ALL ABOUT
TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Page 2

 

THE HOLY BANK JOINERY WORKS

Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: August 27,2018


OVERVIEW 

The Holly Bank Joinery Works was located on Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells and derived its name from the old mansion called Holly Bank that sat on large grounds on the north side of Crescent Road where the car park is today. Details Holly Bank were given in my article ‘ The History of Holly Bank ‘ dated May 18,2014. In that article I stated in part “The name Holly Bank was given to the home by Lady Louisa Cadogan who resided there with her husband from time to time, and used it as the families country home or summer residence. Lady Cadogan had married Rev. William Marsh in 1840 and she died in 1843.In the 1830’s Holy Bank was referred to on maps as” Lady Louisa Cadogan’s “ Upon her death Holly Bank was sold. In the 1840’s the part of the grounds extending down to Crescent Road was sold off and became part of the working class housing development known as Hervey Town, as was part of the church vicarage property.

After the demise of Lady Louisa Cadogan Holly Bank passed through a number of different hands, with wealthy sprinsters and widows being the predominant occupants of it.

In 1905 Edward Jeffrey Strange, the managing director of the local building firm Strange & Sons purchased the old vicarage next to Holly Bank and renamed it Cadogan House. Even though Lady Cadogan was long gone her name continued with references in Tunbridge Wells to the residential development of Cadogan Gardens (1906), the Cadogan Playing Fields on St John’s Road(1928), and Cadogan House, a large office building constructed on Calverley Road in the 1990’s.

In the post WW II era Holly Bank and other buildings were demolished to make way for a large ground floor car park which itself became the site in October 1968 of the town’s first multi-storey car park.

The Holly Bank Joiner Works was run for a time by Alexander Findlay (1870-1928) who had been born in Scotland and was one of several children born to James and Isabella Findley, nee Neave.

The 1891 census, taken in Forfar,Scotland listed James Findley as a joiner. With him was his wife and seven children including Alexander and James Findley who were both joiners.

Alexander married Mary Ann Findley (born in Forar 1874) and with her had by 1911 eight children of which seven were still living. Alexander and his family came to Tunbridge Wells circa 1898 where Alexander first worked as a foreman for local builders Strange & Sons and rose to be one of the Managing Directors of that firm. In 1927 he left Strange & Sons to become Managing Director of the Holly Bank Joinery Works. His tenure at that company was a short one for he passed away while a resident of 167A Queens Road after a sudden illness on March 30,1928.

References to the Holly Bank Joinery Works in the local newspaper date back to 1925 and continue to 1933 when in 1933 an auction was held to sell off the building and fixed machinery. One of their projects was to make the gates for the Cadogan Playing Fields. Shown above is a photograph of the Prince of Wales passing through these gates during his two day visit to the town where he attended the official opening of the Cadogan Playing Grounds July 27,1928.  Details about the Cadogan Playing Grounds can be found in my article ‘ The Cadogan Playing Fields dated August 27,2018.

In this article I provide information about The Holly Bank Joinery Works and Alexander Findlay who for a time ran the business.

ALEXANDER FINDLAY AND FAMILY

Alexander was born June 27,1870 at Forfar, Scotland , one of nine children born to James Findlay (1841-1907) and Isabella Findlay, nee Neave (1839-1912). All nine of the children had been born in Scotland.  At the time of the 1871 census, taken at 178 East High Street in Forfa Alexander was living with his parents and two siblings. James Findlay was a joiner and Alexander learned the trade from his father as did his brothers.

The 1891 census, taken at 176 East High Street, Forfar gave James Findlay as a joiner. With him was his wife Isabella; his son James, age 22, a joiner; Alexander,age 21, a joiner; Jessie, age 15, a tailoress; Richard,age 12, in school; Bella, age 17, a dressmakers assistant; David,age 10, in school and Matilda,age 7 in school.

On July 1,1892 Alexander married Mary Ann Fyfe (born 1873 -1927) who was born at Forar May 4,1973 and died in Tunbridge Wells while a resident of 167A Queens Road August 20,1927.

