ALL ABOUT
TUNBRIDGE WELLS

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HORTON’S CLOTHING SHOP ON MONSON ROAD

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

Date: April 24,2019

OVERVIEW 

Horton’s ladies and children’s clothing shop was located at 42 Monson Colonnade. The business was founded by William Richard Horton (1878-1968) who was born in Bromwich, Staffordshire.

William was the son of John Horton who in 1881 was a whitesmith, and Isabela Horton and lived his early life in Bromwich where he attended school.

Moving ahead in time to 1906, William married Laura Rosina Poole at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. She had been born 1877 at Cheltensham and by 1906 she was living on her own and working as a music teacher in Cheltenham.

In 1910 at Cheltenham William and his wife had a daughter Vera Cicily Horton who in 1936 at the Mount Pleasant Congregational Church in Tunbridge Wells married Sidney H.W.Fowle who as an optican. Local directories note Sidney Henry William Fowle at 45 High Street, Tunbridge Wells in the 1930’s and 1940’s operating as W& S. Fowle ophthalmic opticians.

At the time of the 1911 census William Richard Horton and his wife Laura and daughter Vera were living as visitors in Cheltenham where William was working as a traveller selling musical instruments, a profession he got into because of his wife being a music teacher.

By the early 1900’s William and his wife and daughter moved to Tunbridge Wells and established a shop at 40 Monson Colonnade. On October 1,1916 Laura Horton passed away at 40 Monson Colonnade designating her husband ( a commercial traveller) as the executor of her estate.

Local directories between 1936 and 1949 listed Horton’s, ladies and children’s clothing shop at 42 Monson Colonnade and it appears that the business continued at that location into the 1950’s .

William Richard Horton was of 42 Claremont Road, Tunbridge Wells when he passed away and was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery.

In this article I present information about the Horton family with an emphasis on William Richard Horton and his business in Tunbridge Wells. Shown above is an advertisement for his business that appeared in a 1951 pamphlet for Tunbridge Wells.

THE EARLY YEARS

William Richard Horton’s birth was registered at West Bromwich, Staffordshire in the 1st qtr of 1878.

The 1881 census, taken at 12 Spoon Lane in West Bromwich gave John Horton born 1858 with the occupation of whitesmith. With him was his wife Isabella, born 1859; and their children William Richard Horton and Ernest S Horton who was born in 1880. All four residents were born in West Bromwich.

William Richard Horton spent his early years living in West Bromwich with his parents and siblings and where he attended school

In the 1st qtr of 1906 the marriage between William Richard Horton and Laura Rosina Poole was registered at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It was at Cheltenham that Laura was born. Her birth was registered at Cheltenham in the 3rd qtr of 1877. After the marriage William and his wife continued to live in Cheltenham. A directory of 1906 gave “ Miss Laura Rosina Poole  as a music teacher at 31 Marle Hill, Cheltenham. It was Laura connection to music that caused her husband to become a commercial traveller selling musical instruments.

The 1911 census, taken at 35 Marle Hill Road in Cheltenham gave William  and  his wife Laura and daughter Vera  living as visitors with the family of George M. James, a vanman. Vera Cicily Horton had been born in Cheltenham on November 2,1910. William at that time was working as a traveller selling musical instruments. The census recorded that William and Laura had been married 5 years and had just the one child.

Sometime after 1911 but before 1916 William and his wife and daughter moved to Tunbridge Wells.

THE TUNBRIDGE WELLS YEARS 

Sometime after 1911 but before 1916 William and his wife and daughter moved to Tunbridge Wells.

William’s wife had a short life as probate records for Laura Rosina Horton gave her of 40 Monson Colonnade (wife of William Richard Horton) when she died October 1,1916. Her husband was the executor of her 205 pound estate. She was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on October 4th.

In the 1920’s William established his ladies and children’s clothing shop at 42 Monson Colonnade ( Image above).  In 1921 this shop was occupied by Semptimus W. Dawes, an artificial teeth fitter.  Horton is found at No. 41 in directories of 1922 onwards.

A review of local newspaper advertisments for Horton’s resulted in finding a number of references to the business, a sample of which is given below.

Courier October 16,1936….Smart girl 14-15 wanted as an apprentice. Good opening. Apply Horton 42 Monson Road. A similar help wanted advertisement appeared in the Courier of April 13,1942 and again on October 9,1942. 

