A Virtual Museum - Your Town, the Borough and its History
gads-hill-place-1930.jpg
gads-hill-place-1930.jpg

1932
• The Finance Committee met a deputation of the unemployed - hardships of those on national assistance recounted.
• Two liquor licences granted for King’s Farm estate at the third attempt despite opposition from local temperance groups.
• Cobham Hall opened to the public on the 6th April - admission 2s (10p).
• A Gravesend woman fasted for 42 days in a sealed cabinet to cure an ulcerated stomach.
• Fire destroyed a boot shop in Gravesend High Street.
• Tercentenary of Gravesend’s Mayoral Charter celebrated. Lord Darnley opened Fort Gardens (New Tavern Fort Grounds).
• Announcement of construction of an aerodrome at Chalk - work commenced and the first members of the flying club were accepted. Flying from the new Gravesend airport began. At the official opening Sir Alan Cobham presented “Britain’s Greatest Air Display” at the aerodrome. Displays by new and old aircraft including an Autogiro rotor-driven aeroplane.
• Christ Church closed. Later re-erected. (See 1935)
• Co-operative Society’s new hall and business premises opened in Harmer Street.
• Lightning damaged Gravesend houses during a heavy storm.
• US training ship “Empire State” anchored off Gravesend.
• Bowater’s Sports club’s new ground opened at Nelson Road, Perry Street, by Mr Eric V. Bowater.
• Russell’s Gravesend Brewery bought by Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co. Ltd. - the “Shrimp Brand” trade mark was replaced by the Truman “Eagle”. (See 1894)
• A Meteorite reportedly passed over Gravesend.
• “Olivebank”, a Finnish sailing ship, anchored off Gravesend.
• Plague of crickets invaded the Hillside district of Gravesend.
• Opening of the “General Gordon” public house in Cedar Avenue. (See 1976, 1992)
• High Street closed to traffic after 3pm on Saturdays - one-way system considered to solve increasing traffic congestion.
• A “giant” 10-seater Dutch airliner landed at Gravesend airport.
• Deputation in favour of disarmament made to I.J.Albery MP at the Mayor’s Parlour.
• Elsie and Doris Waters (well known comediennes of the day) appeared at Factory Hall, Northfleet.
• Central Hotel, Central Avenue, opened.

1933
• Mayor opened welfare centre for the unemployed in West Street. The premises were provided by Trumans the Brewers.
• Ragged School celebrated the centenary of the birth of General Gordon. Commemoration service held at the Presbyterian Church.
• Newly built “Old Prince of Orange” public house on the crossroads of Windmill Street/ Singlewell Road and Old Road East opened.
• A deputation of the unemployed protested to Town Council over its decision not to provide free meals for needy children attending school in the Borough.
• Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus gave a display at Gravesend airport.
• West Indies Cricket Team played “Tich” Freeman’s XI at the Bat and Ball Ground in aid of hospital funds.
• Miss Constance Cummings, the film star, opened the “Laughing Water” Lido at Cobham. This was a wooden chalet building, which extended out over a lake on stilts, originally built by Earl Darnley. The name was decided by a competition. The site is now occupied by the Inn on the Lake Hotel at Thong adjacent to the A2.
• Gravesend Aviation Ltd began passenger flights from the airport in a new 4-seater “Fox Moth” passenger plane.
• Princess Marie Louise opened the “House that Jill Built” as part of Gravesend Hospital week. The house was built of timber and formed 3 sides of a square. It contained a number of rooms, which acted as “stalls” for the sale of various good and articles. The “House” was sold after Hospital week to raise further funds.
• One-way traffic system inaugurated at Woodville Gardens.
• Second Trade and Industry Exhibition held to encourage local trade.
• “Super” cinema, New Road, opened by the Mayor, with film stars Anna Neagle and Herbert Wilcox.
• Whitehill Primary and Secondary Schools opened. (See 1954)
• Gravesend’s main drainage system completed - commemoration tablet unveiled by the Mayor.
• Walter Runciman, President of the Board of Trade, spoke on Government economic policy at a meeting at the Market Hall.
• Portuguese destroyer “Lima” and German fishery cruiser “Weser” visited Gravesend.

