Shops and tradesmen

Below 1910 Ordnance Survey Map showing location of original shops

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

This page contains Video footage

To supply the everyday needs of the residents living on the new estate there was built a 'Parade' of shops. They were built as part of the Maypole Estate and are to be found along the Old Bexley Lane. There are four units 'en bloc' at the most westerly end of the lane at the junction with Baldwyns Road. There are two other independent units that stand to the eastern end, either side of the entrance to Beaconsfield Road. We will run through each shop, in turn, to give an idea as to what was for sale within each, through the decades.

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Above Vines Post Office 1904. Mr Vine in doorway and Mrs Vine at the lamp post.

Below c2004. Maypole Stores can be seen just behind the 'Off Licence' sign.

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Below - 1936 outside Maypole Stores - the Post Office showing behind the telegraph pole.Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

We will also give an account, to the best of our ability, as to the names of persons shown on record as being linked with them. There was accommodation above each one - and the reader must not forget that at the time of construction it was the age of renting. Very few could afford to purchase their own accommodation.

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Above - Shops c1920 - note the little girl outside the corner shop - would she be allowed to roam alone these days ? Number 23 is the corner shop / building closest to the photographer.

Below - same location 70 years later.

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

There was a building on the site of the Cafe as far back as 1806 - see map of 1806 below
Note that there is a building just above the letters l and d in Baldings. This is the site of the cafe. The triangular shape of the land occupied by the premises known as the Cafe are on other maps / plans prior to the construction of the Maypole Estate

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath
Below - Video of shops 2002

and below . . . as it loooks in 2008

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

So, the records may show linked names, but they may have been tenants with no business interest. The numbering of properties in Old Bexley Lane has been recorded in various different ways over the years. This has not made identification of each property absolutely simple. It would appear that the following changes have occurred over the decades and the names of occupants recorded as thus:

12 - 19 were originally referred to as 12 - 19 'Ivy Villas' as in the records below

12 - 1918 and 1933 - TURNER - Maypole School Register (MSR)
13 - No record found as yet to this number being refered to as 'Ivy Villas'
14 - 1924 - LAWRENCE - Maypole School Register
15 - 1916 - STOKES - Maypole School Register
16 - 1916 - BURKE - Maypole School Register
17 - 1916 - TAYLOR - Maypole School Register
18 - 1916 - LUCAS - Maypole School Register
19 - 1916 - SIMS - Maypole School Register
20 - 23 ( the parade ) were originally referred to as 'Park View'.
20 - 1913 - GRAY - Maypole School Register - (Greengrocers)
21 - 1916 - BUSH - Maypole School Register
22 - 1916 - JIBB - Maypole School Register
23 - 1916 - BROOKS - Maypole School Register - Corner Shop - Cafe - and now private occupancy.

Numbers 12, 13, 20, 21, 22 and 23 were originally the shops.

Also, since the turn of the century Old Bexley Lane has been called:
Dartford Lane -
Ordnance Survey map 1869 and KELLYs Directory 1927 Bexley Lane - Maypole School Register - 1916 and Electoral Register 1937 and Old Bexley Lane - current name.

So, starting at the most easterly end of Old bexley Lane:

12 Old Bexley Lane

Discounting the original Maypole School - now Academy Court - (coming from the direction of Dartford) on the right, is number 12. It stands on the eastern side of the junction with Beaconsfield Road. It is the most substantial original building on the actual estate that still survives and, some say, quite the ugliest. Throughout our research we have not come across any address in Old Bexley Lane with a lower even number than 12. We have often wondered why it is the first even numbered address and the number allotted was 12. Why not 2 ? Bexley Hospital has been referred to as number 1. There are no numbers 2 to 11. It may well be that the site of the school was earmarked for other development, which never materialised.

