The first year of Rainham Mark Grammar school name was 1982 when it had previously been known as Gillingham Technical High School - GTHS. You can see in these class photos from 1982 that the boards with the class names all show RMGS but the pupils blazers still have the GTHS badge on.

Are you in any of these photos? Do you recognise anyone? Please post any names in the comments below

Rainham High Street in 1974 was quite different to now as the construction of the Rainham precinct shopping centre in the late 1970s had yet to begin. This shopping centre was on the site of the old blacksmith's forge and old school at the top of Station Road. Memories of which shops existed at which times can get confused over time so it's useful to have a list of the shops from the Kelly's Directory series to check back on. 

This edition of Kelly's directory is for 1974 and is one of the latest ones produced although they start in the 1800s. Quite how it would work now with GDPR and data protection is up for discussion!

As can be seen from the above scan from the 1974 edition of Kelly's directory covering Rainham High Street the following shops existed starting from Berengrave Lane towards Sittingbourne.

1 Midland Bank Ltd

5 HW Hidson Ltd (Austin, Morris, Wolseley & MG motor engineers)

-- Quinnell Street

9 Spensley J Ltd Chemists

11 Durrell DH

13/15 not listed

17 Friend David R

19 Ward & Partners Estate agents

21 P Duff optician

23 Telephone Exchange

25 Ronald Bampton Estate agents

Midland Bank & HW Hidsons High Street Rainham  Ward & Partners Estate agents Rainham 1972

Photos of Midland Bank next to HW Hidsons as well as Ward & Partners estate agents in High Street Rainham pictured in 1972

27 Mullarkey T Chartered Accountants

31 Beveridge CE Chemists

33 South Eastern Electricity board

Photo of South Eastern Electricity board shop on corner of Holding Street in 1972

-- here is Holding Street

35a Elliott EC & WA tobacconists

35 Empty

37 Stuarts Express Dyers and Cleaners

39/43 Poultons hardware

45 Woolcrafts, wool shop

47 Walter & Randall estate agents

47A High JA Opticians

47B Trembeth & Sons bakers

49/51 Lloyds Bank

49/51 Simon Langton & Co Solicitors

53 Buckey & Ward estate agents

55 Chatham Reliance Building Society

57 Josephine Hairdressers

59 Empty

61 Rose Frank & Son grocers

63 Pat ladies fashion shop

65 Empty

67A Nicholls WR & Sons Butchers

67B Tuesdays Child, baby wear shop

67C Herta Ladies hairdressers

71 empty

73A Barrett HR motor car agent

77 Forge Garage motor car agent

79/81 Rainham radio

81 Rouse Sidney

83 Reed Bros hairdressers

85 Betabake bakers

87 International Stores

93 Barclays Bank

Photo of Betabake & International Stores, Rainham in 1972

Betabake & International Stores, Rainham in 1972

-- here is Station Road

 95 White Horse Hotel

White Horse Hotel in 1972

103/107 Invicta Co-operative Society Ltd

107A Hutchinson TG, Joiner

109 Barden FT, Fruiterer

113 Brdge E Gordon

117 Post Office Delivery Office

119 Roberts E Confectioners & Post Office

119Fowkes Clifford

123 Redfern Kenneth & Co Solicitors

123 Wall RA, Chiropodist

125 Backman J, Draper

127 Marfleet Wltr

129 Winch Greensted & Winch, solicitors

-- here is Ivy Street

Ludlam's stores on Station Road/Solomon Road junction was bought by proprietors Sid and Ivy Ludlam in 1954. These photos were taken by their son Frank. The store later became Paynes Motor Spares and Owen Hair Design but has now been converted into flats.

Ludlam's Stores Station Road Rainham



Ludlam's Stores Station Road Rainham Owen Hair Design

Until the late 1970s/early 1980s there was a household waste landfill site otherwise known as "the tip/dump" just outside Rainham. The site has long gone but the location is still visible when you walk past and from the air.

The site was between Otterham Quay Lane and Seymour Road with the access via Otterham Quay lane and Canterbury Lane. I remember trips there with my dad when we had rubbish to get rid of from the garden clearance and house rebuilding project that he was working on from the mid 1970s.

Unlike current household waste dumps where there are separate bins for different materials and you load the waste into the various skips to be taken away off site at this dump there was a low wall that you reversed up to and then literally just chucked your waste from the back of the car into the tip so it filled up the massive hole in the ground over time.

If you go past the site now it is mainly grass but with ventilation pipes popping out across the site which are for venting out the gases from the decomposition of the waste underneath. Building of new houses is taking place nearby but planning permission has been refused for some due to the proximity of the landfill site to the proposed development.



Historical tales

Local Events


Rainham Life