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Author Topic: Darland Banks, Gillingham.  (Read 10040 times)

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Offline davidt

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2011, 18:34:29 »
I don't know why the images are so small, so I'll try adding them again.


Offline davidt

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2011, 18:32:14 »
I tried adding this to an existing topic, but got no responses, so I thought I'd try a new more specific topic:

I've been wondering about the history of the Darland Banks. I know it's a nature reserve now, but I would think that's a fairly recent development. I have a few old postcards of the area, some dating back around 100 years and it seems to have been a public space for some time. Does anyone know anything of the history of the area? A lot of the tracks look well worn so I'd think they've been there for some time. I also notice that a lot of it seems to be divided up into fields - was it a farm at some point?

Since my original post I've been wondering if it was anything to do with the defences of the old fort.

Alternatively perhaps it's just a case of the slope being too steep to be of any practical use so it just became a publicly used area - i.e. common land. The bits at the top and the bottom are reasonably flat though.

Anyone out there know?

I've attached a couple of scans from my postcard collection.


Offline davidt

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2011, 19:27:43 »
I walk along the Darland Banks quite often at lunchtime as it's a great place for stretching your legs after being stuck at a desk all morning. I was wondering, as I was walking the other day, about the history of the place. I know it's a nature reserve now, but I would think that's a fairly recent development. I have a few old postcards of the area, some dating back around 100 years and it seems to have been a public space for some time. Does anyone know anything of the history of the area? A lot of the tracks look well worn so I'd think they've been there for some time. I also notice that a lot of it seems to be divided up into fields - was it a farm at some point? Anyone out there know?

medwayboy

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2010, 13:30:24 »
Had a walk around Darland banks this morning and took a few photo's












Both have rubbish down them as you can see and seem to be
partly filled

Offline Merc

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2010, 10:32:23 »
There is a Denehole in Capstone country park with a discripton notice board.

The noticeboard is quite good, but the Denehole looks like it has been filled in quite a bit unfortunatly.

Dave Weller

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2010, 22:40:13 »
There is a Denehole in Capstone country park with a discripton notice board.

The Rook

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2010, 06:45:58 »
I just though I'd say that I also did all of the antics described above, too. You could easily spend the whole day up there. I remember when the hadn't built the top-end of the Gillingham Business Park, so it was even bigger than it is now.

I remember the bomb crater. It was THE place to ride your BMX. They filled it in about 1994ish at a guess?

Rex

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2010, 20:32:50 »
Oh Yes!  I know what you mean aitch! Many a time I went home with with cuts, bruises etc and got a clip round the ear for ruining my clothes as well to add insult to injury!

The 3 grass "sledging runs" I remember were about 200 yards along from the site of the old gypsy camp at the top of Ash Tree Lane, the second being just along from the line of bushes that was the boundary line between Chatham and  Gillingham, (roughly in line with Hunters Way) and third being on the "2nd" Banks as we called it, between Star Lane and Hoath Lane by t
he Power Cable poles at the top of the Banks. Wonderfully happy childhood memories!

absulutly correct, afsrochester, i also went wizzing down the banks on the corrigated iron and car bonnets and doors,  who knows, we probably all bumped into each other at some time..
great fun, you couldnt get away with these days...not with all these safety laws, haha

Offline afsrochester

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2010, 15:30:24 »
Oh Yes!  I know what you mean aitch! Many a time I went home with with cuts, bruises etc and got a clip round the ear for ruining my clothes as well to add insult to injury!

The 3 grass "sledging runs" I remember were about 200 yards along from the site of the old gypsy camp at the top of Ash Tree Lane, the second being just along from the line of bushes that was the boundary line between Chatham and  Gillingham, (roughly in line with Hunters Way) and third being on the "2nd" Banks as we called it, between Star Lane and Hoath Lane by the Power Cable poles at the top of the Banks. Wonderfully happy childhood
 memories!

aitch

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 20:18:51 »
As a child living in Eastcourt Lane we used to go up the Darland banks alot to play in the old army area and to go to the banks themselves and slide down them on an old car door, a lump of corrigated iron or if a car had been dumped and we could remove the bonnet this was "the bees knees" for speed and thrills had many a close shave to broken bones usually just had a few bruises and scratches - what fun we had.

Also Hoath lane had no street lights just white painted strips around the trees so car drivers could see them!!!!

Offline afsrochester

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2009, 07:40:13 »
Thank you Rossco for your post. Very Interesting. There doesn't appear to be any signs of the quarry left today. Indeed, I don't recall any even when I was a kid nearly 50 odd years ago.

Kyn. I never thought about that, although Fort Darland was a good distance from the track, on the top of the Darland Banks. I know there were several stories about when we were kids about tunnels running under the Darland banks supposedly leading to Fort Luton.

Offline rossco

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2009, 17:08:49 »
Im not entirely sure where the storage tank is but looking at a 1929-1952 online map theres Darland Brick Works one side of Pear Tree Lane with a quarry and tramway on the other.

You can view the maps here: http://extranet7.kent.gov.uk/klis/default.asp (For some reason the link doesnt work properly in Firefox for me, I have to use Internet Explorer)

Offline kyn

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2009, 15:02:24 »
Track for the construction of Fort Darland?

Offline afsrochester

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2009, 12:44:37 »
Wow! Talk about coincidence! I was talking to my son about the self-same area this morning. I spent many a time in the early-mid 60's playing here and going down into the storage tanks. There was also a tall chimney there as well but that must have been demolished. I'm surprised that so much has survived.

Incidently, does anyone know of a narrow guage railway that ran close to here? It was over the other side of Pear Tree Lane to this site. Down an overgrown pathway there are rails that cross it in one part about halfway down.

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Darland Banks,Gillingham.
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2009, 07:08:40 »
I was not aware of the bomb crater in the woods at Darland, but when walking up there a few years ago after snowfall had made ground features stand out in the woods I found what I am certain was an artllery gun-pit. All dug out with the spoil used to creat a rampart all around with a definate entry point to the rear. It was well overgrown but the snow had brought into sharp relief. I'd never spotted it before. I went back recently and couldn't find it! I think it might have dated from the 1907 Chatham Siege Exercise that saw the 'new' fortifications put to the test. Apparently the area around Ambley Woods was a jumping-off point
for the attacking forces approaching Chatham from the east.

It would appear that 'someone' from the council Green Spaces Team is filling-in historic features without knowing what they might be destroying!

 

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