This page is about recent Finds & Donations from local Town Folk.
Painted Pebbles - 1st September 07
These stones were found in the BRIDGE TRUST Homeless Charity shop 17 Quarry Hill Road
Helen Corser from Douglas Road Tonbridge produced these stone pictures,Helen died about 20 years ago 1980s, she never sold any of these paintings . If somebody were going to the coast she would ask him or her to bring her back some large stones, which she would paint and then give to the person who gave her the stones.
Does anyone else have any painted stones from Helen Corser or know any more about this lady - Please mail (Painted Pebbles)
Support your Charity Shop you will never know what you’ll find.
Oil Painting of the Great Bridge & Medway 1911 - 8th September 07
A truly wonderful family painted armature oil painting dated 1911, Donated by David & Sandra Norton.
The Norton’s a family of boat builders from the mid 1800 who dominated the River Medway in Tonbridge. Many town folk will remember hiring a boat and paddling from the Racecourse to the Shallows & the weir for a dip in the Medway passing courting couples around Tinkers Island.
The painting can be seen on display in Tonbridge castle, the scene has not changed much today the building in the picture were built 1888 when the new great bridge was built.
The Norton’s are researching their family tree, and are hoping that a few people from the town may have additional pictures of the family or even know any stories. If so please mail any reference to the following link. NORTON'S
More information on the Norton’s will follow soon under Robert history adventures called The Changing Face of the Medway.
H T White Bottle Top with the Tonbridge crest - 9th September 07
Donated by Steve Briggs & Son found in behind the front door frame in a house in Lyons Crescent Tonbridge now with the collection of Tonbridge Bottles in Tonbridge Castle. I have two bottles from H T White both without stoppers so this was a nice addition to the collection many thanks.
HT White wine & Spirit Merchants 148 Tonbridge High Street started business in 1910 & traded in Tonbridge until the late 1990s when they moved the business to Eastbourne and still trade today as a Family business.
H.T. White & Co. Ltd.
15 Alder Close
East Sussex BN23 6QF ( Link )
G Singleton Enamel sign
Internet find - 4 x 16 Cobalt Blue on White Background George Singleton Dairyman Cage Green Farm 1915
Tonbridge Bowls Club at the Angel Cricket Ground - 22nd September 07
A lovely trio of Tonbridge Sporting memorabilia - Tonbridge Bowls Club founded in 1906 an outdoor lawn bowling club
1906- The first meeting of Tonbridge Cricket Club(TBC) members interested in setting up a bowls club was held in the spring at the Angel Hotel. It was agreed to establish the Tonbridge Bowling Club and that the headquarters be at the Angel Hotel. A suitable area had been allocated for a green which was laid out and prepared by the cricket club groundsman.
The green was kept in order by the Tonbridge Cricket Club and no person could become a member of the Bowling Club unless a member of the Cricket Club.
The annual subscription was set at 2/6d per annum and 59 members joined in the first year. Founder members included F W Franks- shopkeeper the first President who opened the green on the 27th April , A Cornell- Jeweler & watchmaker, who was reputed to have been the first owner of a motor car to drive through the High Street just after the turn of the century. W Ede- Confectioner, C Payne- Captain a former Sussex Cricketer and George (Gaffer) Stacey- Headmaster of Tonbridge National School later the Slade school and town councilor. Fixtures in the first season-included Hawkhurst, Pembury, Sevenoaks & Crystal Palace.
Small Trophy - Winner 1953 Tonbridge Hospital Pairs A.SHAW - Medal T.B.C Novices 1936 A.SHAW - Tonbridge Bowling Club 1910
These were found at Greta May Antiques - 7 Hadlow Road Tollgate Buildings. A wonderful Friendly antique shop with something for everyone.
West Kent Drug Company Bottle - 28th October 07
The west kend Drug Company was only in buiness from 1908 -1915 at 38 high street
CHEMIST one versed in CHEMISTRY
ANALYTICAL CHEMIST one trained in Chemical Analysis, one who has passed the examination of the institute of Chemistry.