Number 12 is a 3 storey high, double fronted building. It is a very long and narrow construction. The height and narrowness, together with the virtual windowless eastern elevation facing Academy Court, could lead one to imagine that it is incomplete and awaiting further development to the east. Indeed, the original plans that show the site of this building as one earmarked for the 'Maypole Hotel'. These plans are dated 31st July 1897 and supports the idea that it should have been developed further. These primary plans did not show any place for a school. Interestingly, they also showed that Beaconsfield Road was tentatively named 'Maypole Road'. The plans at the time also referred to Old Bexley Lane as 'Dartford Lane'. The names JENNINGS and FELL appear on the plans. As previously stated, these names also occur on documents relating to later stages of the early development of the estate.

Frank FELL is shown in the Electoral Register of 1900 as living in Elm Lodge (The first original house on the left in The Dell - now demolished). His name also appears in the original title deeds showing partition of land (dated 1900) including where number 27 Beaconsfield Road now stands. The date of construction of number 12 is c1900. Apart from the 'Hotel' theory we have no idea as to why it was built so tall and narrow. One person who contributed (Frank BLACKMAN) believed it was originally built as a 'pub'. In reality its' main and continuous use until c1980, would seem to have been that of a general store, and then as a Hire Firm up until c1982, and then as a Florists up to c1987. The ground floor was then converted into offices by CONISTON builders.

The 1901 Census shows the occupants as Charles C Mitchell (Head) born in Rotherhithe, London. His occupation was shown as a Coffee House Keeper. His wife Susannah was as also shown as being born in Rotherhithe and as being a Coffee House Keeper. They employed three assistants.


Records show that in 1880, when he was married, his profession was shown as a Carpenter. In 1904 Charles MITCHELL emigrated to Alberta, Canada.

The late Winnie BLACKMAN, stated that she remembered, as a child (c1915), the upstairs quarters being used for some sort of bible study by some children of the estate. We have no other record or other evidence to support this at the moment. After the census of 1901 the next census of 1911 does not show the address listed. However, it is believed that the occupants of this house as being Charles (Burt) CURDLING (c1911 - c1953). David TURNER and his son, Ernest were also shown as being there in 1917.They were most probably tenants as no one has referred to them as being shopkeepers.

Below the 1911 census - albeit for 23 Park View (The Cafe ?) is believed to relate to 12 Old Bexley Lane according to local knowledge.

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

The KELLYs Directory of 1927 names the proprietor as Charles CURDLING but he was known as 'Burt' to the locals. (Gwen Saunders, Frank Blackman, Alfred Peters). A member of the team interviewed his late daughter, Naomi, however, and she stated she was unaware of this nick-name and thought that he was better known as 'Chas'. Naomi sadly died in July 2001. The shop was known to the locals simply as 'CURDLINGS'. He ran a general store that sold foodstuffs and other goods - from clothes, lengths of cloth, tobacco and cigarettes to grocery and sweets. The above census record shows his occupation as a Draper.

Mr CURDLING also ran a car hire business from this shop (Mr Alfred PETERS, Naomi CURDLING). Naomi CURDLING was born c1909 and moved to the address of 1 Edith Villas, Hillcrest Road, Crayford when she was 18 months old. This would have been c1912 and would have been about the time that her father first owned and ran his shop in Old Bexley Lane. It now seems clear that he was not the first shopkeeper at the address. As a child she disliked the name Naomi and always preferred to be called Joan. Hence she was always known as Joan. Before she died she reverted back to Naomi. It's little teasers like this that throw the pack off the scent at times ! She stated that she never had much to do with the estate as she never lived or was schooled there. At the age of 90 (1998) she was still driving and very active and living at 1 Hillcrest Road, Crayford until 2001. She stated that her grandfather had a shop in Lowfield Street, Dartford. This was also called CURDLINGS and would have been at the turn of the 20th Century. This is where her father would have learned his skills. He has been described by several (including Mr Alfred PETERS) residents as a typical Dickension 'Mr Pickwick' character. He was a stout and red cheeked man, and by all accounts, had a matching character. A man of joviality, quick wit and generosity. This was confirmed by Naomi. He held his 50th wedding anniversary in the Maypole Institute Hut and sang 'My Old Dutch' with a very good voice. (Mr Alfred PETERS). Naomi stated that her father was very keen on automobiles and at the time of interview in 1998 she still owned a 1938 Austin - purchased new for her by her father. Mr CURDLING did not live at the store, but across the heath with his wife Annie, in the large Victorian house at 1 Edith Villas in Hillcrest Road, facing the cricket and football pitches.

