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

1910
• Pavilion Roller Skating Rink opened in Pelham Road, Gravesend in February.
• Dickens Fellowship revived with A.J. Philip, Gravesend Borough Librarian, as secretary.
• Great storm of cyclonic force during February caused severe damage and injuries. Several boats adrift on the river.
• Maidstone, Chatham and District Motor Omnibus service commenced the Chatham - Gravesend service.
• General Sir Robert Baden-Powell unveiled memorial tablet to General Gordon at the Ragged School, Gravesend in April.
• Funeral of King Edward VII took place. Processions and many memorial services held in the area.
• May Day revels revived under Mayor Davis.
• City Steamboat Co. Ltd. commenced service from newly-opened and repaired Rosherville Pier.
• Explosion on motor lighter “Frisia” off Ship and Lobster at Denton. Captain and engineer killed - others injured.
• Meeting at Gravesend Town Hall to form local women’s VAD detachment.
• Russell’s took over Woods Brewery in East Street. (See 1869, 1894)
• First official Town Guide issued by Gravesend Corporation in August.
• Suffragettes active. Chalked slogans on pavements, walls and fencing. Meeting at the Clock Tower broken up by men and youths with “fireworks, unsavoury missiles and booing”.
• Gem cinema in New Road, opened. (See 1934, 1967)
• American battleships in Thames - “Minnesota” and “Vermont” off Gravesend, “Mississippi” at Northfleet and the “Idaho” at Greenhithe. These were replaced by another four warships in December.
• Beaver Club held swimming race in Thames from Customs Pier to New Bridge on Christmas morning at 7.45am. There were 3 starters and the prize for first place was a silver flask.
• Gravesend Corporation purchased Gordon Gardens and Recreation Ground.
• During the year there were many strikes and labour disputes. Workers in various local industries organised into Union Branches.
• “Edith” added to the Gravesend - Tilbury Ferry Service.
• New municipal offices in Woodville Terrace, Gravesend, ready for occupation in January.
• Branch of the Labour Exchange opened in Manor Road, Gravesend.
• Dover Road School was extended.
• Steamship “Sygen” sank in Gravesend Reach after a collision with a dredger - crew of 16 saved.
• Isaac Charles Johnson, J.P., cement manufacturer, celebrated his 100th birthday in January, but died in November the same year.
• Emperor of Japan conferred “Order of the Sacred Treasurer” upon the Mayor in recognition of service rendered to naval vessel “Ikoma” which had visited Gravesend in 1910.
• Edward Swift, Manager of Rosherville Gardens, charged with robbery at the Nelson Hotel, Gravesend in November 1910. He was aquitted at the trial held on 24 April.
• The building of Gravesend Swimming Baths commenced. It opened in August in the Gordon Recreation Ground, on the promenade.
• Granary in Pelham Road, Gravesend destroyed by fire. (Last of Elliotts Farm which once stood on the site).
• Memorial plaque unveiled by the Mayor at Dickens Honeymoon Cottage, Chalk. This plaque can still be seen above the cottage doorway.

1911
• Part of the Arnold Museum collection auctioned. (See 1874) Gravesend Corporation declined to provide a museum for the collection, but Gravesend Public Library Committee accepted the offer of some of the items, which subsequently formed the basis for the Gravesend Museum. (See 1953,1970, 1982, 1995)
• Coronation celebrations in June consisted of yew tree planting at Ebbsfleet Pleasure Ground, Northfleet and the Gravesend Schools presented an Imperial Pageant visited by colonial troops.
• The Cinema in Windmill Street (later called the Plaza) was opened by the Mayor in July. (See 1934, 1955)
• Heavy thunderstorms following a long drought caused extensive flooding in July. The Town Pier Square was under water.
• Dock strike over claim for 7d per hour wage.
• A seal in the canal basin caused great excitement and crowds gathered. Finally it was captured and killed after being wounded by a shot.
• Steamer “Widgeon” sank in Northfleet Hope after collision with London County Council sluice hopper. A Gravesend pilot and 2 crew lost.
• Population of Gravesend and Milton 28,115. Population of Northfleet 14,183.

1912
• Another year of strikes and labour disputes caused much hardship.
• P.L.A. hopper run down by steamer “Crown of Toreda” in Lower Hope - crew saved by prompt action of Captain.
• Horses pulling a military wagon bolted near Meopham and galloped to Gravesend. They demolished a wall in Princes Street and two soldiers were killed.
• London City and Midland Bank, corner of Stone Street, Gravesend, opened in March.
• U.S. warship “Prairie” arrived off Gravesend.
• Cement works and Northfleet paper mills closed for three weeks due to a coal strike.
• The“Reporter” newspaper opened a Titanic Relief Fund.
• Civic send off to Super Dreadnought “H.M.S. Thunderer” as she passed Gravesend.
• Imperial Paper Mills, Gravesend was founded.
• Medallion of Edward VII was added to the Clock Tower. A gift of Alderman H.E. Davies, J.P.
• Cinema opened in the High Street, Northfleet.

