About 18 months ago I asked for any information on the history of the ground between City way and Boundary Road, specifically relating to the allotments there. The reason for the enquiry was that I had just seen the clay pipes an old friend had found on her allotment.
Having collected clay pipes for over 45 years and found very few local ones I was surprised to see such a hoard of Chatham made pipes. I worked out there was over 160 different pipes, surprisingly only two pieces fitted together and all were made by the same maker. The big question was, why was a majority of the pieces found in one small area 15' x 25' ?
Due to ill health she was giving up the allotment, so I only got one quick visit there. I dug a couple of holes in the area in question but apart from another broken bowl and a couple of pieces of stem found nothing else. The lack of broken glass or pottery ruled it out as a refuse dump. I also found no evidence of there being a kiln there. I also checked with the clay pipe society and the nearest record they had of one was on the Chatham Maidstone Road.
I walked the other allotments and found nothing at all, so the mystery continues! My only other theories are that they were either thrown out from Fort Pitt Hospital, but that seem's a bit too far away.
As her allotment is bordered on one side by the fence of the military cemetery, and the pipes date roughly from 1830-60, was this a muster point for troops to have a quick smoke before they went on parade for services, perhaps related to the Crimean War.