The 1945 electoral register showed them as living at number 1 Edith Villas together with Annie. In 1926 the ground floor of CURDLINGS is described as long, dark, open and supported by pillars (Alfred Peters) - a very typical Edwardian General Store. The design remained virtually unchanged until the early 1980s. The 1937 Electoral Register (ER) shows that Nellie and William TURNER also lived at the premises - probably as tenants (and probably relatives to David and Ernest, already mentioned) in one of the flats above the shop. The Maypole School Register (MSR) of 1933 shows that William TURNER and his daughter Grace lived at 12 Park View. This is probably another name for the address. Assuming that these are one and the same address, the following are also shown on records as having lived there:-

Date Name Source

1901 MITCHELL Charles - Coffee House Keeper - Census
1911 CURDLING Charles - Draper - local knowledge - untested.
1917 TURNER Ernest MSR = Maypole School Register
1917 TURNER David (Guardian of Ernest) MSR
1923 ALLMAN Frederick aged 5 yrs MSR
1923 ALLMAN Joseph (Father / guardian of Frederick) MSR
1924 ALLMAN William aged 5 yrs MSR
1924 ALLMAN Joseph ( Father / guardian of William) MSR
1926 ALLMAN May Jane aged 4 and a half yrs MSR
1926 ALLMAN Joseph ( Father / guardian of May ) MSR
1930 THORNTON Norman aged 5 yrs MSR
1930 THORNTON Lester ( Parent / guardian of Morman) MSR
1933 TURNER Grace aged 5 yrs MSR
1933 TURNER William ( Father / guardian of Grace ) MSR
1937 TURNER Nellie and William ER= Electoral Register
1945 TURNER Nellie and William ER
1953 WILLIAMS Lynn aged 5 yrs MSR
1953 WILLIAMS Gwylim ( Father / guardian of Lynn ) MSR
1954 BARRETT Ronald aged 5 yrs MSR
1954 BARRETT Lance ( Father / guardian of Ronald) MSR
1958 HOLMES Edith and Robert ER
1958 PROSSER Anthony and Joan ER
1958 ROBERTS Lilly ER
1960 BARRETT John aged 5 yrs MSR
1960 BARRETT Lance ( Father of / guardian of John) MSR
1967 RIKJE Anita aged 7 yrs MSR
1967 RIKJE Halvor ( Father / guardian of Anita ) MSR
1968 BULLARD Donald and Faith ER
1968 ROBERTS Lilly ER
1971 ROBERTS Lilly ER
1971 RIKJE Iris ( Mother of Anita ) ER

Naomi was of the opinion that her father sold the shop in the late 1940s During the time 1955 - 1982 and beyond, the shop was known as 'ROBERTS' (c1955 - c1976) and as being owned by Mr and Mrs ROBERTS - the daughter Vera married Lance 'Spadge' BARRETT who we believe came from Baldwyns Road. She helped run the store and then took over when Lilly became too old to manage.

Chas CURDLING died in 1954 aged 80 years - shown in the Dartford registers.

c1976 - c1980 Taken over by family of Asian origin and then by another white couple who lived on Joydens Wood. c1980 - c1984 The General Store closed as such and was then known as JEDS Hire Shop. They hired out the usual building and engineering hire tools.

c1984 - c1987 Flower Shop c1987 - Date Flats and offices including those of CONISTON Builders who, until recently owned (and may still do) the building.

