This Rainham Spectacular programme from 1975 was kindly provided by David Alcock

It gives a great glimpse into life in Rainham in 1975 and some of the local businesses around at the time like Autoplant Engineering in Medway Road, Burns Radiio in Woodlands Road, Riverview Service Station on Station Road and FW Simes and Son Ltd on High Street Rainham

Click to view the whole Rainham Spectacular 1975 programme as a PDF

The Rainham Spectacular was a fair that took place during the 1970s and early 1980s in Cozenton Park Rainham to raise funds for the Community Association. The first Rainham Spectacular was in May 1972 when it cost 10p for admission as can be seen in the poster below. Events took place at a similar time each year into the 1980s.

The programme for 1973 included Naval gun teams, miniature train rides, dog show, gymnastic display, vintage cars and sky divers as well as stalls and shows run by over 50 local organisations. By now the cost to enter was 15p (1970s inflation!) and it was estimated that nearly 20,000 people attended and raised £1200 for the community centre.

Rainham spectacular 1981 news clipping thanks to Steve Chinn

Newspaper clipping of Rainham spectacular from 1981

Newspaper clipping of Rainham spectacular from 1981

 

Miss Rainham competition winner Kim Unger at Rainham spectacular from 1981

Jubilee edition of the Rainham Spectacular programme from 1977 thanks to Dave Alcock

Jubilee edition of the Rainham Spectacular programme from 1977

Miss Rainham Kim Unger at Rainham spectacular from 1981

Miss Rainham Kim Unger at Rainham spectacular from 1981

The large Oast House, Wakelely's Oast, which stands beside Rainham railway station is the home to the Rainham and Wigmore Community Association (RWCA) run by volunteers for the local community.

We are trying to build up a picture of the history of this wonderful old building, which was built in the late 1800s. We are looking back to it’s original use as an Oast House and as the main Office for the Wakeley Brothers many businesses and on through the 20th century, up until the present day.

The photo above shows Rainham station and Platform Row cottages just in front of the oast in the 1950s

The Oast House was sold in the early 1970s and the dedicated committee and members of RWCA spent many hours of ‘blood, sweat and (no doubt) tears’ in getting the money and resources together to convert this massive building suitable for the community to use, in whatever way they desired.

There was a row of cottages alongside the Oast which were demolished as part of the conversion project in the 1970s. They were known as Platform Row. Interestingly there is reference to families moving in to Platform Row in 1965 after their existing homes in Hartlip were marked for demolition. As the cottages were demolished in the early 1970s it doesn't look like they had a very long term move.

Apparently the Challis family lived in the first cottage after the railway line ,Mr Challis was a guard on the railway their eldest daughter Theresa went to school with Lyn Scotting, I was told that the Platform cottages were for Wakely workers.

Drawing below of the Oast showing Platform Row cottages

Drawing below of the Oast showing Platform Row cottages

There is an exhibition at Rainham library until 31st July 2017 celebrating the independent shops in Rainham through photographs by Robin Halls. A great opportunity to check out the local businesses in the area. The exhibition is supported by Careful Now Promotions.

In a few years it will be good to see photos of the local shopkeepers, something that is normally missing from the history records now.

 

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