1934
• Number of unemployed in Gravesend estimated at 2,603.
• Mayor laid foundation stone of new Gordon Mission, Denton in April. The Mission opened in September.
• “Regal” cinema, New Road, reopened - appearance of Elsie and Doris Waters and Jessie Matthews. (Previously named the “Gem” cinema. See 1910, 1967)
• New bus routes and fares inaugurated by London Passenger Transport Board.
• Opening of the Dickens Inn, Rochester Road, Denton. (See 1984, 1996)
• Princess Juliana of Holland arrived at Gravesend en route for London.
• Authoress Ruby M. Ayres opened Parrock Manor fete.
• Flying display at Gravesend airport - first demonstration of gliding.
• Randolph Sutton, the comedian, appeared at the “Super” cinema in New Road.
• American cruiser “Minneapolis” anchored off Gravesend.
• Gravesend “Prosperity week” held - symbolic burning of “Old Man Depression”. Opened by Sir Philip Sassoon, Under-secretary for Air.
• Christ Church, Gravesend, demolished. (See 1935)
• “Plaza” cinema, Windmill Street, reopened by the Mayor after modernisation. (See 1911, 1955)
• The Home Secretary, Sir John Gilmour, spoke at Gravesend Market Hall - commented on national and international problems.
• Lord and Lady Baden Powell sailed to Australia from Tilbury - given send off by Gravesend scouts.
• The Prime Minister of Holland landed at Gravesend airport en route for London.

1935
• Anthony Fokker, Dutch aircraft designer, visited Gravesend airport
• Amalgamation of Denton and Chalk into Gravesend Borough.
• A deputation of unemployed men put their grievances to the council. In particular the problems of single men receiving no assistance.
• “Peace Ballot” held in Gravesend and Northfleet - overwhelming vote in favour of disarmament and arms limitation.
• New Percival “Gull” 3-seater aircraft demonstrated at Gravesend airport, where it was built. Edgar Percival piloted his single engined monoplane from Gravesend to Oran in North Africa and back in a day. A total of 2,300 miles.
• First lady member of Gravesend Town Council - Mrs E.E.Cole JP - elected for Denton and Chalk ward.
• Celebration of King George V’s Silver Jubilee with decorated streets, bonfire on Windmill Hill, teas, dinners, etc. Cruisers “Leander”, and “Neptune” and destroyers “Fame” and “Fortune” anchored off Gravesend as part of the naval visit to Southend and the Thames for the jubilee celebrations.
• A Pageant in aid of local charities, portraying the history of Gravesend in 11 ‘episodes’ was held at “Woodlands” and opened by the Dowager Countess of Darnley.
• American destroyer “Hull” anchored off Gravesend - visited by the Mayor.
• Air display by Sir Alan Cobham’s Circus at Gravesend airport.
• “Plaza” cinema, Windmill Street, badly damaged by fire.
• Anglo-Saxon skeleton found at Westcourt Farm Estate, Chalk.
• Filborough Farm, Chalk, thought to be 700 years old, gutted by fire.
• “Flying Flea”, midget crash-proof aeroplane, demonstrated at Gravesend airport.
• New Christ Church, off Echo Square, consecrated - built with stones from the old Christ Church, Parrock Street. (See 1932, 1934)
• Jubilee Trades Exhibition opened by I.J.Albery MP for Gravesend.
• Minister of Health, Sir H.Kingsley Wood, addressed a Conservative meeting at the market hall - commented on the international crisis.
• “Cheeky Chappie” Max Miller appeared on stage at the “Super” cinema, New Road.