13 Old Bexley Lane (The Post Office)

Number 13 stands in Old Bexley Lane to the west of the junction with Beaconsfield Road. It had always been a Post Office until c2002. The shop was built, along with the first of the other original houses, c1900. The Electoral Register of 1900 shows Frederick VINE as living there. He was the first proprietor and the shop was always known as 'VINES' - certainly commonly until the 1980s - some use the name still. Frederick VINE ran the shop, along with his wife Catherine. The KELLY's Register of 1918 and 1927 names Catherine as living in Old Bexley Lane, Maypole Estate and running a Post Office and Grocers. It is the only shop that still trades somewhere in the region of its intended and original purpose - once a Post Office and general store, but now a tobacconist / news / sweets corner shop. A hundred years down the line and people still crossed the threshold for stamps, string and letter paper.

The 1901 census shows that Frederick and Catherine had 6 children - Frederick 20yrs, Albert 17yrs, Arthur 15yrs, Daniel 11yrs, Ethel 8yrs, Katie 6yrs and Maria aged 4 yrs. Albert and Daniel are shown in various registers. The latter was a musician and performed on stage and radio in the 1920s \ 1930s in an Act known as 'Vine, Moore and Levard'. (Frank BLACKMAN, Ruth LENNOX and Winnie BLACKMAN) Albert married Dorothy Joan and later moved into 2 Beaconsfield Road, his mother and father still working, and living at the Post Office. They had a daughter, Dorothy May, who was born on 28th April 1925. She started at Maypole School on 19th March 1934. The register shows that she had last attended a school in Woolwich. This would indicate that Albert left the Post Office, married, lived in Woolwich, then returned to the Estate. The page on Ivy Villas gives a little more information about Frederick Vine.

Below - extract from the 1901 Census

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

2 Beaconsfield Road is the closest house to the Post Office in that road. Records show that the family of WINCHCOMBE lived there, certainly between the dates 1907 to 1931. Did they share the same address ? It would seem, from what we have been told, that these terraced houses were quite capable of housing two small families at the same time. In 1955 this house still had the basic facilities for two families. There was a sink and tap in the rear bedroom - possibly the 'kitchen / dining' area of an upstairs flat type accommodation. However, there was only one toilet - and this was downstairs. The VINES ran the Post Office for nearly 50 years. The last Electoral Register entry we have bearing their name is in 1945. The next one of 1958 shows no sign of them, either in Beaconsfield Road or at the Post Office. In May 1955 records show that 2 Beaconsfield Road was purchased from a woman called Mrs KIRKHAM.

The petrol and paraffin pumps Frederick VINE sold Paraffin and Petrol from two hand operated pumps installed in the rear garden of the Post Office, facing Beaconsfield Road. The petrol was drawn from the pump and placed into a marked, glass container. It was then gravity fed (poured !) into the tank. In 1926 the price of petrol was elevenpence ha'penny a gallon (just under 5 new pence) (Alfred PETERS)

'The Paper Round' In 1926 Mr Alfred Peters was aged 12 years old. He was the son of the Chief Fireman at Bexley Hospital and lived at the entrance in West Lodge. It was at about this time that he gained the prestigious, and well sought after position of 'paper boy' for 'Bert' VINE. Mr VINE employed three paper boys at the time. Alfred tells me that his round consisted of Cold Blow, Baldwyns Park, Tile Kiln Lane, Summerhouse Drive and Baldwyns Road. None of the boys had bicycles at the time and all deliveries were on foot. The day started at 7.00.a.m. when the papers and magazines were sorted and marked up. Mr Peters remembers that the bag was extremely heavy and would chaffe his knees (short trousers for boys until 14 yrs old was the order of the day !). Morning 'Round' over, he went to school. In those days the school had a lunch break of two hours between 12.00 midday and 2.00 p.m. During this time he would go back to VINES for an hour and do errands. After school, in the evenings he would walk to Bexley Station to collect the evening papers, mark them and deliver them round the estate. On Saturday morning Alfred would deliver the papers and collect the 'paper money'. Upon his return to the Post Office Mr VINE would then count it. If there was any short it would be deducted from the boys' wages. In the afternoon Alfred would sit in the shop and wait for errands to run. He would also measure out the paraffin from the pump in the rear garden. Sunday was an 'easy day' with just the morning round to do. Alfred's' wage was 3s 6d ( 17 new pence ) a week - plus a dozen toffees. Alfred remarked that he was 'well pleased' to eventually hand in his notice to take better employment working as a 'Grocers delivery boy' for Mr SCOTTs High Class Grocery Shop in Bexley Village. He was supplied with a Trade Bike and a weeks' work in the school holiday would fetch 15s ( 75 new pence )

