By far the largest proportion of the population is
engaged on the land. A great deal of fruit is grown such as apples,
pears, plums and cherries, and until the last year or two soft fruits
were quite a feature but most of these have been grubbed up because
they do not now pay, owing mainly to the wages bill. Strawberries
however are still widely grown. Most other crops are produced. Quite
often, for fruit and potato picking, the farmers have to import labour
as well as employing all the women available in the Village. Dairy
farming and sheep rearing are carried on in parts of both Parishes. A
number of chicken farms grew up between the Wars, especially down
Billet Hill, these have now largely disappeared although quite a lot
of birds are kept for domestic use. Pig keeping is also a feature but
not to such an extent as during the 1939-45 War. Several people go in for beekeeping, some on a fairly large scale.
As well as the farmers there are the shopkeepers, inn
keepers, a builder and decorator, a garage and haulage contractor.
A small proportion of the population go to town daily,
either to London or nearby towns such as Gravesend, Dartford, Tilbury
etc. This section of the population include employers and employees in
several different trades and professions. A few of the girls are doing
nursing, one, Gwendoline Curling, has qualified as a Sister in Queen
Alexandra’s Nursing Service. One of the boys, David Wise, is on the
staff at Buckingham Palace. The tendency is for the young people to
get employment in towns and that is one of the factors that has a
marked effect on the formation of clubs etc. in the Village.