In­trigu­ing dis­cov­ery in old piece of fur­ni­ture

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Remember When? - by Mike Ben­nett mben­nett@thek­m­group.co.uk

WHEN an­tiques ex­pert Richard Tozer from Smeeth ac­quired a poor qual­ity late Vic­to­rian dress­ing chest from a builder for just £20 he stored it away in the back of his work­shop. De­spite be­ing made of cheap pine with a ma­hogany ve­neer he was at­tracted by the shape of the piece and de­cided to pol­ish it up then at­tempt to sell it on the auc­tion site eBay. But, then he made a re­mark­able dis­cov­ery of an 107year-old re­ceipt from Ash­ford’s first depart­ment store hid­den in­side. He said: “While dis­man­tling it for restora­tion I found it tucked down be­hind a small drawer un­der a piece of wood. “I im­me­di­ately recog­nised Lewis and Hy­land as an old Ash­ford town cen­tre store that I had read about in books and Ken­tish Ex­press Re­mem­ber When sto­ries.” The re­ceipt, writ­ten with a foun­tain pen and com­plete with a 1p stamp, was dated De­cem­ber 23, 1902. It was made out to a Miss Weeks of Sprot­lands, Willes­bor­ough. She had paid the equiv­a­lent of al­most £9.50p for 18 feet of car­pet, a rug, quilts and bind­ing. Mr Tozer, 46, who came to the area in the 1980s, said: “The piece of fur­ni­ture was made in Ash­ford in 1895 and I would love to know more about the re­ceipt as I am fas­ci­nated by lo­cal his­tory. “At present I am keep­ing it but would be will­ing to part with it if the mu­seum or a col­lec­tor was in­ter­ested.” He can be con­tacted on 01303 813824.

Our sec­ond pic­ture – from the files of Ken­ning­ton houses and the Con­gre­ga­tional Church, were de­mol­ished be­tween 1967 and 1971 to be re­placed by the present po­lice sta­tion and the mag­is­trates’ courts.

The junc­tion of Church Road with Nor­wood Street in 1966

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