In 1959 the man who ran the shop at the time was a Mr Thomas TAYLOR. He was a Scotsman. He was a large man with a heart to match. His wife was called Grace. It is said that she had a rather serious face and manner. Mr TAYLOR would sometimes give out sweets to the kids on the estate. Sadly, it was not long after this that he suffered a stroke (c 1961) and became instantly bedridden. His speech was also terribly affected. They hurriedly had to sell up. There have been several occupants since. From records, below is a list of some of the occupants of the Post Office:-

Date Name Source

1900 VINE Frederick ER = Electoral Register
1901 VINE Frederick and Catherine Census
1911 VINE """ """
1918 VINE Catherine KELLYS Directory
1925 VINE Burt Frank BLACKMAN
1925 VINE Dan Frank BLACKMAN
1927 VINE Catherine KELLYS Directory
1928 WEBB Kenneth aged 9 yrs MSR = Maypole School register
1928 WEBB Maureen aged 7 yrs MSR
1928 WEBB Ethel L. Parent / Guardian of Kenneth
and Maureen MSR
1937 PHILLIPS Ethel ER
1937 VINE Catherine ER
1937 VINE Douglas Charles ER
1937 VINE Frederick ER
1945 PHILLIPS Edith ER
1945 VINE Daniel C ER
1945 VINE Frederick ER
1945 WEBB Ethel ER
1958 TAYLOR Grace ER
1958 TAYLOR Thomas ER
1968 KINGSLAND Florence ER
1968 KINGSLAND Frederick ER
1976 PATEL Arunkamar ER
1976 PATEL Avantika ER
1976 PATEL Rambhai ER

The 'Parade of Shops' - 20 to 23

20 Old Bexley Lane

Number 20 is the first 'book end' of the small parade, coming from the direction of Dartford. In the 1950s and early 1960s, these premises were run as 'Challices' the greengrocers. They supplied fresh fuit and veg to the Maypole Estate. This was a busy little shop as freezers and fridges in the 1950s / 60s was quite uncommon. The back yard had a half covered area to store the produce. There was also room for a flat back lorry - and one was parked most of the time there. There was a friendly old German Shepherd dog chained out the back. The earliest record of occupation we have of the premises goes back to 1916 when the Maypole School Register showed that Catlin GRAY lived there with her father, William. The Kellys' Register of 1927 shows William GRAY as a shopkeeper. He was a greengrocer. (Winnie BLACKMAN) Records below show the occupation of the premises:-

1911 Census

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Date Name Source

1901 ALLEN Harry - occupation Butcher. Sarah shown as his wife. There was a 'servant' Mary Oconnor, CENSUS.
1911 GRAY William and family - shown as Greengrocer - Census
1913 GRAY Catling Rawlings aged 6 yrs MSR = Maypole School Register
1913 GRAY William George father of Catling MSR
1936 CHALLIS John Gilbert aged 5 yrs MSR The CHALLICE family ran a greengrocers from these premises.
1939 CHALLICE Norman aged 6 yrs MSR
1936 CHALLIS Phillip Clifford parent of John MSR
1937 CHALICE Phoebe (Wife of Phillip Snr ?) ER = Electoral Register
1937 CHALICE Phillip J ER
1939 CHALLICE Phillip father of Norman MSR
1945 CHALICE Phillip C Snr ER
1945 CHALICE Phoebe ER
1958 CHALICE Phillip Snr ER
1964 CHALICE Cheryl Anne aged 6 yrs MSR
1964 CHALICE Sheila parent of Cheryl MSR