Alexander and Mary Ann had the following children (1) James Duffus Fyfe Findlay (1893-April 26,1951). James had been born September 17,1893  and at the time of the 1911 census was living at 363 Woolwich Road in Charlton and working as an electrical engineer. On June 26,1918 he married Elsie Irene Thomas (1895-1954) at Falmouth, Cornwall and with her had two children (1920 and 1922).  (2) Isabella (Bella) Jane  Duffus Findlay (1893-July 24,1978). (3) Elaine Duffus Findlay (1899-June 8,1979 in Hampshire) (4) Elizabeth Jane Findlay (1902-1982 in Tunbridge Wells) She married William Woodlands (1902-1978) (5) Roy Douglas Findlay (1904-July 6,1971 at 122 Clifton Road, High Brooms). He married Harriett Ansley Ralph (1905-1997) June 22,1927 at St Paul’s Church, Rusthall and had one daughter. Roy was born in Tunbridge Wells December 21,1904.  In 1927 Roy was working as a carpenter. He and his wife had three children.  (6) Donald Mottart Findlay (1904-June 29,1957 in Tunbridge Wells while a resident of 41 Napier Road. His wife and executor of his 244 pound estate was Daisy Violet Findlay,nee Kellaway who he had married in the 2nd qtr of 1928 in Tunbridge Wells.  Donald had been born in Tunbridge Wells December 21,1904. He was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery. An indenture of July 19,1927 gave him with the firm of G.E. Mortley & Company, electrical engineering and experimental engineers. (7) Nora Bradley Findlay (1907-2000 in Canterbury). She married January 9,1943 Arthur Cowper.

The 1901 census, taken at 6 Grecian Road (image above)  gave Alexander Findlay as a builders foreman with the local builder’s firm of Strange & Sons. With him was his wife Mary Ann and their children James,age 8, Bella,age 6 and Elaine,age 2. All of the children were born in Scotland.

The 1911 census, taken at ‘Balmashanner’ 167A Queens Road (image opposite) gave Alexander as a builders general foreman with Strange & Sons. With him was his wife Mary Ann and their children Bella,age 16, a dressmaker; Elaine, age 12, a scholar; Lizzie Jane,age 9 born in Tunbridge Wells, in school; Donald,age 6, born in Tunbridge Wells, in school; Roy,age 5, born in Tunbridge Wells and Nora, age 4 born in Tunbridge Wells. The census recorded that Alexander and his wife had been married 18 years (1893) and that of their eight children seven were still living. Their home was a residence of six rooms.

Probate records gave Alexander Findlay of 167A Queens Road, Tunbridge Wells when he died March 30,1928 at the General Hospital on Grosvenor Road (image opposite). The executors of his 5,103 pound estate were his sons James Duffus Fyfe Findlay, engineer; Donald Mottart Findlay, electrician and Roy Douglas Findlay, joiner. Alexander was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery.

The Kent & Sussex Courier gave the photograph of Alexander shown in the next section and the following information. “We regret to record the death, which occurred on Friday of Mr. Alexander Findlay of 167a Queens Road, Tunbridge Wells at the age of 57. Mr Findlay was taken suddenly ill in the course of his work at Holly Bank Joinery Works on Friday; he was admitted to the General Hospital, but passed away in a few hours. He had lived in Tunbridge Wells for over thirty years, first working as a foreman for Messrs Strange and Sons, the well-known firm of builders. He rose to be one of the Managing Directors. Only about a year ago he left Messrs Strange’s to become Managing Director of the Holly Bank Works. When working for his old firm, however, he was in charge for the building of St Luke’s Church, which he afterwards attended regularly. A member of the R.A.O.B., he became a Knight of the Order, and founded several lodges. He was chiefly interested in the Buffaloes’ Orphanage at Southborough ,and still retained an active interest in this after he had ceased to attend the Buffalo meetings. The funeral took place at the Borough Cemetery on Tuesday, the Rev. A.F. Rowe officiating.” Details about those who attended the funeral were given in the rest of the article and noted that the firm of E.R. Hickmott and Sons (funeral home) were in charge of the arrangements.

THE BUSINESS

As noted above Alexander Findlay(image opposite) became the Managing Director of the Holly Bank Joinery Works in 1926 but died in 1928.

