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

• Severe gales lashed Gravesend at the beginning of January, uprooting trees, damaging property and disrupting transport services. River traffic was also damaged.
• Bevan’s Cement Works, Northfleet, to be rebuilt.
• Appeal made for £2,000 for repair and preservation of St. Botolph’s Church, Northfleet.
• Northfleet Football Club won the Kent Senior Cup, beating Sittingbourne 8-2.
• Porter House, Higham, a 160 year old building, was destroyed by fire.
• Portions of Cobham Hall Estate put up for sale.
• Leather Bottle Inn, Cobham, restored.
• The Gravesend Regatta was revived after a gap of 12 years.
• A gala was held in Gravesend from 25th September to 3rd October to boost local trade. Entertainments included a carnival procession, dances, concerts and sports. The week was opened by Mr Henry Ainley, a well-known actor.

• The Librarian of Gravesend, Mr A.J.Philip, organised a conference of librarians from the whole of Kent for the purpose of formulating a scheme of classification for local collections throughout the county. It was reported that Gravesend’s library collection was “the best in the world” as far as the history of the town was concerned.
• A meeting of the British Fascists (Gravesend Branch) was held at the Liberal Club. The speaker, Mr H.A.Wray, outlined the party’s plans to maintain essential services in the event of a general strike.
• The following month the Mayor of Gravesend met local trade unionists in an attempt to ensure vital supplies continued to reach Gravesend in the event of a national strike. The General Strike, which did take place, affected Gravesend, hampering the publication of the “Reporter” ”newspaper. Local works were at a standstill and the Town Council appointed a Coal Emergency Committee. The women of the Conservative Association planned a soup kitchen in the event of distress being caused to the poor, as a result of the strike
• Gravesend’s sewage disposal works were opened by the Mayor, almost five years after the Council approved the system.
• Four men were drowned off Gravesend when a small boat overturned. The men were returning to the pulp steamer “Carl Gerhard” moored off Imperial Paper Mills jetty.
• Arrival in Gravesend of Lt. Commander Richard E.Byrd on board the “Chantier”. He spoke about his flight over the North Pole.
• A windjammer, the “Monkbarns”, anchored off Rosherville after her final voyage from Rio de Janeiro, which had taken 99 days.
• The Mayor made an official visit to the “Memphis”, an American cruiser moored off Gravesend and the following month paid an official visit to the Italian flagship “Pisa” at the reception of Rear Admiral Burzagli.
• A Phillipino sailor from the USS “Sharkey” was shot dead by a fellow seaman at a dance at Rosherville.
• Lord Beaverbrook opened the Gravesend Gala Week.
• The Duchess of Atholl opened the new building for the County School for Girls in Pelham Road. (See 1913, 1915)
• A report by the Royal Commission on London cross-river traffic, recommended that the tunnel under the Thames should be between Dartford and Purfleet, not Gravesend and Tilbury.
• A public meeting heard of the increasing inadequacy of the Gravesend Hospital. Plans were outlined for extensions costing an estimated £60,000. Mr and Mrs Foa of Holywell Park made the first donation of £1,000. (See 1928)

• TSS “Mimie”, the last and the largest steam ferry, built for the Gravesend-Tilbury ferry, carrying 36 cars and 350 passengers. 47,770 vehicles were carried each year.
• The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries declared Gravesend an infected area in the foot and mouth epidemic that occurred throughout the country.
• Death of Ivo Francis Walter Bligh, 8th Earl of Darnley.
• Typhoid outbreak in Gravesend.
• Field Marshall Viscount Allenby opened the Gravesend Hospital Fete.
• King’s Farm estate school for Junior pupils officially opened. This was the first elementary school built by Gravesend Education Committee since 1909.
• The possibility of petrol ships coming up the Thames as far as Purfleet and the threat to the safety of Gravesend was discussed at an inquiry held by the Ministry of Transport in London.
• Severe snowfalls over Christmas disrupted life in Gravesend and the surrounding areas.
• 138 prize rabbits and a sheepdog were destroyed in a fire in Hollybush Road.