With regards the first entry of the GRAYs - the MSR shows that Catling GRAY entered school on 13th February 1913. Her sister Ivy entered on 29th September the same year. The father is shown as William for both - but the address changes. Catling is shown as number 20 and Ivy as number 22. I believe that this is a clerical mistake and that the correct address is, in fact, number 20 - the greengrocers. Alfred PETERS - an ex resident - remembers that the RIPLEYS of Darford had a stake in, or ran, the property c1930 - 1939. They still run a greengrocers firm in Dartford (as well?) I have since learned that Phillip CHALLICE was married to one of the RIPLEY daughters (Phoebe ?) and this is where the connection occurs. (Mr Gordon LENNOX - now living in New Zealand) The school register of 1939 shows that CHALLICES had arrived. John was aged 5 years and Norman was aged 3 yrs old at the time. Their father was Phillip. The Challices remained at number 20 until the mid 1960s. The premises then changing use to that of a motor repairers.

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Above Left to Right - Ernie GOSLING, three CHALLICE children and David CRUICKSHANK

The 1970s then saw the change of use to 'Citycrest' Caterers. This firm ceased to trade there c1992. The premises are no longer used as a shop.

21 Old Bexley Lane(Park View) At present, the shop business remains a bit of a mystery, as hard and fast records are very sketchy. Basically, records show that in its' infancy it was Jas COATES butchers. The 1911 Census is below.

1911 Census

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

A photograph c1916 shows the shop with 'J COATES' above the window. The 1927 KELLYs Directory shows that Jas COATES was a butcher. Winnie BLACKMAN stated that she remembers COATES the Butchers c1928, next door to GRAYs. The family COATES is not shown in any Electoral Register in our records. In the late 1950s / early 1960s it was a hardware type electrical type battery shop. In the mid 60s to early 1980s it was a bric a brac / antiques / book shop.

Below are the names appearing on records that we have:-

Date Name Source

1901 WALKING Albert - occupation Greengrocer. Wife shown as Sarah. Looks like Thomas and Emily were lodgers. Census.
1911 BUSH Walter and family - Butcher - Census
1913 BUSH Doris Minnie aged 14 yrs MSR = Maypole School Register
1913 BUSH Walter Edwin Frederick, or Frank (FK) aged 9 yrs MSR
1913 BUSH Walter father of Rose, Doris and John MSR
1914 LEADER Willie aged 6 yrs MSR
1915 LEADER Rose aged 13 yrs MSR
1915 WHIBLEY Arthur William aged 12 yrs MSR
1915 BUSH John aged 7 yrs MSR
1915 WHIBLEY Eric John aged 6 yrs MSR
1915 WHIBLEY Cyril Peter aged 4 yrs MSR
1915 WHIBLEY Henry Frank father of Eric Cyril and Arthur MSR
1927 COATES Jas. (Butcher) WINNIE
1937 BROWN Albert Henry ER = Electoral Register
1937 BROWN Kitty ER
1958 BALL Harry F ER
1958 BALL Mary A S ER

The below explains in more depth . . Between 1913 and 1916 the Maypole School Register shows three families as living at the address viz: BUSH, LEADER and WHIBLEY. Early records from the (Maypole School Register) show that the following children lived there in 1915:- John BUSH aged 7 years, Walter Edwin BUSH aged 11 years, Rose BUSH aged 13 years and Doris BUSH aged 16 years - having left the school. The father \ guardian was shown as Walter BUSH. John and Walter are shown as leaving on 7th February 1915 to go to Crayford. Presumably the family moved out then.