CHEMIST & DRUGGIST One who has passed Minor examination of the Pharmaceutical Society.
PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMIST one who has passed the major examination of the Pharmaceutical Society.
Smith & Son Imperial pint beer Bottle - 8th November 07
Smith & Son Grocer and Porter Merchant High Street c 1859 - 1910 this bottle is also known in Amber glass, other bottles from Smith & Son are two stoneware Porter bottles inpressed Tunbridge old spelling and two Black Glass beers. Also in the collection is a round face wall clock.
A Present from Tonbridge - 23rd Febuary 08
This Plate the first picture was found at Greta May Antiques - 7 Hadlow Road Tollgate Buildings. The Heather floral design was the same as a small crew et set already in the collection. i would imagine that there are more items with this design.
A wonderful Friendly antique shop with something for everyone good parking to the side well worth a visit .
A Sketch of Tonbridge Castle - December 08
One evening while researching on the internet for information on the Town I came across a painting of a scene I recognized straight away. Further investigation lead me to the truly fantastic art works of Roland Lee.
Roland Lee is a full time artist living in southern Utah near Zion National Park. And each year Roland and his wife travel to various parts of the world where he sketches and paints on location.
Roland Lee has become internationally recognized for his transparent watercolor paintings of the Southwest, rural America, and European landscapes. His watercolor landscape paintings are now in over 1,000 museum, university, corporate, and private art collections throughout the world.
While looking through Roland’s Traveling sketchbook I came across his Kent England Sketchbook with some truly amazing sketches of Chiddingstone, Hever, Penshurst, Scotney castle, and Tonbridge.
Roland’s artistic talents caught my eye and the sketch of the Castle reminded me of other sketches in the collection of traveling artists who found our castle and inspiration to draw.
I emailed Roland about the sketch asking if he would be willing to sale the sketch to add to the collection. After exchanging several emails, Roland agreed to donate and allow the drawing to become part of the Castle Collection.
Roland’s sketch now takes pride of place in collection at Tonbridge Castle.
Please look at his work on the below pictures.
|Click Picture Above Link
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See more of Rolands work at WWW.ROLANDLEE.COM
The "B" Mineral Water Company Codd Bottle - Sevenoaks oct 08
Donated By Glenn Wood builder who found while doing ground work in Hildenborough.
Niagra patent Reg. No. 65433 codd bottle dated around 1891 the time the "B" Mineral Company took over the mineral waters Firm of John William Woods of Sevenoaks.
The 'B' Mineral Water Company began trading the Masonic Buildings, High Street Tonbridge, Kent in 1887 under the proprietorship of John Salkeld", Horsley and Co
This Patent can also be found in Lime Green and light and dark Amber Glass from Tonbridge & Sevenoaks unfortunately i only have a have a broken one from Sevenoaks in the collection in Amber Glass so if anyone out there has one please let me know even if broken .
A Truly nice addition to the collection at Tonbridge Castle many thanks
More information on The "B" Mineral Water Company can be found on the Link
click on the bottle.
Tunbridge Sketch finds it way back home
Donated by a Mr Dennis Kim from Torrance, California
The Sketch dated 1861 was found among a bunch of other sketches of the English Country including maps of the world some not being finished by
the Artist Master W. Lewis,
The sketch unlike many other painting drawings of Tonbridge / Tunbridge Castle being from the front , this is from the side below the mote.
The nice thing about it is the added figure the man with the gun, Was this a sight W.Lewis visualised artistic rights or was the man shooting game birds we will never know.
Also was it ever turned into a completed art work and is now hanging on a wall somewhere, These sketches are like early photos drawn through the eyes of a travailing artists.
Master W. Lewis who was he if you know or have a sketch of the castle let me know , Thank you for such a great picture Dennis and give me a call if you come .
Tonbridge Clay Pipe
Thomas Spencer, occupation Confectioner 1881 Tonbridge 52 High Street
Tunbridge Ware Prints on Box
Unlike the Tunbridge Ware associated with a form of decoratively inlaid woodwork typically in the form of boxes .
