18 January 2020

Small discovery - big satisfaction!

Those who research their family history will understand the satisfaction given by the smallest discovery. 

I recently found the below photo in my collection (it was actually sent to me back in 2013). It is part of a much larger photo (a wedding photo) but my interest is what is shown in the background.

The image shows a small dwelling once occupied by my two-times great grandmother Susannah Watson. I believe she died there in 1925. 

The cottage was demolished (or fell down) many years ago - today it is a yard and garage next to Stoke Garage in Lower Stoke. I’ve always wondered what this house looked like, and now I know.

17 January 2020

Good news for Aveling group

Following the group’s first public event last September (Thomas Aveling’s Birthday Celebration 2019), the Thomas Aveling Society rolls into 2020 with three positive developments to report.

Firstly, Hoo resident and talented artist Alan Page presented Michael Pearce with a fabulous painting showing an imagined scene featuring Thomas with one of his steam road rollers outside the Invicta Works in Strood.

Secondly, thanks to a donation of £200 from the Blakemore Foundation (owners of Hoo Spar), plus additional support by Village Voices Publishing, the ‘Mobile Thomas Aveling Museum’ will be launched later this month (January). The project is part of the group’s ‘Reaching Out Education Programme’ and will see an exhibition placed in schools and local groups for set periods.

Lastly, the Thomas Aveling Society recently lobbied Medway Council and housing developer Taylor Wimpey to assign Thomas Aveling themed names to roads on a new housing development along Stoke Road in Hoo (yet to start construction). Thomas worked for farmer Edward Lake (of Abbots Court) on the fields around Stoke Road (and Abbots Court) as a young man - possibly developing his early inventions and engineering ideas on the very fields now being developed. The Thomas Aveling Society has agreed for the following road names to be assigned: Thomas Aveling Road, Invicta Drive, Harvest Rise, Plough Close, Foundry Close, Blacksmith Lane and Edward Lake Drive.

The Thomas Aveling Society was formed in 2014 to promote and celebrate the life and legacy of pioneering engineer Thomas Aveling, who lived in Hoo as a boy and young man. He was buried in the churchyard at St. Werburgh Church following his death in 1882, aged 57.