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.


Back in the 1980s the Design & Technology department and A level students at Rainham Mark Grammar School built a hovercraft. This was used to give rides across the school field on open days and fairs as well as general messing about some lunchtimes! This photo was taken at a school fair in around June 1987

Charlotte Drive off Marshall Road Rainham Kent was built starting in the late 1980s. The road was constructed by the demolition of 33 Marshall Road in 1987 as shown in the below photos. The house was demolished to create the access initially for Charlotte Drive but Hudson Close, Jefferson Drive, Vancouver Drive and Jackson Close were added afterwards.

These photos were taken over a period of weeks as the house roof was removed and the site cleared so the new road could be constructed.


This photo also features a rather nice Ford Sierra XR4i registration A132NHJ which is no longer on the road!


Charlotte Drive as it is in 2017. The house next to Charlotte Drive has been substantially extended since 1987. The photo taken on a mobile phone is much clearer than an SLR photo from 1987!



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