Rainham Kent Snow Photos from 1987:Winter 1987/88 Snow in Kent

Rainham and Kent in general were hit particularly badly by snow in 1987 and for some days were cut off completely. I recall milk being flown in by army helicopter due to roads being impassable and major roads being blocked for many days. As outlined below the weather station recorded 22 INCHES of snow in Jan 1987 in Gillingham (in 2010 the roads were brought to a standstill with less than 20cm!!)
At the time I was working at Rainham Co-op as saturday staff. As school was closed due to the snow and being one of the staff that could walk to the shop I worked many extra hours during the snow building up my savings! Later on in the year the great Hurricane hit Kent during October 1987 leaving many trees blown down.

A quote from the netweather website below " The cold spell of January 1987 was exceptional and was probably one of the coldest spells since 1740. The intense cold and heavy snowfalls hit the SE the hardest. Transport was gridlocked and the cold even affected Big Ben's chiming hammer. "

Snow covered High Street Rainham Kent Winter 1987Rainham Snow 1987Frozen sea Rainham Kent 1987Rainham station in snow 1987

In 1987 the sea at Rainham (Motney Hill) even froze showing how cold the weather got. See the photo above of the frozen sea at Motney Hill.

Woodside Rainham Kent Snow 1987 outside Spyglass and Kettle pubMarshall Road Rainham, Snow drift 1987 Kent

Severe snow also hit the South East and Kent in 1991. This article from The Telegraph explains some of the recent snow events including the infamous wrong kind of snow quote from British Rail. The article says "During the 1991 event level snow lay 12 inches deep in central London, and on January 12-13, 1987, the deepest snow was in south Essex, Kent, Surrey and south London with 22 inches reported in the Maidstone and Gillingham areas. "

Video of the snow from Thames News 1987 BBC News Great Storm Oct 1987

 

More photos of the 1987 severe snow that affected Kent and South East England

Train stuck in snowdrift Kent 1987
Photos of 1987 snowdrifts in Kent
Snow in Kent-Photos
Kent snow photos from 1987
Medway snow photos January 1987

Further pictures of the 1987 snow in the South East

Photos on this page are clickable to view higher resolution versions. These snow photos were kindly supplied by Steve Murdoch.

 

  • Lower Rainham Road, looking west towards The Angel pub 12-1-87Snow on Lower Rainham Rd,Kent
    looking to The Angel pub 12-1-87
  • M.V.Resilience at Otterham Quay Docks April 1982 M.V.Resilience at Otterham 
    Quay Docks April 1982
  • Frozen Sea,Rainham Kent 1987Frozen Sea 
    1987
  • Otterham Quay Docks April 1982Otterham Quay Docks 
    April 1982
  • The scrap metal yard at Bloors Wharf July 1983The scrap metal yard at 
    Bloors Wharf July 1983
  • Rainham Station Kent Snow 1987Rainham Station in Snow 
    Jan 1987
  • Snow at Rainham Station Footbridge 1988Rainham Station Footbridge 
    1988
  • Angel Pub Rainham 1991Angel Pub Rainham 
    1991
  • Otterham Quay Docks from the sea-walOtterham Quay Docks
    from the sea-wall
  • Army & Navy Pub Snow, Rainham Kent Jan 1979Lower Rainham Road
    Army & Navy Pub Snow 
    Jan 1979
  • Motney Hill Road Dock 1988Motney Hill Road Dock 
    1988

 

 

  • Snow in Rainham Kent 1987Snow in Rainham Kent 1987:Photos by Andy James
  • Snow in Rainham Kent 1987Snow in Rainham Kent 1987:Photos by Andy James
  • Snow in Rainham Kent 1987Snow in Rainham Kent 1987:Photos by Andy James
  • Snow in Rainham Kent 1987Snow in Rainham Kent 1987:Photos by Andy James
  • Snow in Chatham Kent 1987Snow in Chatham Kent 1987:Photos by Alun Rodgers
  • Snow in Chatham Kent 1987Snow in Chatham Kent 1987:Photos by Alun Rodgers
  • Snow in Chatham Kent 1987Snow in Chatham Kent 1987:Photos by Alun Rodgers
  • Snow in Chatham Kent 1987Snow in Chatham Kent 1987:Photos by Alun Rodgers
  • Snow in Chatham Kent 1987Snow in Chatham Kent 1987:Photos by Alun Rodgers

 

 Savacentre/Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre 30th Anniversary

Hempstead Valley Shopping centre (aka Savacentre) near Gillingham Kent was constructed in the late 1970s just outside the village of Hempstead. It opened on 17th October 1978 so has celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2008. These photos showing the construction of Hempstead Valley were kindly sent by Chris Shade. You can see the large sign showing the original name of Savacentre. A current photo of Savacentre is shown on the Hempstead Valley website

There is currently (2010) a proposal to redevelop the Hempstead Valley shopping centre to modernise areas of it. You can view the proposal on the Hempstead Valley website here When it is completed in 2015 it will make a huge difference to the appeal of the centre as a shopping destination.

