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Author Topic: The Paddock/Shrubbery, Chatham  (Read 12431 times)

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Offline peterchall

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Re: The Paddock/Shrubbery, Chatham
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2011, 11:49:17 »
Let’s try to answer bit-by-bit: The pub was probably the “Eagle Tavern” and the surgical supplies shop was “Walton’s”. The ‘Paddock Tearooms’ was originally the wartime British Restaurant.

Fast forward to the 1960’s, personally I have no recollection of anything there except the restaurant and the car park that was (I believe) surfaced with paving stones. Somewhere on the forum there is a photo of a parade in Military Road in which the car park can be clearly seen – I’ll try to locate it. Is there a connection between those paving stones and what Manokent's neighbour told him? All I can say is that until it was paved for the restaurant I can only recall it being grassed with pathways, as in all the early photos.

The next use of the Paddock for buildings that I can remember was to accommodate the temporary shops displaced from Military Road (including Walton’s!) when the Pentagon was under construction.

However, the whole affair is ripe for confusion. There is a postcard c1905 showing the Paddock/Shrubbery in the foreground and titled “Town Hall and Gardens”, implying that they are the ‘Town Hall Gardens’:
http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=4412.msg85761#msg85761

Yet in both the 1907 OS map, and today, the “Town Hall Gardens” are behind the buildings on the north side of The Brook, with the military burial ground adjacent in 1907. Is that how the link arises – ‘Paddock/Shrubbery’, also unofficially called ‘Town Hall Gardens’, confused with the official Town Hall Gardens where there was once a burial ground? Just a thought.

Further scope for confusion is that The Paddock was a fairly major road connecting Clover Street to Railway Street, shown on the 1907 map and existing well into the post-war era. It still exists as the road on the ‘bank’ above Best Street.
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manokent

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Re: The Paddock/Shrubbery, Chatham
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2011, 10:22:32 »
I will try and make some sense of this Military Road post.
c1950 facing the Town Hall. there was a row of bus stops on the right for buses to Maidstone, Rochester etc. On the left bus stops to Gillingham, Rainham etc. There was a seriously rough pub on the right and a shop selling surgical supplies, some grim looking prosthetics and 'mens things' (Dunlop inner tube?) so we were not allowed to look in the window.  (There was a chap with no legs (probably WW2) who skated along at speed on a wooden bodge using gauntlets to propel himself.)

So Town hall and RN/RM recruiting office (where I joined up) on the right.
With your back to the shop window (we don't look into ) look across the road  and a bit to the left is the Paddock Tearooms with, as I said a few tables and chairs outside. No doubt this would have been a British Restaurant during the war to get their quota of spam and egg powder. (You can't beat a good old lard sandwich!) It was always a bit tatty to me but I guess its fortunes rose and fell. As there were few cars then they probably did well from people waiting for buses.

Fast forward to 1956ish. I have no doubt about my memory here:  I was talking to my neighbour (Chief ERA in WW1) about Chatham and mentioned the Paddock. He laughed saying "Don't eat the meatpies." I asked why and he told me that for a short period of time the site had been a burial gound and inferred they hadn't been to fussy about what - or who- they laid paving slabs over for the tearoom garden. He was certain about this.
 I have tried to get more information without success. However more recently I researched the family and one member who died in Balmoral Road in 1901 has no burial record in any Medway burial ground.(Of which there were actually very few at the time)  I suspect she may have been paved over in the Paddock.

Again fast forward to the 1960s:   Again with Town Hall on the right (recruiting office gone I think) with back to shop window of what was .....etc
Where the sheep are shown in the old photo has become the Medway Civil Defence HQ. A single story, modern building with a large gated car park (so not public)
containing garages etc for several signals wagons, land rover, ambulance, Green Goddess fire engine and Rescue wagons.
I am fairly sure the Tearoom had gone at this point and may have been under the car park. (I'm now wondering - did I drive over auntie?)

The Civil Defence Officer was, I think, Col. Muggeridge. The chairman was Councillor Bertha Grievson (who reduced Chatham crime by 99% overnight when she became a JP)

I don't know when the building was demolished but is now, I think, the grassed Riverside Park.

It would appear the Paddock has reverted to grass after a series of uses and many changes.

An aside - walking from the Town Hall up Military Road there was a road on the right at right angles (now curved I think) and on the right a pub whose name I can't recall. It was demolished but had the most amazing huge engraved mirrors behind the bars.  I wonder what happened to them.

Hopefully this lot isn't too complicated but any comments appreciated.





Offline smiffy

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Re: The Paddock/Shrubbery, Chatham
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2011, 22:33:04 »

I've never heard of this or any other reference to it. Manokent, when does this memory date from?

Offline peterchall

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Re: The Paddock/Shrubbery, Chatham
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2011, 19:31:01 »
On the 1907 OS map it is shown as "The Shrubbery". It has housed air-raid shelters, the site of the wartime British Restaurant, been a car park (at one time I think the only car park in Chatham town centre but always with room), the site of temporary shops while the Pentagon was being built, but I've never heard of it being a burial ground. There was a military cemetary behind the Town Hall.
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Offline ann

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Re: The Paddock/Shrubbery, Chatham
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2011, 18:43:15 »
Manokent you mention a burial ground at the Paddock.  Can you give more info. as never heard of this before.

manokent

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The Paddock/Shrubbery, Chatham
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2011, 17:39:42 »
The Paddock, was originally, literally, a paddock for grazing sheep (Medway Cityark has plenty of photos)
I remember The Paddock Tearooms which had a few tables outside on a paved area by the row of bus stops for buses to Brompton/Gillingham/Chatham Hill/luton etc. The area now, I think grassed (again) was the Medway Civil Defence HQ and large carpark/stores/garages etc.

Between the grass and paved area for the tearooms there was a burial ground (I suspect family were buried there but there are no records of reburial - still there?)

 

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