100 years of Dartford History 1916 - 2016

In 2016 we celebrated the centenary of the opening of Dartford Public Library.

This timeline traces 100 years of Dartford history, from the opening of Dartford Public Library on 1st January 1916, through the 20th Century and into the 21st Century. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Research for the timeline is being carried out by Kent Libraries, Registration & Archives staff and volunteers at Dartford Library and the Kent History & Library Centre in Maidstone.;xNLx;----------------------------------------------;xNLx;;xNLx;Except where otherwise indicated, all images on the timeline are sourced from the local history collections of Dartford Library. Please contact Dartford Library if you would like to use selected images for any purposes beyond non-commercial research or private study:;xNLx;;xNLx;Dartford Library, Central Park, Market Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1EU;xNLx;;xNLx;Email Dartford Library: dartfordlibrary@kent.gov.uk;xNLx;;xNLx;[Dartford Library](http://webapps.kent.gov.uk/KCC.Libraries.Web.Sites.Public/LibraryDetails.aspx?aid=0&lid=14&uprn=200000533638);xNLx;;xNLx;[Kent Libraries](http://www.kent.gov.uk/libs);xNLx;;xNLx;[Kent History & Library Centre](http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/history-and-heritage/kent-history-and-library-centre);xNLx;;xNLx;[Kent History and Heritage](http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/history-and-heritage)

1916-01-01 15:00:00

Dartford Public Library opens

Dartford "Free" Library is opened to the public on 1st January 1916.

1916-03-01 00:00:00

Women fire fighters practice drill at Stone House

After the outbreak of war, a female fire brigade was formed in Dartford.

1916-04-01 00:00:00

Zeppelin brought down by Dartford anti-aircraft battery

A Zeppelin airship hit by shellfire from the Dartford anti-aircraft battery becomes the first Zeppelin to be destroyed over Britain.

1916-05-29 00:00:00

Conditional exemption for Librarian

The Library Committee resolves to apply for the conditional exemption of the Librarian, Edward Wood, from Military Service.

1916-06-03 00:00:00

Prisoners of War at Dartford War Hospital

Dartford War Hospital, formerly the Lower Southern Hospital, was handed over to the Military Authorities in May 1915 for treating badly injured German Prisoners of War.

1916-10-09 00:00:00

Orchard Hospital becomes Australian Military Hospital

In October 1916, the Orchard Hospital is handed over to the Australian military authorities and becomes the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital.

1916-10-19 19:30:00

Dartford Library hosts its first Public Lecture

Doors open at Dartford Library for Fred W Gill's presentation on "Adventures of Cycling Vagabond in Kent."

1917-08-08 00:00:00

Fire destroys Tramsheds and Tramcars

Dartford's tram depot in Burnham Road is burnt to the ground by a fire which breaks out in the early hours of the morning.

1917-08-31 00:00:00

Wounded soldiers use Dartford Library

In his Library Report for August 1917, Librarian, Edward Wood, notes that convalescent servicemen have been using the library.

1917-10-05 14:00:00

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Newman Kidd

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Newman Kidd, donor of land for the Central Recreation Ground, dies at his home, West Hill House, aged 72.

1918-02-28 00:00:00

Royal visit to Physical Training College

King George and Queen Mary visit the Bergman Osterberg Physical Training College at Dartford Heath.

1918-07-18 00:00:00

Upper Southern Hospital is now an American Base Hospital

The Upper Southern Convalescent Hospital, on the south-eastern outskirts of Dartford, is now US Base Hospital 37.

1918-08-01 00:00:00

German Prisoners of War sent to Gore Farm

Arrangements have been made for 100 German Prisoners of War to be based at Gore Farm, on the Southern Hospital site.

1918-08-31 14:00:00

Dartford Women War Workers' Parade

Hundreds of women war workers parade through Dartford town centre, demonstrating their strength and support for the war effort.

1918-12-31 00:00:00

Servicemen, Nurses & Munitions Workers keep Dartford Library busy

In his Annual Library Report for 1918, Librarian, Edward Wood, notes that many nurses & munitions workers have been using the library, as well as wounded servicemen.

1919-04-13 10:00:00

'Vimy Commercial' makes test flight from Joyce Green airfield

The Vimy Commercial is a civilian version of the Vickers Vimy plane, produced in April 1918, but never used operationally during the First World War.

1919-07-19 00:00:00

Dartford celebrates Peace

Ex-Servicemen parade through the town, together with civic officials and groups representing services, local industries and businesses.

1919-09-03 00:00:00

Children's Peace Day Treat in Central Park

5,000 children are entertained in Central Park for Dartford's special Children's Peace Day.

1920-06-26 00:00:00

Local Otter for Museum Collection

An otter recently shot at the Powder Mills is offered for the Museum Collection.

1920-12-08 14:45:00

War Memorial at St Alban's Church unveiled

The memorial, a granite cross, in the churchyard of St Alban's Church, is unveiled by HRH The Duke of York.

