Local News Stories

Various articles and stories which were featured in the local newspaper


Boys Charged with Stealing Apples

The Bromley & District Times reported on a number of cases of boys stealing apples from Orchards on the Bromley borough area in the month of August 1918. Perhaps the apples were too good to resist, or the boys had a desperate need for food, who knows, but it seems they were willing to travel far from their homes to steal these crops from orchards in Chelsfield, Farnborough and St Mary Cray. There was a hefty fine for being caught ...
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Statue of soldier

Every Man Who Is Fit to Fight is Fit to Pension – Demand for Justice

The National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers (NADSS) was a British veterans' organisation. Founded in early 1917 at a conference in Blackburn, the group drew together various local groups representing working men who had served in World War I but had since been discharged. The organisation campaigned for better pensions, and more opportunities for re-training. Bromley had its own local branch, who in June 1918 held a mass meeting in the Market Square, Bromley to demand justice for the ...
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Sharing Piggies in St Mary Cray, 1918

St Mary Cray Pig-Keeping Society Nearly 800 shares Applied for A meeting of the committee of the newly-formed Pig-keeping Association for St Mary Cray was held at the Council Schools on Monday evening, Mr George Dow (Chairman of the Parish Council) presiding. Mr Cecil Berens (Secretary of the society) was able to announce that application had come to hand to date for 265 shares, and of these a considerable number came through Mr H. West, Mr G. Ogburn, and Mr ...
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National War Bonds – invest every shilling you possibly can!

No sum can be too large! Another example of an advert, often seen in local newspapers, encouraging local people to invest 'every shilling' they could, so they can buy their towns 'own' gun to help their boys on the Front line, by investing in National War Bonds and War Savings Certificates to help pay for the war. FIRE your Money at the Huns Join the throngs of patriotic investors who all this week have been hurrying to lend their money to their country. Draw ...
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Local schools finally acquire land for gardening purposes

Gardening at Bickley Schools Bickley and Widmore schools reported that at last it was possible to acquire a piece of land for gardening purposes. As it was so late in the season for agricultural classes to begin, it was hardly likely that the Board of Education would make any grant in respect of these classes, and the School Management Committees recommended that the piece of land should be acquired on the terms offered 1 shilling per rod subject to the ...
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Strong Protest by Butchers as to the Fair Distribution of Meat

The Meat Supply: Strong Protest by Butchers Supported by Committee The question of the quality of the meat now being supplied to Bromley came up in a letter: Dear Sir,- At a meeting of the Meat Trade Section of the Bromley Chamber of Commerce held on Thursday last several members reported having received very serious complaints from their customers as to the inferior quality of the meat supplied. Whilst the butchers are most anxious to give satisfaction it was generally ...
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Throwing Stones and Cutting Property

Boys will be Boys The following matter was brought before Beckenham Council: ‘Among the matters dealt with was a letter from a resident, complaining of the conduct of youths in the Alexandra Pleasure Ground. A letter from a resident complaining of damage to his allotment in Hospital Meadow by children playing thereon were also submitted. The committee recommended the Council to prohibit the admission of children under 14 years of age to allotments except in company with their parents. Mr ...
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They came to Britain, looking for safety…

Repatriation of Belgian Refugees A letter was read from the War Refugees Committee in reference to the Repatriation of the Belgian people to their country at the end of the war, and asking if the Bromley committee would be prepared to undertake the administration of all cases arising in this district, and the General Purposes Committee resolved to recommend the Council to constitute a Belgian Refugee Committee in accordance with the scheme already approved for the administration of the Major’s ...
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Dame Clara Ellen Butt performs in Bromley

Dame Clara Ellen Butt, DBE (1 February 1872 – 23 January 1936) was an English contralto. Her main career was as a recitalist and concert singer. Her voice, both powerful and deep, impressed contemporary composers such as Saint-Saens and Elgar; the latter composed a song-cycle with her in mind as soloist. Butt appeared in only two operatic productions, both of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. Later in her career she frequently appeared in recitals together with her husband, the baritone Kennerley Rumford. She made ...
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Women Committee Set Up to Stop Girls Canoodling with Soldiers

During World War 1 a Women Committee was set up as there was concern about girls canoodling with the soldiers, and soldiers corrupting local girls.  Consequently women were encouraged to join the street patrols in particular areas where girls and men might ‘enjoy’ a little ***.   The War Office gave permission for these patrols to take place outside military camps and were also very active in public parks and cinemas. It was the Women's Patrol Committee who recommended that lights ...
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Would you have welcomed an Aussie to your home in 1918?

When the war broke out in 1914, the echoes carried to all corners of the British Empire, and the call brought forth an extraordinary display of solidarity. Soldiers from as far away as Canada, New Zealand and Australia signed up to help in the war effort having been brought up with a strong sense of loyalty and obligation to the Empire. Of course fighting so far way from home, meant that soldiers who were lucky enough to get some leave ...
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Why do the British love to Queue?

I really like this advertisement to encourage people to queue in an orderly fashion for the trains and buses. It is no wonder that the Brits are know for being such great ‘queuers’, it seems our grandparents and great-grandparents have been conditioned to do so after adverts like this appearing in local newspapers. Though, these days, at times, we do like to break the queue, especially in the rush hour and at the supermarket check out (more difficult). Pass Down ...
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Spring Cleaning the 1918 Way

Want to clean your carpets? From steam carpet beating to the cordless vacuums today.  Advert taken from the Bromley & District Times, 22nd March 1918. I assume the Scotsman in his kilt is the tradesman ...
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Tanks for the Memory

The country was in desperate need of money to pay for the Great War.  Throughout the war the Government had been trying to encourage people to invest in war loans and saving certificates. None of the earlier issues had been particularly popular. In 1918 there was some desperation as Britain was on the brink of bankruptcy.  In March, 1918 towns began to hold ‘Tank Days’.  Tank Drake (yes, it was a male tank – the sex of a tank depended ...
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The Paper Shortage – Recycling in 1918

There many were shortages by 1918. Paper had been in short supply for several years to such an extent that papers were reduced, not only in the number of pages, but also in reducing the size of the page. Around each Christmas, there were more pages, in order to increase the number of advertisements. Immediately after the Armistice, the papers quickly returned to their pre-war size. Today, supermarkets are beginning to introduce places to return plastic bottles and received some ...
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War time school dinners

National Kitchens Open During WW1

National Kitchens were opened during World War One to provide affordable nutritious meals for war workers and poorer people. The school dinner ladies and set up may have looked like this. This article was taken from the Bromley & District Times, 22nd March 2918 Communal Kitchen and School Dinners Under the able guidance of Mr A Goymer and the energetic secretaryship of Mr Foxwell, the village Food Control Committee has brought forward a scheme for a communal kitchen. Mr Goymer ...
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What was happening in Bromley 100 years ago?

1917 was a bad year. The death toll was going up. If the casualties of the Battle of the Somme had come as a terrible shock, Passchendaele was even worse. Men were dying on the battlefield by their thousand. Food was in short supply and prices were rising. What was happening in Bromley 100 years ago? Here are some of the items occupying the columns of the District Times from the 30th November, 1917 With so many men away at ...
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“Dominion Day” at Orpington

Ontario Military Hospital Carnival It was “Dominion Day” at Orpington on the 1st inst., and a successful and largely attended sports carnival was held at the Ontario Military Hospital. There were probably more than 3, 000 persons present on the charming sports field above the hospital, situated in the very centre of a delightfully wooded and hilly country. While monoplanes and biplanes droned overhead, the sports programme was carried through with every evidence of pleasure to the many patients and ...
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