Edmund Dye lived at The Pheasantry where he ran his Ironmongery and smithing business until the late 1880’s, employing ten men and two boys. One of the ‘boys’ was John Sibley, apprenticed to Dye around 1881. By 1891 Dye had retired and Sibley took over the business at The Pheasantry, with 18 spacious show-rooms for furniture. The address was Market Place, the title given to The Green up to 1920s.
John Sibley used the suffix ‘Late E Dye’ in his advertisements as did Edward Evenden (Edmund Dye’s Son in Law) a local smith and wheelwright.
It would appear that Sibley developed the ironmongery and furniture business while Edward Evenden developed the smithing and wheelwright work. That they both incorporated (Late E.Dye) in their advertising, and that Sibley advertises ‘…wheelwrights, engineering, shoeing and general smiths on the premises…’ leads to the possibility that there was a forge at the Pheasantry at that time.
When he opened his “West Kent Cycle Works” of 1903 at the bottom of Hosey Hill, Evenden moved smithing to the “Works” premises. By 1914 he had developed the business into “West Kent Motor Works” and the following year had also taken over William Genge’s Ironmongery to the right of the Kings Arms, where Number 17 wine bar is today (2018). Many townsfolk remember the ironmongers shop that was E. Evenden, run by the very knowledgable Margaret Fleet.