Royal Visit to Newgardens

royal visitWhat a moment this must have been for Teynham couple Abraham and Mary Mariah Nicholls, presented to the Duke of York - later to become King George VI - at Teynham Fete.

The husband and wife enjoyed the honour for being the oldest married couple in the village. They married on November 19, 1859 and the picture is believed to have been taken on July 14. 1921.

This wonderfully evocative photograph belongs to Allison Thompson, the great, great grandchild of the couple who kindly loaned us a copy.

Allison describes the lady presenting her great, great grandparents to the Duke as Lady Honeyball but as Cllr Ron Boorman points out she liked to call herself ‘lady’ and it was a token title only.

duke of york

Cllr. Ron Boorman writes:

"Col Honeyball was a well-known figure in Kent formerly the commanding officer of the East Kent Volunteers, and an expert agriculturist and hop grower.

Some of the positions he held was Chairman of Teynham Parish Council and president of the Greenstreet Rifle Club.

He formed a brickfield company named the Co-operative Company to help the unemployed of Teynham. This company lasted for two years. No profits were made during this period, so it was decided to close the plant down.

The Colonel and his wife Olympia Loetitia, had two sons, Martyn and Lawrence. On the death of the Colonel, Mrs Honeyball took over running the Newgardens estate; she then liked to be known as ‘Lady Honeyball.” She was a Teynham Parish Councillor until 1931, though records do not show when she was elected.

royal visit

When The Duke of York visited the gardens and Mrs Honeyball in 1921, all the flowers in the garden that year were apparently white to represent the White Rose of York."


Text sourced from the East Kent Gazette 24/03/2010.