In 2014 Westerham Town Partnership held an event called ‘Westerham remembers the Summer of 1914’ in which the shop windows displayed adverts and artefacts from what they had been at that time, the road was closed for a uniformed procession and a dedicated bunch of volunteers built a WWI trench in the garden of the ...
The Horticultural Society was started in 1872. The fortieth Annual show, held in 1912 declared its exhibits ‘Open to professional gardeners’ but was careful to add the caveat ‘Confined to gardeners with not more than one assistant’ therefore keeping nurserymen away from the event
The location is Costells meadow and the driver of the lorry is Ted Boakes. Does anyone know what the theme was?
In the Coronation year of Queen Elizabeth II, a smart new ‘Taylor Walker’ lorry from the Black Eagle brewery makes its way through Market Square. We are informed ‘Beer is Best’, but it is impossible to see what the theme of the float was.
Not the only Circus to visit the town, but possibly the most interesting, in 1913 Bostock & Wombwell brought a scary menagerie to the field behind the Warde Arms including a hippopotamus – I wonder what their public liability insurance was like… Alongside that monster the circus promoters claimed there would be …Educated Chimpanzees, Almost Human ...
A tough and hardy lot – both the animals and the men – Circus Bostock makes its way down the Great North Road, heading for Westerham and other towns in the south of England.
Another closed wagon from the Bostock menagerie makes its way down the Great North Road, pulled by ‘Jenny’ who was claimed to be the largest elephant in Great Britain. With the camel in tow, did they take turns in pulling the load?
Some sort of costume drama is in full swing outside the Women’s Institute hall, with ‘players’ from the W.I. No-one can remember what it was or when, but a few people have said they thought it happened on a Carnival day. It appeared to draw a fair-sized crowd, any suggestions?
A ticket for entry to the twenty-seventh annual summer fete of the Chevening Habitation August 6th 1890 was the date of the fifth annual summer fete of the Chevening Habitation of the Primrose League. The parishes represented in the Habitation at that time were Westerham, Chevening, Brasted, Sundridge, Halstead, and Knockholt. The Primrose League was first ...
The Royal British Legion The Royal British Legion was formed on May 15 1921 to bring together four national organisations of ex-servicemen that had established themselves after the 1914-1918 war. These were the Comrades of the Great War, the National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers, the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers and the Officers’ ...
The whole country was in mourning that week in May 1910 with the news of the death of a favourite King, Edward VII, and Westerham was no exception. It is worthy of note that this was an era when the only news the town received was to be found in the local newspaper, The Westerham ...
A huge crowd assembled on The Green to witness the unveiling of the Wolfe statue by Field Marshal Earl Roberts on a bitterly cold January day in 1911. In front of the dais the choir are assembled and on the dais itself, the Bishop of Rochester, Rev. Sydney Le Mesurier, vicar of Westerham and Rev. ...
Whit or Pentecost Monday was the day that Westerham celebrated its Gala Day, the first being held in 1935 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of King George V. The day would typically start with a fancy dress parade around the town composed of anything from costumed pram-pushers through to complete themed floats built onto farm wagons ...
1948 was the year of the first post-war Gala and spelt a milestone of Westerham, along with the rest of the country, getting back on its feet again. Rationing was far from over at this point, and would continue until 1954/5 with some foodstuffs.
Another photograph from that first post-war Gala shows a theme-group of young teenagers on the market field with a serious message to impart – No More War!
For the 1955 Gala, Peter Myhill, Ray Jenner and Derek Taylor created a space travel themed float. Peter Myhill described the photograph “That’s the rocket, in another shot I can’t find, you could just about see it in flight, with a bit of smoke around it – I can’t go into detail about how we achieved ...
From Percy Reid’s ‘Churchill Townsman of Westerham’: “…Already on his second visit, Churchill’s interest in the carnival was obvious He chatted for some minutes with the year’s carnival queen Jacqueline Musaphia, commented to those near him that entries seemed more numerous than the year before, and gained great laughs from the crowd when, referring to ...