the war - Frittenden Platoon of the Kent Home Guard.  This photograph is from...
07/05/2020

The village had it's own Dad's Army during the war - Frittenden Platoon of the Kent Home Guard. This photograph is from 1942.

Back Row:
Alf Levett, Bernard Stent, E. Fox, Chick Hickmott,Mike White, Ted Crouch, Jessie Hope, Jack Smith

3rd Row:
Stan Sharp, Tom Maybourne, Jack Poile, Earn Bowles,Fred Beard, Tome Sales, George Potts, Arthur Coltrip

2nd Row:
Ron Sorrell, Harry Stent, Bill Rogers, Perce Pope, Major Denne, Fred Maybourne, Les Dunster, John Young

Front Row:
Son Ledger, Clem Croucher, George Barns, John Croucher, George Wood, Frank Grigsby

War reserve constables were sworn in under the Special Constables Act 1923, and had the full powers of a police officer....
07/05/2020

War reserve constables were sworn in under the Special Constables Act 1923, and had the full powers of a police officer. The role of the War Reserve Police was introduced in 1939 and at the height of World War II in 1944 there were 17,000 WRCs. The rank was dissolved on 31 December 1948, causing 686 officers to be discharged from service, and the remainder being recruited as regular or special constables.

Despite British police traditionally being unarmed, during the war officers were armed with Canadian Ross rifles for protection from enemy action, enemy sabotage and to assist with the armed forces.

Duties of a WRC included the usual activities of a constable, as well as enforcing blackouts, combating black market activity, assisting in evacuations and air raids, and capturing deserting soldiers.

Frittenden's Special Constables:
Back Row: George Polie (Ponto); Fred Murrell; Jack Brooker; ?? Hawkett; E Watson; ???

Front Row: ? O'Leary; ? Saunders; ? Homewood; Lionel Gosbee; Arthur Wenbourne; Basil Croucher

There was a great campaign to increase the capacity of the country to feed itself.  Agricultural Committees had operated...
06/05/2020

There was a great campaign to increase the capacity of the country to feed itself. Agricultural Committees had operated in WW1 and were resurrected in Autumn 1939, with powers to order farmers what crops they were to plant. This letter is to Phil Hope of Cherry Tree Farm authorising the planting of hops, but requiring interplanting with root vegetables. Nationally this was a huge success with British farmers increasing the total productive land in the UK by some 1.7 million acres between 1939 and Spring of 1940.

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Ashford
TN172DD

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Our talk this Thursday goes back to Elizabethan times and explores the life of Kit Marlowe - dramatist and spy!

Kit Marlowe lived a remarkable double life as the leading dramatist of his day before the emergence of Shakespeare and as a government secret agent, probably a double agent. He was an iconoclastic and violent genius, involved in duels and affrays, but a writer of dazzling plays and poetry and he died a mysterious and controversial premature death.

Geoff Doell will be our guide to this interesting life.

Please note that as phase two of the Memorial Hall renovations has begun, we will be in St Mary's church for this talk, which will start at 8pm. Feedback from the Gardening Society AGM recently held in St Mary's was that it got a bit chilly, so please feel free to come suitably equipped!
Please be aware the the Memorial Hall car park will not be in use for our meeting on Thursday because of damage to the wall from the recent storms. Our meeting is going ahead as planned, but please be aware that there is only on street parking.
Next up for the Historical Society is Pluto, but not the Disney dog or the planet. Operation PLUTO (pipeline under the ocean) was a World War II project devised by British boffins and the military to construct undersea pipelines between England and France to fuel the invasion vehicles. The project started in 1942 and one of the pipelines made its way through Frittenden on its way to the sea.

David Northcroft will be our guest speaker on Thursday 24th February to tell us more about Operation Pluto and Kent.

Thursday 24th February 2022 – 8pm – Memorial Hall
Our series of talks resume with a talk on Sissinghurst Castle and the local area in the Second World War. The talk will focus on some of the history of the Sissinghurst Castle Estate and the local area during World War 2 (1939-45). We will look at the lives of Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, and their family, during that time together with life at home and on the farm. As well as, the involvement of the Home Guard and the secret Auxiliary Units particularly during the threat of enemy invasion.

Just a small but important chapter in the long, interesting history of Sissinghurst, both village and Castle. Our speaker is Peter Mellor, a NT volunteer specialising in the Sissinghurst Castle Estate, as well as a military weapons specialist. We start at 8pm on Thursday 27th January 2022 in the Memorial Hall.
‘An obscure and inconsiderable parish’

A History of Frittenden

You are invited to the launch of this new book about the parish of Frittenden and its inhabitants. With over 300 pages and 36 illustrations, it charts life in the parish from pre-history to the 1970s.

There are also 11 appendices recording the landowners, farms and farmers, as well as those who served in WW1 and WW2.

The launch will be held in the Memorial Hall, Frittenden on Tuesday 7th December from 7.00-9.00pm.

By the Chairman of the Historical Society, copies will be on sale in the hall priced at £17.
It’s often asked in jest “what did the Romans do for us?”, so if you come to this talk you’ll be able to reply “well in Kent, they …..”

Our speaker, Elizabeth Blanning, is a Roman specialist and Honorary Curator at the Kent Archaeological Society.

The two Romano British urns found in Legge Wood will also be on display this evening.

Thursday 25th November 2021 – 8pm – Memorial Hall
Tomorrow's talk (Thursday 28th Oct) is by local conductor and musical director, Michael Withers, and covers medieval and renaissance musical instruments. Michael will be bringing some instruments along with him. We start at 8pm in the Memorial Hall (well ventilated, so wrap up warm and bring blankets if you need!).
We're looking forward to our first physical meeting since February 2019 and hope to see you all again this coming Thursday at 8pm in the Memorial Hall.

Our first topic is the village charity, the Idenden Trust, which has been in existence since the 1560s, and our guide for the evening is our Chairman, Dr Phil Betts.

There's also the opportunity to view our recent exhibition of cricket in Frittenden through the years.

Membership subscriptions have been reduced for the new season to just £7 per person and we've added this extra talk, so it's amazing value for money.
We are at the friendly cricket match this Sunday (19th September) with an exhibition of cricket in Frittenden through the years. The game has been played in the village for many years and at different grounds.
Apologies, I posted the wrong email address for people to ask for the link to the Maid of Kent talk. Please use [email protected]

Sorry, sorry, sorry!
Don't miss the Zoom talk on the Maid of Kent and our AGM. Email [email protected] to receive the meeting link.