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Author Topic: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton  (Read 19799 times)

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Offline Leofwine

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2016, 22:35:00 »
Chatham News - Saturday 08 January 1870
GARRISON RECREATION GROUND. — The Committee of of Management of the Garrison Recreation Ground are again busily engaged in providing further amusement for the officers and men of the Garrison by making a large bowling-green in the Inner Lines, and a party of Royal Marines, under the supervision of the Royal Engineer authorities, are now laying out the grounds. It is probable that the whole of the Inner Lines will ere long be laid out a  pleasure grounds in con junction with the present recreation ground.
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2016, 21:57:11 »
Chatham News - Saturday 05 September 1891
GRAND ILLUMINATED
GARDEN FETE
By permission of Lieut.-General Goodenough, C.B , commanding the Thames District,
On Wednesday, September 9th, 1891.
THE Officers’ Recreation Grounds will be brilliantly illuminated with the electric light, fairy Lamps, and Magnesium Lights, Grotesque balloons.
GREAT ATTRACTIONS  - BANDS, MUSIC, MUSICAL MAZE with Torchlights.
To conclude with the Grand Novelty. TATTOO BY TORCHLIGHT, as played before H.I. Majesty the German Emperor and Officers of the French Fleet.
Cavalry Trumpeters from Canterbury, by permission of Colonel Russell, will play THE WATCH-SETTING EVENING HYMN.
During the evening, with the sanction of Major- General Dawson-Scott, Commandant, S.M.E. and the Officers of the Corps, THE BAND OF THE ROYAL ENGINEERS will perform selections of music, conducted by Mr. Sommer.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.
To commence at 8p.m. Admission 2/0 each, or six for 10/0. Soldiers and sailors in Uniform half-price. Proceeds in aid of Garrison funds.
Tickets obtainable of Messrs, T. Woolley and Son, High-street, Old Brompton; Mr. W. J. Wildish, Journal Office, High-street, Chatham; Miss Fraser, High-street, Rochester, and of all Officers' Messes in the Garrison.



