Parish Council Centennial History

From the Parish Meeting Minutes of "Teynham, Kent"

The "Local Government Act, 1894" gave the rules and instructions on how to organise a Parish Meeting. The first meeting in Teynham was held on December 4th 1894 where 110 Electors attended and the following Councillors were elected:

R. Lake (Chairman)
William Atkins: Draper, Greenstreet.
Henry Bensted: Farmer, Teynham.
William Brown: Labourer, Teynham.
William French: Farmer, Teynham.
Jesse Knowlden: Labourer, Teynham.
George Morgan: Labourer, Conyer.
Charles Rider: Labourer, Conyer.
William Read: Grocer, Greenstreet.
Walter Stedman: Chemist, Greenstreet


For the following couple of years the Council's Annual Meeting seemed primarily occupied with the postal service, seeking amongst other things a pillar-box for Conyer and a THIRD daily delivery for Station Road.

By the 1900's the principal matter under discussion was the accounts for street lighting, and the attendance by local electors had dropped well below 10. At the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 21st March, 1900. J.W.F. Honeyball (Teynham Farmer) was in the Chair. Receipts for the year were £40.7.10d. and expenditure was £32.16.10d. A resolution was made to apply for £60 for lighting purposes and the minutes were signed by William Atkins (Greenstreet Draper).

The first reference to J.F. Honeyball being a Lt. Col. was in the Minutes of 1907 and thereafter he was called Col. At that meeting it was reported that the Council had sanctioned the Mid Kent Water Company offer to supply water in the Parish within two years.

In 1919 there were problems with the condition of the cesspools in the Parish and a meeting was held to discuss this and the remedies to be applied by the Rural District Council. This led to the call for a main drainage system to be installed. Mrs Honeyball appears to be our first lady Councillor elected in 1919. The next lady to serve was Florence Harris who secured a place by one vote in 1946.

In 1924 the concern was for an extension of lighting “for people coming from the railway station and as there was no footpath along the road”.

1930 saw the Parish Council protesting at the site for the new proposed Council houses because of the smell from the sewer and because at weekends no entry over the railway lines could be affected.

In 1934 there was a surge of increased interest in Parish Council affairs as there were 14 nominations for the 9 vacancies on the Parish Council. In 1951 the Parish Council sought and approved quotations for 4 lamps for the Cherry Gardens Housing site (£146.8.0d.) and for 4 lamps for Osiers Road (£69.5.0d.)

1960 - Council set a figure for street lighting for the year of £350. 1963 saw a call from the Teynham Residents Association for a new School for Teynham.

At the 1973 meeting the Chairman of the Parish Council stated that the new school was due to be started in March of that year and that a survey had been carried out on the A.2. to ascertain whether a pedestrian crossing was warranted. It appeared there was insufficient traffic using the A.2. and not enough pedestrians wishing to cross the road to justify a crossing.

Reference was made in the 1974 minutes to the new Swale District Council being formed (later to become Swale Borough Council), and a resolution passed that Lewson Street (which was then part of Teynham Parish Council) should become part of Norton.

1975 saw a proposal for 21 new lights being erected in Station Road.

A quotation in the sum of £1867.91 pence was approved at the 1976 meeting for the carrying out of the Station Road scheme.

1978 saw a reference to the Teynham Community Association’s aborted plans to obtain the old school as a Village Hall for Teynham and the call once again for the transfer of Lewson Street to Norton and Buckland Parish Council.

At the 1979 meeting, the question of enlarging the sewage works to its present size was discussed and it was noted that the work would take eighteen months to complete. The first reference was made to the Parish Council being asked to look at obtaining the land next to the School (Belle Friday Close and Morello Close now stand on this site) for a recreational ground for the younger child to use.

1980 saw a scheme for increasing the street lighting along the Lower Road and a reference that the land in Station Road had been designated for an elderly persons home (or Old People’s Home as it was termed at the time).

Christmas 1983 saw the first edition of Teynham News, the Parish Council’s quarterly newsletter.

1984 - the Parish Council led the way by introducing a concessionary bus pass scheme for residents (this was taken up two years later by Swale B.C. for the Borough as a whole and therefore the Parish Council Scheme was dropped); a scheme to upgrade the lighting in Cherry Gardens, Newgardens and Frognal Gardens was approved; and K.C.C. indicated its intention to carry out a feasibility study on the playing field of the school with the idea of selling off on the open market any surplus along with the land in Station Road designated to be an elderly persons home. A campaign to obtain the land for a recreational ground and ultimately a village hall was started arising from the meeting. December, 1984 - Parish Council celebrated its 100 birthday.

1986 - the first reference to Neighbourhood Watch Schemes, the first Best Garden Competition (later to be known as the Teynham in Bloom Competition) and the setting up of the Village Hall Fundraising Committee.

1987 - the purchase of “The Meadow” from K.C.C. for £25,000 to be used as a site for a village hall, car park and recreational area. 1989 saw the introduction of dog “toilets” in Donald Moor Avenue and Frognal Lane.

1992 saw considerable restoration work to the Jubilee Pump and the inclusion of a time capsule inside the Pump and a reference to bottle banks.

1996 - the Village Hall’s completion and official opening by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Lord Kingsdown on the 27th July.

1999 - Victoria Falls play equipment erected on “The Meadow”; the precept for the Parish was £17,000 of which £3,000 was for the Parish Council street lighting costs.