Intriguing discovery in old piece of furniture
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