Class of '62 - perhaps! Are you here? Please get in touch and lets get the names correct.
Class of '65 Pottery Road School. To retain the quality, these are big pictures.
Are all the names correct? Are you here? If so, please get in touch. email@example.com
East of the Village 1
East of the Village 2
South of the Village
The Village and Bells Lane
West of the Village
Hoo St. Werburgh is the name which was given to the Constitutional Parish in 1968. To some people it was always known by this name but most referred to it simply, as Hoo. There have been several changes to the Boundaries - and the Parish, over the last 100 years has, or does, include Hoo, Chattenden, part of Lower Upnor and a small piece of Cooling. Some Boundary changes were made as recently as 1963.
There has been a settlement here since Roman times and there are the remains of a Roman Burial Ground between the Church and the River. The Church stands on the site of a Saxon predecessor and is mostly thirteenth century but the tower and steeple are a fifteenth century addition. There are several good examples of domestic architecture, mainly Inns and Farmhouses, which date from the early eighteenth century. For example the Five Bells Inn was known to exist in 1715 and Meadow House in 1710. The next developments came at the end of the nineteenth century when houses in Stoke Road (Known as High Street until 1959) were built to accommodate workers in the newly arrived industries of gravel extraction, brick making and pottery. Later, before the First World War, accommodation was provided in Bells Lane for workers at Kingsnorth Air Station, and in Chattenden Lane for the workers at the ammunition stores. The next developments came during the 1918-1931 period and included Armytage Terrace and Villas in 1921/22 and St. Werburgh Crescent in 1931. The largest development of all occurred in the 1960's in the area to the East of Bells Lane, in Chattenden and in Church Street. (If you know when your house in Hoo was built, please drop me a line at the email address at the bottom of the home page) In 1891 the population was 1,400, but by 1971 it was 7,700. Thereafter large development ceased and it reached 7800 by 1981, 8100 in 1984 and is now around 10000.
Hoo St. Werburgh has had a long association with the armed services. Cockham Wood Fort, on the riverside, was completed by 1700, after the raid by the Dutch in 1667, but only a small portion of it remains.
Hoo Fort, on Hoo Ness Island, was, with others, built in the 1860's as a defence against possible invasion by the French. Chattenden Barracks was started in 1872 and at first was used by the Admiralty, but more recently became a training centre for the Royal Engineers. Kingsnorth Air Station occupied a large area at the eastern end of the Parish from the beginning of the twentieth century. It was within the responsibility of the Admiralty and various experiments with dirigibles and winged aircraft were carried out there.
Kings Hill Camp, at the top of Bells Lane, a hutted camp, was built for use in the Second World War, but was demolished in 1975 for more housing. Here and there can be found the remains of the Chattenden and Upnor Military Railway and the Chattenden Naval Tramway. As to Industry, the Brickworks and Pottery are no longer in existence and they have been replaced by a number of small industrial concerns and by the Kingsnorth Power Station. The small firms are concentrated on the Kingsnorth Industrial Estate and the Marina Industrial Estate, but farming remains the most important and extensive industry. Developments in industry have been accompanied by increasingly varied leisure time opportunities to be found at the Hoo Marina and by the riverside generally, at Deangate Sports Complex, at Upnor and at the Hundred of Hoo Swimming Pool.
The origins of many of the street names are very interesting - the majority being named after past prominent inhabitants of the parish. Wylie, from the marine artist who once lived at Hoo Lodge; Walters and Marley who were vicars of the parish; Aveling, the inventor of the steam roller; Armytage, Killick, Vidgeon, all farmers; Truebridge, a one-time local doctor; Knight(s) who was for many years headmaster of the village school and many others. There is also Butt Haw Close, built on the site of the old vicarage garden. This is in the vicinity of the meadow where the local populace held their archery practice after, we hope, attending church on a Sunday morning. Hence the name 'Butt'. Two new roads off Bells Lane, Grandsire Gardens and Peal Close, are references to bellringing - Grandsire being a 'Method' frequently rung on church bells and a 'Peal' is 5000 changes or more, taking about three hours to complete.
St. Werburgh lived in the seventh century and was the daughter of Wulfere, King of Mercia. She established nunneries at Hoo and elsewhere, and became the supervisor of all the religious houses for women in Mercia. Originally buried at Hoo, her body was later removed to Chester, a safer place at the time, and the Cathedral developed around her shrine. Apart from Chester and Hoo, Wembury, near Plymouth in Devon is one of a few that has its Church dedicated to St. Werburgh. Her motto was 'Live and let live'.
With acknowledgement to D.S.Worsdale and everyone who has lent me photographs and pictures.