Day to Day => Towns & Villages => Topic started by: patmore on April 15, 2011, 04:28:22

Title: The Brook Chatham
Post by: patmore on April 15, 2011, 04:28:22
Older Forum Members may remember, as I can, the northern, or Great Lines side of the Brook, having a raised pavement several feet above road level. This I believe was called Smithfield Bank. I once read, or was told, I can't remember which, that this had originally been a waterfront. Incidentally old photos I have seen show the name of the thoroughfare as 'Brook' - no 'the'. Can't honestly say I've looked recently to see what it's now called.
                                                                                                                                                                 James
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: patmore on April 29, 2011, 01:48:52
At a guess I would put the timberwork on the left of the photo about where the police station is now.The 1932 map of this area on Old Maps.co.uk places these six properties at a point roughly where Crown House is today.  The raised pavement (Smithfield Bank) dropped to road level at the bottom of King Street. The thought of this having originally been a front to the tidal waters of the Brook appeals to me, I can see no other reason for its construction. The general state of dereliction about the buildings might suggest that this is just before the big facelift of the whole area - early 1970s.
                                                                                                                                                              James
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Leofwine on March 01, 2012, 18:15:46
Incidentally old photos I have seen show the name of the thoroughfare as 'Brook' - no 'the'. Can't honestly say I've looked recently to see what it's now called.
                                                                                                                                                                 James

It is still just Brook (no 'The') on the street sign attached to 'The Brook' (formerly Churchill's/Army & Navy Pub), though the building has "No. 7 The Brook" as its number.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: mikeb on December 03, 2016, 12:56:08
Two photos of the junction of The Brook and Slicketts Hill, Chatham, shortly before demolition and road widening. Unsure of the date but perhaps C1990?(http://)
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: KeithJG on December 03, 2016, 19:17:26
I found a couple in my collection....

Brook Motorcycles was just by Slicketts Hill and Gerry Paice the owner did rallying in his red Ford Cortina 1500GT

I used to go in there and show him pictures I took of him on various rallies in Kent before they were banned, as I did marshalling out in the woods at night.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: conan on December 03, 2016, 20:50:34
More on Brook motor cycles

http://www.classicbikersclub.com/news/a-fag-stuck-to-his-bottom-lip
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on December 04, 2016, 13:25:53
I'm sure there is another quite lengthy Brook thread somewhere else on the forum.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Signals99 on December 04, 2016, 19:12:22
Hi! What was the name of the steep road that was between the cinema on one side and le cores model shop on the other? Can anyone remember the small crowd that gathered there twice a week to watch the solders run up and down it, don't know why? They just appeared at the top, then split in two sections (the squad I mean, not the individual) then raced each other down and back up.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: redge on December 04, 2016, 19:18:24
Slicketts Hill, Upbury Way.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on December 04, 2016, 20:32:59
Was Cage Lane, now Upbury Way. Not sure when and why the name changed. It's off the High street though, not the Brook.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: 80sChild on December 06, 2016, 14:08:04
Can I ask, exactly when were those buildings demolished?

The strange thing is, I have been living in the Medway Towns all my life, and have been visiting Chatham frequently since I was a boy.

And yet I have no memory of those buildings at all!

In fact, I think I might have a picture of buildings along the Brook too. Back in the mid-90's I remember visiting the Brook Pumping Station during one of their open days, and I took a few pictures of the exhibits on display outside.

Recently, after many years, I actually found the original pictures from the time (I think it was dated 1994) - and on the hill that is opposite the Brook Pumping Station (on the other side of the road, which I think is Queen Street) can be seen some old derelict shops, which appear to be have been closed for years.

I'll try and find the pictures and put them up on here soon.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: mikeb on December 06, 2016, 18:30:58
The Brook was widened to accommodate the Chatham Ring Road which opened in 1995. So I would guess demolition would have started perhaps 1993 / 1994.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: conan on December 06, 2016, 20:03:06
There's a few photos of the road on this link, scroll up for more

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=eidmBAAAQBAJ&pg=PT150&lpg=PT150&dq=rob+roy+pub+brook+chatham&source=bl&ots=r9O-gAvrPG&sig=mh_sFjvtyVkuXZYiZnXi10Gk9Q0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6lJi5reDQAhXBJMAKHe9sAeUQ6AEIMjAD#v=onepage&q=rob%20roy%20pub%20brook%20chatham&f=false
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: CAT on December 07, 2016, 18:52:20
I don't know the area particularly well, but I do have this image entitled 'The Brook, Chatham' in an extensive collection of glass slides from the late 1940's - mid 1950's.

