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History of Ash and Ridley from Earliest Records to 1957
Compiled by Dorothy G. Meager on behalf of Ash and Ridley Women's Institute           Page 57

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Village Families

The Goodwin Family is another family that has its roots in Ash. They first came to the Village in 1895 and lived at "Threeways" Wallace Terrace for many years. There are at least 30 members of the present population related to this family.
   Mr Jabez Goodwin and his family came to this village from Meopham. In his younger days he had been a thatcher working with his father and 6 Brothers. When he came to Ash he set up as a hay dealer. As his 5 sons grew up they were taken into the business. His one daughter, Mrs Anstiss lives at Russell Villa. Mr Goodwin obtained the lease of land next to Wallace Terrace and erected sheds as they were required. A trade in straw was developed and later in all Animal feeding stuffs.
   In the early days they owned hay stacks in many parts of Kent and sometimes shifted as much as 30 tons of hay into Dartford and Gravesend in a week, the transport being by horse and cart.
   And during all that time the hay cutter was the only employee outside the family. When the 1914-18 war broke out Mr Jabez Goodwin found himself rationed to one stack. also, three of his sons were claimed by the army. Hostilities over all three sons returned to the business. In course of time Mr Jabez Goodwin retired and made the business over to his 5 sons on equal terms. Mr Fred Goodwin, the eldest, later decided to follow his own path, but his four brothers have remained in business together to this day.
   Mr William John Goodwin is the senior partner of Goodwin Bros. and he is manager. Mr Herbert Frank Goodwin and Mr Jesse Joseph James Goodwin are in charge of the haulage. And Mr Jabez Arthur Goodwin is foreman.
   The business is still flourishing although it is no longer twenty or thirty, but more likely five tons or less of hay that is carted in a week. Other animal feeding stuffs are the main support of the business. When Mr Fred Goodwin decided to carve a career for himself he chose as his Father did before him, with the result that there were two firms of .

"Goodwin Hay Merchants" of course there was a certain amount of competition between them but it was conducted in perfect friendliness, and Fred made a success of it.
   A few years ago he decided to retire from business and concentrate on his small home farm. Mr Fred Goodwin has always played a considerable part in the conduct of Parish Affairs over a number of years.
   After the retirement of Mr George Day he was elected to represent Ash on the Dartford Rural District Council, this was in 1938. He is the Father of the Parish Council where he has been a member for nearly 47 years. When Mr G E Leavey retired from the Kent County Council on his removal from South Ash Manor, Mr Fred Goodwin was elected in his place. He represented Dartford Rural East Division for 6 years and retired in 1955. He is a member of the Thames-side Education Committee and also a school manager. He is on the Kent River Board and the Assistance Board for the County. He is on the various committees of the Dartford Rural Council, being chairman of the Cleansing Committee.
   For many years Mr Goodwin was a special Constable but he resigned a few years ago.
   Old Mr Jabez Goodwin died in 1942 at the age of 84. He had a habit of singing to himself especially hymns and his voice was so powerful that he could be heard quite a long way off. In church his voice could be heard above all others.

The Gladdish Family have lived in Ash or nearby villages for at least the past 250 years. We find the name John Gladdish on one of the Church bells with "churchwarden" and the date 1717. He was then living in Ash Manor. Again we find the name Thomas Gladdish, farming Pettings Court Farm in 1847. Now Mr H Gladdish is the licensee of "The White Swan". There are several family tombstones in the Churchyard dating back to the 1700 and 1800s.

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