By chance today, I followed a tweet that was written by Kent Police Roads.. and their tweet just gave a list of people to follow… well as many of you might know on Twitter every Friday are the #FF tweets, where tweeters recommend to other tweeters people to follow.

Now, as I follow 809 people, sometimes these #FF tweets get lost in amongst the many other tweets, because I follow news channels, journalists, and some celebrities..  But by chance I stumbled across this #FF tweet:

And one of the recommendations from Kent Police Roads for tweeters to follow, was @BygoneMedway

Of course what could I do, as I was born and breed in Rochester, which is now part of Medway? The only thing for me to do was look at their timeline. And I am so glad I did. Memories.

Oh I can remember the years when we were the City of Rochester.. and the only thing Medway was the river.  I was born in Rochester at the Fontenay Nursing  Home in Watts Avenue Rochester… my parents longed for a child and after ten years of trying they were blessed with me.. poor devils 😀

We lived in Burritt Street in Rochester and all our family just lived a few streets away, my mother’s family lived in May Road and my father’s family lived in Princes Street. Just through the alley was Cossack street, with its three pubs… the Don Cossack on the corner, the Carpenter’s Arms in the middle and the Bell at the top of the hill.

The pub that was used by my family was mainly the Carpenter’s Arms because they had a family room at the back.. A place where the kids could sit and the parents could enjoy some light entertainment… I can always remember the lady on the piano, who used to tap those ivories, sing her heart out and then every now again change the music page. On the top of the piano was her glass of stout and I can remember everyone singing along.  Oh the good old days.

Only today, I have learnt by googling Burritt Street (that has now been redeveloped) that at the top of our road used to be a windmill, which was demolished just after World War II..

Picture courtesy of Kent History Forum

Well, I started to follow @BygoneMedway and saw the pictures of how Medway used to look before it was taken over with traffic lights, congestion and bloody roads with potholes in them.


Now one of the pictures I stumbled upon by @BygoneMedway was this one:

God that is two things I have learnt to day, because I never knew Allhallows had a Station.. I know when I used to travel up to London to work that we would pass Hoo Junction but never in a million years did I realise that the train went to Allhallows.  But it did, the station was opened in 1932 and closed in 1961

A quick google and Disused Railways says this about Allhallows Station:

The Southern Railway opened a single-track branch line from a new station at Stoke Junction to Allhallows on Sea in 1932 optimistic that a new resort would develop around the station. A station hotel was built but the bleak marshes did not entice the holidaymakers. Six trains a day were provided, two of these to and from London. Allhallows-on-Sea station comprised an island platform with a run-round loop plus carriage and goods sidings. Still hopeful, the Southern Railway maintained its confidence in the line’s future and the branch to Allhallows was doubled in 1935.

Much of the platform was demolished in the early 1970’s and the station buildings and the remaining section of platform were cleared away after 1975 to make way for new housing. The water tank was retained within the estate and is now a listed structure. It has been restored and is well maintained.

As a child I can remember going to Allhallows.. it was local and it was one of those Sunday afternoon trips you did and only if you had a car.  If you were planning on a day at the beach, then it was the train from Rochester to Thanet.. with Margate being the beach to go to.. because of the station’s proximity to the beach.


One of the memories I have as a child of going to Margate on the train, was with the family.. my mum and dad, aunt and uncle and cousin and friends of my mum and dad.

It was in the 1960’s and the days of the mods and rockers.. I can always remember as the train pulled into Margate Station, on one of our many trips to the coast, the women ushered us kids off of the train, and there standing outside the station were all the mods and rockers.. The men decided that it would be best to go onto Ramsgate as there would probably be trouble in Margate that day.. but unfortunately by the time we turned around, expecting those menfolk to be behind us, they were moving out on the train, leaning out of the window shouting … see you in Ramsgate.  So we waited for the next train and met them at Ramsgate and got the bus down to the beach… Mind you I can remember those women giving them men a right earhole bashing. 😀

Chatham Hill

In another tweet @BygoneMedway said:

Today there is no tram, and Chatham Hill, is full of speed cameras, traffic lights and bus lanes… Along with being one of the most heavily congested roads in Medway as it is the arterial road to Medway Hospital.  It is one of the roads you definitely try to avoid in rush hour. As for standing in the road, forget it, you wouldn’t dare stand in the road now.. not unless you wanted to visit Medway Hospital pretty pronto.

New Road – The Cut

To the left of the picture, behind the fireman are three wooden arched doors, well that used to be the Fire Station.  Now I am not 100% certain but I think there are still Fire Engines there today.  Next time I go that way I will have to check.

Chatham Cinema

Oh my god, the memories are flooding back.  I can remember going there as a child to see many a film.  The queues used to be up the steep hill next to the cinema and all along the outside of the cinema which would stem towards Luton Arches.

On Saturdays, used to be Saturday morning cinema for the kids, and as I lived in Rochester, on occasions I would go to the Chatham one, but the nearest for us kids, was the Odeon at Rochester.

I can remember those shops, being there and the building of Tescos and the multi storey car park.  Across the road from the cinema used to be a sweet shop.. we used to buy our sweets from there instead of in the picture house and if we were queuing a long time, more often than not we would eat the whole lot before we even got into the cinema.

Thank you @BygoneMedway for posting those pictures and allowing me to use them.. they certainly have brought back memories.. good memories… when kids were allowed to be kids.. when kids were allowed to play in the street, without fear… the days that the local bobby would walk around and streets and keep his eye on the kids… and if you stepped out of line.. you would get a clip around the ear.. and frog-marched off to your parents…

Memories of days when kids respected their parents.. and wouldn’t dream of answering them back.  Yes, there is no denying, we used to get up to naughty things, but we prayed and prayed our parents never found out.. because in those days, a grounding meant a grounding..


5 Comments Add yours

  1. obi3380 says:

    Nicely written, love the old photos, I’ve looked for many from Medway but have never seen these ones. Very nice find.


    1. Bren says:

      Thank you… you get so used to seeing the changes in Medway and when you see these photos it really does get you going on the trip down memory lane.


      1. obi3380 says:

        it true, I got some pics I’ve nicked off google where Chatham and Rochester were bombed in WW2.There are quite a few books with pics of the trams systems in the Rochester library thats worth a look. Trams were such a massive part of Kent at one time. Nice blog btw. Peace.


  2. Russ Wilkins says:

    The Mill at Delce was destroyed by fire . I remember the day (My nan ran the post office in Burritt Street – the only place with a phone)


    1. Bren says:

      I remember the post office in Burritt Street… that is where we lived… yes the phone in the corner. The post office moved to the December Road when they knocked down the old one in Burritt Street.


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