A Virtual Museum - Your Town, the Borough and its History

1873
• Milton Church clock placed in the tower by the Reverend Johnson in memory of his wife.
• Milton Congregational Church and lecture hall in Clarence Place built and was opened the following year. (See 1968)
• The ship “Northfleet” with emigrants for Tasmania run into by a Spanish steamer off Dungeness (300 drowned). (See 1853)

the-northfleet-1873.jpg
the-northfleet-1873.jpg

1874
• Cobham Village School built.
• Milton Hall was designed and built for G.M.Arnold (1826-1908 eight times Mayor of Gravesend) where he established a museum of local antiquities. (See 1911, 1953, 1970, 1982, 1995)
• Northfleet local board of health formed (predecessor of Northfleet Urban District Council).
• Regatta prize boat disputed - no winner.
• Duke of Edinburgh and his bride Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna disembarked at Gravesend.

1875
• Gravesend School Board founded to provide schools in the area.
• Public Health Act transferred the powers of the Improvement Commissioners to the Corporation, with regard to housing and paving.

1876
• First Board School in Church Street, Gravesend built at a cost of £7,627. (There were 154 boys, 154 girls and 200 infants)
• “Cato” added to the Gravesend-Tilbury ferry fleet.
• Northfleet lit by gas.
• The Vicarage in Higham (Hermitage Road) built.

1877
• J. Henderson won the regatta boat.

1878
• Rowing club established.
• George Watkins won the regatta boat.
• Northfleet factory club opened - built by Mr Bevan for his cement workers.
• The Nelson Inn rebuilt in New Road between Windmill Street and Stone Street (now the site of MacDonald’s restaurant).

1879
• The Parishes of Milton and Denton joined together, for church purposes.
• Willoughby Brown purchased the Bat and Ball ground and encouraged a revival of interest in cricket.
• Pavilion Theatre in the Subscription Ground, Wrotham Road, opened.

1880
• The Shah of Persia welcomed off Gravesend by the Prince of Wales- landed at the “New Falcon”.
• F.T. Paterson won the regatta boat.
• London, Tilbury & Southend Railway obtained a monopoly on the ferry from Tilbury to Gravesend by purchasing and leasing of the other ferries.
rosherville-gardens-c1880.jpg
rosherville-gardens-c1880.jpg

1881
• T.Webb won the regatta boat.
• The Gravesend Cricket Club founded.
• Mr Jennings of Wheatsheaf Tavern, Gravesend, started horse-drawn omnibus service between St. James’s Church and Huggen’s College, Northfleet.
• Population of Gravesend and Milton 22,089. Population of Northfleet 8,790.

1882
• Extensive alterations to the Town Hall buildings carried out.
• Tilbury Dock construction began after a ceremony on 8th July to cut the first turf.
• J. Littlemore won the Regatta boat.
• G. Webb brought the Doggets Coat & Badge rowing prize to Gravesend.
• D’Oyly Carte Company performed “H.M.S Pinafore” & “The Pirates of Penzance” at the Pavilion Theatre.
• Thomas Eves, proprietor of the Subscription Grounds, Wrotham Road was murdered near the Pavilion Theatre.
• An English Cricket Team captained by Hon. Ivo Bligh (later 8th Earl of Darnley) toured Australia and “the Ashes” were presented to him by some ladies from Melbourne, including Miss Florence Rose Morphy whom he later married. “The Ashes” were kept at Cobham Hall until the death of the earl in 1927.

1883
• Horse-drawn tramway from Leather Bottle, Northfleet to Wellington Street, Gravesend opened in June and ran at half-hour intervals.
• Salvation Army took over the Theatre Royal on the corner of Garrick Street and New Road, as their Citadel. (See 1969)
• Joseph Watkins won the Regatta boat.
• Customs service commenced operations from Gravesend.
• The London Chatham & Dover Railway Company built the Farningham to Gravesend Riverside line with a station at Rosherville.

