Teynham is not that bad!
On 1st September 1973 we moved into our brand new house in Honeyball Walk – is it REALLY 30 YEARS? Time has gone by so fast. We bought the house ‘off the plan’; it was not even built; but we had to buy it then as ‘gazumping’ was at its peak, and houses were being snapped up. Our house cost £8200 but we struggled like many others to pay the mortgage. We used to visit once or twice a week to see how much our house had ‘grown’. It was exciting to be able to choose the wall and door colours - blue, yellow, pink, green or magnolia The bathroom suite was white (no choice). The kitchen units were a hideous blue. The front gardens were turfed by the developer, but the back gardens were left like a building site. It was really hard work digging all the building material out and putting down turf – even in such a small garden. Most of the new occupiers were like us – newly married, or just about to start a family – what quaint old fashioned things we were – marriage first and then we had the babies!! There was an exciting communal atmosphere. Everyone, including us, were so pleased with our new homes. As each new house was occupied, they were soon transformed into homes, and the plots into gardens. Gradually the area changed, as more and more houses were built.
I remember an original old barn being on the site – it was filled with kitchen units waiting to be installed. After a while the babies started to arrive – there were not many months when a new baby did not make an appearance – in fact the midwife at the Kent and Canterbury once said to me whilst I was ‘visiting’: “Honeyball Walk must be a very long road – there is always someone here from there having a baby”. Soon all the houses were occupied, everyone took a pride in their homes and gardens. Unlike now – it is so sad to see so many wild gardens and dirty uncared for houses. The area where the garages are is a total disgrace now. I am sure if the garages were better maintained, this may deter the vandals. The atmosphere has certainly changed for the worst. There were no foul mouthed teenagers roaming around, there was no vandalism – and this leads me to ask – when did girls turn into yobs? We were never disturbed during the early hours with loud mouthed ‘people’. I am personally sorry that some houses on Honeyball Walk have been bought by Housing Associations. I do not think this is fair to the people who are struggling to pay mortgages. I am also sorry that some houses are used for unsupervised teenagers, which is grossly unfair to their neighbours.
We have noticed lots of changes over the years. A number of shops have disappeared – Kays was the ‘paper’ shop on the A2 when we first lived here. Now the shop along with many others has gone. The railway station was ‘manned’ all day and it was not the haunt of the local mindless vandals. The old school was still being used, then it was ‘The Old School Club’ which was a great benefit for Teynham and sorely missed. I guess the things which sadden me most are the vandalism, litter dumping and ‘yob culture’ which are quite prevalent now.
Generally though we have been happy living in Honeyball Walk, Teynham. We are still pleased to live near such lovely countryside, and be able to walk and cycle in comparative safety. We have brought up a family here, and joined in lots of local organisations, and got to know many folk – so Teynham – here’s to the next 30 years!!!
Honeyball Walk Resident