Local newspaper accounts first mention this company in 1926 and end in 1933.  The business premises were located on Crescent Road in the vicinity of the Calverley Hotel.

The earliest newspaper record for the business located was one from the Kent & Sussex Courier of January 2,1925 in the form of an advertisement regarding  applications being requested “to regularly clear their works of shavings etc , free of charge”.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of July 2,1926 advertised “ situations vacant-joiners wanted, Suitable men apply to the Holly Bank Joinery Works Ltd Crescent Road”.

The Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser during the perios of April 19,1926 to October 16,1926 advertised “ Holly Bank Joinery Works, Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells. Craftsmen in timber. Special attention given to work for the trade. Alexander Findlay, Managing Director. Joinery work of every description.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of November 11,1927 advertised under situations “ Machinists, journeymen and turning of spindles on wood lathe- Holly Bank Joinery Works”.  Several similar advertisments for men to work there appeared throughout 1926-1928. The Courier of July 8,1927 advertised that the company was looking to hire “a clerk to take care of bookkeeping, builder’s quantities, accuracy essential, shorthand typist preferred. Apply to the managing director Holly Bank Joinery Works” .

In July 1928 the Cadogan Playing Fields were opened by the Prince of Wales on St John’s Road. A newspaper article (July 27,1928)of the event noted that the gates at the entrance to the playing fields had been built of English Oak by the Holly Bank Joinery Works Ltd.

The Kent & Sussex Courier throughout the period of April 9,1926 to July 22,1932 advertised “ Holly Bank Joinery Works Ltd joinery work of every description executed by experienced staff of the trade with our up-to-date machinery. Orders entrusted to us will be executed promptly”.

The Courier of July 27,1930 announced “ Outing on Saturday of the well-known  joiners manufacturers Holly Bank Joinery Works Ltd spent an enjoyable day away from the machinery and dust. The outing was a 120 mile motor tour through Kent to Margate”.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of February 24,1933 announced a sale by auction of “valuable freehold business premises known as Holly Bank Joinery Work. Also the adjoining builder’s yard and stores on Crescent Road. Vacant possession of the joinery works on completion. The yard and stores adjoining being let”.

The Courier of March 10,1933 announced “ Auction Friday March 24,1933 at 4pm, the valuable freehold premises of Holly Bank Joinery Works including fixed machinery and goodwill of which works vacant possession will be given on completion “.

The Courier of March 31,1933 announced that “Messrs C & D Westbrook having sold the property of the Holly Bank Joinery Works with vacant possession have received instructions to sell by auction the premises as above on Wednesday April 2.

Who took over the premises of the Holly Bank Joinery Works, and what name they operated under was not established.

 

THE KENTISH PORTRAIT COMPANY

Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: August 15,2018

The Kentish Portrait Company operated from premises at 32 High Street Tunbridge Wells. Examples of their photographic work are scarce, largely due to two factors- firstly the town was well served by a relatively large number of established and recognized photographic studios and secondly the studio of this company was in operation from only 1879 to 1882. Shown opposite is the only example found of one of their studio CDV’s.

It is believed but not confirmed by the researcher that this studio was connected to another photographic studio called The Kentish Photographic Company which operated in the mid to late 19th century in Maidstone on Brewer Street. Information about that company is also scare and apart from the image by them shown below only a brief mention of them was given on the website of the Maidstone Postcard Club, which stated that they were one of the larger companies and used a number of photographers to produce their images, which suggests that apart from studio work that they also did field photography in the form of street view postcards.

The studio of the Kentish Portrait Company was found referred to in various issues of the Kent & Sussex Courier. The earliest one found was dated July 2,1879 in which an advertisement appeared stating “ Portraits marvellously cheap and good taken daily. CDV’s 1st copy 1s; 6 copies …….The Kentish Portrait Company, 32 High Street”. The same advertisement appeared in the Courier on July 11 and 30 and again on August 6,1879.

