Day to Day => Local Government => Topic started by: kyn on January 08, 2017, 16:23:37

Title: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: kyn on January 08, 2017, 16:23:37
Fordwich became an important town in the Middle Ages due to its use as a port for boats on their way to Canterbury.  It lost this status in 1880 when it no longer had a Mayor or Corporation; however its status as a town was again given in 1972 as a tribute to its past importance.

The town hall here was rebuilt in 1555 and is thought to be the smallest in England.
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: conan on January 08, 2017, 20:59:48
The crane on the outside of the building was part of the ducking stool

http://www.oldukphotos.com/kent_fordwich.htm
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: kyn on January 09, 2017, 10:00:09
Oh wow, thanks for adding that!
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: Paolo on January 09, 2017, 15:47:34
From Rambles around old Canterbury:-

"They are not wholly without the means of executing judgement, for below the Court Hall is the lock-up. There was until the last century a gallows by the quay, and there is preserved though no longer used the ancient ducking stool for termagant wives."

I guess that there was nothing to stop the bailiff or sergeant leaving the stool underwater a bit longer!
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: Longpockets on January 09, 2017, 18:07:43
The Ducking Stool
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: jimawilliams on January 09, 2017, 21:16:48
An "in action shot" may be viewed here.

http://www.oldukphotos.com/graphics/England%20Photos/Kent,%20Fordwich,%20Old%20Lady%20in%20the%20Ducking%20Stool.jpg
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: CAT on January 09, 2017, 22:30:40
Lets not forget the idea of the ducking stool at Fordwich is an Edwardian creation, just like the ducking stool behind 'The Weavers' in Canterbury. The crane is for loading/unloading of shallow barges capable of navigating the shallow River Stour from Sandwich. There were once reasonably sized timber warehouses along the key side in Fordwich, which was used as the port for Canterbury's goods until the railway took the trade away. Why was Fordwich Canterbury's port? Up stream from Fordwich were numerous water mills making the use of larger vessels along its route to Canterbury impossible.

We were much more civilised in this part of the Kent with our witches and aged hags by throwing them in deep ponds weighted down in front of a baying mob. If that didn't sort them out them we would stone them, or just burn them at the stake. It was a seasonal thing.
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: HERB COLLECTOR on January 09, 2017, 22:53:10
(........) or just burn them at the stake.
No burning. They were, if found guilty, hanged.
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: CAT on January 09, 2017, 23:38:03
Your right, the burning was for religious dissidents.
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: conan on January 09, 2017, 23:40:42
It seems to have been a popular postcard subject back in the day

http://picclick.co.uk/Ducking-Chair-Fordwich-RP-Postcard-A651-371835043614.html
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: CAT on January 10, 2017, 08:17:37
It was regarded as one of the quaint photogenic views of the area and a great piece of publicity for the small town of Fordwich during the early twentieth-century, hoping to bring in passing new fad walkers and cyclists. People could get the train from Canterbury to either Sturry or Grove Ferry and perambulate back along the River Stour stopping at either the Grove Ferry Inn, The George or The Fordwich Arms, which was sat immediately adjacent the site of the ducking stool. This would have been a great piece of advertising for the pub as it was totally remodelled in the 1920's suggesting it did very well out of the passing trade?
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: Mickleburgh on January 10, 2017, 08:26:41
An oddity about Fordwich was that although a popular tourist draw from the mid-19th C on, it was never invaded by the horse drawn brakes and later motor coaches from Herne Bay, Margate, etc, which had to deposit their passengers and congregate at Sturry. The narrow bridge and physical layout was obviously the primary reason for this, which also meant that the village never had a bus service. The nearest it ever got was a brief post-bus service in the 1990s, worked by a red Ford Sierra estate car, en -route to Stodmarsh, etc.
Title: Re: Fordwich Town Hall
Post by: CAT on January 10, 2017, 19:03:30
This was not helped by being the wrong side of the river, whilst Sturry was along the main road from Thanet to Canterbury.