This is a very early Wise paper print box George Wise 1703 -79 Tunbridge Ware Maker .
|Paper Prints for boxes by George Wise Tunbridge Ware maker 1703 -79
| Lovely small box Depicting the top right print of the Wise Manufactory next to the Great Bridge
Wise Manufactory next to the Great Bridge
For more information on Tunbridge Ware please click on the above picture
Henry Smith Tunbridge 1762
A Lovely dated early earthenware Drinking tankard pulled from the muddy bed of the river Medway Tonbridge near the Castle Pub. Note old spelling TUNBRIDGE .
Horseshoe Ink Well " SNAPDRAGON " Tonbridge
SNAPDRAGON troop Leader Charger Western Troop 1903 -1911. Prize for best man Tonbridge 1912. Presented to Trooper S.D.STEVENSON by his troop leader.
Tonbridge Bank note £1.00 The towns first Bank
The Tonbridge Bank was founded by three local men of the highest integrity and financial standing around 1792. They were messrs, Children, Woodgate, and Scones, but after a short life it closed its doors in 1812. Another attempt to offer banking facilities followed almost immediately and was sponsored by Messrs. Mercer and Barlow, with reputed backing from Mr Children. They failed within three years, but all their creditors were paid 20s. In the£, plus accrued interest, although they had to wait twelve years for their money.
Having noticed the pitfalls of his predecessors, Mr. Thomas Beeching, who came to the town as a draper in 1789, decided to open his own bank around 1814, and he was the only banker in the town until the London and County Bank opened its doors in 1836.
These two carried on the only banking facilities in the town until 1906, when there was an amalgamation between Beeching, s Bank and Lloyds Bank Ltd .
Thomas Hooker the Castle Owner sketches his Castle 1785
Thomas Hooker sketches his own castle a lovely pen and ink on old paper that reads -Tunbridge Castle from the Seat in front 1785. The seat being the owner and at this time the owner was Thomas Hooker I have had the writing compared with other documents of hookers and the writing would appear to be the same.
A very unique item from a man that changed the face of our town.
Nice early water colour Title "Summer Hill Tunbridge 28th
Note both the spelling "Somerhill and Tunbridge"
Somerhill House is a grade 1 listed jacobean mansion situated in Tonbridge Kent. It was built for Richard de Burgh in 1611–13. The estate was sequestrated by Parliament in 1645, and restored to its rightful owner in 1660. The building had become derelict by the mid-eighteenth century but was later restored. Somerhill was painted by Turner in 1811. It was bought by a member of the Goldsmid family in 1849 and greatly extended between 1879 and 1897, making it the second largest house in Kent, after Knole House Sevenoaks.
Nice Oil of The Port Reeve's House, Tonbridge signed AC . Date unknown
The Port Reeve’s House in East Street is believed to be the oldest house in Tonbridge, and is a one of most attractive buildings in our town
H.R .BECKETTS -MSP CHEMIST TONBRIDGE
Donated by an anonymous person handed in at the castle for me with a note found in my garden – whoever you are thank you very much indeed. H.R Beckett ran his business at 5 Quarry Hill 1894 -1915. In the picture you can see H.R.Beckett outside his shop. This is where Lidl is today
A very nice addition to the collection thank you
If you find any bottles clay pipes anything even broken I would be more than happy to add it to the collection just take it into the castle for my attention remember please put some details with it as to where found etc thank you.
Penshurst Water Colour - July 1865 Artist Unknown
Penshurst is an historic and picturesque village, over 800 years old, set in the heart of the beautiful Kent it’s also close to the Surrey and Sussex borders. It is encircled by two rivers the Medway and Eden and is set in a beautiful valley. The nearest town is Tonbridge about 5 miles away. The most famous attraction is probably Penshurst Place home of the Sidney family for hundreds of years the house and gardens are open to the public and well worth a visit
Unfortunately olny half a pot lid
but hey half is better than nothing it’s a reference and a now hunt for a complete one.
