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Faversham in 1897

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Welcome to the Borough of Faversham, a small but thriving town set amidst hopgardens and orchards.

Recorded history here goes back to 812, when a charter refers to the ‘king’s little town of Fafresham’, and there are many ancient buildings - but local amenities are as up-to-date as any in the Kingdom.
  
Due to open this year are a new Post Office at 6 East Street;  a Laundry in Ashford Road, and a large allotment site off Love Lane. Work is also expected to start on a town Cemetery (also in Love Lane) and on a new, much larger Railway Station.

At the same time the Preston Street level crossing, cause of so many vexatious delays, will be closed and traffic diverted via a new underpass, to be named after the Chairman of the Railway Company.
 
And in June, of course, like all her loyal subjects, the townsfolk will celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of H M The Queen in their usual colourful style

Guildhall in the Market Place decorated for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee June 1897
Guildhall in the Market Place decorated for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee June 1897

Please go to our
1897 Photo Gallery for more pictures

OUR TRAINS are run by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway Co., which provides an excellent service from London (Victoria or Holborn Viaduct). Fastest train is the 1710 ‘businessman’s’ from Holborn Viaduct, from which you alight in Faversham 69 minutes later. Other fast trains (from Victoria) are the 0930 (arr 1055), 1045 (arr 1159) and 1330 (arr 1458). Businessmen can also get a fast train to London in the mornings (0858, arrive Cannon Street 69 minutes later). Other fast up services are to Victoria - the 0916 (arr 1052), 1010 (arr 1145) and 2027 (arr 2151)
 
JOBS Faversham is a busy manufacturing town, with a diversified industrial base, so there are plenty of opportunities. It has grown very rapidly since the coming of the railway in 1858. Hundreds of men and women work in the gunpowder mills of John Hall & Son, first established in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. For many purposes gunpowder has now been superseded by more powerful explosives such as guncotton, and these are made at Uplees, on the Swale, in factories incorporating the latest technical innovations. More traditional, but still requiring skilled labour, are the two breweries of Shepherd Neame & Co (established 1698) and W E & J Rigden (established 1764), both in Court Street.
 
Building materials also figure prominently in Faversham’s industrial life. Alongside the Creek and of course connected to the Railway are a cement factory (proprietors Hilton, Anderson, Brooks & Co) and saw-mills owned by T A Whittle & Co, who import timber from Russia, Sweden and Norway. Last but not least in this category are the brickfields - no less than 14 of them, ringing the town - which make the famous so-called ‘London’ stock brick, though, since most of them are made in Faversham, ‘Faversham’ stock brick would be a better description. The huge growth of London since H M The Queen’s accession in 1837 would not have been possible without these enterprises. Every week scores of sailing barges can be seen leaving the Creek, usually towed by the tug ‘Pioneer’, laden with bricks for the London builders. They return laden with domestic refuse bought from the vestries: coal fires are not very efficient and the cinders carefully sifted from the rest of the refuse are mixed with the brickearth and chalk to make a ‘self-firing’ brick.

Brick Barges 1897
Brick Barges 1897
 
Many of the barges are owned by local skippers and at one time or another most local lads crew on them. There are openings, too, for shipwrights in local building and repair yards. One other important industry is closed to outsiders, however, for it still functions like a medieval craft guild. This is the Oyster Fishery Company, said to be the oldest in the world, which no-one can join unless their father is (or was) a member.
 
EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES are first-rate. The Grammar School (founded 1527) now occupies modern premises in St Ann’s Road: there are 40 day boys and 40 boarders. Wreight’s School (opened in Church Road in 1857) provides boys with a good preparation for commercial life. Providing girls with a sound practical education in up-to-date buildings is the William Gibbs School in Orchard Place. Primary education is catered for in the District National Schools in Church Road, with nearly 1,200 children on the roll; the Wesleyan School in Solomon’s Lane (310 children); and Mrs Hall’s girls’ school, built 36 years ago for 205 children. In keeping with the town’s long ‘self-help’ tradition, all these schools were provided by local benefactors. There are also modern schools in many nearby villages, eg North Preston, opened 15 years ago. Evening classes in a wide range of subjects are held at the District National Schools and the Institute.