1920-12-08 15:00:00

Glentworth Club for Ex-Servicemen

HRH The Duke of Kent formally opens the Glentworth Club in Lowfield Street.

1921-04-12 00:00:00

Dartford Museum opens in Dartford Library building

Dartford Museum collection is transferred from Dartford Technical Institute to Dartford Central Library.

1921-11-19 00:00:00

Dartford Football Ground opens in Watling Street

Dartford Football Club has been re-structured as a public limited company, supported by local businesses.

1921-11-30 00:00:00

Scala Theatre opens

The Scala Theatre opens on the corner of Kent Road and Essex Road.

1922-04-01 00:00:00

Dartford Harriers formed

Dartford Harriers Athletics Club is formed out of the recently founded Dartford Rugby Union Club.

1922-05-07 00:00:00

Dartford Town War Memorial unveiled

The Memorial to commemorate local men who lost their lives during the 1st World War has been erected in front of Dartford Library.

1922-12-18 00:00:00

Burroughs Wellcome starts production of Insulin

The first batch of the newly discovered drug Insulin is produced by the Burroughs Wellcome Experimental Department based in Dartford.

1924-11-19 00:00:00

New Watling Street opened

HRH Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, opens the new 15-mile Dartford by-pass road.

1926-01-01 00:00:00

Model Bakery Opens

The Dartford Industrial Co-operative Society Model Bakery opens in Spring Vale.

1926-05-04 00:00:00

General Strike - Read all the latest news in the Library Reading Room

Supplies of newspapers and periodicals for the Library Reading Room are maintained, despite difficulties resulting from the nine-day General Strike.

1926-11-16 00:00:00

New look for Market Street

After alterations to the street layout, the new Market Street is officially opened by Colonel F S W Cornwallis, the Chairman of Kent County Council.

1929-01-12 00:00:00

Dartford goes electric

Electricity cables are laid on Priory Hill.

1929-01-30 14:00:00

YMCA moves into the Martyrs' Memorial Hall

The Martyrs' Memorial Hall in West Street is formally dedicated by the Bishop of Rochester and opened for the use of Dartford Young Men's Christian Association.

1930-08-04 11:30:00

Dartford Cricket Club v United Berlin

The first German cricket team to visit England plays a team from Dartford Cricket Club in a match at the Hesketh Park Cricket Ground.

1932-02-19 14:00:00

Over 2 million books issued since Library opened!

Librarian Edward Wood reports on the continuing progress of the library.

1932-10-17 00:00:00

Dartford Electrical Clinic opens

The Dartford Electrical and Massage Clinic opens to patients in a new building next to the Technical College on Essex Road.

1933-07-20 00:00:00

Wiggins Teape opens Greaseproof Paper Mills

Wiggins Teape starts manufacturing greaseproof paper in a newly built factory on the Dartford Paper Mill site.

1933-09-13 00:00:00

Dartford Borough Charter Day

Dartford officially becomes a Borough when the Lord Mayor of London presents the Charter of Incorporation to the Mayor of Dartford, Alderman Penney.

1933-11-16 00:00:00

Ernest Christopher Youens

Ernest Christopher Youens, Curator of Dartford Museum, dies, aged 76.

1935-05-06 00:00:00

Celebrations for the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary

Dartford celebrates in style for the Silver Jubilee of King Geoerge V and Queen Mary.

1935-06-22 14:00:00

J & E Hall celebrates 150th Anniversary

Thousands of people turn out in glorious sunshine for the 150th anniversary celebrations of the engineering firm J & E Hall, held at the firm’s sports ground in Princes Road.

1935-07-13 10:00:00

Co-op Department Store opens in Spital Street

The new Co-op department store has been built on the site previously occupied by Kidd's Brewery.

1935-11-24 10:00:00

Trolleybuses replace trams

The last tram runs from Dartford to the Bexleyheath depot shortly before midnight on 23rd November 1935.

1935-12-23 00:00:00

State Cinema opens in Spital Street

A fanfare from the Scots Guards proclaims the opening of the new State Cinema.

1936-05-08 00:00:00

Dartford East Central Boys' School opens

East Central Boys’ School is officially opened by Mr Edward Hardy, Vice-Chairman of Kent County Council.

1936-06-18 00:00:00

First Dartford Carnival

Dartford holds its first Carnival in aid of the Livingstone Cottage Hospital.

1937-05-12 00:00:00

Dartford celebrates Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

The streets of Dartford are decorated with flags and bunting to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

1937-07-18 14:00:00

"Serena" Headquarters for Dartford St John Ambulance opens

The new "Serena" building in Princes Road is the generous gift of Miss Marie Serena.

1937-12-08 15:00:00

Library and Museum extension opens

The Library and Museum building has been extended, providing extra space and a separate entrance for the Museum.

1938-01-04 00:00:00

Dartford Veterans' Club

The Dartford Veterans' Club is a Library and Museum Partnership Venture.

100 years of Dartford History 1916 - 2016

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