Sevenoaks Chronicle April 17,1939…”Tunbridge Wells Borough Bench- Helen Quinell pleaded guilty to stealing from 42 Monson Road on April 1 a child’s coat valued at 43 1d the property of William Richard Horton. The chief constable (Mr. Guy Carlton) explained that the coat was missing after the defendant had visited the shop….”

The Courier of October 21,1946 and again on October 28 gave “ Shirts, blouses, school wear are always available for tots-teens and in-betweens on the lower ground floor showroom. Hortons, 42 Monson Road”.

The Courier of November 8,1946 gave “ Experienced saleswomen wanted for progressive and modern ladies and children’s outfitters. Apply Horton 42 Monson Road”.

The Courier of February 28,1936 announced the marriage on February 22,1936 at the Mount Pleasant Congregational Church (image oppoiste) of Sidney H. W. Fowle , son of the late W.T. Fowle and Mrs Fowle of Neemuch, Tunbridge Wells, to Vera Cicily Horton, daughter of Mr. W.R. Horton and the late Mrs Laura Horton…”. Further information about the Fowle family is given in the last section of this article.

The 1939 enumeration gave the  William R. Horton as born May 4,1878 and working as a draper dealer (Marks) and given as a widow living with his son in law Sydney H.W. Fowle, given as born April 26,1897 and working as an optician ophthalmic dispenery.

Probate records gave William Richard Horton of 42 Claremont Road when he passed away April 27,1968 leaving an estate valued at 18,087 pounds. He was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery May 2nd.

In recent times 42 Monson Colonnade has been the shop of Anthony Stroud Decorating and most recently as the Age charity shop.

THE FOWLE FAMILY   

As noted above Very Cicily Horton married Sydney H.W. Rowle in 1936. Sydney Henry William Fowle (1897-1964) had been born April 26,1897 at Uckfield, Sussex and was the son of the W.T. Fowle.

The couple had one child namely Margaret A. Fowle (1940-1995) who was born in Tunbridge Wells.

The 1939 enumeration gave the  William R. Horton as born May 4,1878 and working as a draper dealer (Marks) and given as a widow living with his son in law Sydney H.W. Fowle, given as born April 26,1897 and working as an ophthalmic optician.
















Local directories and newspaper reports list the firm of W&S Fowle as ophthalmic opticians at 45 High Street, Tunbridge Wells from at least 1932 until 1947. A  photo of the  High Street is shown above left and above right  is a view of his shop.

The Courier of July 31,1931 reported “ Mr. Sydney Henry William Fowle of Messrs W  & S Fowle, ophthalmic optician of High Street has been made a Freeman of the City of London.

Vera Cicily Fowle died in Tunbridge Wells November 1991 and Sydney died in Tunbridge Wells December 12,1964.

WARDS SERVICE GARAGE LTD

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

Date: April 21,2019

INTRODUCTION 

Wards Service Garage Ltd was located on the south-west corner of London Road and Speldhurst Road. On the north-west corner of the same intersection was the bake shop of Paine, Smith & Co. Limited. A photograph from the 1950’s of this intersection showing Paine’s shop  and a partial view of Wards garage is shown opposite. Details about Paine’s shop was given in my article ‘ Paine, Smith & Co. Limited’ dated April 20,2019

The location of Wards Garage was a good one, being located at a busy intersection. Wards sold new and used motorcars, most notably the brands Austin, Triumph and Standard. In addition the company offered full repairs to all makes of motorcars and a breakdown service. In the forecourt the garage had two petrol pumps and motorcars could be frequently seen there getting petrol.

Wards first appears in directories of 1934 and were still there well into the 1950’s. Today and for several years before, the former Wards Garage  at 319-323 St Johns Road/ London Road became the premises of Majestic, a wine warehouse, and one of the UK’s largest wine retailers, which business was established in 1980.

BUSINESS LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION

Wards Service Garage, established circa 1934 on the south-west corner of the intersection of Speldhurst Road and London Road (also at times referred to as St John’s Road) was ideally situated to take advantage trade provided by a constant flow of vehicular traffic at this busy intersection. Shown opposite is a site map and aerial view of the site on which “Garage” (Wards Service Garage) is labelled.