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lock-cottages-1935.jpg

1936
• The Mayor sent condolences to the Queen on behalf of Gravesend after the death of King George V - there was a day of mourning on 28th January. King Edward VIII was proclaimed at the Clock Tower.
• Swedish aircraft-cruiser “Gotland”, anchored off Gravesend.
• Swedish steamer “Boden” ran ashore near the Southern Railway Pier, but was refloated.
• Airwoman Amy Mollison (née Johnson) left Gravesend airport for a record breaking flight to the Cape, but later crashed. On her second attempt she set a new record of 3 days 6 hours and 26 minutes for Gravesend to the Cape, thus breaking the record by 11 hours. Amy Mollison was entertained by Gravesend Council with a celebratory dinner at the Town Hall.
• All-India cricket team met “Tich” Freeman’s XI at the Bat and Ball ground in aid of Gravesend Hospital funds.
• Rosherville Gardens, established in 1839 restored and a zoo set up as a central attraction for Hospital Week. This was to be the last occasion on which the gardens were opened. (See 1939)
• Gravesend Town Silver Band presented with new instruments with money raised after an appeal.
• Gravesend’s MP, I.J.Albery, knighted.
• Air display held at Gravesend airport to celebrate Empire Day.
• Wellington Brewery, Wellington Street, demolished. (See 1928)
• Elsie and Doris Waters appeared at the “Majestic” cinema, King Street.
• Letters and editorials in the local newspapers expressed local concern over the Spanish Civil War and the troubled international situation.
• Denton Court, old manor house, demolished. It became the site of a new housing estate. (See 1791)
• Sir I.J.Albery addressed a public meeting on the situation in Germany.
• First demonstration of television in Gravesend, at the Rainbow Stores in Windmill Street.
• Norwegian steamer “Belpareil” ran aground at Gravesend.

1937
• Gravesend and Northfleet made preparations to protect the public in the event of an air raid. The Chantry building in Fort Gardens, was fitted up as a training centre for air raid precautions. Arrangements were made to form a group of citizen volunteers to be known as Air Raid Wardens .An Experimental “Air-raid” was held - complete blackout experienced as well as wartime conditions and Gravesend was “bombed” to test air-raid precautions that had been put into place.
• Dutch aeroplane crashed in “trials” at Gravesend airport.
• Roller-skating inaugurated at the Market Hall.
• “Pacific Ranger” collided with “Sunetta”, a Dutch oil tanker, off Gravesend - both ships slightly damaged.
• Russian government ship “Sheksna” collided with TS “Cornwall” - both ships damaged.
• Lightning bus strike affected local bus services.
• Human skeletons found during work on the new housing estate, Milton Road, Denton
• Danish steamer “Margrethe” collided with West Street and Town Piers as well as the ferries.
• Home Fleet arrived in Gravesend for the Coronation visit of George VI. A Coronation Air display was held at Gravesend airport, by No.4 (Kent) Squadron. A Yew tree was planted in the churchyard of Milton Parish Church to commemorate Coronation year.
• The Mayor welcomed Australian lady cricketers to Gravesend - first Australian women’s side to tour the country.
• The “Fry Chocolate Express”, a J.S.Fry & Son exhibition train visited Gravesend.
• New Thames pleasure steamer “Royal Sovereign” sailed for the first time from Gravesend.
• Petrol tank of an aeroplane exploded in a mysterious fire at Gravesend airport - two planes gutted, but many others saved.
• Swedish timber vessel “Skaraborg” beached at Higham Bight after a collision with the German vessel “Hermia” - both ships damaged.
• The foundation stone laid of new block at St. Thomas’s Almshouses, at the junction of Old Road West and Wrotham Road, opened in 1938 by the Duchess of Kent. (See 1838, 1897, 1951, 1960, 1992)
• A gas-proof room, a full sized replica of a room, sealed against gas penetration, erected in Gravesend’s Town Hall. Also a gas proof shelter which could be installed in the back garden was invented by a Director of a Gravesend firm. Designed by Commander A. Marsden RN (Retired) it could be installed at a cost of £200.
• The Air Ministry set up an Elementary & Reserve Flying Training School at Gravesend airport in October.
• The “White Hart” public house, Rochester Road, Chalk opened. (See 1999)
• British cargo vessel “Dalmuir” involved in a collision with an unknown French vessel in Gravesend Reach.
• Four aeroplane engines and parts displayed at the “Plaza” cinema, Gravesend, in connection with the film “The Woman Between”.
• An ancient font was rededicated after lying idle for many years at St. Botolph’s Church, Northfleet.
• A Cunard White Star liner collided with a moored tug off Town Pier.