The Courier throughout the period of September 3,1880 to October 20,1880 ran the advertisement “ Portraits taken by the Kentish Portrait Company, 32 High Street, Tunbridge Wells. The new rapid process used. Open daily from 9a.m. Manager F. Drakin”.  Similar advertisments to this appeared in the Courier throughout November 1880 and on a regular basis throughout 1881.

The Kent & Sussex Courier of August 4,1882 announced that “Photographers Elliott & Co of 32 High Street Tunbridge Wells beg to announce that they have taken to these premises lately occupied by the Kentish Portrait Company. The studio has been entirely refitted with new apparatus. All photographs finished with care and prompt dispatch”.

In my article about Percy Squire Lankester and his photographic career in Tunbridge Wells I noted that in the early 1900’s he had taken over the studio of H.P. Robinson in the north wing of the Great Hall. For a time in his early career he also had a studio at 32 High Street (The Central Studio) and in fact near the end of his career, when he vacated his Great Hall Studio and that at 32 High Street he ran one studio, called the Romney Studio, at 38 High Street  which he opened circa 1918.

Before 1913 Lankester’s Central Studio at 32 High Street was the studio of Glanville & Skinner which were there from at least 1903.

Directories of 1934-1938 listed the dentist William Charles Scott as the occupant of 32 High Street. Over the years 32 High Street has been the site of many different businesses.

Today 32-34 High Street are the premises of Crew Clothing and above their shop are a number of flats under the name of Piemont House.

 

FRANK DENTON -HAIRDRESSER AND TOBACCONIST

Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: August 22,2018

Frank Denton  was born March 15,1911 in Tunbridge Wells to a working class family and was educated locally, leaving school at age 13.

The 1911 census, taken at 35 Albert Street, Tunbridge Wells, in premises of 5 rooms, listed John W. Beadle, age 40, a bricklayer labourer. With him was his wife Annie, age 37 and their children John,age 13; Harry, age 7; George,age 1 and Ellen,age 6 mths, Not long after the census was taken Frank was born  while the family were still living at 35 Albert Street.  Frank was baptised April 4,1911 with is parents given as John W. Beadle  and Annie Beadle, nee Brown. John W. Beadle died in Tunbridge Wells in 1934 at age 63.   John W. Beadle and his wife were married in 1894 and by 1911 had nine children but only five were still living.

Frank began his working career in Tunbridge Wells as an assistant in a local tobacconist shop and also learned how to be a gents hairdresser during the  1920’s

Sometime after 1934 and before 1938 he became the proprietor of a tobacconist’s and gent’s hairdresser’s shop at 128 Camden Road. Shown above is a photograph of his shop at that location in which can be seen Frank and his shop boy standing in front of the shop. Note the sign on the door regarding hairdressing and the signage on the shop for his “Gent’s Hairdressing Saloon” and “Will’s Gold Flake Cigarettes”, one of several brands of tobacco products sold in his shop. Shown below left is a view of the same building, of recent times, times when it was the antique dealers shop of Ian Relf, called Relf’s Antiques and below right is a photo of Ian Relf at his shop.

 











In the 4th qtr of 1937 Frank Denton married Ellen Beadle (1910-1984) and it is known that the couple had a son and a daughter.

As no record was found for Frank’s shop in directories after 1938 it is believed by the researcher that he closed the business during WWII. Frank Denton died in Tunbridge Wells in the 2nd qtr of 1977 and was survived by his wife Ellen and two children.  

 

CHARLES BENDALL -THE CALVERLEY ROAD TAILOR

Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: August 21,2018

Charles Bendall (1847-1925) had been born in Wells, Somerset, one of several children born to tailor and woolen draper Charles Bendall, senior (born 1806 in Wells, Somerset) and Sophia Bendall, born 1819 in Pilton, Somerset. Charles was baptised at St Cuthbert Church in Wells, Somerset  on February 26,1847.

Charles began working as a tailor in his father’s shop in Wells, Somerset and this line of work his lifelong career. He had received his schooling in Wells, Somerset and finished school at age 13.

The 1851 census, taken at Bath Road in Wells, Somerset gave Charles living with his parents and two siblings and one domestic servant. His father at that time was running a tailors and drapers shop.

The 1861 census, taken at Sadler Street in Wells, Somerset gave Charles living with his parents and six siblings and working in his father’s tailor and woolen drapers shop.