1913
• Establishment of County Girls School (now Gravesend Grammar School for Girls ), Pelham Road. (See 1915)
• Captain and mate of barge “Lily Byford” lost when it sank after a collision with steamer “Baku Standard” in Northfleet Hope.
• Gravesend and Milton Gas Light Co. prosecuted several children for stealing coal.
• New Port of London Authority byelaws ended the watermen and lightermen’s monopoly of working vessels on the Thames.
• Dr. W.G. Grace, the cricketer, was guest at Royal Engineer’s dinner at the Clarendon Hotel in April - his son was Company Commander.
• George Bernard Shaw addressed meeting at skating rink in Gravesend on “Socialism and the Middle Classes”.
• H.R.H. Princess Louise opened “Old English Fayre” in aid of Gravesend Hospital in May.
• Dummy bomb parcel placed in Milton Church caused “suffragette scare”. It was destroyed in a nearby field by police sergeant with a shotgun.
• Hostile crowds prevent suffragette meeting at Gravesend’s Clock Tower.
• Keir Hardy addressed Independent Labour Party meeting in July, on The Hill, Northfleet.
• 21 cases of typhoid at Chalk, polluted water suspected.
• Jack Johnson, world boxing champion, appeared at Rosherville Gardens in September.
• Large extension to Milton Mount College opened.
• Mad bullock careered through town causing damage to property and injuries to several people.
• Four sea scouts drowned when their ketch “Mirror” was run down by a steamer, below Gravesend.

1914
• Parishes of Gravesend and Milton merged to form the Borough of Gravesend.
• Gravesend and Northfleet Electric Tramway Co. operated double decker buses between Dartford and Chatham.
• Northfleet Dockyard was sold in January, to Bowater Paper Mill.
• Weekly season tickets and workman’s tickets became available on the ferry.
• Inauguration of Magnet Film Production Co. to make pictures at Rosherville Gardens.
• New waterworks provided by the Gravesend & Milton Waterworks Co. at Downs Road, near Meopham, came into use. The old waterworks on Windmill Hill became inadequate as the town’s population grew. (See 1833)
• Roof of Mill House Farm, Shorne, blown off in a gale in May.
• Severe thunderstorms in June damaged houses in Denton and Northfleet.
• Lady Darnley laid foundation stone of the Gordon Memorial Creche at the Ragged School, Gravesend.
• A floating bridge made from 70 lighters and 14 inch timbers, across the river between Tilbury and Gravesend built at the request of the war department to allow troops to cross more easily. A 600 foot centre section of bridge could be moved to allow vessels through. It only remained in place for a few months before being dismantled.
• Cobham Hall was used as a hospital for the British Army, and later for officers of the Australian Army, for the duration of the First World War.

1915
• County School for Girls moved to Mayfield, Pelham Road, Gravesend.
• Anti-German riots at Gravesend. Shops smashed and looted. Many convicted in following weeks.
• Anti-aircraft gun-fire heard at Gravesend when Southend was bombed by a Zeppelin. Later a Zeppelin raid dropped bombs over the Gravesend area and damaged several houses.
• New Roman Catholic Church (Our Lady of the Assumption ), opened in June on The Hill, Northfleet. The architect was Giles Scott who designed Liverpool Cathedral.
• Voluntary air raid street patrols organised by the Gravesend Borough Librarian, A.J. Philip.
• Gravesend’s Library Committee ordered that 38 volumes of German literature, which had been donated to the library, should be suppressed for the duration of the war. They included works of Schiller and Goethe.
• Gravesend and Northfleet Electric Tramway Co. licensed twelve women as conductors.
• Gravesend Post Office took on 24 women to deliver the post.
• 17 boys on T.S. Cornwall drowned, when their cutter collided with a tug near Purfleet.

pontoon-bridge-1915.jpg
pontoon-bridge-1915.jpg

1916
• Gravesend Standard (newspaper) suspended publication.
• Derelict windmill (still with sails) at Rural Vale, Northfleet was pulled down.
• Lady Dorothy Bligh (only daughter of Lord and Lady Darnley ) married at Cobham in February to Lt. Dan J. Peploe.
• Tipperary Fancy Fair at Market Hall, Gravesend raises over £700 for P.O.W fund.
• Severe damage at Northfleet, caused by gales during March.
• Some members of Gravesend Town Council recommended the Public Library be closed for the duration of the war to save 1d rate. One Alderman said “the library was a luxury the people could very well do without”. The library was costing the ratepayers £590 a year. However, counter arguments against the closure won the day. Gravesend Education Committee then sacked several teachers to save 1d rate.
• Gravesend Corporation decided to prosecute children pilfering coal.
• National Mission Census showed that approx. 4000 men of Gravesend and Northfleet were serving in forces.
• Incendiary bombs fell on Gravesend. Hundreds of local people watched Zeppelins come down in flames in the Essex area on three separate occasions.
• The well at Singlewell was sealed and the top removed.