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Author Topic: Caves near Strood  (Read 19346 times)

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Offline TowerWill

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2016, 10:47:10 »
The book 'The Royal Engineers at Chatham 1750-2012' by Peter Kendall has a nice little diagram of their Tower Hiil practice ground in the 19th Century showing parallel trenches used to attack the hill (p69). A shaft with galleries was sunk somewhere in the Upnor area. A 4 gun battery was built over this mine to judge the impact of detonation.

Offline jimawilliams

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2015, 12:49:51 »
Well thank you ann, my pleasure.  The caves were great places to explore, in hindsight, being made of sand so dangerous.
I can also recall the wheat growing in the fields to Upnor tasting wonderful!
"Change is the only constant"

Offline ann

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2015, 11:29:30 »
jimawilliams, I have just watched your video and it has brought back some happy memories.  I was never aware of the caves, but I often used to walk from Wainscot down across the fields to Upnor.  ~Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

KeithJG

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2015, 15:41:25 »
Yes, the title is Caves near Strood so here is another which i used to play in.

I used to go over to the "old" cricket ground at Frindsbury which was on the edge of Frindsbury Chalk Quarry and watch cricket and also Tennis at the courts but soon discovered the quarry which was more appealing to me.

There was this Chalk Cave that i used to play in ,it was not very deep going in but it did have a large front ledge that one could hide behind...all good fun at  11yrs. in about 1959.

There was also a field nearby with a very large deep Bomb Crater with a tree in that was also a good play area...does anyone remember this?

The crater is now filled in as it is near the new tunnel approach road.

Superb video jimawilliams...Thanks


Offline jimawilliams

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2015, 06:16:18 »
What you say KeithJG, I totally agree with re childhood.  We grew up in the same area, although you were 8 years in front of me.  I played in the same caves, with the same fears of the sand collapsing!  Woodkentrob you mentioned watching submarines being launched, not something a youngster would ever forget.  I have similar memories, however for me it was seeing Harrier vertical take-off jets both taking off and landing.  Sitting high in the cave, the view and sounds were unforgettable, all being played out just 250mts away. 

In 1991 I returned to Medway for a visit and took a video of the areas I played in my youth.  That video (no sound) that I have uploaded is available on YouTube at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhzzN1_QLKU

The image below shows the route that I took, with place marks 1- 9 occurring at the following You Tube time points.

Place mark   Time      Feature

1           0.00      Start, footpath leading to site of old tennis club and quarry
2          1.51   Chalk quarry
3          3.45   Manor Farm Barn (Pre 2005 fire, built 1403)
4         8.32      White wall Creek – concrete barges
5         10.40   Base of sandy cliffs, caves to the left and up
6         15.27   Upnor castle
7         19.10   Kings Arms pub
8         22.00   Creek (we called it the river Wain) - Found a cannon ball here as a child one winters day.  The creek was frozen over and I fell in.  When I went to pull my shoe out I picked up a cannon ball!  We assume it had been fired at Upnor castle from a ship, missed its target and landed in the creek. 
9         26.38      Wainsott Primary School including “pre fab” classrooms   

Hope you enjoy the video.   
"Change is the only constant"

KeithJG

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2015, 16:08:27 »
Hi all
Played as a kid in late 60's in & around these caves. They were rough hewn not industrial in appearance. One was much larger being approx  3' across for about 20' then opening into chamber around 8 ' diameter. Blackened with smoke. I watched several "O" class submarines being launched from this viewpoint.

I cannot believe what i am reading here as this forum repeatedly throws up my childhood ...

Having just answered the Guess the Place i just decided to Google around that area. Myself being 8yrs in 1956 when i moved to Frindsbury i was everywhere playing especially where my school friends lived.

One lived at Tower Hill Camp, seen on the black & white Google map of 1960 and we used to play also in these Sand Caves......i always remember being scared in them in case there were falls of sand as no one would know where you were if you became trapped. The smaller entrance one was quite deep and opened up further in as you say "woodkentrob"

On the coloured map courtesy of Google 1990 that wider path following on from the narrow path on the left went past the caves i remember the path that carried on was right up against the high fence and there was not much room to walk.

I don`t think the caves were anything to do with the Royal Engineers programs as the earth moving equipment had only really seamed to of just started, they were really going great guns in the late `60`s as i used to use there ploughing tracks as my rallying roads in my mini...Lol

At the point of the red arrow you can just make out two black marks and the left hand one is bigger than the other which is the way around the caves were.


woodkentrob

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #29 on: July 09, 2012, 09:42:34 »
Hi all
Played as a kid in late 60's in & around these caves. They were rough hewn not industrial in appearance. One was much larger being approx  3' across for about 20' then opening into chamber around 8 ' diameter. Blackened with smoke. I watched several "O" class submarines being launched from this viewpoint.

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2010, 07:17:50 »
Thanks Nobby007,i'm glad someone has seen and been in these caves.What you say probably explains what's happened to the entrances and also the marks on top of Tower Hill on Google Earth.Stewyrey i have a similar theory having read about a nearby sandpit.This excursion of mine was in 1967 and due to a dive over my bike's handlebars i had broken my glasses so everything distant was blurry.I can't remember about any buildings near the hill but there were rotting barges in the creek.An OS map of the '60's might show something.Yes i had a read up about that sand and it's called the Upnor Formation in that part of Kent and i think it&
#039;s found elsewhere as you say.

Offline stewyrey

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2010, 02:57:12 »
Hi guys, I don't recall seeing any caves but I do remember seeing the barges in the creek.
My theory, going by a 1860s map, is that the caves were mines, for the sand (Thanet sand) which was used  at the brick works that was on the site of the Whitewall cement works as shown on medwayboy's map  I say Thanet sand because I remember it being similar to the sand around some of the Swanscombe pits, as in colour and hardness.
TowerWill, were there any buildings or remains at the foot of the hill alongside the creek?

  stewyrey.

Nobby007

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2010, 22:05:04 »
Yes TowerWill there were caves there, me and some mates used to play in them in the late 70's. The biggest one was called The Witches cave and was about 40 feet deep and black with all the soot from camp fires. There were also some wooden huts up there and barbed wire. I think the cave was bulldozed and blocked very late 70's early 80's. The Army now use the land for training on JCB's etc.

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2010, 21:22:03 »
Well spotted LenP,i was wondering if the wood was for the RE's use.Quite a bit turning up about this area.Are the rotting barges still in the mud at Whitehall creek?Didn't see them on Google Earth.

Offline LenP

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2010, 20:03:18 »
See reply #5 on this thread for an explanation of 'Ordnance Plantation'.

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=401.0

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2010, 15:56:23 »
Yes jaj i should think your dad wouldn't have been too pleased!Maybe he knows something about these elusive caves having been in the RE's for many years?There's quite a bit about the tramway though on the internet.

jaj

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2010, 12:54:11 »
... Any ideas on the little tramway?

Sorry TowerWill.  I do vaguely remember the tramway from when I used to live and play in that area as a young lad in the early to mid 1970's.  I do however recall finding a discharged 'Baby Viper' anti-mine thingy just on the edge of the sand between Tower Hill Camp and the training area (the sandy bit).  Took the the thing home to show me dad (25yrs RE's) and you should have seen his face? He went nuts, thank godness it was spent ordnance eh.  Oh good times :-)

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Caves near Strood
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2010, 07:20:59 »
Another look at Google Earth has shown me that the whole of the top of this rather strange hill appears to be covered in vehicle tracks.Also it looks like it's been bulldozed flat.It seems it's an outcrop of the Upnor Formation(info on the internet).Maybe the army have shoved sand down over the cave entrances.

 

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