Ok we have two possibilities at 124 high street there were two chemists the vital information the name is missing but we know the contents being Cold Cream. These pot lids were mass produced does anyone in Tonbridge have a whole one if so please mail me.
Ok the possibilities are as follows:
FRANK G ABEL 1894 – 1905 then he passed away and his wife carried on the business from 1906 -1910
The other was T. E .MILLIDGE 1860-1891- you can just see the T. so i think its this one.
Confirmed - As you will see provided by another local collector a Whole Millidge lid but also the Frank Abel lid .
TUNBRIDGE CASTLE contents up for sale 1857
What a document a 39 page full very detailed listing of the sale of the contents of Tunbridge Castle.
The sale to take place at the premises on Monday the 26th OCTOBER 1857 at eleven for twelve precisely. The document goes into a second day sale even selling the green house plants, the brew house, coach-house, lawn gardens and barn. I wonder if any items are left in the town.
In 1831 William Bailey, the owner devises the castle in his will to Frances, Lady Stafford
It was Frances Lady Stafford, who at the end, sold Tonbridge Castle to Tonbridge Urban District Council
There are too many pages to scan I might try and PDF it at a later date
Print and text from a book old Castles and Abbeys 1858
interesting read see how the town got its name - one of many stories to the towns name . and lovely engraving of the castle.
Nice Enamel sign from Tonbridge Draper - Frank East
This sign was one of the original Enamels’ that stood proudly among others on the station bridge wall all the way down to the Angel Hotel
It 1868 at the age of 29 a Mr Frank East moved into Tonbridge and bought a store in the High Street to become
the Tonbridge well know Frank East The Draper.
Frank East Draper south Tonbridge stood Opposite Mc Donald’s.
Lovely Large Frank East Enamel sign – Picture provide by another collector.
Frank East’s became a trade name in the town, Frank East also became trustee and Deacon of the Baptist Church in 1868 and was Superintendent of the Sunday school for 35 years.
William Rathbone - watchmaker and jeweller 102 High Street Tonbridge
William Rathbone from Middlesex came from a family of Watchmaker and Jewelers he ran his business just down from the chequers inn
(now the castle bus stops) after his death his sister Anne Rathbone continued the business.
Chief Officer Willaim Lawrence Bradley
|The architect for Tonbridge Fire Station was the towns surveyor; William Lawrence Bradley , who was appointed Chief Fire Officer after it was built – the Drawing above was also done by Bradley for the Tonbridge Free Press for the new Steamer.
Junkers JU 88 German Bomber Crashes Tanyard Farm Hadlow road Tonbridge 1940
On 6 September 1940 a Hurricane piloted by Flying Officer Bowring attacked a Junkers 88 Bomber and the pilot of the crippled plane ordered his radio operator to bail out. This was Corporal Heinrich Agel and he landed on the roof of the “Boilin Kettle” tea rooms. He was taken in by the owners and given tea and cakes while they waited for the Police to arrive. The plane went on to crash land at Tanyard Farm in Hadlow Road, Tonbridge. The crew of five were reunited at Tonbridge Police station before being taken to a POW camp for the duration of the war
Tonbridge Soda Syphon - Tunbridge Bulb Neck Codd
The soda syphon J Burgess refers to John Burgess who traded in Hadlow from 1893 -1912 with Branch outlets in Tonbridge.
The syphon tap is not correct this should be metal I applied this for display purpose until I find a metal tap.
Very nice addition to the collection not seen many syphons from the town.
The B Mineral water Company (Horsley Tunbridge old spelling )
Traded Tonbridge at the Masonic Buildings on the Great Bridge high street 1887 -1893
Nice early Acid etched Bulb Neck Codd – the glass is a bit sick but this is the only example I have seen .
I Herd Rumors of an Acid etched Hybrid or Hamilton bottle from the same company was pulled from the River Medway a few years ago
by a non collector if any of the readers have this please mail me would love to see it.
It would be a shame if its just sitting in a draw out the way.
If Anyone has any other bottle from this company or any Tonbridge bottles - please contact me.
