Tuesday, 19 March 2013


The Lion pub in The Street was an Ash landmark for centuries and a centre for the local community.
If you're interested in the pub's history - and would like to see some atmospheric old pictures - follow this link.
The Lion shut in the early years of the last decade and became an Indian resaurant, Lagaan, which later burnt down.
The site is currently under renovation, to build two new homes.

Monday, 18 March 2013


Here's another pic from the family album, sent in by Martin Tapsell.
His aunt, Gwen Tapsell from Ash, was in the Red Cross between 1939 and 1946. She's standing one from the end of the top row.
The shot is of an East Kent Red Cross group, taken during World War Two. But Martin would like to discover more.
He says: "This picture may include several people still alive today, perhaps even Ash people. Hence I pass it on to you for scrutiny."
If you recognise anyone in the photo, or, even yourself(!) - please write in the comments, or e-mail us: ashheritage@btinternet.com


This aerial picture, taken in the summer of 1988, shows numbers 2, 4, 6 and 8 Queens Road, with the Village Hall and car park to the right.
The area of trees and bushes at the top of the pic was later cleared to make way for the Lion Walk development.
The Herritage Centre was added to the Village Hall in 2011.

The photo belonged to Connie Connolly, who lived at 6 Queens Road for nearly 25 years.


We welcomed Mark Curthoys (on the left of the pic with our treasurer Graham Foat) from Oxford University on March 7, to introduce us to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, produced by Oxford University Press. Ash features well in this and Mark presented a very entertaining and informative talk about several Ash personalities.
The earliest Ash figure deemed worthy of inclusion was sixteenth century translator John Brooke, known through his books, Protestant works at the time of the Reformation. He was a member of the family who were probably at Brooke House. He was buried in Ash church in 1582.
Henry Harflete was born in Ash in 1580, a lawyer turned writer, he found law dull and turned to astrology, claiming it as a science at that early date. Another writer was St Thomas Nicholas, a lawyer turned poet born in Ash in 1602 and buried here in 1668. After working as a Yorkshire industrialist and an M.P. during the Cromwellian years he retired back to Ash.
In 1812 we heard of a medical practitioner turned botanist , Thomas Baskerville, who had some significance in the history of evolutionary theory.
Then much more familiar names appeared in the mid-nineteenth century, Planche, his daughter Matilda Mackarness and her husband Henry Mackarness, vicar of Ash. Although we know Planche for his book on Ash ‘A Corner of Kent’ he was best known as a theatre manager and expert on historical costumes. This is why he is included. His daughter is known as a children’s author.
A much later entry was known personally to some. The colonial administrator Harold Ingrams and his family lived at Uphousden in 1946. His family completed a historical journey across the Sahara, described in his book 'Seven across the Sahara from Ash to Accra.’
Another vicar included is Reverend Michell who had been a missionary in China . There are others not discussed such as Reverend Nixon who became the first Bishop of Tasmania and Donald Peers the singer.
The problems of using the dictionary became clear during Mark's talk. Is it Ash–next-Sandwich, Ash near Sandwich, Ash with Westmarsh, Ash Canterbury or even Ash Dover? All are ways of searching. The writers all have their own slant on their subjects – very little is known of earlier inclusions — and there are many historical loose ends.
If you have a public library ticket, the dictionary is freely available on line, the ticket number is a login - and the web address is: www.oxforddnb.com
*The Heritage Centre is open on Saturday mornings from 10a.m.—noon. If you wish to help us in any way or become a supporter member please contact us.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Many thanks to Martin Tapsell from Deal, who sent us these family photos from Ash and Cop Street in the early part of the last century.

The first pic (right) shows Martin's cousin Edie Skinner, who lived at Belle Vue. Her house there is pictured below right.
The second set of pictures (right) shows the Cook family from Cop Street. The Cooks were Harry and Fanny and their bungalow is shown top right. Martin recalls that Fanny died when 'her clothes caught alight near the fire.' He also says that Harry was Dr Cave's 'most irascible patient ever, refusing to make any fuss even when seriously ill.' 
.Martin believes the last two pix were taken in the garden of a Miss Tower(s?) in Chequer Lane. He is standing on the far right of the top photo. He says: "The photo with the cat shows Mrs Hawkes, Mrs Miles, Gladys Day, Gwen Tapsell and myself. The other photo includes Gladys Day, Gwen Tapsell, Jean Tapsell and Mrs Miles." However, he can't remember the name of the fifth lady in the shot.

Martin also recalls: "When in Staple we looked to Ash for Doctors Cave and Ogilvie, and pre-electricity for dry or wet batteries to power the wireless which came from Jacobs, the ironmonger. A Mr Bates near the brewery would mend my cycle. The bus shelter opposite the Chequers was heated by a coal fire in winter, but who lit it I forget."

If anyone can add any information, please write in the comments, or e-mail us: ashheritage@btinternet.com

*To view the pix full size, go to Ash Heritage Group's flickr photostream. Click the link on the right, then click on each photo you want to view. You'll have a choice of photo sizes, from small to very large.


 We've received this request for information about St Nicholas church from visitor Brian Symonds.
 He writes:
  'I am a member of KFHS researching my wife's ancestors, surname Fennell (sometimes Fennel), mainly ag. labs from around Monkton and surrounding villages, before some moved to Faversham. When my wife and I visited your lovely church and purchased a brochure, I was disappointed to be unable to find any details of your magnificent font e.g. when installed, where made etc. However, I noticed the two wardens'names inscribed in gold, included Abraham Fennell. I wonder if anyone has access to church records and would be able to provide the desired information please? Many thanks.'
  Please write in the comments, or e-mail us: ashheritage@btinternet.com if you can help.