Hayes (Kent) History

Hayes (Kent) History


The 1920s and 1930s were pivotal in the growth of Hayes. ‘The village is changing and I

don’t like it very much’, was the comment in a local newspaper as some of the mansions

were bought and pulled down by developers eager to seize the opportunity to provide

more homes for the many people who wanted a new life in the country. Hayes offered

an ideal opportunity. The 1921 Hayes Census recorded 1,010 people in 222 houses. By

1931 the number of houses had more than doubled to 452 and the population had

grown to 1678. Expansion continued and by 1939 the population had reached 6,500.

The main General Store run by Edwin Tidbury and most of the existing shops in 1919,

described in the Autumn HKVA Review, adapted and survived. However, the little shop

opposite the school was pulled down when the road was widened in 1935 to cope with

the increased traffic. Elinor Harrold in her ’Hayes Remembered’ recalled the shop with

its front and back doors and the shopkeeper Mrs Russell who wore a sack round her

shoulders, collected firewood and stacked it in her front garden, ‘tied up into ½d bundles

to be sold for lighting the fires and lighting the [washing] copper on Monday morning’ .In

the front of the shop she sold haberdashery and underwear and in the back tobacco,

sweets and soft drinks. Christiana Harrod remembered the liquorice sticks and rolls with

a purple or pink sweet in the centre and the sherbet dabs that were four for a farthing.

She also recalled when her second cousin Amy Pearce decided to turn her sitting room

at Glebe View, which adjoined the Post Office, into a place to sell cakes bread, sweets,

cigarettes and later ice cream. A bay window was installed in 1931. Elinor Harrold wrote

that the cakes were delivered every morning by Ackermans of Bromley.