Is it correctly labeled? 
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Lyn L on December 07, 2016, 20:01:34
Yes, that's The Brook CAT, I remember all those buildings on the right, now long gone. The Army and Navy pub is now named Churchills.
Thank you for the pic.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: mikeb on December 07, 2016, 23:38:40
Terrific CAT, have you any more like that? Thanks for posting.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: AlanH on December 08, 2016, 08:30:22
Great pic of the Army and Navy pub. They had a bar downstairs called the Cabin from memory. Many fun times had there. Next door to the pub going along the Brook a family by the name of Wimble lived.
Old Tom Wimble ran about 6 taxis and I drove for him back in the late 60s. usually off the Town Hall rank opposite the pub.
Memories memories! So good to see these places after so long away.
Thnx. to you all.
AlanH.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Lyn L on December 08, 2016, 09:20:44
AlanH,
As you say, many a good time was had in the cabin. I remember a couple of times the RN patrol coming in and rounding up the matelots (my late was one, but off duty)  Perhaps a bit heavy handed ?
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: KeithJG on December 08, 2016, 13:09:30
The Cabin was on our list with the pub crawls we had around 1968.

Also at that particular time in Medway you could go to a proper disco every night of the week.

There was a small disco above a shop by Waltons on Military Road but can never remember what it was called.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: AlanH on December 09, 2016, 08:33:44
Hi Lyn L. Actually the RN shore patrols were pretty good as they were made up of your very own shipmates with a PO or Chief in charge and they wouldn't be too heavy handed as they may well be on the receiving end themselves one night.  :)
Now the redcaps and police were a different story. Saw many a punch up in Military Road with the cops/navy/army etc. all there in force and  when things had been sorted out they divided up which body belonged to whom. Lovely stuff.
I drove a gold MkIV Ford Zodiac back then and that was great bird puller at the end of the night....... sit up the road and watch them coming out from the bar then quickly down the hill, laughing girls in the back and off like a rocket before boyfriend came out!
AlanH.
 
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Lyn L on December 09, 2016, 09:45:38
We must have been there on good nights then, never saw the redcaps and police rounding anyone up. Mr L wasn't a goody two shoes when abroad mind you  :) One time ended up being sent to DQs in Devonport for being a very naughty boy abroad. Cut ALL his uniform up and after he did the time, was sent straight back abroad again for an extra 3 months. :)
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on August 30, 2017, 17:26:41
This interesting little house was situated at No.9 the Brook. The building visible on the left is the side of the Army & Navy pub (now Churchills) and the photograph dates from 1962. I wonder who would have lived in a house like this? If only we could go "through the keyhole" to find out!  :)
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: AlanH on August 31, 2017, 09:38:21
I can't remember ever having seen that little house before. I only know the pub (of course) and I think it was the house the right side of which can be seen in the pic was where old Tom Wimble the taxi company owner used to live.
AlanH. 
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on September 06, 2017, 20:37:52
This is the next bus stop along from the one seen in reply #10.

Dated 1959, this must have been just before the Smithfield Bank was removed. I can only assume it was taken out in order to enable vehicular access from the Brook, perhaps in preparation for the new Police Station.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Lyn L on September 06, 2017, 22:17:54
It seems funny seeing bus stops outside the Town Hall and on that bank now. I didn't move up to the towns until early 1961 so wouldn't have seen this anyway, but you can just see the chimney and end gable of the little house next door to the pub in this pic.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on September 16, 2017, 21:28:29
Situated on the corner of Nelson Road, the Salvation Army Naval & Military Home was opened in February 1905.

I'm not sure when the Salvation Army stopped using it, probably sometime during the 1950's. It was demolished in the 1970's prior to the construction of the Pentagon centre.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Signals99 on September 19, 2017, 01:43:18
Hi Smiffy, remember that building well, it had the name painted on the roof in white paint you could read it from the lines.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on September 26, 2017, 17:29:51
This is a "before and after" view of the Brook, it looks like the top picture may have been taken sometime during the early '50s.

I used to have some information regarding the large building on the right but I seem to have misplaced it. I believe it was a lodging house and that it was a bit more "up market" than most of the others to be found in this area. As you can see, the bridge goes right through where it used to be. The pub next door was the Swan, with the King William IV further down.The Salvation Army home is visible on the far left.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on October 09, 2017, 17:06:15
This is a painting dated 1919 showing the Running Horse beer house which was situated at No.73 The Brook. Crown House now occupies this site. Pretty much directly opposite this view you would find St.Mary's Place, which is where John Dickens and his family lived from 1821-22.

The railings along Smithfield Bank are not present in this picture - I can only assume that the artist omitted them for the sake of clarity. There is another thing slightly odd about this painting, does anyone else see what it is?
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: conan on October 09, 2017, 19:07:32
The chap leaning against the wall seems to have his head and shoulders behind the pailing fence?
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Bilgerat on October 09, 2017, 20:17:46
Or he appears to be wearing little more than a loin cloth  :)
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: davpott on October 09, 2017, 20:48:23

The railings along Smithfield Bank are not present in this picture - I can only assume that the artist omitted them for the sake of clarity. There is another thing slightly odd about this painting, does anyone else see what it is?