William Hodgkin , Grocer 17 high street Tonbridge
Lovely old shop Ink Stamper – William appears in 1859 directory Dug from an old pond rubbish tip.
The handle had rotted away new Handle applied for Display.
The Bull Hotel - Tonbridge Adverisment
The advertisement taken from the Tonbridge Free press dated 1900 shows Herbert Huntley outside the Bull Hotel.
Above the door you can see the painted signboard painted by B. Herring in the thirties,
and was a study from life by that well-known painter of animals – a prize bull in Mr. Deacon's park sitting for the portrait.
Herring lived in the locality in those days.
Whatever happened to it is unknown for many years it was hanging inside the hotel until it was demolished.
Does anyone know the whereabouts today.
Acid etched Drinking glass tumbler - Bull Hotel Tonbridge
Nice addition to the collection of a long lost Tonbridge drinking house perhaps a beer
was taken while the local fisherman spoke of their prize catches from the Medway.
The Bull Hotel was also used as the Headquarters of the Tonbridge Angling society
as the place to weigh in your specimen fish the other place being the Royal Oak at Haysden
Four different Proprietors Flagons
Richard Montague – Wine Spirit Merchant Bull Inn Tonbridge Circa 1858
Charles Bailey - Wine Spirit Merchant Bull Hotel Circa 1867
John Hill – Bull Hotel Tonbridge Circa 1878
Herbert Huntley – Bull Hotel Circa 1880
Herbert Huntly Bull Hotel Tonbridge Miss Spelling (Huntley) – Bull Hotel Circa 1880
|Note Gap in the spelling Tonbridge - TON BRIDGE
Tin Cigarette – Snuff Box Bull Hotel - Fredrick Leney & Co
Nice small tin probably cigarettes or Snuff depicting Herbert Humphrey
The Bull Hotel was also Headquarters for the following
Tonbridge Angling Society
Equitable Friendly Society
Ancient order of Druids
Royal Arch chapter
Tonbridge Football Club
Tonbridge skating club
Good local Pubs where more than just a watering holes they where a place to tell a tell and be proud of the local achievements.
Many things would have been discussed by the locals over a good pint from prize Fish and the one that got away to prize Vegetables
and not reveling the secrets of the prize growing techniques to the Football tactics for the next match and the secret talks in the gentlemen’s clubs .
Even the next story when you left to explain how you lost that pay packet on that quick after work pint to the lady at home.
The Castle inn /Castle Hotel Tonbridge
The Current building we see today built in 1887 after the original wooden buildings where demolished in 1887 with the building of the new Great Bridge along with the Wise Tunbridge ware manufactures buildings directly opposite side of the river . The castle Inn then became the Castle hotel the Wise manufacture then became the Masonic buildings and was occupied by the Bridge Mineral water company Known as the ‘B’ Mineral Water Company (Today Pizza Express ).
John Vigar circa 1862 ‘spelling Tonbridge’ was also the owner of Pleasure Boats as can be seen in the picture and is also mentioned in a number of advisements within the Tonbridge Free Press.
TUNBRIDGE proposed change of the name to TONBRIDGE
Since long before the 16th century the town had been spelt as TUNBRIDGE.
From the early 1800s the town was being spelt both with a U or an O. The town’s local board was formed in 1870 and they agreed to the commercial spelling of the town and this was to be TONBRIDGE. One of the town’s local board members was a Mr. Thomas Pawley the proprietor of the Rose and Crown Hotel in the high street. From 1860c – 1890c you can see clearly the two spellings TUNBRIDGE &TONBRIDGE in various documents maps prints and in the town itself.
Thomas Pawley had his bottles changed from a U to an O around 1870, although a high percentage the community adopted the spelling TONBRIDGE not everyone agreed the post office continued to use the spelling TUNBRIDGE and did not agree to use the O until February 1893 with the official name change and then it was adopted fully by the community.