In addition, the same register shows the following as living there:-

Willie LEADER aged 10 years (1916) - entered school 1914 - left 1916 - left district

Rose LEADER aged 13 years (1915) - entered school 1915 - left 1915 - left district Another entry in the records shows a Rose LEADER, with the same date of birth, as also being resident at Manor Gate Home, Leyton Cross in 1914. There is no record of parentage for these two little LEADERS. The register shows the following as living there in 1915:- Arthur WHIBLEY aged 12 years - entered school 12th April 1915 Eric WHIBLEY aged 6 years - entered school 7th June 1915 Cyril WHIBLEY aged 5 years - entered school 7th June 1915 Their father was shown as being Henry WHIBLEY Cyril WHIBLEY went on to marry Elsie and live at 15 Baldwyns Road. His children Angela, Maureen, Martin and Ann also went to Maypole School. Eric WHIBLEY went on to marry May and live at 24a Beaconsfield Road. His children Raymond, Brenda and Beryl also went to the school. Albert and Kitty BROWN lived there in 1937. Also in 1937 a newspaper cutting described the sad funeral of a Charlotte GRIMSHAW - a teacher of great renown locally - who lived at 9 Baldwyns Road. She died quite young at the age of 47 yrs. Mentioned in this newspaper cutting were the names of many mourners - including those of Mr and Mrs COATES. This is the only firm reference, in document form, that I have of the family name. Harry and Mary BALL lived there in 1958.

22 Old Bexley Lane
(Park View) Again, hard and fast records are less than revealing as to its identity and chronological useage. Information leads me to believe that it was a shoe shop and repairer c1920/1930. The bootmaker was killed in a Road Traffic accident (c1927) outside the Hospital gates when he was run over by a motor cyclist named W BOYCE from Bexley. After this happened, the shop was taken over by the Dartford Cooperative Society. (Alfred PETERS). Mr (Edward) MILES owned the shop (c1950s early 1960s). He sold and repaired shoes and boots. We do not know when he ceased trading and do not know if anyone took over from him. We are told told that he had a daughter, Christine, who had a tragic illness. Apparantly one half of her grew normally and the other side failed to. She died very young. The death is reflected in the Maypole School register. She was born January 1945, entered the school in April 1950 and last attended classes on 23rd July 1954. Reason for leaving - in hospital - deceased August 1956. The below are shown as residing at 22 Old Bexley Lane:-

1911 census

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Date Name Source

1901 LEGGE Martin (apt name) occupation Bootmaker. Census.
1911 JIBB / LOVELAND / RANSOM - census
1913 GRAY Ivy aged 13 yrs MSR = Maypole School Register
1913 GRAY William (Father) MSR
1914 JIBB Cyril aged 13yrs MSR
1915 JIBB Marjorie aged 13yrs MSR
1915 JIBB Charles (Father) MSR
1930 BEDWELL Leslie aged 14yrs MSR
1931 BEDWELL William aged 11yrs MSR
1931 BEDWELL Bernard (Father) (Manager of Co-op) MSR \ Alfred PETERS
1932 ANDERSON Bertram aged 11 yrs MSR
1932 ANDERSON Eileen aged 7 yrs MSR
1932 ANDERSON Henry (Father) MSR
1932 CLARKE Barbara aged 4 yrs MSR
1932 CLARKE Frederick (Father) MSR
1936 RALPH HIlda - stayed 2 days MSR
1936 NORTH Winnie (Aunt of Hilda RALPH) MSR
1937 COOPER Amy Florence ER = Electoral Register
1937 COOPER Benjamin ER
1945 COOPERs as above ER
1950 MILES Christine aged 5 yrs MSR
1950 MILES Edward (Father) MSR
1958 CURRY Agnes ER
1958 HARRISON Kathleen ER
1958 MILES Edward ER
1958 MILES May ER
1967 TUERINA Frances MSR
1967 TUERINA Leonard (Father) MSR
1968 TUERINA Leonard ER
1968 TUERINA Patricia ER
1976 WRIGHT Marie D ER

As already stated with this address and the first entry of the GRAYs - the MSR shows that Catling GRAY enterd school on 13th February 1913. Her sister Ivy entered on 29th September the same year. The father is shown as William for both - but the address changes. Catling is shown as number 20 and Ivy as number 22. We believe that this is a clerical mistake and that the correct address is, in fact, number 20 - the greengrocers.

