News: Gypsy tart originated from the Isle of Sheppey
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Topic Summary

« on: April 22, 2014, 23:10:05 »

A link to some photos of Bluetown from Sue Bidgood.
Posted by: John38
« on: April 17, 2014, 23:41:00 »

Thank you Kyn and grandarog - most considerate of you both.
Posted by: grandarog
« on: April 17, 2014, 22:35:31 »

Google Map.
Posted by: kyn
« on: April 17, 2014, 21:15:08 »

Posted by: kyn
« on: April 17, 2014, 20:58:41 »

I would post a clear one for you but not sure I have time as have a busy weekend ahead.  If I get time later I will find one for you.
Posted by: John38
« on: April 17, 2014, 20:57:36 »

I know that there are a number of maps of Blue Town posted on here, but my eyesight is so tatty that I can't read the street names. I need the prompt as my memory is worse than my eyesight.

Is there anyway I can get one of the maps 'blown-up' so that I can read it.

I've placed this on a General topic rather than PM Kyn who is busy enough already.
Posted by: John38
« on: April 05, 2014, 15:21:09 »

As I was a boy brought up in Blue Town, this (just found) thread is really magical.

It is interesting that 'Jacobs Bank' is shown on the map - and referred to as Mussel bank by CDP. There were a family of Jacobs that lived in Charles Street next to the back entrance of Bigwood the Butcher. The Jacobs pushed their barrow around Sheerness selling 'Cockles (by the pint) and Mussels.' As kids we made a few bob from selling Mussels (from under the Pier) to Mr Jacobs.

The Police Station was directly on the seaward side of St Paul's Church, and although the top picture, kindly posted by Conan, looks like the police station it seems in the wrong setting: It fronted directly onto the pavement with no forecourt. It could be that the two high walls in the foreground are not the boundary to a forecourt but belong to King's St (?) and the camera has foreshortened the view.

I hadn't realised that 'School Lane' had formerly been 'Bull Lane,' but there wasn't a slaughter house there when I lived in our one up/ one down wooden house in School Lane. In the summer months, however, some side doors (looked like garage doors) were opened at the top of the Lane where it meets Charles St. and a few men sat in the Lane, on chairs, plucking poultry. Mr Bigwood slaughtered pigs at the back of his shop - the front of the shop was in the High Street and the pig lorry delivered the squealing pigs through the back entrance in Charles Street.

When I asked my mum why the pigs squealed so loudly, she replied in a mater-of-fact sort of way, "Oh they can smell death, it's the blood of their relatives." It seemed such a normal reply in those days... these days it would seem a very strange way to talk to a little boy  :)

At the end of Charles Street they converted the buildings into 'Barratts' Crisp Factory. On hot days the girls opened the hatch on the East Lane side and we would watch them frying off the crisps. They stood in rows at the same sort of friers' you see in a Fish and Chip shop.
Posted by: busyglen
« on: July 08, 2013, 16:32:06 »

Thanks for the 1914 Map Kyn, I was delighted to see that as it also shows the Naval Recreation Ground.  I notice that they also show a Naval Slaughter House nearby which I had never heard of.  I guess it must have disappeared years later before we moved there.  Possibly used for meat for the Navy ships.

I also noted that the Fleet meandered across the land, presumably towards the moat.  I wonder when that was filled in?
Posted by: CDP
« on: July 07, 2013, 20:43:58 »

 In 1940 ish we always referred to Jacobs Bank as the Mussel Bank, being hundreds of mussels on this bank. We were never brave enough to eat them !!!
Posted by: kyn
« on: July 07, 2013, 19:35:40 »

Posted by: CDP
« on: April 09, 2013, 13:57:08 »

HB.Re: "I am not sure when Blue Town became known as Blue Town".