By 1871 Charles left the family home and was working at the time of the 1871 census in London as a foreman tailor and living as a boarder with the Henry Fenn family at 3 Chryssell Road, Lambeth.

On May 20,1879 Charles married Anna Maria Allen at the National Register of Quakers in Dublin Ireland. Anna had been born in Ireland in 1854.

Charles and Anna went on to have 7 children but by 1911 only five were still living. All of the children had been born in London.

Throughout the 1880’s and 1890’s Charles worked in London as a foreman tailor or a clothiers manager. At the time of the 1881 census Charles and his wife and daughter Sophia were living at 3 Dalmeney Road, Islington. When the 1891 census was taken Charles and his wife and three children were living at 4 Ella Road in Islington.

At the time of the 1901 census, taken at St Mary, London Charles was running his own tailors shop. Living with him was his wife Annie and two of his children.

Sometime after 1901 and before 1911 Charles and his wife Annie and his son Allen Charles (born 1896 in London) moved to Tunbridge Wells, where he opened a tailors shop at 79 Calverley Road.

The 1911 census, taken at 79 Calverley Road gave Charles as a “tailor shopkeeper employer at home” at premises with 8 rooms. With him was his wife Annie and his son Allen who was working as an apprentice ironmonger.

A 1912 advertisment (shown above ) for his business noted that he also had a shop in London at 47 Conduit Street.

Local directories of 1913 to 1922 listed “ Charles Bendall, tailor, 79 Calverley Road.

Sometime after 1922 and before 1925 he left Tunbridge Wells and returned to London, where in the 3rd qtr of 1925 he passed away at Hammersmith.  

 

ARTHUR HERBERT CREED OF THE POLICE FORCE

Written By: Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Date: August 24,2018

Arthur Herbert Creed was born in Hastings, Sussex in the 2nd qtr of 1866 at Hastings. He was baptised at Hastings on July 1,1866 and given as the son of George Foster Creed (1830-1879)  and Hannah Elizabeth Creed, nee  Kent (1834-1892). Arthur was one of eight children born between 1857 and 1875 in Hastings.

George Creed had been born 1830 in Fairlight, Hastings and was baptised at Hastings on June 30,1830. At the time of the 1841 census he was living with his parents and siblings at St Clement, Sussex and was still with them at the time of the 1851 census in Hastings. On June 19,1856 he married Hannah Elizabeth Kent at Hastings. Hannah had been born 1834 in Hastings and was one of nine children born to Philip Henry Kent (1807-1875) and Elizabeth Kent, nee Morris (born 1811). She was living with her parents and siblings in in Hastings up to the time of her marriage.

The 1871 census, taken at Mile Road in Hastings gave George Foster Creed (born 1831) as a shoemaker. With him was his wife Hannah (born 1834 in Hastings) and his seven children, including Arthur who was attending school.

After the death of his father George in 1879 Arthur lived with his widowed mother and siblings in Hastings.

The 1881 census, taken at 21 Plynlimmon Road in Hastings gave Hannah Creed as a widow and working as a dressmaker. With her was her son George, age 21, a shoemaker; Walter, age 17, a shoemaker; Arthur,age 15, a grocer; Rose, age 13, scholar; Alice,age 11, scholar and Percy,age 5, a scholar.

In the 3rd qtr of 1888, at Hastings, Arthur married Alice Maria Smith (1867-1936). With her Arthur had the following children (1) Alice Julia Creed born 1889 in Lambeth, London (2) Arthur (1891-1957) who was born in Tunbridge Wells and baptised there on April 12,1891 (3) Herbert (1893-1960) who was born August 26th in Tunbridge Wells (4) Ellen Fanny (1899-1983) who was born in Tunbridge Wells (5) Robert (1905-1891) who was born in Tunbridge Wells. Alice had been born in Lambeth, London.

From the birth records of Arthur’s Children it is known that he moved to Tunbridge Wells with his family in 1890. His obituary stated that he had come from Hastings to Tunbridge Wells in 1890 and had joined the Tunbridge Wells Borough Police as a police constable.