Chatham News - Saturday 12 September 1891
ILLUMINATED GARDEN FETE.
An ideal night favoured the third illuminated garden fete, which was held, by permission of Lieutenant-General Goodenough, C.B., commanding the Thames District, in the Officers’ Recreation Grounds, Brompton, on Wednesday last, with the worthy and laudable object of assisting the various garrison funds and charities. The sun shone brilliantly all the day, and as twilight gradually crept on, moon and stars shed forth their pale rays, and the air was of that balmy and delightful description which invariably invests such a scene as these charming grounds present with a sensuous beauty which appeals with much force to the sympathetic and impressionable mind. The innumerable and iridescent illuminants with which the shrubs, the trees, and the flower beds were plentifully aglow gave to the grounds the appearance of a scintillating mass of varied colour. At each entrance there were appropriate devices in fairy lamps, and the fine parterres which intervene between the road and the recreation grounds themselves were elegantly picked out with Chinese lanterns and lamps. At the rustic bridge which spans the moat skirting the grounds proper, were Sergeant-Major Kerswell, R.E., Regimental Sergeant-Major, A. W. Snelling, R.M., who gathered the tickets of admission. Passing over the bridge, and through the prettily lighted avenues of trees, the visitor arrived at the central lawn, which was bathed in the strong and day-like rays of a great arc light placed right in the middle of the ground. This great light almost eclipsed the little sparks of light emitted by the thousands of fairy lamps. The full Royal Engineer band was located on an improvised stand, and in the light of four powerful electric lamps which displayed to advantage the red and gold of their uniforms, they presented a gorgeous spectacle. Mr. J. Sommer, the talented conductor of the band, stood at the bottom of the platform, where every instrumentalist was in fall sight of his baton. Undoubtedly the fine programme of music was one of the principal attractions of the evening, and many were the enthusiastic compliments passed upon its execution. The programme comprised:-
March et Cortege ..."La Reine de Saba” .... Gounod
Overture ... "Zampa" ... Herold
Selection ... "Ivanhoe" .... Sullivan
Song ... "The Reaper and the Flowers" .... Cowen
Cornet Solo - Sergeant Smith
MILITARY MUSICAL MAZE, by men of R.E., under superintendence of Gymnastic Staff, with Torch- lights and Chinese lanterns
Invocation to Battle ... "Rienzi" .... Wagner
Grand Selection ... "Faust"¯ .... Gounod
Selection ... "La Cigale" .... Audran
The visitors were indebted to Major-General Dawson Scott, Commandant, S.M.E., and the officers of the Corps for readily according their permission for the band to attend. Between nine and ten o'clock the brilliant scene was perhaps at its best. Officers in full dress and ladies in delicate attire - some in evening dress with protecting shawls and wraps - ”were promenading, and the company was fortunately not numerous enough to cause inconvenient crowding. There was a very large attendance, however, upon which the promoters have adequate reason to congratulate themselves. The
MILITARY MUSICAL MAZE
was a very pretty and effective display. A number  of sappers, under the direction of Staff Sergeants Neve and Fowler, went through a very elaborate series of evolutions, each man carrying a lighted Chinese lantern. The commingling of the different colours of the lamps, as the sappers marched in spiral fashion, and performed every imaginable variety of march, produced a brilliant effect, which was much admired by the company; during this performance the great arc light was extinguished in order to allow the lanterns to show to full advantage. The combined drum and fife contingents of the Royal Engineer and Royal Marine bands furnished the music for the maze. The principal interest was manifested in the grand military tattoo with which the fete concluded. "What is a tattoo?" was a very general inquiry amongst the uninitiated civilians, who are not as a rule acquainted with technical military terms of this description. It is the beat of drum, or sound of a trumpet or bugle at night, which gives notice to soldiers to retreat, to repair to their quarters in garrison, or to their tents in camp. Of course, the tattoo on Wednesday was of more than usually elaborate character. The explosion of a large maroon, representing the firing of gun, āwas folloed by thwe first post by twelve cavalry trumpeters, who attended from Canterbury by special permission of Colonel Russell. After this came La Retrait Militaire by the massed  drums and fifes of the Royal Engineers and Royal Marine Light Infantry. The instrumentalists were in the centre, with a squad of sappers on each side carrying lighted torches and Chinese lanterns. After this the lines wheeled into position around the bandstand, and the military tattoo, played before His Imperial Majesty the German Emperor, was performed. The synopsis is as follows - ”bugle call, assembly, march, bugle call, grand tattoo, trumpets, hymn from the "Creation," ¯ amen, call to prayer, prayer, trumpet call. This was an unqualified success, and the grand spectacle and sublime strains of the band, excited the company to high pitch of enthusiasm. Another maroon was fired, and the tattoo was ended. The cavalry trumpeters played the last post, and then the stately and harmonious cadences of the Vesper hymn (the authorship of which is traced to Sir J. A. Stevenson) as the accompaniment to the evening watch setting. This was fitting finale to a fascinating function. Among a fashionable and numerous company, were Lieut.-Goneral Goodenough, C.B., the commandant of the Thames District, Major-General Dawson-Scott, Commandant S.M.E., Colonel G. J. Parkyn, D.A.A.G., Colonel P. R. Holmes, Commandant R.M., Captain Grant, Captain Cochrane, Brevet Lieut.-Colonel R. W. F. Holt, R,M., Captain Fox, A.D.C., Major Hildebrand, Major Clark, of the Buffs,  Q.M.S. Lake, Mr. T. Aveling, Mr. S. Aveling, Dr. J. V. Bell, Mr. J. L. Lyons, Mr. J. Randall, Councillor F. Perse. Mr. J. Tuffill, Mr. E. Young, Mr. H. Bullock. Mr. T. Mason, Mr. T. Oldroyd, Mr. A. E. Hegley, Mr. and Mrs. Field, Mr. H. J. T. Browne, Mr. H. L. Dampier and others. During the evening a number of grotesque balloons were despatched, while brilliant magnesium lights were burnt in the midst of the shrubberies with admirable effect. Mr. R. Smith, of Rochester, supplied the lamps and material. Mr. Evans, of the Prince of Wales Hotel, Railway-street, Chatham, had a refreshment buffet on the ground. Too much praise can hardly be accorded to Col. Parkyn for his admirable arrangements, and the thoroughness with which he carried them out. The success of the fete was in a large measure duo to him. It is to be hoped that a substantial sum remains to be handed over to the garrison funds.
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2016, 21:53:15 »
Chatham News - Saturday 05 March 1870
GARRISON RECREATION GROUND.— A party of Marines are still employed in laying out bowling greens, croquet grounds, and a cricket ground for the officers and men of the Garrison, in the Inner Lines; when finished they will form a valuable addition to the Garrison Recreation Ground.
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2016, 13:04:53 »
The building in cliveh's photos was originally the Schoolmaster's house when the Garrison Church served as a schoolroom as well as a church. It only served this purpose for a few years, and was afterwards put to other uses. It served as the Surgeon's residence for the Military Families Hospital (which was just behind the church), then later as nurses accommodation. In more recent times it has served as the Army Chaplain's house, and is known as the "Old Vicarage."
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Offline cliveh