Shown below left is an advertisement for Wards Service Garage from the 1930’s in which they are identified as local agents for Austin, Standard and Triumph motor cars. They also took vehicles in on trade, repaired them and resold them. They undertook repairs on all makes of motorcars and had a breakdown service. They also had petrol pumps in the forecourt.

 Shown below is a photo  of the former Wards building, taken at a time when the building was occupied by Majestic, one of the largest retailers of wine in the UK. Although the use of the building has changed the current building is the same one that Ward occupied, although removed to convert the premises from a garage use into a wine warehouse/retail shop. Later in this section is a modern view of the Majestic premises taken on May 14,2017. This business was established in 1980.

A Planning Authority application of 2015 by Mr John Stevens of flat 1  at 36 Broadwater Down for the Majestic building sought and obtained approval to convert the first floor as office space into a  new use. The application form stated that the site area was 1,325 sm. The delegation report stated in part “ The current use of the first floor is unknown and there is no planning history to indicate when the premises changed from a garage to a wine sales shop”.

Several references to Wards Service Garage were found throughout the period of 1934 to 1949 (the last year of record online). No directory listing for Wards was found in a 1930 directory. Photographs of London Road/St John’s Road at the intersection of where the garage was located indicate that Wards was still in business there in the 1950’s and was perhaps there even longer.

The Courier of August 10,1934 contained an advertisement by Wards looking for a motor mechanic. The Courier of July 14,1944 also advertised that a motor mechanic was wanted. The Courier of December 19,1940 advertised “ Additional motor mechanic wanted. Only first class men nee Apply, Wards Service Garage, Southborough”.

The Courier of March 21,1941 and November 7,1941 advertised “ Wanted immediately and intelligent boy or girl as a petrol pump attendant, Wards Garage”.

The Courier of January 9,1942 advertised an Autocycle in running order for 27 pounds 10 shillings at Wards Garage, as well as a Commer  2 ton lorry and a 1933 Austin saloon all in excellent condition.

The Courier of May 12,1938 advertised a 1932 Triumph 40 HP Seven Saloon in good condition for just 20 pounds (“ or near offer”)

Several other advertisments appeared throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s offering Austins, Triumphs, Morris and other makes of motorcars for sale.

PAINE, SMITH & CO LIMITED

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

Date: April 20,2019

BACKGROUND

In the early 1900’s bakers would come every day to deliver orders to the homes. Many people of course went to the bakery themselves to pick up what they wanted as part of the daily shopping. The delivery boys and men made their deliveries by bicycle with a basket over the front wheel or by a two wheeled cart with legs at the back to support. Examples of these means of delivery are shown below.






Bread and other bakes goods were also later delivered to more outlying areas by horse and wagon and by motor lorry . Examples of these are shown below. The motor lorry image is dated 1920.





Women did not pay for their bread as they bought it. Instead the baker or delivery man had  a book  to enter the purchases  and typically on Saturday the women would go to the shop to pay for he purchases.

By WW II, due to the shortage of men who had signed up for service in the war, some deliveries were made by women but most women had to go to the shop to make their purchases. Food rationing and shortages of flour certainly had an adverse impact on the bakery business. During the war bread was sold by weight (ie 2 lb loaf) and if the loaf was underweight small squares of bread called “makeweights” were added to make up the weight.

The bread and other goods were baked in the back of the shop and brought out front by a man or women carrying a tray and wearing a white apron. The smell in a bake shop then, as it is now, was wonderful. Most of the bread made was white bread although some brown bread was available.

Any leftover bread at the end of the day was sold as stale bread which could be made into bread pudding. In my home, growing up as a boy, bread pudding with raisins and topped off with Lyles Golden Syrup, was a family favourite for desert. Stale bread was also sold as “crumb” to butchers to bulk out their sausages.

The life of a baker was not an easy one as it required the baker to get up very early so that a good selection of baked goods was available when the shop opened. Like most bake shops, the one of Paine, Smith & CO. Ltd sold more than bread. Buns and confectionary items were also on offer.

