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
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
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
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.