Was it decided by the Church Registers, the local newspaper, the Council, the local people?
I think it will be very difficult to decide.
My father lived in the flat over the Sheppy (no " e") Gas Company, (I was born there), his letters were addressed to "Flat ?  above "Sheppy Gas Company " and for years it was always known as Sheppy long after Sheppey was used.
« on: April 08, 2013, 23:16:19 »

I am not sure when Blue Town became known as Blue Town, does any body know?
In 1730 the area was known as the 'blue houses.' Sheppey diarist Stephen Rouse notes that there were sixteen 'blue houses' in 1754, and one hundred and thirty 'blue houses' in 1792.
Posted by: CDP
« on: April 03, 2013, 22:54:30 »

Most of these  wooden houses were built with planks of wood approximately 6 feet long.
When a ship was built there were many scrap pieces of wood left over and the men were allowed to take these home for firewood. These were called "chips ". After a short while these " chips " became larger and larger and so the men were then allowed a maximum length of 6 feet only, and these were then used to build these houses.
Posted by: BygoneMedway
« on: April 03, 2013, 18:28:29 »

Many thanks Davpott.
Posted by: davpott
« on: April 03, 2013, 12:32:51 »

Forgive me if the answer has already been posted on the forum. I have always wondered why it was named "Blue Town".  :)

I think the accepted origin is it was the colour used to paint the original timber dwellings that were built just outside the dockyard using materials purloined from the yard.
Posted by: BygoneMedway
« on: April 03, 2013, 11:24:24 »

Forgive me if the answer has already been posted on the forum. I have always wondered why it was named "Blue Town".  :)
Posted by: The Sheppey Kingmaker
« on: January 07, 2013, 23:12:14 »

Just looking at that the photo of the 'Criterion' and reading what Herb Collector said in Reply #19. From the documents which I have looked at, the building behind 'The Criterion Hotel' to me seems more likely to be 'The Good Intent' Beer-House which stood between 'The New Variety Theatre' and Criterion Passage.

Also the aforesaid passage was later moved to its present orientation, which goes over the site of 'The Good Intent'. The original orientation can still be seen due to the surviving parts of the wall which goes off on an acute angle to the rest of the passage. This wall seems to have been originally part of the wall which separated the passage from the land that surrounded The Lock Up (which I think was locally called The Black Hole). 

Hope this explains this building behind the Criterion Hotel in the photo in question and why it seems to be in the middle of the passage.
« on: April 03, 2011, 21:36:16 »

The Criterion is listed as a hotel in Parsons guide, 1902. Interestingly the building seems to be wedge shape in plan. Note also the curved roof of the New Variety Theatre. I would love to see a photo taken from the opposite side.
The Bluetown Police Station was closed in 1961, when the current Police Station in Sheerness opened.
« on: February 24, 2011, 20:15:00 »

Nice photos, Conan.
I am fairly sure the first photo is of the Police station.
It is definitely the old Police station, the photo taken from the southern end of Kings Street during the 1960's.
« on: February 21, 2011, 22:41:22 »

Nice photos, Conan.
I am fairly sure the first photo is of the Police station.
2nd photo, West street opposite pier.
3rd photo, The Criterion pub, High St, Bluetown. To the left is the entrance to the New Palace Variety Theatre. The theatre could seat around 200 with more standing at the back. Marie Lloyd once appeared there. Prior to the First World War, the proprietor and impresario of both the pub and theatre was Philip Reymond.
Early in the war it changed proprietorship and lost its drinking licence.
Gieves, the naval outfitters moved into the pub. It was destroyed by German bombs on the 5th June 1917 with 2 deaths.
The Bluetown Heritage Centre and cinema is now on the site.
Phil Reymonds, daughter 'Topsy' Rose Reymond (later Mrs Stevens), wrote the novelette 'Barbed Wire Island' under the pen name Rosa St Maur. If one ignores the female German spy, it is a good account of Bluetown and Sheerness during 1914-18.
The book was republished by Tams publishing in 2009.
Posted by: sheppey_bottles
« on: February 21, 2011, 22:29:38 »

I just love the picture that shows Millers and part of The Crown and the Pier. To me it says it all about Bluetown.
Posted by: The Sheppey Kingmaker
« on: February 21, 2011, 21:59:48 »

what area of Bluetown is the first picture of?

Is it the old police Station?
Posted by: conan
« on: February 21, 2011, 13:20:16 »

A few general shots of old Bluetown.