23 Old Bexley Lane(Park View)- Maypole Café

The earliest record we have of the Cafe is a planning application for a Coffee tavern, Maypole Estate for Mr.T.A. Osborne in 1897
The Census records for 1901 show that it was a Shop - run by Margaret HARDY - her husband was a carpenter.
This address until c2000 was the Maypole Cafe. To the Maypole team it is probably the most interesting site remaining on the Maypole housing estate. It is interesting because the current building sits on the footprint of an older one. The Ordnance Survey Map of 1869 shows a building at exactly the same angle to the Old Bexley Lane and with the same triangular frontage. We have yet to establish what the original building was - and this is what is so fascinating. The nearness to Baldwyns Manor indicates the possibility of some link. Could it have been the residence of a bailiff, gamekeeper, a tradesman (blacksmith ?) or a building of recreation or refreshment ?

The original building was there prior to Broomhills, Heathwood and Maypole House. Its' contemporary near neighbours would have been Maypole Farm and Baldwyns Manor. The older residents remember this as BROOKS' shop. Sweets, confectionary and cigarettes were sold. There was a small area set aside as a café. (Alfred PETERS). People of later generations only remember it just as a café. It has a cellar. There were wooden doors in the pavement, facing Old Bexley Lane - like a draymans cellar door outside a public house. Access from the street, originally, would have been for bringing in goods. Whether a cellar existed in the older building and whether there was access from the street we do not know. There is an outbuilding at the very rear and it is constructed as a workshop, complete with chimney ! Considering the date of this latest construction, it is quite feasible to think that the purpose of the outbuildings to this property and that of the Greengrocers at number 20 was for the stabling of horses.

Recollections of Alfred PETERS c1927 reveal that the Cafe was a meeting place for some youngsters. In particular, he recalls that after Carol Singing in the freezing cold with his mates, they would all 'adjourn' to the cafe and have hot pineapple drinks.

Strangely enough, the 1911 Census shows the CURDLINGs as living there ? Yet they have always been associated with No. 12 Old Bexley Lane - CURDLINGs ?

1911 Census

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

The following have been recorded as living there:-

1901 HARDY William (Carpenter and Joiner). Wife Margaret HARDY - Shopkeeper and Grocer.
1911 CURDLING family - census.
1916 BROOKS David James aged 13 yrs MSR = Maypole School Register
1916 BROOKS Elvey father of David MSR
1922 BROOKS Rose aged 11 yrs MSR
1920 BROOKS Alfred BROOKS Parent / Guardian of Rose MSR
1933 NEVILLE Ann born 23.8.1926 MSR
1933 NEVILLE Guy father of Richard Ann and Joan MSR 1935 NEVILLE Ann born 23.1.1928 MSR
1935 NEVILLE Richard Guy aged 7 yrs MSR
1935 NEVILLE Joan aged 5 yrs MSR
1942 MILTON Iris June aged 9 yrs MSR
1942 MILTON Henry Ernest aged parent of iris MSR
1945 MILTON Lily ER = Electoral register
1945 ROBERTS Derek ER
1945 ROBERTS Ernest C ER
1950 COWARD Peter James aged 9 yrs MSR
1950 COWARD Edna Gladys parent of Peter MSR
1952 REYNOLDS Angela Mary aged 5 yrs MSR
1952 REYNOLDS George parent of Angela MSR
1953 HARRISON Susan aged 4 yrs MSR
1953 HARRISON Dorothy parent of Susan MSR
1968 ASHMADE Albert E ER
1968 ASHMADE Florence ER
1968 BOLTON Frederick E ER
1968 BOLTON Joyce P ER
1976 BOLTON Frederick E ER
1976 BOLTON Patricia J ER
1976 ESHMADE Albert E ER
1976 ESHMADE Florence ER

Fred and Joyce BOLTON lived there until c2000 when the Café was still running - at least 70 years down the line. It is now refurbished and private occupancies.

Read the memories of Barbara Rivers of the shops

Below are two photographs of the 'shops at the 'Dip' c1955

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

and below - how it looks in 2006

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

and how it looks in 2006 below

Shops and tradesmen - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

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