OVERVIEW 

Paine, Smith & Co. Limited  were bakers and confectioners. The company had two bake shops in Southborough, one  on London Road at the corner of Speldhurst Road and one on Holden Park Road.  In addition they had bake shops at 7 Calverley Road and Monson Road in Tunbridge Wells and in the early years (pre WW1) also shops on the High Street in Ashford,Kent  and on Glover Street in Willesborough.

The business was founded by George Paine (1868-1942) in 1887. George had been born 1868 in Willesborough, Kent and died in Southborough February 19,1942. His father William Henry Paine (1833-1893) was a farm bailiff at the time of the 1871 census and a builder by 1881. George’s mother was Joanna Paine, nee Gillett (1830-1920) and it appears that George was the only child in the family.

George was living with his parents in Willesborough at the time of the 1871 and 1881 census, and it was while living there that he attended school, receiving only a basis education.

George began his working career as a bakers apprentice in Willesborough but by 1887 he moved to Southborough where in 1891 he was a baker located at Holden Park Road and was still at 16 Holden Park Road in 1899.

In 1901 George married Gertrude Kathleen Hards (1870-1953) in Southborough and with her went on to have five children between 1902 and 1916, all of whom were born in Southborough. George’s son George junior (1904-1908) later became a directory of his father’s business and took over the running of the business when his father retired.

George Paine became respected member of society who was described upon his death as “ a well-known businessman, one of the best known men in the district”. For many years he served as a JP of the Tonbridge Board.  He had been member of the Southborough Trade and Improvement  Association often presiding at their annual dinners. In the 1930’s he as the chairman of the School Managers.

In this article I present information about the Paine family and their business operations.

THE EARLY YEARS

George Paine was born in the 1st qtr of 1948 at Willesborough, Kent and baptised there on March 1,1868. He was given as the son of William Henry Paine (1822-1893) and Joanna Paine, nee Gillett (1830-1920).

George’s father was born in Staplehurst and died in Ashford. George’s mother was born at Charing, Kent and died in Southborough. George appears to have been the only child in the family as not others appear in census records of 1871 and 1881.

George received only a basis education while living in Willesborough. The 1871 census, taken at a Cottage on Ashford Road in Willesborough gave William H. Paine as a farm bailiff and shepherd. With him was his wife Joanna and their son George.

The 1881 census, taken at Beaconsfield Terrace on Osborne Road gave William H. Paine as a builder. With him was his wife Joanna and their son George who was attending school.

George began his working career in Willesborough as a bakers apprentice and in 1887 he opened his first bake shop there.

In the 4th qtr of 1888 George married his first wife Rosetta Emily Crothall in Southborough. Her birth was registered at West Ashford, Kent in the 3rd qtr of 1864. George had met Rosetta while working as a baker in Ashford.

By 1891 he and his wife Rosetta moved to Southborough, where he operated a bake shop on Holden Park Road.

THE PAINE FAMILY IN SOUTHBOROUGH AND TUNBRIDGE WELLS

By 1891 George Paine  and his wife Rosetta moved to Southborough, where he operated a bake shop on Holden Park Road.

The 1891 census, taken at 16 Holden Park Road, Southborough gave  George Paine as a master baker employing others. With him was his wife Rosetta; one general servant, and two journeymen bakers. A photograph of his premises on Holden Park Road is shown opposite.

The death of Rosetta was registered in Tonbridge in the 2nd qtr of 1900 but she was living with George on Holden Park Road at the time of her death. The couple had no children.

A directory for 1899 gave “ George Paine, baker, 16 Holden Park Road, Southborough”.

The second marriage of George was to Gertrude Kathleen Hards (1870-1953)was registered in Tonbridge in the  3rd qtr of 1901. Gertrude was born August 24,1870 at Plumstead, Kent. She was baptised November 13,1870 at Saint Mary Magdalen Church in Woolwich, Kent and given as the daughter of William Fairhall Hards and Elizabeth Angelina Elizabeth Hards. At the time of the 1901 census, taken at St Andrew, Sussex, Gertrude was an employee of Thomas Huskins, a 36 year old proprietor of a drapers shop. She was working as a drapers assistant along with four other assistants in Thomas’s shop at 154 Queens road in the parish of St Andrews, Hastings, Sussex.

