Letters to the Editor

PUBLISHED: 00:16 01 February 2011 | UPDATED: 20:35 20 February 2013

A New Year's Day outing / Motorcycling around Kent / Smuggling tales

A New Years Day outing


A dear friend gave me a subscription to Kent Life as a Christmas present and the January issue arrived in good time. One of the letters (Pubs we love) described The Gate at Marshside. Tempted by the description, my husband and I decided to drive out on New Years Day to find this little gem.


Armed with maps and my husbands good sense of direction, we managed to find the pub a warm welcome, a cosy fire, good beer and a mummers play what a start to the new year. Afterwards, a drive into Whitstable and a walk round the harbour completed our New Years Day jaunt.


Thank you to David Hallett for his letter and thank you to Kent Life for a splendid magazine. I look forward to the rest of my Christmas present.


Jennifer Edwards, Sidcup



Motorcycling around Kent


I noted with interest your article in


the January edition of Kent Life, concerning pictures of old cars. I wonder if you are also interested in pictures of old motor cycles? If so please find attached, one of my father with his AA motor cycle and sidecar.


This was taken during either the 1920s or 1930s. My father, Percy Alfred Bing, was an AA patrolman, covering what at the time, was the newly completed A2, the Cobham Road, near Strood, later to be known


as the Watling Street.


Being a patrolman, this was his beat at that time, covering from Strood to Brenley Corner at Faversham. Before he was issued with the above-mentioned motorcycle, he use to use an ordinary push-bike.


In winter he used to wear a balaclava to keep his ears warm, (he eventually became deaf, but that may not have been caused by the cold), but this often meant he was hauled over the coals for being improperly dressed. How things have changed these days.


He was always interested in all mechanical things, and even when retired took an interest in cars, etc.


I can remember on one occasion, when my husband and I arrived home with a Mini. After looking it over,


his first comment, was where the hell do you put the starting handle?


Vivian Holderness, Pembrokeshire



Smuggling tales


I was interested to read your article When Hawkhurst ruled the Weald in your November issue. I would, however, like to point out that some of the widely believed facts about the Hawkhurst Gang are not accurate, especially in relation to the one-time leader, Arthur Gray.


Arthur Gray was never implicated in the murders of Galley and Chater, neither was he hanged for the murder of Tom Carswell, the Riding Officer. Probably the most successful gang leader of his time, he went to trial convicted on the evidence of two witnesses (later thrown out of a subsequent trial for being known as unreliable), and the statement of a Riding Officer who admitted that although he had seen seven or eight men driving their horses loaded with goods along the road from Lydd to Apppledore, he could not state with any certainty that Arthur Gray was one of them.


The Surveyor General, whose job was to catch smugglers, wrote that he thought it would be a pity if Gray went free for lack of evidence, so the evidence was concocted and the Government got its way.


Interested readers might enjoy


my book, Men of Sorrows Smugglers of the Marsh, based on the archived material.


Mary-Elizabeth Thomas, Hythe

More from People

Test your knowledge of Kent with our bumper sized 100 question quiz with a distinctly Kentish theme

Read more

Freemasonry has existed for more than 300 years, welcomes men from all weeks of life and supports many charities - yet the myths persist. Kent Life finds out why

Read more
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Take a step back in time to the good old days with these vintage videos from around Kent

Read more

We’re all familiar with blue plaques, but could Kent Life come up with 10 notable births in our county – avoiding the most obvious ones? See if you agree

Read more

Join us on a literary journey around the Kent coast to see how it has inspired writers over the centuries

Read more
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

We very rarely have a conversation about wills because people don’t like talking about death. Actually though, a will is about securing the future of your loved ones you leave behind

Read more
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, the day that formally recognised Nazi Germany’s surrender - so we gathered some beautiful old videos that capture the celebratory atmosphere of that first VE Day in 1945

Read more

May 2020 marks 80 years since Operation Dynamo and the anniversary is being remembered on both sides of the Channel

Read more
Monday, May 4, 2020

Andy Garland Senior Broadcast Journalist - Programmes at BBC Radio Kent, including presenting Sunday Gardening

Read more
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

How one Duke of York’s Royal Military School student braved the Irish Sea to raise money for charity, despite his disability

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life