Posted by: seafordpete
« on: February 21, 2011, 08:44:54 »

At least one of the slaughter houses was still going in the 1920s as my mother used to talk of it.
Posted by: The Sheppey Kingmaker
« on: February 20, 2011, 21:15:07 »

Just to Tell you Edward Street still exists its the Alleyway next to Kent House. As well as the things you mentioned not being on the map there is no school in Chapel Street (which I think was built in the 1870's)  and A lost street next to the school site that was later called School Lane which is called Bull Lane (more likely named after the fact that there were 2 slaughter Houses in this road) in this period. Also it shows no sign of the Crystal Palace Beerhouse which was at the junction of West Lane, Union Street and King Street.

Posted by: derrydale
« on: February 20, 2011, 17:35:56 »

The map at the top labelled 1860's must be about that as you point out Kyn. No St. Paul's Church ................!  also East Lane doesn't look right and Edward Street disappeared with the redevelopment of East Lane.
Posted by: Alan
« on: June 24, 2010, 21:40:21 »

Posted by: oldsunset
« on: April 28, 2010, 02:48:44 »

I wonder what happened to the cannons outside the shop?

Minster Abbey must have a record of the graves at Minster, could it mean Minster Abbey or Love Lane?

I believe the graveyard in Love lane was for the hospital & also for the inmates when it was the union poorhouse, its not connected to the abbey, the other graveyard in union road opposit belonged to the bethal church which was on the corner of brecon chase originally called (break neck) hill because it was so steep
Posted by: kyn
« on: October 30, 2009, 22:23:18 »

I wonder what happened to the cannons outside the shop?

Minster Abbey must have a record of the graves at Minster, could it mean Minster Abbey or Love Lane?
« on: October 30, 2009, 21:05:34 »

A week after the letter from "n" was published. This letter from "J.B" was printed. The "Guardian" Sep 13th 1862.
"Your correspondent, "n", does not know everything, like the rest of us. In the first place, he says Bull Lane was so called from the number of slaughter-houses there. There was only one, which was used by Mr George Macket (who supplied the Navy and probably the troops and convicts), and who invariably killed bull-beef for them-hence the name of Bull Lane.
He says, too, after the old ships were done away with, they used to live in the alleyhouses, which were raised to two stories. They were originally three storeys, and an extra storey was raised, which made four storeys: The artificers lived in them at the time the old shops were in existence. The three small shops he speaks of near the batteries were on the opposite side of the road, and occupied by the parties he mentions, viz Cocking, Cannon and Craig-soap, leather and rags! The road through the sally-port was not the way to Blue Town, but only led to where the soldiers guard-house now stands. The road before the new one was made used to lead down to the dockyard by a road which turned down where the factory gates now stand, at the bottom of Blue Town, and about half-way to the garrison stood the old red gates, the entrance to the dockyard. After this the new road was made, and an arch, with three avenues, was erected between the garrison and Blue Town. The shop he which he says was occupied by Mr Greathead, and which had small cannon placed there the year of the mutiny was not so: that year was 1797, whereas the shop was only built and the guns placed on it about the years 1802-3. I was present in putting them there. The market place stood close to the arch lately pulled down. There were three Welsh regiments in the garrison at the time he mentions-the Cardigan, Denbigh and the Radnorshire. The garden, in which he says Mrs Bush was rescued from a pear tree, was the one at the bottom of Rose Street, occupied by Read.
Capt Brown, of the Kite sloop, whom he says was shot from the Prince Regent, was not shot from that house, as it was not in existence then. The person who fired the gun was Charles Wilton, and who lived next door to where Miss Phoebe Jacobs now lives, the gun was fired from that house at about 12 at night. I slept either next door or two doors from it, and heard the report of a pistol or gun. The Captain was buried in Minster Churchyard, on the right or south of the path at the east end of the yard.
 There is a marble head and foot-stone to his grave".

In ref to captain Brown, "n" had this to say.
"and the Prince Regent, where an unfortunate Captain of a man-of-war-brig was shot by the landlord in mistake for a housebreaker, as he was trying to force his way at night into the house".
The Minster Churchyard has been grassed over and the gravestones placed against the walls, many are very worn or overgrown with ivy and i have been unable to find the unfortunate Captain Brown.
Ageofnelson gives this possible ref to Capt Brown and HMS Kite. 1796.
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