George and Kathleen went on to have the following children, who were all born in Southborough. (1) William Paine (1902-1985) (2) George Paine (1904-1998) who later took over his father’s business. He had been born in Eugenie Cottage, the house next door to the shop on Holden Road and remembered delivering the bread by horse-drawn cart  to the surrounding villages.  (3) Kathleen Paine (1905-1997) (4) Gertrude Paine (1907-1920) (5) Eileen Paine (1916-2000) who married H.D. King at St Thomas Church in Southborough June 1938.

The 1901 census, taken at Holden Park Road gave George Paine as a master baker employing others. With him was one domestic servant and two journeymen bakers.  The bakery's selling slogan was ' The Bread is Always the Same'. The Holden Park Road shop in later years became the Beeline Taxis business.

When the firm of Paine, Smith & Co. Limited was incorporated was not established but directories of 1903 onward refer to this business with George Paine as the managing director.

Below are some directory listings for the business and shown below are three related images. The one opposite shows the shop on London Road at the corner of Speldhurst Road from the 1950’s and below it is an advertisement for the business from a directory of the 1930’s and below it a postcard view of Calverley Road in which the shop sign of Paine, Smith & Co can be seen on the wall of the building just past the Players Cigarettes sign on the left.  Paine, Smith & Co moved into their premises at the corner of London Road and Speldhurst Road in 1929 having taken over the bakery business of Frederick Mules & Co that year.

1903………….Paine George, Smith & Co. Ltd 16 Holden Park Road and 69c London Road, Southborough and 7 Calverley Road Tunbridge Wells and 105 High Street, Ashford and Glover Road in Willesborough Ashford.

1913-1922…..Paine, Smith & Co. Ltd 16 Holden Park Rd and 31 London Road Southborough; 7 Calverley Rd Tunbridge Wells; 105 High Street Ashford and Glover Road, Willesborough, Ashford.

1913-1922….George Paine 18 Holden Park Rd, Southborough

1922-1938…George Paine J.P. for Tonbridge Petty Session Division

1930-1934….George Paine, Linden Lea, Ridgeway, Southborough ( his private residence)

1934…….Paine, Smith & Co. Ltd, 16 Holden Park Rd; 31 London Rd Southborough and 7 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells.

1938…..Paine, Smith & Co. Ltd 162 London Road and 16 Holden Park Rd Southborough and 7 Calverley Rd and 1b Monson Rd, Tunbridge Wells.

The 1911 census, taken at 18 Holden Park Road, Southborough, gave George Paine as a the manager of a bakery company. With him was his wife Gertrudge and their children William, George, Kathleen and Gertude. Also there in premises of 10 rooms was one domestic servant and Georges mother Joanna Paine given as a 86 year old widow. As noted earlier George’s mother died in Southborough in 1920.

The 1939 enumeration, taken at 58 The Ridgeway, Soutborough, gave George Paine as born December 9,1867 with the occupation of master baker. With him was his wife Gertrude born August 24,170, unpaid domestic duties. Also there was Aileen J.G. Hurds,born September 22,1876 who was single with the occupation of bakers manageress. She was the sister of George’s wife.

Death records noted that the death of George Paine was resisted in the 3rd qtr of 1942 in Tonbridge. No probate record was found for him. He was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on August 8,1942.

Probate records for Gertrude Kathleen Paine of Linden Lea 58 The Ridgeway, Southborough gave her passing away as a widow. She was last seen alive on February 18,1954 and her body was found February 19,1954. The executors of her 6,174 pound estate were her son George Paine, company director and Eden Gladys Philpott, spinster. Gertrude was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery February 25,1954.

Upon the death of George Paine senior his son George took over as managing director of the company., When the business ended was not established but was still in operation in the 1950’s.

Given below is a sample of some of the many references to George Paine and his business from the Courier and Sevenoaks Chronicle.

Courier July 18,1902…. An article making reference to an event in the town where refreshments were supplied at popular prices by Mr Calenden Restaurant Tunbridge Wells and teas etc by Messrs Paine, Smith….

Courier July 14,1905…. Tunbridge Wells County Court- Charles William Brown, a lad, through his friend, Frank Brown, his father of High Brooms sued Messrs Paine, Smith & Co Ltd of Southborough for arbitration under the workmen’s compensation act…..

Courier December 15,1916…..Young lady assistant wanted. Apply Paine, Smith & Co Ltd 7 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells.

