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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 127   2007 page 230

The Road Services of Kent in the Nineteenth Century. By F. W. G. Andrews

   In three other cases a route was indicated, omnibuses from Dartford serving Farningham and Sutton at Hone; from Appledore serving Tenterden (described as a coach, twice a day) and from Etchingham serving Hawkhurst. Hawkhurst, of course, did not have its own station (and that very remote indeed from the town centre) until 1893, but since Farningham and Sutton at Hone had had a station since 1860, that omnibus was presumably for the benefit of the settlements which lay between them and Dartford. No omnibus proprietors are indicated at any of these three towns in the 1899 Kelly: these discrepancies may indicate a major change in transport patterns over the seven years involved, or it may be that the omnibus proprietors were considered to be too small commercial fry to be worthy of a directory entry. Two very dedicated services were advertised: the Black Horse Hotel at Deal sent an omnibus to meet every train – though the station is little more than four hundred yards distant – and the Granville Arms Hotel at St Margaret’s Bay boasted that a ‘well-appointed omnibus plies between the Hotel and Martin Mill station’, but these two services were obviously available for hotel patrons only.
   By 1907, when the South Eastern and Chatham Railway published the sixth edition of its Official Guide, even these modest references had vanished, possibly because with two hitherto competing railways’ coverage to be included, space was at something of a premium. The railway itself advertised that Messrs Charles Rickards, Ltd, was ready to supply ‘Private omnibuses for Family Parties’ which could hold ‘six persons inside, and one outside’ to carry passengers to or from the various London stations, but these cost at least 1s. per mile, with a minimum charge of 4s. In Canterbury the County Hotel omnibus met all trains at the East station (the LCDR station) and trains at the West station (SER) by appointment. The only link between the Guide information and the 1899 Kelly’s Directory list is provided by Daniel Hoadley, who had been in business at Tunbridge Wells certainly as early as 1882, but no indication is given as to whether or not he provided what might be recognised as a ‘bus service’ today. Since the order office was given as being at the South Eastern railway station gates, it seems possible that he did no more than provide a service between the stations and various parts of the town, on an ‘as required’ basis.
   So far as can be ascertained, this seems to have been the normal pattern of omnibus services in the last years of the nineteenth century in Kent, connecting the local station with the centre of population, but information is very patchy. In 1874 there were three concerns running omnibuses between Hythe, Sandgate (the branch railway to which had just been opened) and Folkestone. Ovenden ran three buses daily to Folkestone in addition to meeting every train.29 Two other operators also worked the

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