GMS News 74 December 2014

Christmas_header_2014A Rural Past.

While sorting through my accumulated piles of notes I came across notes I made of a conversation with Stan and Marguerite nearly four years ago. They conjured a picture of rural life  long since disappeared and difficult to imagine.

3_Horseshoes_in_snowStan grew up in Forge cottage where his father had a smallholding and kept pigs. During WW2 they had drums of pig swill (which they called Tottenham pudding) delivered from London. Stan remembered how Henry Fowler (also a market gardener) took his pigs to the slaughter house in Deal in a cart drawn by an old grey horse.

They, among others, told of the cows being driven along Mongeham Road to the now derelict barn to be milked. At one time there were three dairies and four blacksmiths’ forged in the village, as well as two bakeries and three shops. A travelling fair and also a travelling theatre company visited the village regularly.

Joan Wakeham told me that her father, Fred Solley rode around the farm on a magnificent dapple-grey horse called Salome. She also told me about  reaching the bottom of a haystack It was a moment of great sport. Villagers would gather with their dogs. As the last of the hay was removed the rats which ran out would be set upon with sticks and by the dogs.  How times have changed.






Last Month's Meeting

Knife_closed_apartThe AGM of the Great Mongeham Society was held on Thursday, 20th November, when the committee was elected. Some new blood was recruited onto the committee, and others stepped down. Concern was raised about the declining membership, and the future of the Society was considered. It was agreed that the Society should continue for another year, and the position be reconsidered then.

The remainder of the evening was spent looking at various items brought in from "Grandma's Attic". There were some items which were brought in simply because they had a story behind them. Others were also quite valuable, although none required Securicor to accompany them.

One interesting item was a penknife which, when not in use, fitted neatly into its wooden handle. The photos show the penknife as assembled.

The evening concluded with a glass of wine and accompanying nibbles and of course the usual chat.


#1 Paul Griffiths 2015-05-14 09:47
Sad to read numbers are dwindling, Im moving to the village soon and will look forward to joining the Society. Paul
#2 Jim 2015-05-15 08:09
Good to hear it Paul. We look forward to meeting you. Since this copy of GMS News we have had a couple more new members, so things are improving.

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