Industry => Farming => Topic started by: exopper on March 09, 2011, 09:47:11

Title: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: exopper on March 09, 2011, 09:47:11
As a boy growing up in Tunstall during early 1950s I have very happy memories of Grove End Farm, playing in their buildings, helping with harvesting, fruit picking and of course the annual rite of 'opping.

Sixty years on, KFI long moved to Hadlow [1966], my career having taken me away from Kent, does anyone else remember those glorious days? The green and silver Field Marshall tractor with its single cylinder engine pom-pom-pom-ing as it powered the thresher, or daringly stroking Barry the bull's curly forehead, safely outside his pen, or pulling the first bine of iridescent green hops, nostrils smarting with their sulphurous smell.

Or listening enthralled to George Rockcliff's tales of wartime derring-do, prompted by one of the many army cap badges decorating his leather belt.

Those were the days.....

Can anyone help me enlarge my memory  of Grove End Farm in the 1950s?
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: grandarog on March 09, 2011, 21:46:14
Hi Ex hopper,Welcome to the Forum.
                How about, George Harris the Hop Foreman.,Charlie Brown the Fruit Foreman , ??? Epps the Aggri. Foreman, Frank Crouch labourer,John Renolds tractor driver, Harry Banfield the Shepherd  Charlie Wright the Waggoner ,Harry Gammon Tractor driver to mention just a few as well as George Rockcliff. Then there were the suits from the college little  Jimmy Hart the Principle,I cant remember all the names . The fruit suit was ??? Stuart he had a Jowett Javeline car. The aggri students painted "Stuarts Folly" on theFruit  Cold Store when it was built.(Really wound him up ,caused a lot of trouble)It eventually was bought by Eden Park before Doves croft Housing estate was built.
               You've got me trying to work out who you are now. bet you are one of the Jury boys!! :)
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: exopper on March 10, 2011, 10:34:04
Yes I am, see my email address in my profile. Thank you for the names and jobs which I will add to my growing list. If enough contributions are made on this topic I intend to compile the info and will be glad to give a copy to every contributor.

I cannot find any published history of KFI at Grove End: does anyone know of one, published or private?

Does anyone have a group class photo or others of the personalities we remember?
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: dave on March 10, 2011, 16:31:17

What a list of names from the past, well remember Harry Gammon and charlie wright, Do you remember the Shepherd and thatchers names?
A famous student of my era was E K Martin a badly injured ex Mosquito pilot, who in our teenage ignorance took the mickey out of him. The fruities always looked down on the agri mob.
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: exopper on March 10, 2011, 17:28:42
I believe the shepherd was Harry Banfield, but I don't remember the Thatcher.
Does anyone recall Cecil Fishenden, my uncle?
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: grandarog on March 10, 2011, 19:08:12
Harry Banfield was the Thatcher as well as the Shepherd . Jack Mudge was the cowman. Charlie Brown was Colins Dad . Frank Crouch had a Brother Bill who also worked on the farm he died when we were quite young. As an aside you must all remember with dread Miss Holness the headmistress at Tunstall school. She wouldnt take any truck from todays lippy kids.There are some very interesting threads about life in Tunstall before and during the War on the Sittingbourne Museum Website.
                         http://www.sittingbourne-museum.co.uk/ .
  Nigel if you put Hop Picking Photo in the search box and scroll down theres a couple of pics of my dad and mum .

 Do you recognise the little lad 2nd from right 2nd row from front Nigel?
(http://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu92/grandarog/Places/TunstallSchool1951.jpg)
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: exopper on March 10, 2011, 23:00:03
grandarog
having tried the link to Sittingbourne museum I cannot find a search box and so have not found pic of parents. Which is a pity I was looking forward to meeting them again after all these years.Perhaps there is another way?
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: Bryn Clinch on March 11, 2011, 07:09:00
exopper, click on Personal History in the Sittingbourne Museum site. I should recognise some faces in the photos but I`m afraid I can`t. My memories of the KFI are mainly about the Sittingbourne College at the top of College Road - the old Borden Grammar School. I am only a few hundred yards away from it. One name that comes to mind is John Acock, sadly no longer with us. His family still run Fourayes Farm at Bicknor. The KFI lads were notorious for their floats at the Sittingbourne Carnival where, on more than one occasion, sprayed the town with a foul smelling concoction, the effects of which lasted for days. There were many protests but it was all good fun.


Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: Bryn Clinch on March 11, 2011, 09:21:09
Harry Banfield was the Thatcher as well as the Shepherd . Jack Mudge was the cowman. Charlie Brown was Colins Dad . Frank Crouch had a Brother Bill who also worked on the farm he died when we were quite young. As an aside you must all remember with dread Miss Holness the headmistress at Tunstall school. She wouldnt take any truck from todays lippy kids.There are some very interesting threads about life in Tunstall before and during the War on the Sittingbourne Museum Website.
                         http://www.sittingbourne-museum.co.uk/ .
  Nigel if you put Hop Picking Photo in the search box and scroll down theres a couple of pics of my dad and mum .

 Do you recognise the little lad 2nd from right 2nd row from front Nigel?
(http://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu92/grandarog/Places/TunstallSchool1951.jpg)
The dreaded Miss Holness! Although I have no knowledge of her, there was a Mr. Holness who was the groundsman at the school that I attended and wondered if the two were related as he too was `dreaded`. I think that I am correct in saying that he usually dressed in black and, unkindly, known to all as `satan`. He was a superb groundsman but was feared by all the boys and treated with the greatest repect by pupils and staff. The cricket pitches that he prepared were equal to any in the county. Unfortunately he appeared to resent anyone playing on them.
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: exopper on March 11, 2011, 09:49:58
Bryn has taken this thread into Tunstall School territory but I can't resist adding to his recollection of Alice Holness the formidable but brilliant schoolmistress for so many years.

I do not remember 'Satan' Holness, but Alice had a brother in the Royal Navy serving in HMS Glasgow, a WWII cruiser. When the ship was in Chatham or Sheerness dockyard [I forget which] she arranged a visit, where we crawled all over this exciting warship, were stuffed full of cream cakes, never having seen their like before in those austere days, and most memorable of all were given the ship's cap tally, a black silk band bearing the ship's name in metallic thread, worn by the ship's crew. What a souvenir.
I wish I still had mine.
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: exopper on April 14, 2011, 21:03:33
Having "done the rounds" I am surprised and disappointed to discover a great dearth of archived material for this significant part of Sittingbourne's work and society throughout the 1950s. Nobody seems to have saved any record of their existence.

In summary:
Hadlow College, later home of KFI, has "no records of that time exist",

Centre Kent Studies has just two correspondence files for the period

Sittingbourne Heritage Museum "possibly have boxes of stuff, but they await indexing amongst a pile of similar local material"

I am still very keen to put the story together, does any one know of a source or location of information. Even a trawl through archived East Kent Gazettes of 1954, 54 produced very little information

Someone somewhere please?
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: grandarog on July 24, 2011, 11:25:55
 This picture of the Staff and the years students was taken in the early 193,s
Mr McDougal-Porter, The Principal, is sitting centre flanked by his senior staff. Matron on his left, Jimmy Hart (later to become the Principal) on his right.
 The young oiks are students as are some of the older people. I don`t know which were staff members.
  The late Charlie Brown (Fruit Foreman at Grove End and Hadlow until he retired was a student at the time. He is 3rd from the left, back row.

(http://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu92/grandarog/Places/GrovendStudentsatcollege.jpg)

This picture of the Farm Staff and workers at Grove End Farm is at a later date but before the war. I have listed people as known.
From Left as viewed.

BR.         Jim's son.   Harry Gammon  .   Charlie Brown .  ? .  ?
MR.     ? . Charlie Wright . ?.  ?.  ?.  ?.  ?.  ?.
BR. Jim Smith, Bill Crouch, John Waghorn, McDougal-Porter, Tom Harris, George Harris, Frank Crouch

John Waghorn, the Bailiff, was my Maternal G.Father;  Tom Harris, the Waggoner, my Paternal G.Father;  George Harris, Hop Man, my Father.