What may seem commonplace now was groundbreaking in 1978 as there were very few other out of town shopping centres of this size at the time. Hempstead Valley was the second Savacentre (Washington Tyne & Wear opened in 1977). At the time of opening Savacentre was one of the largest out of town shopping centres in the South East. The original Picnic Parlour was the first Food Court in the UK. You can see more info about Sainsburys Savacentre here

When originally opened the main shop was Sainsburys Savacentre, the brand they originally created for their large hypermarkets. At the time Sainsburys was by far the largest supermarket in the UK with Tesco trailing far behind – a far cry from the current situation with Tesco leading the field. The originally Hempstead Valley offered 250,000 square feet of shopping space but when the centre was redeveloped in the early 1990s with an extension and new shops like M&S being added, this was increased to 330,000 square feet.

The challenge is to remember all the original shops that were there when the centre opens….Sainsburys, Presto (which then became Safeway) - but which others?
So far the following shops have been suggested for the original opening

NSS (Newsagents) then became Forbuoys
Our Price
Post Office (not one of the original shops) 
Sainsburys Savacentre
Boots
Thomas Cook 
Presto Supermarket
Wimpy Burger Bar
Spud-U-Like

Later additions when the extension was added in early 1990s were WHSmith, Marks & Spencer.

Notice in the aerial shot the area to the bottom right which was developed for large housing estates shortly after the shot was taken.

Photos on this page are clickable to view higher resolution versions.

 

  • Savacentre, Photos of Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre 1978:Looking towards Savacentre Hempstead Valley from roundaboutLooking towards Savacentre Hempstead Valley from roundabout
    Petrol station would be to middle right of photo
  • Photos of Savacentre Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre 1978:Looking towards Hempstead Valley from Sharsted WayLooking towards Hempstead Valley from Sharsted Way 
    Underground car park to right of shot, Abbey to left of shot
  • Photos of Hempstead Valley Savacentre 1978Looking towards Hempstead Valley from roundabout
    Petrol station would be to middle right of photo
  • Photos of Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre 1978: Looking towards Hempstead Valley from Sharsted WayLooking towards Hempstead Valley from Sharsted Way
    Underground car park to right of shot, Abbey to left of shot
  • Aerial photo of Hempstead Valley Savacentre 1978Aerial photo of Hempstead Valley Savacentre 1980
    Sharsted Way runs along left hand side of photo joining A278 in bottom left corner. Hempstead Valley Drive runs along top and right side of photo.

 

 

 

 

Channel Tunnel Rail Link bridge across River Medway

Although not directly affecting Rainham as the line passes some miles away, these images give a good impression of the impact of the CTRL line on the Kentish landscape of Channel Tunnel Rail Link bridge across River Medway. This also shows the construction of the new motorway bridge built to expand the M2 motorway to four lanes each direction across the River Medway which widened the motorway between junctions 1 and 4 in early 2003.

Medway Bridges, 2002

 Photos of Rainham People from Bygone Times. These photos of various Rainham residents over the years have been sent in by readers of the site. If you have any photos that you would like to send in please email copies to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

William Keutenius
Chief Fire Officer between Wars

(Photo:Paul Stevens)

George and Martha Cory,taken in their garden on Henry Street,Rainham about 1910.
George Cory worked for Ebby Kemp in the workshops behind the Kemp's house. His specialty was making coffins.

(Photo: Dave Cory Dennis)

Henry E.Dennis and Elizabeth S.Wells' wedding group taken at the home of William and Amelia Dennis, Plumtree House, Lower Rainham Road ,in 1899.

Henry E.Dennis and Elizabeth S.Wells farmed at Eschol Farm,Hoo.
Most of the relatives in the photo were farmers :
Will Dennis :Weavering Street,Maidstone.
Tom Dennis : Natal Farm,Otterham.
James Edmonds : York Farm,Twydall & Fant Farm,Maidstone.
Willie Edmonds : Rede Court,Strood.
William Edmonds' family : Bendigo Farm, Higham.
John Talbot :Jackmans Farm,Bowers Gifford,Essex.

(Photo: Dave Cory Dennis)

 

“Peter and Ellen Emma (née Barrow) Edmonds with their son, Peter Leonard Edmonds (standing), in the garden of their home in retirement on Birling Avenue, Rainham, taken about 1953 

 

{Source: Peter D. Edmonds)"   I can attest to the accuracy of this caption because I took the photograph.

 

 

 

 
 

Subcategories

Old photos by decade

Roads around the Rainham - old photos of how roads used to look in days gone by