Below is a copy of the postmaster general proposing the change of the towns spelling from TUNBRIDGE to TONBRIDGE dated 7th February 1893
TUNBRIDGE proposed change of the name to TONBRIDGE
The Postmaster General, I submit Memorials from the Tunbridge local board and the Ratepayers Associations, asking that the spelling Tonbridge may be adopted by the department. As it appears to be from the Surveyors report that the form of the name is commonly adopted by public bodies and the residents in the town generally.
I think the request should be granted and if you approve I will issue instructions for the Name to be spelt on the date stamps and on all official documents.
7th February 1893
The post office agreed and the Tunbridge became Tonbridge on the 4th Mach 1893
TUNBRIDGE change the name to TONBRIDGE - Very Rare Historical Bottle.
To fall perfectly in line with this is Bottle from John Salkeld Horsley the owner of the B Mineral water company at the Masonic Buildings next to the Great Bridge. Horsley started business in 1887 when the new buildings where built and continued to trade until 1893.
All Bottles from the company the B under Horsley have been spelt TUNBRIDGE until this nice find with the spelling TONBRIDGE which was the year Horsley sold the business to Hugh Nicholls in April 1893
1887 - 4th March 1893
March 1893 April 1893
This was sadly being then End of the spelling TUNBRIDGE, a nice very rare historical bottle that falls perfectly in line with the change. Hugh Nicholls continued the trade at the Masonic Building still using the name the B but all bottles produced after where spelt TONBRIDGE.
Yet even though sadly we changed the name still today many of the locals pronounce the town TONBRIDGE sounding the U – TUN. It’s a bit like the way many pronounce London sounding a U Lun.
I would love to know your views Feedback comments about the site do you find it interesting useful and if i should continue.
I am actually working on a Book as i have many items in my collection not shown on this site.
Please feel free to mail me on the email below.
Thank you very much
Tunbridge to Sevenoaks stage coach print 1872 on River Hill
Richard William Annison
Grocer corner of castle street – Market House circa 1880
William born 1824 died 1892 then his son maintained business until his death in 1917
Bottle reads lent by R.W Annison Market House Tonbridge
Lent By – being a refundable deposit to the person who took the beverages home on the return of the bottle they was refunded.
Lovely Tonbridge Plaque
The Plaque is in the style of the Ivorex Bossons plaque.
Unfortunately no details can be found of the Maker so I can’t confirm it’s an Ivorex or Bossons Plaque but it would have not been a single item for sure yet I have contacted both Ivorex & Bossons collectors with no confirmation.
Ivorex plaques were made in Faversham, Kent, between 1899 and 1965 by the B. Osborne Company, founded by Arthur Osborne, in 1965, and then purchased by W.H. Bossons Ltd. in 1971. Production of the plaques started again in 1980 and ended in 1996 when Bossons closed.
You would have a master plaques in clay most often using picture postcards from locations all over the world as a reference and this is clearly using the Below .
View of Tunbridge Castle in Kent. Was drawn by J Farington. R. A and engraved by J. C. Stadler. Published by J & J Boydell of London and dated June 1st 1793.
The master plaque was then used to create a gelatin mould which then would be poured the finest plaster of Paris. Once removed from the mould the plaques would be air dried in heated rooms and then hand finished and painted using water colors,
These where produced in the thousands and can be found all over world and very large industry for Faversham .
Could it be an Unknown Ivorex or Bossons Plaque?
Faversham is less than an hour away so why not , Dear Ivorex and Bossons collectors have you seen this one any help would be much appreciated or does anyone have one in there possession.
Brining the world of collectors together
In the continued search for information on new finds this generally leads you to the internet.
During your searched on many occasions this brings you into contact with many other collectors both far and wide, giving you a opportunity not only to aid your knowledge in different fields of collecting but a chance to share information points of view and have a good old chat about peoples wonderful collections and the vast ever increasing world of collecting.
As it did with this plaque - Please see the link to Don’s Collectables a website hosted by Donald Hardisty a passionate collector and leading authority on Bossons.
Some stunning pieces and true works of art
Click on Sophie below
please see New Finds Page 2 CLICK HERE