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Saturday, 14 December 2019

Janey Hinton - Walking with Nature Calendar 2020

Lower Halstow photographer Janey Hinton has just produced another stunning new calendar for 2020. "Walking with Nature" features some of Janey's best photographs of local wildlife. Cards are also available and selected prints too.

Calendar £10
Cards £1.75 each or 3 for £5
A selection of prints is also available from £8

Walking with Nature 2020 calendars are available now.

To order yours for Christmas, please Email:

Janey says...

“I always find it a pleasure to see the nature that surrounds us and then there's a special moment, a thrill to see some of the unexpected or shy wonders that are present. This year for me it was the firecrest. Such a tiny bird - the smallest in the UK - and only resident in a few places. I wasn't always observant - I looked but didn't see - however with the camera in hand I learned to pace the walk differently, listen and pause.

Yes, I creep around. With that, I also found the joy of the overlooked fungi with so many species at our feet, if we just watch our step or even go off track and into the wood. Insects too are a wonder of colours and shapes. The thick legged flower beetle (Oedemera nobilis) is a great name and description for this beetle. As the advert says 'It does exactly what it says on the tin.'

So I hope you have fun and find joy as you explore your local environment and with a touch of luck (we all need that lucky moment) you too can see our amazing wildlife.

To see more photos:
"Like" JJ Images on Facebook:
"Follow" @jj.images on Instagram:

Upchurch Matters

Thursday, 12 December 2019

The Origins of Upchurch Road Names Past and Present by David Wood

Some road names in Upchurch date back a long time and are named after well-known Upchurch residents or places. Some have an interesting history.

The main road that runs through the village centre is The Street. This once incorporated Chaffes Lane and Forge Lane until these obtained names during the mid-19th century.

Chaffes Lane is named after a former wealthy resident named Roger Chaffe who originated from Marylebone in London and owned land and property in Kent. This included his house in Upchurch, a large building named Chaffes Place situated on the left just before the narrow lane which runs off Chaffes Lane and leads down to Gore farmhouse. Roger Chaffe lived at Chaffes Place with his wife and children. The big house existed until 1858 when it was demolished and replaced by Chaffes Cottages, used to house farm workers from Gore Farm. Roger Chaffe contributed money to the church and the village school before he died in 1843.

Forge Lane derives its name from the forge that existed at Church Farm on the site of the present Church Farm Road estate. Another forge later existed on the ground floor of The Old Bakery during the 19th century. Church Farm Road is named after the farm on which it’s located. Previous owners included farmers Thomas Dodd and Wakeley Brothers from Rainham.

At the bottom end of Forge Lane turning left is Halstow Lane named after the village to which it extends, while Holywell Lane dates back at least to the early 19th century and is named after a very old well once sealed with a sarsen stone located on land at Holywell owned by the Stevens family. Farmer Frank Stevens discovered the well after some of his land had been ploughed in 1949. A 5 x 5 feet square sarsen stone about 9 inches thick covered a circular well which had a depth of 5 feet 6 inches. The find backed up local belief that a holy well existed at Holywell which is how the area got its name. Most holy wells found in England are pagan in origin. Although the location of the well has been recorded it’s no longer marked as the sarsen stone has been removed and soil covers the well.

Oak Lane is probably named after oak trees which existed in the lane, especially between The Street and the recreation ground but not all of it has always been known as Oak Lane. From the 1890s the section of the lane from the present newsagent’s building in The Street to just past The Paddock became known as Vicarage Road. This changed and it became part of Oak Lane during the early years of the 20th century.

Horsham Lane is named after Stephen de Horsham who owned the Manor of Horsham during the reign of Edward III. The road stretches in the direction of Windmill Hill which is named after the windmill which existed throughout the 19th century before being burnt down in 1910. Before the 1890s the hill was known as Mill Hill then it changed to Windmill Hill.

During the 1880s and the 1890s the section of road from Plantation Cottages to Windmill Hill was named Coveney Lane. From a farming family, Katherine Coveney owned and farmed land at Ham Green during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. She lived in Yew Tree Cottage in Poot Lane and also owned Callows House and a large amount of land in that area. Other members of her family lived in Poot Lane while George Coveney who was employed in the cement works lived with his wife Maria and their four children in Coveney Lane during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. According to the national census for Upchurch dated 1901 the road had ceased being called Coveney Lane, so the road name only existed for a short time.