Courier April 2,1921….an advertisement for the business of Paine, Smith & Co. Ltd in Southborough and Tunbridge Wells.

Courier January 4,1929…”You must eat bread-Why not eat the best. Paine, Smith & Co. Ltd bakers and confectioners 16 Holden Park Road and 162 London Road, Southborough and at 7 Calverley Road Tunbridge Wells”.

Courier of June 10,1938…Mariage King-Paine… Mr H. D. King, son of Mr and Mrs King of 100 Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells married Miss Eileen Paine, the youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs George Paine of Linden Lea, 68 the Ridgeway, at St Thomas Church in Southborough on Saturday. A wedding of considerable local interest.

Courier August 26,1938…An article entitled “ New Lease on Life’ that stated “ In 1927 the Southborough Trade and Improvement Association was reformed. In the same year Mr George Paine when to Mr Lewis Thorpe, vice president of the Association and said “ Do you want a nice tennis club? If so, l Know where…..”

Courier August 29,1938…The Infants-Southborough Council School- Mr George Paine, chairman of the School Managers, presided at the annual prize giving for boys of the Southborough Council School at High…”

Courier November 10,1939…Big Fire at Southborough- Fear that Speldhurst Road and London Road would be burned down. However the men worked splendidly and stopped it spreading. Mr George Paine, the proprietor, told our reporter that the first intimation he had of the fire was a telephone call at his home, saying that…..

Courier October 4,1940… Baker’s roundsman wanted. Able to drive motors. Apply Paine, Smith & Co Ltd 162 London Road, Southborough.

Courier May 30,1941…” Two magistrates fined- Both members of the Tonbridge Bench. Mr. H. D. Graves Law of Levers Hadlow and Mr George Paine of Linden Lea, The Ridgeway, Southborough. Mr Law for an obstruction with his motor car and Mr Paine for an offense against…

Courier August 7,1942… Death of Mr George Paine- A well-known businessman. One of the best known businessmen in the district. Mr George Paine of Linden Lea, The Ridgeway Southborough passed away on Wednesday at age 74. Mr Paine,who was the managing director of Paine, Smith & Co. Ltd……

Courier August 14,1942…Late Mr G. Paine J.P- W.H. Andrews, Hever, an old friend of Mr Paine, who officiated at his special request. The family mourners were Mr George Paine, Mrs Natson, Mrs King, Mrs George Paine and Pilot offcer D. King. The firm of Messrs Paine, Smith & Co were represented by Miss Edwards.

Courier October 30,1942… George Paine deceased. All persons having claims against his estate to forward same. He was of Linden Lea, The Ridgeway and managing director of a bakery who died in August 1942. Will was proved October 19,1942 by the National…..

Courier March 2,1946…Mr George Paine presided at the annual dinner of the Tradesmen’s Association at the Bull pub in Southborough on Wednesday.

Courier October 8,1948…Baking to Music- One regrets that the founder Mr George Paine, senior , is no longer with use but glad to see his wife and son Mr George Paine and young master John Paine. He recalled that the business had been started by Mr George Paine (since deceased) in 1887 and that….

Courier October 15,1948… Miss Hurds still with Paine, Smith & Co Ltd. She has been with them for 52 years and was in fact the firms first clerical employee before it was a registered company. She began as a shop assistant. Now with Mr George Paine (junior) her nephew, she is joint manager…

EDWARD SHEEPWASH OF SOUTHBOROUGH



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

Date: April 17,2019

OVERVIEW 

Edward Sheepwash (1863-1948), later Edward Sheepwash & Son of 14 Pennington Road and Castle Street  in Southborough, was a fly proprietor, job master, and omnibus proprietor from about 1900 to the end of the 1920’s. Like most people in carriage trade he moved from carriages to motorcars and throughout the 1930’s was a motorcar proprietor, cab and taxi proprietor.

Edward  had been born in Halling Kent, one of several children born to William Sheepwash (1837-1930) and Jane Sheepwash, nee Miles (1833-1917).  By 1871 the family had moved to Seasalter, Kent and by 1881 Edward had left the family home. In 1866 he married Sarah Elizabeth Webb (1867-1947) and with her had three children between 1888 qand 1897, including a son William Edward Sheepwash (1897-1945) who became the “son” in Edward Sheepwash & Son.

