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The Story of 'The Rose Inn',
Greenstreet, Teynham.

This journey started, more or less, when I was trawling, for the 'umpteenth' time, through two suitcases of photographs and documents that belonged to my mother, Dorothy, and came across this postcard, sent to her mother, Rebecca Mushman, 'The Rose Inn', Greenstreet, Sittingbourne, from Rebecca's Sister, Ruth.

postcardUnfortunately for this article, John Henry Mushman (and his wife, Rebecca), only lived in Greenstreet for about 6 years of his 73 years, but it was this period in his life that produced the most intense research, bearing in mind that it all started with that one postcard. Indeed, my parents, for the last few years of their lives, had lived in Borden Village, then in Sittingbourne itself.

So, I have been following the journey of John Henry Mushman, (my grandfather) who with his newly wed wife, Rebecca, had travelled to Greenstreet, Teynham, and at this time I was not aware that they had lived in Teynham, until the postcard brought this to my attention.

But, apart from this postcard, I had nothing to go on, I wasn't even aware of Greenstreet, so my brother suggested that I try the Sittingbourne Museum and of course, I found the premises at the bottom of Sittingbourne High Street. But when I called there one weekday it was closed, Saturday opening only - but, to my amazement, in the window, was a Tea Cloth with 'Rose Inn' emblazoned on it! Wrong 'Rose Inn', this is the one further up the High Street, just a few yards from the Museum, which was one of the coaching inns on the London to Dover route.

So in July 2009, having been talking to my mother, who was a bit vague about the story relating to 'The Rose Inn' (as she hadn't even been born then), I found 'Sittingbourne Heritage' website and sent an email describing my search. However, the information that I provided was a bit inaccurate, as I told them that my grandparents could have lived at Greenstreet between 1915 and 1930. Once I had got into my stride, searching details on Ancestry.co.uk, it became very clear that the dates were wildly out and should have been about 1910, which, if I had looked more closely, was the postmark on the postcard.

Very quickly, I received a response from Sittingbourne Heritage Museum, via Brian Sharman, Chairman of the Teynham Parish Council & 'www.teynham.org' webmaster, saying that they had found in the 1891 Census, details of 'The Rose Inn' and a Henry Burnett, the Landlord, who was also a general labourer - so even in those days, you needed two jobs to stay in the licensed trade.

My sister-in-law then gave me an email address for 'Lynsted with Kingsdown Society', which I subsequently contacted, who proved to be very helpful. Going onto their website I found a lot of photographs of Greenstreet, which gave a flavour of the period that I was researching. Nigel Heriz-Smith, Webmaster of the Society, responded to my request, with information taken from the Sittingbourne, Milton & District Directory showing that in 1903-1904, the occupant of 'The Rose Inn' was an Edward Rayner, but by the 1908 -1909 Directory, John 'Musham' was listed as the occupant of 'The Rose Inn', but by 1926,'The Rose Inn' was no longer listed.

At the same time, Brian came back with additional information regarding the Teynham Tithe Award Schedule, where a Richard Hop was a tenant of 'The Royal Oak' in Greenstreet, although I was unable to determine the date of this document, the assumption being th'The Royal Oak' was the precursor to 'The Rose Inn'. The Kelly’s Directory of 1911 was still listing 'Mushman', John Henry, Beer Retailer, of Greenstreet and by then, I was able to go into the 1911 Census Records and found John Henry Mushman, Rebecca Mushman and Mabel Crane, (Rebecca’s younger Sister, who was staying with them at that time), all 'The Rose Inn', Teynham, Kent.

However, the 1913 Kelly's Directory no longer listed John Henry Mushman as a commercial tenant, because we do know that at this time, he and Rebecca had moved to Cliffe at Hoo, Strood, Kent, where my Aunt, Ivy Emily May was born in 1913, followed by my Mother, Dorothy Gwendoline, who was born in 1919. About this period in time, I thought that I might contact the Shepherd Neame Brewery archivist, hoping that amongst their records there might be a reference to them owning 'The Rose Inn', but they responded by saying that they did not appear to have any contact with 'The Rose Inn', only 'Rose Inn', Sittingbourne.

However, going back to the report from Nigel, he confirmed that by 1926, 'The Rose Inn' no longer featured in the Directories. At the same time, Nigel stated that they were not entirely sure where, exactly, 'The Rose Inn' may have been located, but speculated that it might well have been the site where 'Christal's Hairdressers' are currently situated. He forwarded a photograph of those properties, mentioning at the same time, that the property next door was for many years a baker’s shop, then a general store and finally, converted to a pair of semi-detached dwellings.

rose innThen, out of the 'blue', Nigel emailed me with the information confirming, the 'The Rose Inn' (or beer retailers) occupied the site of what was, until a few years ago, 'Wicks General Grocers'. So, far from being demolished as first assumed, the building is still in use albeit converted to two semi-detached dwellings. Quite what the status was of the cottages between 'Teynham Arms' and 'The Rose Inn' is not clear; it was the site of these cottages that was cleared and the new houses erected.

Formerly known as 'The Oak', 'The Rose Inn' was on land owned by the Honeyball family. Transfer of ownership took place between Style and Winch Brewers and the Vallance family (a family more often associated with Aymers in Lynsted village) in 1905 and freehold in 1917 from the Honeyball family. The retail beer business was managed by Style and Winch, who were also the owners of the nearby 'Teynham Arms' (not Shepherd Neame)’.

'Tenants mentioned in Wills and Deeds are: 1905 James Medhurst - remember, an Edward Rayner was shown to be the occupier of 'The Rose Inn', in the 1903 -1904 Directories. I believe that John Henry Mushman occupied 'The Rose Inn' after April 1906, and possibly by 1907'.

'By 1923 the property was referred to as 'The Rose Bakery' (baker and confectioner) in a mortgage document of 21st November 1923. The loan was to Charles Frank Gambell (interest set at 51/2%). A subsequent email from Brian calendercontained a scan of a family calendar, dated 1924, of C.H.Gambell, The Rose Bakery, Greenstreet, Teynham. The 1926, Sittingbourne, Milton & District Directory contains in its list - 'Gambell, Charles Herbert, Baker and Confectioner'.

So, having established that the ownership of 'The Rose Inn' was in the hands of Style & Winch Brewers, I tried to obtain details of any Liquor Licence Application by John Henry Mushman, first contacting City Ark, Strood, who were unable to help, because Teynham was outside their area of operations and then, The Centre for Kentish Studies, at Maidstone. Unfortunately, they also, were unable to help me, as it appears that the Licensing Registers for the period 1901 - 1907, were missing from their records.

The final link, I hope, may be provided by Style and Winch Archives - let us hope so! {Webmaster: the final link is still missing}

But in the meantime, sometime between 1912 and the first couple of months of 1913, John Henry Mushman and his Wife, Rebecca, moved on for the second time in their marriage, this time to run a Sweet Shop, Newsagents & Tobacconists in Station Road, Cliffe at Hoo, Strood, severing their ties with 'The Rose Inn', Teynham.

Trevor Cramp