The 1891 census, taken at 55 Stone Street, Tunbridge Wells, gave Arthur as a police constable. Living with him was his wife Alice and his children Alice Julia and Arthur.

The 1901 census, taken at 9 Windmill Road, near St Peter’s Church, gave Arthur as a police constable. With him was his wife Alice and four of his children.

The 1911 census, taken at 20 Bayhall Road, Tunbridge Wells, gave Arthur as a police inspector with the Tunbridge Wells Borough Police. With him was his wife Alice and his children (1) Alice Julia, a dressmaker (2) Arthur, a boot maker (3) Herbert, a law clerk (4) Ellen Fanny, in school (5) Robert, in school. The census recorded that the family was living in premises of 10 rooms; that the couple had been married 22 years and that all five of their children were still living.

Probate records gave Arthur Herbert Creed of 19 Cromwell Road, Tunbridge Wells when he died April 13,1928. His widow Alice was the executor of his 1,272 pound estate. He was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery April 7th.  Probate records for Alice Maude Greed gave her of 19 & 21 Cromwell Road when she died October 6,1936. The executors of her 2,185 pound estate was her solicitor Neville Roper Stone of Tunbridge Wells. She was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on October 9th

 









The obituary from the Courier of April 6,1928 presented the photograph given at the top of this article and the following information “ Ex-Police Inspector’s Death…Mr A.H. Creed. His many friends in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge will learn with deep regret of the death, which occurred suddenly on Tuesday, of Mr. Arthur Herbert Creed, of 19 Cromwell Road, Tunbridge Wells. Mr Creed, who was in his 62nd year, will be remembered as having served for many years in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Police Force, succeeding the late Inspector Greenwood., and retiring in 1916 after just over 26 year’s service. He was a popular figure in the town, always willing to help those in distress, yet executing his duties in a most conscientious and praiseworthy manner. A  native of Hastings, he first came to Tunbridge Wells in 1890 and after retiring from the Force was employed at the Opera House (image opposite) and for three years was in charge of the Tonbridge office of the Autocar Services Ltd. He leaves a wife, three sons and a daughter to whom every sympathy will be extended. The funeral will take place on Saturday at 10; 30 am.am.” Shown above is a photograph an Autocar.

Arthur’s son Arthur Creed (1891-1957) emigrated to Australia. At the time of the 1911 census taken at 20 Bayhall Road, Tunbridge Wells, he was living with his parents and siblings and working as a boot maker. Arthur departed from London September 29,1911 on the steamship ORVIETO (image opposite) of the Orient Line, under the command of Captain W.S. Sheldon. This Royal Mail ship had been built for the passenger trade between England and Australia and had been constructed 1909 in the Belfast shipyard of Workman, Clark & Co. Passenger lists gave Arthur’s occupation as “warehouseman”. He arrived at Adelaide, Australia on November 4,1911. On May 9,1929 at Berri, Australia Arthur married Irene Evelyn Burgess (1903-1997) and with her had one child Joyce Irene Creed (1934-2008). Arthur remained in Australia and died October 26,1957 at Willanga, Australia. His wife Irene died January 11,1997 at Willanga,Australia.

Herbert Creed (1883-1960) born in Tunbridge Wells was the second eldest son of Arthur Herbert Creed. He as living with his parents and siblings in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the 1911 census, and at that time was working as a law clerk. In the 2nd qtr of 1921, in Tunbridge Wells, he married Violet H. Harding. He died in Colchester March 30,1960. Shown opposite is one of his wedding photos.

Ellen Fanny Creed (1899-1983) was born in Tunbridge Wells and was the second eldest daughter of Arthur Herbert Creed. She was living with her parents and siblings in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the 1911 census and attending school. In the 4th qtr of 1924, in Tunbridge Wells, she married Bernard A. Goulter. She died in Tunbridge Wells in the 4th qtr of 1983.

Robert Creed (1905-1991) was the youngest son of Arthur Herbert Creed. He was living with his parents and siblings in Tunbridge Wells at the time of the 1911 census and attending school. He remained in Tunbridge Wells all his life and died in the town in the 3rd qtr of 1991.

 

 

 

 

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