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2015, 15:33:31 »
Garrison Schoolmaster's Quarters

cliveh

merc

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2014, 13:02:39 »
Morning Post - Monday 25 August 1890

On Saturday night the military authorities at Chatham garrison gave a unique performance in the shape of an illuminated garden fete, which took place at the Officers' Recreation Ground. A picturesque effect was produced by means of magnesium and electric lamps, and the massed bands of the Royal Marines, Royal Engineers and Hampshire Regiment and pipers of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards played a selection of music. The proceeds are for the garrison charities.

merc

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2012, 13:42:14 »
Saturday, August 2, 1873

"The old Chatham Lines give a good example how suitable an old earth work is for conversion to pleasure grounds and gardens, croquet lawns, and rustic seats..."

Small snippet from an article in the 'Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle.'

Offline Leofwine

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2011, 16:47:04 »
I can remember the avenue of Walnut trees running down the Inner Lines parallel to Maxwell Road. Us kids used to cross the road from our little school in Maxwell Road and collect the walnuts but the outer green covering always gave us away to the teachers by marking our hands! The walnut trees must have been approaching the end of their lives as they didn't survive for very much longer. I think there are only one or two left. It would be great if as part of the Great Lines Park plans a restoration of the Victorian Gardens could be incorporated.

I am sure the RE Library must have some photographs in its collection of the park in its heyday.

The avenue of walnut trees is now gone, replaced mainly by (self-seeded?) sycamores, some of which appear to have been coppiced over the years, although they seem to generally follow the line of the original avenue.  This photo, taken in 2010, shows the same view as in the earlier posted 1910 photo. What a difference 100 years make!  There are still a couple of walnut trees in the front gardens of the Army housing in Mansion Row, the last vestiges of this once magnificent avenue.



Does anyone know when the Walnut trees came down and were replaced with the sycamores?

I have been through the RE Library's collection of photos of the area, and sadly there seem to be none of the park in its heyday or at any other times. Same story with the Strood archives.
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merc

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2011, 12:03:03 »
Friday, December 04, 1868

The Secretary of State for War has granted to the garrison a portion of the Inner Lines, used as grazing land up to this time, in order that a recreation ground may be formed for the use of the garrison. It is intended to lay out the upper part, by the citadel, as an ornamental garden, while the other part will be used by the soldiers for foot races, quoites, and other pastimes. The ground will be laid out as the funds permit, and subscriptions are sought from the officers to form a fund. The major-general of the district (General F. Murray) has appointed a commitee of officers to carry out the matter.

Thursday, May 06, 1869

The new garrison recreation ground having been laid out with walks and planted with trees and shrubs has been opened. A portion of the ground will be reserved for the use of officers and their families, and the remainder will be used by non-commisioned officers and men. The bands of the Royal Engineers, Royal Marines, and the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment will play in the grounds on alternate days.

Saturday, January 08, 1870

A bowling green is now being added by the committee to the military recreation ground of the garrison; and is expected that ere long the whole of the Inner Lines will be added to the recreation ground.


Source: The Morning Post.

merc

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2011, 11:26:11 »
There's a map of the tennis courts layout on the wall of the tennis courts clubhouse, titled "Garrison Memorial Gardens Tennis Courts". I'm not sure of the year, but it's probably a post WWII map (before the old bridge and tennis courts on the Spur Battery were taken down).


Offline Leofwine

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2011, 18:44:24 »
The original hand drawn sketch showing the layout of the gardens is supposed to be in the Archives at Strood but when I requested it it, it turns out that basically, they have lost it! It may be there somewhere, but it's not in the box of documents  it is supposed to be in.

Hopefully there will be something left of the area not inside the fort by the time the grant can be implemented. Today I heard disturbing news about the area of the Garrison Gardens they are building the new Lampard Centre on. At the tail end of last year the developers wanted to have the need for an archaeological survey (clause 8) of the site waived. Local objection caused their application to be refused on the grounds of the potential historic significance of the site (the original survey showed various features that were thought to be iron age, right up to 18th century). I have been keeping half an eye on the site and noticed the construction  seemed to be starting and I had seen no sign of archaeology going on, and forwarded this info to the person on the Brompton Village Association who liases with the council re- planning applications and he queried it with the planning officer.  The reply stated:
"The Kent County Council Archaeological Officer and English Heritage have advised that they were happy with the submitted  Written Scheme of Investigation for an Archaeological Watching Brief and the Brief for an Archaeological Watching Brief and allowed condition 8 to be partially discharged so that they could start work on site."
I checked the submitted documents and the only archaeological reports included is exactly the same outline survey done from their 2 trial trenches when they made the application to have clause 8 removed. So basically they have ignored any archaeological survey of the site and started building anyway.