• Severe flooding damaged property in Gravesend and Northfleet when the Thames burst its banks. They were the worst floods for fifty years and a barrage from Tilbury to Gravesend was recommended.
• Thousands of cement casks were destroyed in a fire at Northfleet - the glare of the blaze was reported to be visible for miles around.
• Cross Channel steamer “Alsacien” collided with the barge “Vincent” off Gravesend - one person was drowned. The following morning the “Alsacien” collided with the coastal steamer “Dunmore” and another person drowned.
• Stabbing incident in Gravesend - local man accused of attempted murder.
• Discussions on the proposed amalgamation of Denton with Gravesend Borough.
• Family ordered to quit the cave at Chalk which they had lived in for five years.
• Sir Alan Cobham flew over Gravesend after completing his aerial tour of British seaports in the Short-Rolls Royce Flying Boat.
• The foundation stone of hospital extensions laid by Mrs Foa and new outpatients department opened by the Marquess of Carisbrooke. (See 1926)
• Fire destroyed a varnish works near Sole Street Station and damaged the railway line. Another serious fire totally destroyed Barton’s timber mills in Milton Road, Gravesend and 4 adjacent houses in Cumberland Avenue. The fire also damaged Charringtons brewery, Wellington Street, forcing the firm’s closure. All that remains of the site today is the “Jolly Drayman” public house. (See 1936)
• A new Diphtheria block and cubicle wards opened at Borough Sanatorium near Valley Drive. (See 1949, 1957)
• Last 200 houses started on King’s Farm Estate, seven years after development began on the site.
• Fire destroyed stables in New Road - 21 horses rescued.
• Council applied to Ministry of Health for sanction to borrow £33,500 for an extension of main drainage.

• Fire destroyed a fish shop in Arthur Street.
• Lady Darnley presented the “Ashes” to the MCC for the memorial gallery at Lord’s Cricket Ground. (See 1882)
• Charles Dickens’ Swiss chalet offered for sale (located in Cobham Park). (See 1870)
• New Astoria cinema in High Street, Northfleet, opened, next door to the old one which closed at the same time.
• Prince Henry of the Netherlands arrived at Gravesend on the “Batavia” and proceeded by train to Victoria.
• HMS “London” arrived off Gravesend on her maiden voyage - visited by the Mayor.
• Alderman H.E.Davies, six times Mayor of Gravesend, granted the Freedom of the City of London. (See 1985)
• Smallpox outbreak at Gravesend.
• Oswald Mosley and Ernest Bevin (Labour politicians) spoke at Labour meeting in Gravesend.
• Gravesend Ladies Cricket Club formed.
• New women’s wards opened at Gravesend and North Kent Hospital by the Marchioness of Carisbrooke.
• Italian cruisers “Pisa” and “Ferruccio” visit Gravesend. Joined later in the week by the training ship “Cristoforo Colombo”.
• Lightning struck the Brewery in Wellington Street and injured a girl in a separate incident.
• The first automatic traffic lights in the South-east installed at the Old Prince of Orange cross roads.
• Last trams in Gravesend ceased operating. Routes taken over by Maidstone and District Bus Company.
• Two children killed and others injured in a sand pit collapse at Shorne.
• Severe gales damaged property in the Gravesend area.

• Gordon School for Boys, Ordnance Road, opened by Lord Darnley. (See 1975)
• Termination of the office of Gravesend Board of Guardians, who administered the Poor Law.
• Town Clerk reported recent discussions on the possible extension of Gravesend Borough to include part of Strood and part of Northfleet.
• Public meeting at Gravesend addressed by Neville Chamberlain
• Unemployment in Gravesend for February to June averaged 1,500 at a cost to the ratepayers of over £1,000 per week.
• First electric trains ran between Dartford and Gravesend.
• Milton Hall demolished. (See 1874)
• Princess Helena Victoria opened Gravesend Hospital Fête.
• Gravesend Rifle Club admitted first lady members.
• “Talkies”were shown at the Gem Theatre, Gravesend, for the first time.


• Bristol Bulldog aircraft crashed at Cobham.
• Two Italian sail training ships “Cristoforo Colombo” and “Amerigo Vespucci”, moored off Gravesend.
• The “Old Prince of Orange” public house, closed. (See 1933) This building had stood at the junction of Windmill Street and New Road for 350 years, but had become unsafe.
• Arthur Gouge (aircraft designer born in Northfleet 1890) visited his old school, St. Botolph’s and presented two pictures of flying boats which he had designed; the “Singapore” and “Calcutta”, which were built by Short Brothers of Rochester. (See 1949)
• “Empire and Industrial Exhibition” held at the Drill hall to counter the trade depression.
• “Majestic” cinema in King Street opened by the Mayor. (See 1963, 1972, 2000)
• Amy Johnson lectured on her flight to Australia at Princes Street lecture hall.
• Gravesend Council cut officials’ salaries in an attempt to economise.
• Meeting of unemployed addressed by Labour candidate (Mr Ben Greene) near the Labour exchange, Rosherville. There were complaints over a cut of 2s. 9d. (14p) in unemployment benefit.
• Population of Gravesend and Milton 37,670. Population of Northfleet 16,223.