1884
• Music Hall opened at the former Literary Institute, later to become the Prince of Wales Theatre of Varieties and the Grand Theatre of Varieties. (See 1900, 1952)
• Children’s ward at the Hospital opened by the Countess of Darnley.
• Port of London Authority Sanitary Hospital for seamen opened at Denton. (See 1974)
• Steamers “Dione” and “Camden” collided near Gravesend. “Dione” sank - 17 drowned - the Captain was punished for reckless navigation.
• Northfleet School Board founded- responsible for providing schools in the area.
• Town Pier sold by the “receiver to bondholders” under authority of Parliament to Tilbury Railway Company for £8,600.
• Provision of pavements and kerbs in Northfleet commenced.
• An estimated 92 public houses, 39 beer houses and 5 refreshment houses existed in Gravesend at this time.
• Gravesend Police force consisted of the Chief Constable (George Berry), 6 sergeants and 25 constables.

1885
• Dr Shirley Murphy, Local Government Board of Health Inspector, spent 15 days studying sanitation in Gravesend. His report concluded that many cesspools were too close to dwellings, the foreshore was polluted by house drains and sewers, the method of water supply to courts and alleys was unsatisfactory and that there were ill ventilated, badly constructed and crowded dwellings in the lower part of the town.
• First Northfleet Board School opened at Lawn Road with provision for 200 boys, 150 girls and 150 infants.
• Milton Road Board School opened with 190 boys, 150 girls and 110 infants.
• “Borough of Gravesend Habitation” (Primrose League) opened by Lord Harris at Public Hall. The Primrose League was a political group formed in support of the conservative party and became very popular.
• The police report quoted “no burglaries in Gravesend during the year”, although there were 13 known thieves and 17 suspected persons within the Borough limits.
• Regatta boat won by H.Walter.

1886
• Privy pits in courts and alleys filled in - sewers improved and extended.
• Tilbury Docks opened in April.
• Subscription Grounds sold for building land. Pavilion Theatre dismantled and erected by the railway bridge in Milton Road to be used as a drill hall until 1970 when it was demolished.
• A Sailor’s home, adjoining the Custom House was opened. (See 1918)
• Clarence Hotel, Windmill Street, became the “Proprietary school” run by Mr. M. Gutteridge.
• Gordon Recreation Ground opened by Lady Darnley.
• St. Luke’s Church, Wrotham Road, founded. (See 1964)
• J. Loft won the Regatta boat.
• West Street Station, Gravesend, was opened. (See 1953, 1968)

1887
• Eight acres of land were purchased for a new sanatorium on the upper part of Valley Drive. (See 1928, 1949, 1957)
• Stricklands (cabinet makers and upholsterers) premises adjoining the Nelson Hotel, Windmill Street, was destroyed by fire with an estimated £15,000 of damage.
• Foundation stone of the Clock Tower laid to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Other celebrations included a children’s fête.
• American showman, Buffalo Bill arrived in Gravesend on the steamer “Nebraska” on route to perform in London for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.
• Bruin the bear from Rosherville Gardens was “partaken of” at the “Fishing Smack Inn”, West Street by some 20 or 30 guests. A portion of his hind quarters having been smoked and cured was served up.

1888
• Woodville burial ground (See 1789) acquired by the Corporation and converted into gardens which opened in 1890.
• A nursing institution was opened at Gravesend Hospital consisting of two round wards, enabling the nurse to sit at the centre and see all the patients beds radiating out from her desk. The wards were paid for entirely by Mrs J. Russell (wife of John Russell, the Gravesend Brewer) and named the Russell wards in her honour.
• George Arnold (Mayor) placed a memorial plaque on Robert Pocock’s house, 48/49 High Street which can still be seen.
• W. Dove won the Regatta boat.

1889
• Canal dues abolished by Act of Parliament.
• Experimental electric tramline “The Series System” laid down in Northfleet from the Hill to Huggen’s College. The first in the south of England.
• The Clock Tower was completed.
• A.Mastin won the Regatta boat.