The real shame of it is that the original survey hinted at potential Iron Age features, and nothing else that early has been found in the area, and additionally, the 1708 map of the area shows the 17th century brick kilns that Thomas Rogers used to supply the bricks that built Brompton on that very spot. This at a time when The Chatham World Heritage Bid Team (another part of the same council that has allowed this travesty to happen) has just set up a group researching the history of Brompton as part of the World Heritage bid because part of UNESCO's requirements are that local social history is included, and that the local population within the bid area are in full support of the bid.
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Offline kyn

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2011, 11:11:46 »
A grant application is being worked on to restore the "unrestored" area of Fort Amherst, part of this application will include the restoration of the Garrison Gardens (within the Fort).  Due to this we would be very grateful if anyone with any information, plans and pictures regarding this area of the Fort could post it here.  This includes newspaper reports or anything else you can find.  We are particularly looking for information regarding Mr. William Menzies, deputy-surveyor of Windsor Park, at the moment and the possibility of finding any plans of the area that he proposed, but any information is welcome!  Thank you all for your help  :)

Offline Leofwine

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2011, 02:42:05 »
Does anyone have any information on when the 'terracing' between Sally Port and where the church hall in Maxwell Road is was put in? Also, I presume it was put in as some kind of pitch or playing field, any ideas what its original use was?  There is al teast one more terrace now, nearer to the Sally Port, but I've been told that one was a bowling green that went in later, probably just post war.

It appears on this 1932 map, but in 1881 the diagonal footpath still ran across this area, so it must have been somewhere between these to dates.

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Offline Leofwine

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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2010, 17:06:53 »
November 1, 1869

During the past summer, a recreation ground for the use of the military has been formed at Chatham, above Chatham Barracks, near the Citadel. The ground was granted by the War-office, funds were provided by the officers, and soldiers were employed in the formation of the walks, beds, planting etc. The result being very satifactory. The prime mover and most active promoter of this scheme, which provides so acceptable a place of resort for the wives and children of the officers, as well as for the military generally, was Col. A. A'Court Fisher, C.B.,R.E. instructor in surveying at the School of Military Engineering ; and the officers of the garrison are preparing to present to Col. Fisher a testimonial expressive of their appreciation of his efforts, which have been crowned with such success.

From The Times.


The above article mentions the "funds were provided by the officers," and it seems there were fund-raising events held for the purpose. From a pamphlet published by Edwin Harris & Sons, Rochester - "History of old Brompton" (c.1925):

Close to the Church is the Garrison Recreation Ground; in aid of the laying out of these grounds, Major Bolton, R.E. and a party of amateurs gave a performance at the old Lyceum Theatre on Star Hill, Rochester. For this special occasion one of the front boxes was cut through to form an entrance to the Pit, which was floored over to nearly the height of the stage and chairs placed upon it. The lowest price for admission to this performance was 2/6 each for a Gallery seat. The ordinary admission to the Gallery being 6d. The pieces which were presented were 'Charles II.' And the 'Jolly Young Waterman.' In the Court Scene, the splendid Mess Plate of the Royal Engineers was used, and their own Drop Curtain, 'Beleham Castle,' at the mouth of the Tagus, with the initials E.E.D.C. at the bottom (these initials stand for 'Royal Engineer Dramatic Club') This curtain was never taken away, and did duty for many years in the old Theatre.

Sadly there is no mention of how much was raised by the event.
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Re: The Garrison Gardens, Brompton
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2010, 14:05:36 »
August 1, 1865

The experiment recently commenced at Chatham of apportioning various suitable tracts of the crown lands adjoining the fortifications and citadel among the non-commisioned officers and troops of the various corps quartered in the garrison, to be cultivated as gardens, has been attended during the time it has been under trial with the most satisfactory results, and the applications for additional space by the troops are constantly on the increase. In addition to the plots of ground within the trenches which have been broken up and divided among the batallions the portion of the fortifications near the Cornwallis Battery and beyond the curtain has just been divided among the non commissioned officers, who have already commenced its cultivation. Several acres of the glacis and hornwork of the trenches and fortifications have already been marked out to be divided among the various corps, Major-Gen. Sir Robert Walpole, K.C.B., and the other officials being desirous of meeting the wishes of the troops who apply for plots of ground, and encouraging to the fullest extent this recreation for their soldiers during their leisure.

From The Times.

 

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