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lorraine colman (Unregistered Guest)
Posted on Friday, 25 November 2005 - 12:38 am:   

i need to no when my house in well hill was built i live at stonehouse farm and i would like to no as much history about this area as possible as i am fasinated by its history many thanks lorraine
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Bob Caton
Posted on Monday, 25 September 2000 - 02:39 pm:   

From a letter to the Chairman of the Eynsford and Crockenhill Rights of Way Group in 2000.

Your proposed walk jolted the memories of both my brother, Reg, and I for two reasons. Our grandparents, Joe and Jessie Caton (c.1880s-1950s), lived at Firmages Wells Cottages, Well Hill, for a good many years, our father having been born at Blacks Cottages in 1898. Father joined the Boys' Service of the Royal Navy in 1913, graduating to the Men's Service in 1915, serving until 1938 and being promptly called back in 1939 and invalided out in 1942, thus his service enveloped two World Wars.

Our visits to Well Hill (Reg and I) were numerous during the period 1928 to 1937, mainly in the fruit picking seasons, where soft fruits were in abundance, between Firmages Wells and Lullingstone Park, before the coming of the M25 Motorway. The farmer was a Mr Foreman. Our trek to Well Hill was mainly on foot usually entailing a 4.00 a.m. start to get the fruit to London Market. You can imagine when mother had a bicycle the journey up Daltons Road was not too bad with brother Reg riding pillion and myself on a fariy cycle.

Grandfather's house had no mains water or electricity. A convenient well opposite the house provided beautiful spring water, lodged in about five buckets outside the backdoor on a ledge arrangement. One of our jobs was to fill the buckets when occasion demanded.

Oil lamps provided the indoor illumination. At Christmas the family gathered at Well Hill as our father was usually home on leave from the Navy. The bedroom floor in the room I slept in sloped from N to S and W to E. Games were played around the kitchen table with Grandfather captaining one team and Grandmother the other, with Grandmother usually accusing Grandfather of cheating. The stakes were high of course, usually a farthing in total. The sanitation was first class, a thunderbox at the back of the house, which also encompassing the wash house.

In the early 1930s both Reg and I were errand boys to the shops in the Broadway, serving Frost's the Grocer, also his successor E. Norton Grocer, Gilham's the Paper Shop and White's the Butcher. In our day the rounds of delivery extended to Park Gate and Firmages Wells by trade's bicycle, usually after school but including Saturdays. But where is such service today? On many occasions, I took our dog to Well Hill for walkies going up, and a ride in the trade bicycle basket on the return. It was almost possible to free wheel comng down by exerting plenty of energy on the pedals where appropriate. Reg has reminded me that on occasions we have delivered to Well Hill on a sledge, when a snow fall has blocked the road around Skeet Hill. Of course, having Grandparents at the end of the line, as it were, was an added incentive!

So, dear Ken, this small area of Kent has many memories for two septuagenarians who, on the whole, are enjoying their retirements despite a few aches and pains.

Bob Caton
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Posted on Monday, 04 June 2001 - 10:02 pm:   

does anyone know the history of Rock Cottage Rock Hill or the Rock & Fountain pub

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