Aylesham- The Early Years

This timeline traces the evolution of Aylesham, from the 1920s, on land above the East Kent Coalfield, where a new community formed and shaped itself in a settlement built in the open countryside, surrounded by fields and woodlands ...

The village of Aylesham was built in the 1920s as part of an ambitious regional plan for new housing developments to accommodate the families of miners needed to work in the East Kent Coalfield. The first families to move into the new settlement in 1927 came from established mining areas in other parts of the country, hoping to start a new life in Kent, bringing with them skills, cultures and traditions from their various mining communities. ;xNLx;;xNLx;It was originally intended that the village would grow to become a town, with a population of up to 15,000. In reality this did not happen, and by the 1960s, only 1,000 houses had been built. ;xNLx;However, from looking at historical records, a picture emerges of a robust and spirited community, growing and thriving as a resilient social force in the local area, despite many hard struggles. ;xNLx;----------------------------------------------;xNLx;This timeline is compiled by Julia Booth, a Time2Give volunteer at the Kent History & Library Centre, Maidstone. She is using sources in the collections of Kent County Council - Libraries, Registration & Archives. ;xNLx;;xNLx;For further details contact:;xNLx;;xNLx;Kent History & Library Centre, James Whatman Way, Maidstone ME14 1LQ;xNLx;;xNLx;email Kent Archives: archives@kent.gov.uk;xNLx;----------------------------------------------;xNLx;[Kent Archives and Local History](https://www.kentarchives.org.uk/);xNLx;;xNLx;[Kent Libraries](http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/libraries);xNLx;;xNLx;[Aylesham Library](http://webapps.kent.gov.uk/KCC.Libraries.Web.Sites.Public/LibraryDetails.aspx?aid=0&lid=27&uprn=010034873752);xNLx;;xNLx;[Aylesham Heritage Centre](http://www.ayleshamvillage.co.uk/heritage-centre);xNLx;----------------------------------------------;xNLx;We are grateful to Fiona Abercrombie-Howroyd and [The Abercrombie Collection, University of Tasmania](http://eprints.utas.edu.au/23327/) for permission to include material drawn from the Abercrombie Plan of Aylesham, 1926. ;xNLx;;xNLx;----------------------------------------------;xNLx;Image, left, from: [General Lay-Out Plan](https://www.kentarchives.org.uk/collections/getrecord/GB51_EK_U1507_12_8) for Aylesham, produced by Abercrombie, Archibald & Martindale, Architects & Town Planners, 1926.;xNLx;----------------------------------------------

1922-03-06 00:00:00

Town Planning Conference in Canterbury

A conference is held at the Guildhall, Canterbury, to address the need to prepare for the expected expansion of East Kent Coalfield.

1922-10-06 00:00:00

New mining company formed to develop coal industry in East Kent

A new company is formed to develop the coal interests in Kent owned by Messrs Dorman, Long and Company Limited.

1923-05-14 00:00:00

East Kent Joint Town Planning Committee meets

A meeting of the Joint Town Planning Committee for the Kent Coalfield region is held at the Guildhall, Canterbury.

1923-06-25 00:00:00

The Archbishop and the Coalfield Developments

Dr Randall Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury, organises a conference at Lambeth Palace to discuss the question of town planning in East Kent.

1923-08-31 00:00:00

Eastry Rural District Preliminary Town Planning Scheme

A preliminary survey and report, considering the future of the Eastry Rural District, has been drawn up by John Archibald, consulting architect and town planner for Eastry Rural District Council.

1924-01-17 00:00:00

Snowdown Colliery purchased by Messrs Pearson & Dorman Long

The sale of Snowdown Colliery to Messrs Pearson and Dorman Long is sanctioned in the High Court.

1925-10-27 00:00:00

Mining village to be built near Snowdown Colliery

Eastry Rural District Council agrees to work with Messrs Pearson and Dorman Long in plans for a large mining village near Snowdown Colliery.

1926-07-08 00:00:00

"The Aylesham Tenants Ltd"

Eastry Rural District Council has formed a partnership with mining employers Pearson & Dorman Long to implement the proposed scheme for housing colliery workers on a site adjoining Aylesham Wood.

1926-07-20 00:00:00

Farms purchased for new housing scheme

Aylesham Tenants Ltd purchases two adjoining farms – Curlswood and Old Court Farms – to provide a site for housing colliery workers and their families.

1926-07-24 00:00:00

Neville Chamberlain MP addresses Town Planning meeting in Canterbury

At a large gathering at Canterbury Deanery, Neville Chamberlain, Minister for Health, introduces the scheme for new towns in East Kent, drawn up by Professor Patrick Abercrombie and John Archibald.

1926-09-14 00:00:00

Construction work starts at Aylesham

Excavations for house foundations are started at the 600 acre site purchased by the Aylesham Tenants Ltd, near Aylesham Wood.

1926-11-17 00:00:00

Kent County Council becomes part of the Aylesham Planning Scheme

Kent County Council agrees to join Eastry Rural District Council and Messrs Pearson & Dorman Long Ltd in the Aylesham Public Utility Society.

1927-01-21 00:00:00

Houses start to take shape ...

Large numbers of workers are now employed in construction work at the site of the new township of Aylesham.

1927-05-01 00:00:00

First families move into Aylesham Village

The first residents to arrive in Aylesham come from mining communities in other parts of the country, notably Northumberland, Yorkshire and South Wales.

1927-07-25 00:00:00

Temporary School opens

Mr J R Henderson, Headteacher, welcomes the first 52 children at Aylesham's temporary school.

1927-10-24 00:00:00

Aylesham Library

Kent County Library starts a branch library for the people of Aylesham, housed in the new temporary school.

