U.S.A Memories

As a child I lived in Roper Road and used to play in the old grounds of the Honeyball estate. I remember the house tucked deep inside the overgrown grounds and on one occasion my friend and I went into the house; we must have been about 7 years old at the time and we were very scared as we had been told that it was haunted. We couldn’t believe what we saw when we walked through the front door, all the furniture was still in place as was the curtains and ornaments. It was just as if the house had been left with everything in it and was covered in dust. We walked through to a conservatory and I remember all the little bottles on the shelves, it was an amazing place. Then we heard some boys upstairs smashing the ornaments and jumping on the beds so we ran out. I will never forget the house or the grounds and both my friend and I were so upset when they tore everything down because we had found the little grave stones of the family pets under one of the trees, nothing was spared.

I would like to know what happened to Mrs. Honeyball and her sons and how the house was just left in such a way. Years ago it was said that Mrs. Honeyball had poisoned herself and that her sons lived abroad and they were not interested in the property. It may sound odd but I have always wondered what really happened. [Answer]

I have many fond memories of Teynham as a child, being able to play in the orchards and paddle in Oziers stream. I was in the church choir so I also remember the walk to Teynham Church through the hop fields and orchards and, of course, lovely old Mr. Page who was able to ring all the church bells himself, and had done so for years. He actually saved me from being hung one day as I was in a small group of children who were practicing bell ringing at Teynham. The rope fell around my neck on the down pull and he rushed across to remove it before it returned upwards. I cannot remember how old I must have been but I didn’t try bell ringing anymore.

I remember Vanessa Murton and I spent many a day sitting on the wall thinking about the ponies we’d like to have one day. Also when my sister was a teenager there would be her, Shirley Pankhurst, David Fotheringham, Andy Murton, Steve Walters, Ricky Neil (who died) and David Blain, son of the butcher who had the business opposite the old Teynham School. They would just sit on the wall and chat about stuff. Mum also used to have the kids’ club there once a week and, of course, the discos.

I now live in the very bland USA where everything is only built to last for five minutes. There are no public footpaths and no orchards. There is something to be said about having familiar places and people close by. Wherever I go here I never bump into anyone I know; its a very odd feeling.

Ann Ballard who was the same age as my sister used to live at the back of us in Station Road. She now lives in Australia and she told me of the Teynham web site, www.teynham.org, which proves to be really interesting. One day I will visit Teynham again and I hope to see the old Labour Hall (now known as the Community Hall) looking very different.

Jo Chapman-D’Eath