Grammar School
Faversham Grammar School 1897

OTHER AMENITIES 180,000 gallons of pure water a day are supplied to consumers by the Faversham Water Company. Pumping from the chalk at their Copton works is by steam, but a stand-by windmill can raise 10,000 gallons an hour if needed. Gas is supplied by the Faversham Gas Company, whose works and offices are in West Street. Medical needs are met by 5 GPs and the Cottage Hospital in Stone Street, opened 9 years ago. The site and building were given by local benefactors. Ambulance facilities are provided voluntarily by the Ambulance Society formed in 1883. There is an excellent Recreation Ground opened in 1860 and provided and run by the Charity Trustees.
 
LEISURE The Faversham Institute, founded in 1854, occupies commodious and well-appointed premises in East Street, and is one of the most successful of its kind in the country. It was provided, and is run, entirely by voluntary effort. The large hall, seating 600, is used for plays, concerts and other entertainments, including the new bioscope. There is also a minor hall, seating 300, an excellent Library, Reading Room and other facilities. Membership, open to all, costs 4/- a year and includes an excellent printed monthly magazine. Among interests catered for by local clubs and societies are gardening, needlework and photography. Sportsmen can take their pick between the Football Club, Cycling Club, Gymnastic Society and two Cricket Clubs.

POSTAL INFORMATION Letters up to 1 oz, 1d; up to 2 oz, 1½d; thereafter ½d extra per 2 oz. Four deliveries at 7 am, 10.45 am, 3.45 pm and 6.30 pm. Five collections a day from pillar boxes (8.5 am to 8.25 pm). Last collection at Head Post Office, 9 pm. Letters posted up to 2.10 pm will be delivered in central London the same day.

YOUR BOROUGH COUNCIL MEMBERS

Mayor

Thomas Gillett - 2 Newton Road - miller and corn dealer

Aldermen

Charles Smith - Warren House, Stone Street
Henry Child - Ventnor House, 37 Newton Road - draper
John Andrew Anderson - Hillside House, South Road - cement manufacturer
Frederick Johnson - 67 Preston Street - solicitor

Councillors 

Frederick Austin - 4/5 West Street - printer and stationer
Charles Holmes - 1 Court Street - grocer
Lewis Jackson - Barty House, Newton Road
John Miskin - 48 Newton Road - house furnisher
Ebenezer Chambers - 4 St Mary’s Road
Charles Cremer - 50 Newton Road - brick manufacturer
Jabez Smith - 8 Newton Road - ironmonger
Stephen Taylor - 2 Albion Terrace - mineral water manufacturer
George Pordage, Jnr - Stone Street - builder and house remover
Frederick Pryer - Preston Lodge, The Mall - brick manufacturer
George Frederick Scott - 11 Stone Street


The following Traders respectfully solicit customers’ favours ...

V Court & Son, Preston Street
C S Burchell, 24 Preston Street
Shepherd Neame & Co
G Thurston Clarke, 113 West Street

Edward File, 117 West Street
Faversham News, 4/5 West Street
Voile’s, 91 Preston Street
Mrs D Chambers, 1a Hatch Street
Evan Jenkins, Chemist, 6 Market Place

Port Wines from 1/- to 7/- a bottle
Ladies’ Jackets & Mantles from 4/11 to 42/- 
Stock Ale 8/- per 4½-gallon pin
Perambulators, 15/- to 84/-;  sewing machines 42/- to 126/- 
Tea, 1/- to 2/6 per lb.
1d every Friday
Envelopes 6½d per 100
Registry office for servants, teacher of typing
Teeth Extracted (20 years’ practical experience) Cherry Tooth Paste (antiseptic) 6d per pot.