1927-10-29 00:00:00

First Aylesham Wedding

Aylesham's first wedding is a double one. Both brides and grooms previously lived in the mining village of Ashington, Northumberland.

1927-12-01 00:00:00

Co-op shop opens

Trading starts at the new premises erected in Market Square by the River and District Co-operative Society.

1927-12-02 00:00:00

Extra Classrooms for Temporary School

Four extra classrooms are being constructed to accommodate additional children at the Wooden School.

1927-12-31 00:00:00

Foundation stone for St Peter's Church Hall laid

The foundation stone of Aylesham's new Church Hall is laid by the Bishop of Dover, at a site in Dorman Avenue North.

1928-01-09 00:00:00

The Greyhound Hotel opens

The Greyhound Hotel, in Dorman Avenue South, is the first licensed premises in Aylesham.

1928-03-15 00:00:00

Glynn Vivian Miners' Mission Hall

The Glynn Vivian Miners' Mission Hall in Burgess Road is opened by Lord Radstock, President of the Glynn Vivian Miners' Mission.

1928-05-17 00:00:00

Aylesham Free Church opens

Aylesham Baptist Free Church, in Dorman Avenue South, is opened by Mrs F Hooker.

1928-06-08 00:00:00

Temporary Post Office opens

A temporary Post Office and store opens in a former canteen at the end of Clarendon Road.

1928-06-30 00:00:00

St Peter's Church Hall dedicated

The Dean of Canterbury dedicates St Peter's Church Hall.

1928-07-01 00:00:00

Aylesham Halt Railway Station opens

The Southern Railway opens Aylesham Halt Station, connecting Aylesham with the Canterbury to Dover Railway.

1928-07-28 00:00:00

Aylesham Flower Show

The Snowdown and District Cottage Gardening Association holds its first flower show in Aylesham, attracting a large crowd.

1928-08-25 00:00:00

Boxing at Aylesham

The newly-formed Aylesham branch of the British Legion organises an introductory sports meeting, with a programme of boxing matches.

1928-08-26 00:00:00

Glynn Vivian Brass Band

Aylesham's streets echo with the sounds of the new Brass Band, under the indefatigable leadership of Richard Carter, Glynn Vivian Miners' Missioner.

1928-11-10 00:00:00

Football at St Peter's Church

Aylesham's newly formed St. Peter's Football Club holds a trial game at the back of the church on Saturday 10th November.

1928-12-10 00:00:00

Construction work starts at site for new school

Contractors commence work preparing the site for Aylesham Central School, which will cater for children who are over the age of 10½ years.

1929-06-23 00:00:00

Snowdown Colliery Welfare Band

The Snowdown Colliery Welfare Band parades through the streets of Aylesham.

1929-07-02 00:00:00

Co-op opens two new shops

A butcher's shop and a general outfitting shop are opened, one on each side of the existing Co-op grocery store in Market Square.

1929-07-07 00:00:00

Roman Catholic Hall opens

The new Roman Catholic Hall is blessed at a special service conducted by Father Sheppard, of Canterbury.

1929-07-21 00:00:00

Flying home to Aylesham

In the first race of the Aylesham and District Homing Society, Aylesham pigeons are raced from Bournemouth.

1929-08-24 00:00:00

Hospital Fête and Carnival

Aylesham residents organise a Hospital Fête in Mr Fagg's meadow, in aid of the Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

1929-09-01 00:00:00

Snowdown Male Voice Choir

The Snowdown Colliery Male Voice Choir is formed by John Yorath, a Welshman and choir master at St Peter's Church in Aylesham.

1930-02-12 00:00:00

Aylesham Central School opens

Aylesham Central School is formally opened on 12th February 1930 by the President of the Board of Education, Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan MP.

1930-05-31 00:00:00

The Welfare Recreation Ground opens

Lady Milner unlocks the gates to open Aylesham's new Welfare Recreation Ground.

1930-08-04 00:00:00

Snowdown Colliery Welfare Sports Day

The new Welfare Recreation Ground is the venue for a Sports Day, organised by the Snowdown Colliery Miners' Welfare Committee.

1930-08-18 00:00:00

Mines Rescue Station

Work starts on the construction of a Central Rescue Station for Kent mines, at a site in Dorman Avenue South.

1930-09-06 00:00:00

Snowdown Colliery Rugby Club

A Rugby Club based in Aylesham has been formed by the Snowdown Colliery Welfare Association.

1930-10-06 00:00:00

Mining Courses at Aylesham

An evening Technical School is started at Aylesham Secondary School, running courses for youths and men engaged in mining.

1931-03-07 00:00:00

Aylesham and District Social Club

The Aylesham and District Social Club and Institute, at Throwley House, Ratling Road, opens.

1932-01-24 00:00:00

Aylesham Whippet Racing

The first whippet racing event to be held in the Kent Coalfield takes place in Clark's Field, Ackholt Farm, Ratling.

1932-11-01 00:00:00

A Gillie & Sons Ltd

The bus company A Gillie & Sons, providing regular transport between Aylesham and Snowdown Colliery, is officially registered.

1933-01-21 00:00:00

Aylesham British Legion Club House opens

Aylesham's newly built British Legion Club House is formally opened by Mr L C Ellson, the Manager of Snowdown Colliery.

1935-03-16 00:00:00

Pit-Head Baths at Snowdown at last!

The new pit-head baths at Snowdown Colliery are opened by Mr Arthur Dorman, a director of Messrs Pearson and Dorman Long.

1935-05-06 00:00:00

Silver Jubilee Celebrations

The residents of Aylesham come together to enjoy a memorable day celebrating the Silver Jubilee of H M King George V and Queen Mary.

1935-08-30 00:00:00

New Housing Estate

104 new homes are to be built by the First National Housing Trust on a site near the British Legion Club.

Aylesham- The Early Years

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