In 'The Chatham Scandal', Brian Joyce (Baggins Books 1999) there is painting of the same area from 1841-1861 (dated from individuals in the painting) which also indicates that there were no railings until fairly modern times. 
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: HERB COLLECTOR on October 09, 2017, 20:51:22
The people are too small, it reminds me of 1950's car adverts in which the people were drawn small to make the cars look bigger!
The front of the beer house seems out of proportion, the doors are too tall.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on October 09, 2017, 21:15:20
That's it, HERB COLLECTOR. The little girl on the left seems to be in proportion, but if you have a look at the figure on the right, he's way too small in relation to the doors.

It wouldn't surprise me about the railings not being there in earlier times (health and safety not a priority in those days). I must try to find a copy of The Chatham Scandal sometime - I've known about it for ages and it sounds like a really good read. Brian Joyce was due to give a talk about the Brook for the Chatham Historical Society recently. I was going to go along, but it looks like it had to be cancelled for some reason.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: bromptonboy on October 10, 2017, 09:26:46
No overhead power lines for the trams.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on October 18, 2017, 13:44:20
St.Mary's Place during its demolition in 1941.

I'm not sure why resources were diverted into taking this building down during the middle of the war, you would think that there were more important things to deal with at this time. The historic Dickens connection was obviously not enough to save it.

Note the Chatham & District bus stop visible toward the left.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: ChathamRat on October 21, 2017, 16:39:58
Thanks for pointing out the bus stop! All part of the Chatham Traction story....

Richard (Friends of Chatham Traction Chair)
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on October 21, 2017, 18:27:02
Hello, ChathamRat

Do you know what colour the stripes on the pole were? I'm assuming green (or brown) and cream as a reflection of the livery - or were they just plain black and white?
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on October 26, 2017, 19:10:35
The Brook at the junction with King Street, circa 1962.

This is where the Smithfield Bank would have ended. The building on the extreme left housed Whitworth's, an electrical retailer, but I can't make out what the shop on the right was. It looks like it may have been a cafe of some kind, or possibly a tobacconists. Does anyone know?
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Bri365 on November 13, 2017, 11:58:13
I remember the old rag and bone yard on Slickets Hill. Use to take your old rags, car batteries and old bits of copper we use to find as kids to him. Also in the Brook near the junction of Slickets Hill was a Tattoo shop and a stamp shop.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Roseann on November 14, 2017, 09:35:14
I remember Charlie Bell's Tattoo shop along the Brook.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Troyboy on November 14, 2017, 19:17:15
Charles` name was actually Overington (unsure on the spelling). I have 17 of his tattoos. His daughter was also a friend who used to go the Paget Dance Hall, Gillingham, her husband also has a tattoo parlour in Chatham.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Bilgerat on November 15, 2017, 17:17:03
I'm sure that BD Engineering was along The Brook too. I remember them being there in the early 1980's. They sold Weber carburettors and all manner of go-faster goodies for cars. I believe they moved to Newington.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on November 15, 2017, 18:20:52
I think they took over from Paice (Brook Motor Cycles) and became the Auto Sport Centre. I have a picture but I think it may have already been posted somewhere else on the forum.

If anyone has a Kelly's, I'd still like to know what the shop at 115 in the last photo was.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: prefabkid on November 16, 2017, 10:50:24
1961 Kelly's has 113 & 115 as Tanton Chas. dining rooms.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on November 16, 2017, 14:56:39
Thank you, prefabkid - I was right about the cafe then. Strange how it seems to be two separate premises yet both are listed as the same dining rooms. Also, there looks to be some kind of temporary shop sign attached over the old one so I assume there had been a recent change of use.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiler on November 16, 2017, 20:43:30
Charlie Overington 's daughter was Christine, they used to live in Whymans Ave Chatham in the 50s. Charlies tattoo shop then was up an alleyway off George St., had to move due to knocking down for the Pentagon.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: Lyn L on November 16, 2017, 22:18:38
I used to know Christina and her husband Andy years ago, don't think they were married then.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on November 17, 2017, 22:46:17
These are the properties near to Slicketts Hill:

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=14248.msg62994#msg62994
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: prefabkid on November 20, 2017, 11:53:29
1967 Kelly's tells me 115 & 143 are listed as Parry F.C.S. do-it-yourself supplies.
You can just make out the name of Parry on the temporary banner.
Title: Re: The Brook Chatham
Post by: smiffy on November 29, 2017, 18:04:36
Here is the old Mission Church in the Brook, originally "The Ebeneezer Congregational Chapel" seen shortly before its end. I'm not sure exactly when the date of construction was, probably sometime in the 1850's. Located on what has now become part of the Iceland car park.