Friday, 20 April 2007

The Woodman - Sweets Lane

Taking a stroll in the blistering sun last Sunday down Sweets Lane (15th April) I came across a building that used to be The Woodman Pub in East Malling (if it had still been a pub I would have been in there like a shot to ease my sun-drenched thirst). I had previously seen the old picture below and was therefore confident I would recognise the the building in its current form. What sealed it, however, was the empty sign frame, which appears to be the original. What is a shame is that I took my photo from a different angle! When I am next on Sweets Lane I will take a shot from the right perspective and replace the one below.

I have carried out a quick search on the Internet, which reveals that the building is now a nursery school. Also, on comparison of the photos there are a few changes to the building to note. Firstly, that it now has three windows at the top and a one bottom centre where the door to the pub used to be. The entrance to the house now appears to be on the right of the building, hence the gate.

Unfortunately, the old photo of the Woodman did not come with a date. If anyone knows (even approximately) when this was taken please let me know.

Many thanks to Kent County Council for permission to use the The Woodman photo.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

East Malling Halt (2)

Here's one for you....why is a train station called a halt? Because it is unmanned of course. Except, however, in the case of East Malling. The feedback I have received is that our beloved station was, in its early days, actually manned even though it was called a halt. I'm sure there's a simple explanation. Maybe it later became manned after being given it's title, particularly as it has been described as a very busy station (pre-war that is) due to the lack of automobiles at this time and Maidstone being only a short distance away. My original post on the station identified what appeared to be a waiting room on the platform. I have been kindly informed that this was correct and the adjacent platform also had a waiting room. I also noted that the perspective in the photo appeared to be from the current station car park. I'm likely to have egg on my face on this one, as it has been suggested that the photo was taken from the other side, i.e. on the corner of Rocks Road looking toward the London-bound platform. Hence, the wall in the photo looks like the side of the road bridge on the High Street.

I can also report that David Glasspool (the author of Kent Rail) is going add East Malling Halt to his website later this year. I soon as I learn of this I will post something up.

Thanks to Godfrey King and Sarah Carling for their contribution to the above.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Sweets 'n Treats (2)

When a shop has greyed-out windows it's usually a sign that it is being refurbished and will eventually be unveiled as something new and exciting. Hopefully this will be the case with Sweets 'n Treats, as it is looking a bit in between places at the moment. The shop, in its current form, was a short-lived venture as a sweet shop. Thankfully, the building has a much more exciting history. The shop used to be the village bakers, which was very popular and heavily used in the 1930s. The baking ovens were located at the back of the premises. The shop was run by successive bakers in the 1970s and 80s before it was eventually shut down and all the equipment was sold off. In the shop's heyday all the bread could be sold out as early as 10am. A local resident, Diane Brazier, bought several of the Hovis Tins that were sold off when it was finally shut. Hopefully some photos of the old bakery will come my way and I will post these up. Thanks again to Godfrey King and Diane Brazier for the above information.