(http://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu92/grandarog/Places/GrovendStaff.jpg)
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: ashwood on July 25, 2011, 10:07:49
Very interesting, I was a student 1947/8 lived in the annexe, used to wake up frozen to the wall. A very cold winter. The senior lecturer
W E Hughes, very very boring just droned on about 'The Agricultural Holdings Act 1926'. He had a little standard 9 car, on one occasion we lifted it at the rear and pushed it round the corner like a wheelbarrow/ he was not impressed, fortunately the culprits never found.
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: AlanK on November 26, 2012, 15:52:57
I just thought that I would recount some of my memories at KFI.  I am the son of Bill Kidson who was Head Cowman at the farm. We lived at the left hand semi of the two half-timbered houses at Grove End farm until we moved into 1 School View in Tunstall.  I well remember the names posted by Bryn.  We arrived at the farm in c.1943 and I was sent to Tunstall school until I fell from my cycle and scraped along the gravel in the school drive.  Miss Holness sent me home without patching me up and I contracted lockjaw.  After a fairly long period of time I was then sent to Ufton Lane school.  Other names, not in the various lists, that I remember were Yvonne Brown and Harold Wright. Harold also had a sister whose name escapes me. Another of the Staff was a carter, Wilf Crayden.  Wilf`s horse was called Diamond and was responsible for keeping the secret that Wilf was going blind. The horse knew all of the routes and although his cart scraped a few gate posts it kept Wilf going for some time. I also remember on the farm were two land girls, May who married Wilf and Elsie.

I have a picture that was taken at the VE day party held in the Oast, can anyone tell me how to put it on to this forum?

AlanK

Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: Bryn Clinch on November 26, 2012, 18:32:27
We must have been at Ufton Lane School together, AlanK. Does the name Miss Coombes ring any bells?

Grandarog`s first photo appears to be taken at the KFI building (ex Borden Grammar School) at the junction of College Road/Riddles Road, Sittingbourne.
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: busyglen on November 27, 2012, 16:50:46
Alan K, if you go here: http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13925.0
it will tell you how to post a picture.
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: AlanK on December 20, 2012, 20:44:32
This picture was take from the first floor of the oast house at Grove End Farm on the occasion of the VE day celebration, 1945.
I am unable to remember all of the folk on it but those that I do are as follows;  Back-row Right, Charlie Brown; Centre-row Right, Mrs Kidson; Back-row 3rd from right, Harry Banfield; Back-row 4th from right, Mrs Banfield; Front-row 3rd from right, Cyril hadlow(?);  Front-row 5th and 6th from right, Mr & Mrs Charlie Wright; Behind Mrs Wrights right shoulder, Mr Epps (Agri Foreman);  Childrens row 2nd from right Alan Kidson; Far left Jeff Banfield.
 
I would appreciate any further additions!
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: grandarog on December 21, 2012, 06:03:02
Little boy and girl at front I think Yvonne and Colin Brown. Apart from Charlie Wright, Harry Banfield and the Kidsons who all actually lived at or very close to Grove End and Epps the aggri foreman, it appears to only be the Fruit lot none of the aggri workers appear.
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: Bryn Clinch on December 21, 2012, 08:16:03
Well done, AlanK! You got your picture on at last. I remember some of the names but cannot recognise anyone. Hope to see some more as I`m sure that I will remember some faces from our schooldays at Ufton Lane.
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: ashwood on December 22, 2012, 14:24:03
Front Row 2nd from right. Frank Owen (poultry man)?
Vaguely familiar but a long time ago Ashwood KFI 1946/7
Recognised Messrs Wright and Brown immediately.
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: Allyson on August 03, 2017, 20:42:47
Hi, is there anyone who knows when the houses in School View were built?  I spotted that AlanK said he lived in No 1, so I'm guessing it was after 1945

Also, I gather that the old Police Houses were built after, but can't find out when

Any help gratefully received
Thanks
Title: Re: Kent Farm Institute at Grove End Farm
Post by: grandarog on August 04, 2017, 20:53:17
Welcome to the Forum Alyson. :)

1,2 5, and 6 were all KCC tythe cottages for Grove End Farm workers .No 5 and 6 were built first during 1950.We moved into number 5 in spring 1951. 1 and 2 were built at the same time but not finished until the summer.. Then the Police houses were built in the middle as 3 and 4. during1952 The 6 houses and gardens were all well established by the Coronation in 1953.
PC Brigden the Bredgar Copper lived in 3 and PC Bradley (ex POW of the Japanese ) the Tunstall Copper in 4. Frank Crouch and his Mum lived in 2. I can`t remember who was in number 1 at first, I believe Alan Kidson moved in later. .Charlie Brown was in no 6.