Hayes (Kent) History

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Hayes (Kent) History

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Everard Alexander Hambro

11 April 1842 – 26 February 1925
Banker, Hambros Bank, Director of Bank of England, Philanthropist. KCVO

Everard Hambro bought Hayes Place in 1880 and moved there with his wife and two sons Charles Eric and Harold.   Three more children, Angus, Ronald and Violet were born in Hayes.
He played a very important part in the life and development of the village. He owned much of the village and developed a prize winning herd of Guernsey cows at the farm.  Not only did he improve his house and the grounds but built four lodges and a house for his butler in Hayes Bottom (now Bourne Way). He ensured that some of the run down cottages were adapted or replaced with more architecturally appealing ones. Three cottages nearest the George were replaced with four superior ‘Model Cottages’ ( 21-27 Hayes Street), designed by George Devey. Four small dwellings were converted into two cottages (17-19 Hayes Street), Bank Cottages were built (2 and 4 West Common Road), Poplar Row was replaced by St Mary Cottages (12-30 Baston Road), three cottages facing the Common were converted into one house for two of his sisters-in-law, Octavia and Clara Stuart, Grove House was extended and given to his son Harold in 1909, Glebe House was built originally for his son Eric who, however, preferred to live at Pickhurst Mead.

Two Victorian beer houses, the Sun Inn and the Alma Arms close to the school were replaced by the New Inn which was built away from the village but close to the railway station which opened in 1882.  A small home for crippled children with a matron was set up. Land was given to provide for an extension to the village school that was used for cookery lessons & also to provide allotments on 1½ acres near the railway station.

With the setting up of the Hayes Parish Council in 1894 he became Chairman.  He supported the Hayes Common Conservators and provided the services of his lawyers without charge in a dispute between the Parish Council and the Bromley Rural District Council regarding the right to take gravel from the Common. It was he and not the Rural Sanitary Authority who arranged and paid for the disposal of all the closets and village rubbish at no expense to the rates until at least the end of the century. He was president of the Hayes Village Industrial Association and vice- president of the village cricket and football clubs.

Everard Hambro gave three new bells to the Parish Church and paid for the recasting of the existing bells. Other gifts to the church  were the heating apparatus and two lighting installations, first gas and subsequently electricity. After the death of his wife Gertrude Mary in 1905 he paid for a large memorial screen to ‘All those who are lying at rest within this Sacred Ground’ to be erected at the eastern end of the existing churchyard. He also provided land to extend the churchyard.

When he died in 1925 he was buried close to the memorial in the churchyard in a grave alongside that of his first wife.  The rector at the time, Canon H P Thompson, commented ‘there are not a few, who remember with gratitude, thought-out and long continued acts of personal kindness.  To me, there will ever remain, the remembrance of that fine handsome figure, the old world courtesy, the kindly smile, the humility of the man who just liked best to find relief from the pressure of affairs, among the scenes and people of Hayes.’

Further information:

  • The Hambros 1779 to 1979 : Bo Bramsen and Kathleen Wain, London 1979
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

HAMBRO, Charles Eric

30 September 1872 -28 December 1947
Banker, Hambros Bank, KBE

Charles Eric Hambro was eight when his father, Everard Hambro, bought Hayes Place. He became MP for Wimbledon 1900-1907 but later moved back to Hayes, living at Pickhurst Mead from 1913 – 1925.  It was in his grounds that the anti-aircraft gun was installed that was part of the outer defence of London.  After the war he was made a KBE in recognition of his services for the Ministry of Information.  In Hayes he is mainly remembered for his decision after his father’s death to move away from Hayes and sell Hayes Place and its properties to building developers.  This resulted in the demolition of the house and the construction of a large number of properties which enabled many more people to enjoy the village and surrounding countryside.  He was buried in Hayes churchyard on 1 January 1948.

Further information:

  • Who Was Who

HAMBRO, Harold Everard

25 Jan 1876 – 5 August 1952
Banker, Army Officer.

Harold Hambro was 15 years old and lived at Hayes Place in the !891 Census with his father Everard, mother Gertrude, aunt Clara, three younger siblings  and 15 servants. His father later gave him Hayes Grove but he chose not to live in Hayes.  It is said that his wife, Katherine, did not want to live there.  Consequently he rented out  the property. He was a Lt. Colonel in the First World War and is mentioned as returning safely in the list in the front of the Great Church Bible.  Hayes Grove remained his property until put up for sale in 1930. The house remained in private hands but eight acres of its land was bought by the builders Tyson & Harris.

HAMBRO, Ronald Olaf

1st December 1885 – 25 April 1961

Ronald Olaf Hambro was baptised in Hayes Church on 17 January 1886. He joined the Coldstream Guards in 1915, was twice mentioned in despatches and is one of the men recorded as returning safely from the First World War in the front of the Great Bible in Hayes Church..