Posted in May 2012

Bridge Art Day Two

Bridge Art Day Two

Work has progressed well on the left – this is Camden Road – with some trees for the park appearing between our four pm visit and our eight pm visit… The lettering is coming along nicely. On the right we have Eddy the dog, and a cheeky squirrel. Nice area in the middle to work on tomorrow then boys!!

Lots of positive comments from passers by, so many people are glad to have something interesting to look at. The real Eddy the dog is making lots of new friends as well!

Royal Tunbridge Wells has also had a Royal visit today – The Earl and Countess of Wessex paid a visit to the Pantiles, so we are all in a jolly jubilee mood now!

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Bridge Art Day One

Bridge Art Day One

Overspray, from Camden Road, decorating the zig-zag bridge for Friends of Grosvenor and Hilbert park, in association with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Quite a few fumes around at the moment, the bulk of the work should be done by the weekend, when the park will be busier.

The finished design sketch and further photos can be found on

http://www.fogh.org.uk

and the mural should be finished for our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Picnic on Monday 4th June 2012.

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The Railway Inn

The Railway Inn

I’ve been writing tonight for the Park newsletter, about the local area, and also written for a Tunbridge Wells town-blog:

http://www.tunbridgewellspeople.co.uk/Community-feeling/story-16218931-detail/story.html

about … the local area…

Here’s an old picture of The Railway Inn, a pub on the edge of the old Goods Station, on the corner of Commercial Road and Goods Station Road. To the right is one of the Baltic Saw Mill buildings. In the distant left are the cooling towers from the Tunbridge Wells Electric Light Company. This Inn no longer exists, but the replacement flats are built in a similar style. From what I have heard, it was a rather rowdy pub…

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Peace

Peace

The classic view of old Scotney Castle on a calm, hot day.

Built about 630 years ago, and then deliberately ruined about 170 years ago to create a garden feature and provide building materials for the new house at the top of the hill.

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Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle

A few weeks ago I had wondered what the old sandstone quarry in Tunbridge Wells, that gave it’s name to Quarry Road, had looked like.

Scotney Castle, near Lamberhurst, still has it’s sandstone quarry. The new house, shown here above the quarry, was built about 1838 for Edward Hussey. The architect, Anthony Salvin, used the very nearby sandstone for the house, and then the quarry was landscaped by William Sawrey Gilpin into a romantic style garden.

The first, original castle was demolished on purpose to make a romantic ruin, that forms part of the view from the house over the garden. Now a National Trust property, more details and information about the Hussey family, can be found on the National trust website.

The gardens, full of rhododendrons and azaleas, is incredibly colourful at the moment, and the lots of beautiful dragonflies were flying around the moat. The cafe also sells some lovely cream teas and homemade cakes!

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Record Shops

Record Shops

If you get off the train at High Brooms Station, come out onto North farm Lane, walk right, past the car workshops, to Unit 3, Orchard House, Orchard Business Park, you will find Kent’s Largest Independent Music Store.

Owner Simon, used to have a stall in Camden Market, London, but now has an Industrial Unit, as thanks to the wonders of the internet may sales are online. With parking outside, and easy train access, he has visitors who come to browse over 30,000 records or CDs. Simon specialises in rare and collectable records, many are drum & bass, but he stocks various different genres. He says he would like to have a shop-front, but finding the right location is a problem, as the music attracts a wide range of ages – note the graffiti art on the walls made by the younger clientele.

He can currently be contacted through his facebook page: SoundWavesHQ.

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Beech Street

Beech Street

This photo is taken in Goods Station Road, looking up to Camden Road. On an 1897 map, Beech Street ran the whole way through. Now this end is a car park for the new flats. On the Camden Road end, there used to be houses on both sides; now the left side is a pay and display car park.

When standing here, the old Baltic Saw Mills Head Office is behind you (now Nexush), and I have been told that in front, either side of the road, where stores for the tree trunks before they were taken into the mill.

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Camden Road, new shop block

Camden Road, new shop block

This modern block of flats and shop units, is on the site that was formerly the Methodist Church. There is also a pay and display car-park behind.

A wide range of old photos of Camden Road can be found on this webpage:

https://picasaweb.google.com/camdenroadthemusical

Four years ago a community play was held at the end of Camden Road, on the St Barnabas School playing field. As part of the play, old photos were gathered and history tours held. The Claque Theatre group are currently arranging a community play in Hartfield:

http://www.claquetheatre.com/

called “Parallel Lives” it will open on 25th June in St Mary’s Church, Hartfield.

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Chez JJ and George the Barber

Chez JJ and George the Barber

A very interesting talk was given on Monday at the inaugural meeting of Camden Road Guild. Dr Philip Whitbourn explained the history of Camden Road, which in 1800 was fields, but by 1830 was “Calverley Quarry Lane”. It was very much a working area of Tunbridge Wells. This block of shops were originally cottages with front gardens. Later they were converted, and shop fronts added where the gardens were.

In a 1974 street directory, no 84 (George’s now) was Carman R. J. hairdresser, and no 86 (now Chez JJ, French restaurant) was Kuroz, cafe. Back in 1925, no 84 was Royal Kent Laundry (receiving office) (Note: the laundry was in High Brooms) and no 86 was Hurrell Bros, printers. No88 was a fried fish shop in both 1925 and 1974! It’s now a fried chicken shop….

Thanks to Dr Whitbourn for his talk, and to Fred Scales for his street-directories.

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Redleaf Close

Redleaf Close

This is one of the many entrances to Grosvenor and Hilbert Park, and one of the most hidden.

A map link: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

shows the road, but I walked round there yesterday delivering leaflets, and the google-map does not show what a steep bit of hill the 33 houses are built into! They are all cleverly designed to sit on the slope, but I pity the postman or lady who has to climb all those steps and sloping drives everyday.

This path leads down into the Roundabout Wood part of the park, and crosses over the stream into the main section of the wood. A guided woodland walk recently organised by the Friends Group showed how important these ancient woodlands are, with the wildlife and plantlife they support.

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