Edward began is working career as a butcher and up to 1900 he ran a butchers shop at 122 St Mary’s Road in Faversham, Kent.

In 1900 Edward and his family moved to Southborough and took up residence at 14 Pennington Road from which premises as well as from 2 Castle Street he operated his business. His carriages and stables were located at the Castle Street Mews. His carriage works later became a car mechanics workshop which premises were demolished in 2011 to make way for four terrace houses. Shown opposite is a postcard view of Pennington Road from the early 1900’s.

His son William Edward Sheepwash served during WW1 as a private with the Army Service Corp where he was a driver. After the war he returned to Southborough and rejoined his father in the family business. In 1930 William purchased 18 Pennington Road from Mrs Florence Jane Ravilious.

It was not until 1944 that William married Hettie Madge Gibson (1917-2010). Hettie was a qualified nurse and had worked in the 1930’s at the Pembury Hospital. William died in 1945 at the County Hospital in Pembury and was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery August 25,1945. When William died he left his home at 18 Pennington Road to Hettie.

His wife Hettie later remarried a Mr Barnes and died June 3,2010 leaving three children as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Edward Sheepwash was a resident of 14 Pennington Road when he died at 187 Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells March 22,1948 and was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on March 25th.

In this article in presented the family and business careers of Edward Sheepwash and his son William Edward Sheepwash with a concentration on the time the family resided and worked in Southborough. Shown above is an 1900’s advertisement for the business of E. Sheepwash.

THE EARLY YEARS

Edward Sheepwash was born in the 3rd qtr of 1863 at Halling, Kent. He was baptised in Halling on September 20,1863 and was one of several children born to William Sheewash (1837-1930) and Jane Sheepwash, nee Miles (1833-1917).

At the time of the 1871 census, Edward was living with his parents and siblings at Seasalter, Kent. By the time of the 1881 census Edward had left the family home.

The 1881 census, taken in Faversham gave Edward working as a butchers assistant.

In the 3rd qtr of 1866 Edward married Sarah Elizabeth Webb (1867-1947) at Canterbury, Kent. Sarah had been born in the 2nd qtr of 1867 at Ramsgate, Kent . The 1881 census, taken at 13 Butchery Lane in Canterbury gave Charles Webb as a butcher born 1843 in Barham, Kent. With him was his wife Elizabeth (born 1843 in Ramsgate( and seven of their children (including Sarah). Also there was one butchers assistant and one domestic servant).

Edward and Sarah got to know one another in Canterbury in connection with the respective families involvement in the butcher’s business.

Edward and Sarah had the following children (1) Cecele Webb Sheepwash (1888-1928) (2) Rhoda May Sheepwash (1892-1943) (3) William Edward Sheepwash (1897-1945). Of these children, one of the central figures in this article was William who later went into business with his father in Southborough. All three of the children were born in Faversham, Kent.

The 1891 census, taken at 122 St Mary’s Road in Faversham gave Edward as a butcher. With him was his wife Sarah and his daughter Cecele. Also there was one butchers assistant and one domestic servant.

The 1899 directory gave the listing “ Edward Sheepwash, butcher, 122 St Mary’s Road, Faversham. In 1900 the family moved to Southborough, details of which are given in the next section.

THE SOUTHBOROUGH ERA 

Edward Sheepwash and his wife Sarah and their three children moved to Southborough from Faversham, Kent, in 1900 and took up residence initially at 23 Victoria Road and by 1911  at 14 Pennington Road. Shown opposite is a postcard view of Pennington Road by Tunbridge Wells photographer and postcard printer/publisher Harold H. Camburn. In this image can be seen in the foreground on the immediate right 14 Pennington Road with a sign on the front giving “ E. Sheepwash Fly and Funeral Car Proprietor, Carriages of Every Design”.  At the time of the 1881 census, 14 Pennington Road ( given as No. 7 before renumbering) was the greengrocers shop of William J. Carpenter.

Shown opposite is a map from the 1860’s showing Pennington Road, Castle Street and St Thomas Church. No. 14 Pennington Road was located on the south east corner of Pennington Road and Castle Street. Edward’s carriages and stables were kept at the Castle Mews  (2 Castle Street). Edward’s offices and residence were at 14 Pennington Road with his carriage directly behind on Castle Street. His carriage works later became a car mechanics workshop and in 2011 that workshop was demolished to make way for four terrace homes.

The Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser of December 5,1901 referred to an unhappy marriage event with one of the carriages rented from E. Sheepwash. Also shown is an article from the Courier of January 9,1913 regarding some boys burning the barn of Mr Sheepwash and the theft of house contents and food and one referring to Mr Sheepwash and the RAOB from the Courier dated February 17,1925.

The 1901 census, taken at 23 Victoria Road in Southborough gave Edward Sheepwash as married but his wife was not with him. His occupation was given as “ job master stable”. With him was his three children Cecele, Rhoda and William, who were attending school.

The 1903 directory gave Edward Sheepmarsh, jobmaster, Castle Street. Directories of 1913 and 1914 gave Edward Sheepmarsh, job master, fly proprietor, omnibus proprietor of 14 Pennington Road and 2 Castle Street. Directories of 1918 and 1922 gave Edward Sheepmarch, job master and fly proprietor, 14 Pennington Road. Directories of 1930 to 1938 gave Edward Sheepwash & Son, 14 Pennington Road and Castle Street, motorcar proprietors, cab and taxi proprietors.

The 1911 census, taken at 14 Pennington Road gave Edward Sheepmash as married but his wife is not with him. His occupation at that time as jobmaster and employed others in the business. With him, in premises of 4 rooms, was just his son William who was attending school.

Edward’s son William enlisted for service in WW1 as a private with the Army Service Corp ( service number 36676).  His next of kin was given as his father Edward. He was attested November 1915 and was home from November 1s, 1915 until April 5,1916. Her served in France as a driver from April 6,1916 to October 30,1917 and then in Italy from October 31,1917 until February 1,1918. He was then placed in reserve until demobilised January 25,1919. After his military service he returned to Tunbridge Wells and the family business of Edward Sheepmarsh & Son.  An interesting entry in his military records is that in 1916 he was given 2 days for exceeding the speed limit in the field.

The R.A.O.B. had their building,called Park House, at 24  Park Road (image below left) in Southborough but often held their meetings at the Imperial Hotel (image below right) . Park House was opened by the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes as an orphanage in 1924 but closed in 1943 when the site was purchased by Kent County Council for use as a Remand House. From 1954 it served as a reception home for boys coming into council care. In 1981 it closed and the site redeveloped for the construction of modern housing.





On March 31,1930 Edward’s son William Edward Sheepwash bought No. 18 Pennington Road from Mrs Florence Jane Ravilious (the wife of Thomas William Ravilious a coach builder of ‘Farlight’, Portman Park, Tonbridge). Shown opposite is the conveyance document.

A directory of 1939 gave Edward Sheepwash as a taxi proprietor. With him was his son William (given as born August 3,1897) who was a taxi proprietor and driver. Also there was one domestic  servant and one nurse.

William Edward Sheepwash married late in life. In the 4th qtr of 1944 he married Hettie Madge Gibson (1917-2010) who had been born in Cranbrook, Kent.


Probate records gave William Edward Sheepwash of 14 Pennington Road, Southborough when he died at the County Hospital in Pembury on August 21,1945. The executors of his 3,641 estate was his widow Hettie and his father Edward Sheepwash, taxi proprietor.  William was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on August 25,1945. Upon his death he left his house at 18 Pennington Road to his wife Hettie. She sold that house in 1966 to Charles Frederick Alexander. Shown opposite is a photograph of 18 Pennington Road.

Nursing Records gave Hettie Madge Sheepwash (Gibson) of 14 Pennington Road and that she had been registered as a nurse in London November 22,1940. Her qualifications were given as “ The County Hospital Pembury  1936-1940 by examination. It was perhaps while at the hospital for medical treatment that William met and fell in love with Hettie. Shortly after the death of William Hettie married a Mr Barnes. Her obituary from the Courier of May 26,2010 noted that Hettie Madge Barnes had three children namely Malcolm, Kathleen and Burg as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Probate records for Edward Sheepwash gave him of 14 Pennington Road but died at 187 Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells, on March 22,1948. The executors of his 485 pound estate was Frank Stoneham, undertaker, and Reginald John Sheepwash, taxi proprietor.  Edward was buried in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on March 25,1948.

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