Wallbridge Lane leads from Windmill Hill to Oak Lane but until the 20th century, the section of the lane from Windmill Hill to the brow of the hill just past Dennis cottages was divided from the remainder of the lane by woods that stretched across it. The name Wallbridge was given to the part of the road from the woods to Oak Lane. Wallbridge is an old English word meaning defensive wall and bridge. The section of the road closest to Windmill Hill to the woods became known as Muggeridge Lane from about 1880, named after a well-known and long-term resident Upchurch family. This name remained until the late 19th century when the woods were removed and the two parts of the road were combined to become Wallbridge Lane.

Otterham Quay Lane is named after Otterham Quay which has existed as a port since Medieval times. Barges and small boats have delivered goods and loaded bricks and agricultural products at the location.

According to former Twinney farmer Norman Starns who lived in the area from the 1950s to the 1970s, Susan’s Lane at Twinney is named after an old woman called Susan who lived alone in a caravan at Twinney but after research there are not any clues about the full identity of the woman. The green at Twinney is named Susan’s Green. The section of Susan’s Lane from Twinney to Frog Farm was previously known as Frog Farm Lane.

Just outside the village and extending down to Bayford and Ham Green is Poot Lane which derives its name from the Anglo-Saxon word Poult which means place of chickens or game birds. A chicken farm existed on the right just below Brick Hill in Poot Lane for many years.

At Ham Green Shoregate Lane has acted as a gateway to and from the river. Barges stopped at Shoregate Creek to load produce during the 19th century and a track led from just below the lane to Greenborough Island where sheep grazed, wheat was grown and a shepherd’s house existed. Serious flooding ended agriculture and habitation on Greenborough Island in 1904.

Bishop Lane is a more recent road constructed during the early 1960s and is named after former village councillor and smallholder Cecil Bishop from Horsham Lane. He also found fame as a manager of Holywell School, a member of the parish council and the church choir, secretary and captain of Upchurch Cricket Club and as the person responsible for winding up the church clock. He died in 1961.

New roads have recently been created on the site of Four Gun Field near Canterbury Lane. Eastwood Meadow is named after the company that owned the brickfield while Quilter’s Yard, Woods Edge and Butchers Green are named after village brick making companies.

Although most of the village roads date back a long time others will probably emerge as Upchurch expands in the future.

About David

David Wood was born, raised and still lives in Upchurch today. He is able to write from personal experience about village life and the changes that have taken place over the years, making ‘Memories of Upchurch’ a very readable and detailed historical study of the village.

David's book, ‘Memories of Upchurch’ is available direct from David at: or from us here at Upchurch Matters.
Price £12 + £3.50 postage and packing.

David Wood

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Uplift Christmas Craft ‘Make & Do’

Kids can have fun making Xmas decorations, cards, tags and yummy treats, while grown ups enjoy a drink and slice of cake at our Xmas Café.

This is a FREE event run by Uplift, part of St. Mary's Church, but please book your child's place by emailing

Frankie Cogger

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve Disco Parties at The Crown at Upchurch

Annmarie Hoare
The Crown at Upchurch
Tel: 01634 233896

Surgery Patient Participation Group - Upchurch & Rainham - Christmas and New Year Period Surgery Opening Hours

Dr Supriya Das & Dr Lakshmi Subbiah

Both Surgeries will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day only.

On all other days, the Surgeries will be open as usual.

If you have any questions or suggestions on the local practice, please Email:

Jan Bunting - Secretary: or 
Ray Kemsley - Chair:

Ray Kemsley
Chair - Surgery Patient Participation Group - Upchurch & Rainham

Monday, 9 December 2019

Burglary - Newington

Hartlip, Newington & Upchurch Ward

Crime Number: 46/234083/19

Between Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th of December, the Methodist Church in Church Lane, Newington was burgled although nothing appears to have been stolen.

If you have any information that could help investigators please contact Kent Police on telephone number 101 and quote the relevant crime number above.

For more information on crime prevention visit:

Kent Community Messaging