Ward Homes Sales Brochures and Promo Leaflets from the 1960s For Rainham Park Housing Estate - now know as Parkwood

These Parkwood homes brochures have been kindly scanned and provided by Craig Blum. 

The photos show many of the designs of Ward Homes houses that can still be seen across Parkwood estate from Cherry Tree Road to Lonsdale Drive and around the roads off Long Catlis Drive. This was originally known as Rainham Park estate and was at one time the largest private housing estate in Europe which was built on ancient woodland outside Wigmore and Rainham Kent.

A PDF of the complete brochure can be viewed here.

The achievement of the huge scale of the development is even more significant when you consider that the entire area was developed by a single company, Ward Homes.

Parkwood estate new houses sale brochure 1960s, rainham kent


Rainham Mark, Belisha Beacon, Hop and Vine pub, Kent Photos & Information

The Ever Changing Face of Rainham

Change in our Environment is a continual process. Even in the short time that this site has been running many changes have been seen. An example is from some shots taken in Rainham Mark in 2003 for use with the Time Machine pages. Since they were taken the Hop & Vine has been refurbished, the petrol station, Post Office and newsagents have closed.

This area is a perfect example of how change in the urban environment is a never ending process. Since the article originally written in 2005 the aread has changed further. As of November 2010 the Hop and Vine pub has closed down and the site of the former Shell/Texaco petrol station remains derelict despite various attempts to obtain planning permission for alternative uses. The former Rainham Mark post office remains empty and the newsagent has now been converted to an Osteopath surgery.

hop vine pub rainham mark belisha beacon

Hop and Vine pub Rainham Mark, now boarded up with former Rainham Mark post office and Shell/Texaco petrol station in distance

 Belisha Beacon pub Rainham Mark

Belisha Beacon pub, Rainham Mark in 1950s - note the saloon bar and public bar door signs

Jonathan Lawson, managing director at pub chain Greene King, confirmed it no longer owned the Hop & Vine building.

He said: "We can confirm that the Hop & Vine has been sold to London-based development company Zaan.

"Community pubs are very much at the heart of our business. Sadly, the Hop & Vine is restricted by its size and therefore has limited development potential as a pub.

"After careful consideration, we reluctantly concluded that it is in the best interests of the community to accept an offer for the premises.

"We would like to reassure the people of Rainham that we are committed to the area and continue to welcome customers at our nearest local pub, The Cricketers on the High Street."


The Hop and Vine was originally known as the Belisha Becon pub. More info about the origins of Rainham Mark can be found on the website below



Rainham Mark post office, Shell Garage 2003

Hop and Vine Rainham 2005 2005

hop and vine rainham closed down 2010




Action Forum, November 2001  

In July a reader asked the editor if anyone knew the correct location of the Lord Stanley, a fair number responded, some were right some wrong. I started a search by visiting Peter Sargent who has recently transferred his Ordnance Survey Map business from Chatham to rooms above the Rainham Bookshop and obtained maps of this area dated back to 1801. I was fortunate enough to have the advice of my neighbour Mrs Ellen Tyler (née Swan) who spent her early life in Caroline Place, a terrace of 16 houses built by Eastwoods for their ‘Brickies’ on the road alongside the Three Sisters PH.  

I learned a lot from my studies which I hope to share with readers later but none of this was as persuasive as the picture of the Lord Stanley which by chance I found on page 12 of the Rainham Red Book. This was apparently taken before 1910 as the Mill at the top of Windmill Hill is also in the picture at the bottom of the hill on a site which, I believe, is now occupied by a bungalow and various commercial undertakings.   The ‘pub’ eventually became ‘Barnes Shop’ and a Mrs Beryl Shave wrote to explain that her mother, Mrs Minnie Hopper, now 93, was Mr Barnes’ daughter so I was able to ascertain family information at first hand. I was unable to find out when the ‘L.S.’ opened as a licensed house but understand that it was named after a Stanley Wakeley. It closed in 1918 when Mr Barnes opened the shop which subsequently served those living in the fairly isolated areas of Otterham, Upchurch, and Lower Halstow, first by horse and cart and later with a van. Mr Barnes died in 1956 but his daughter Ethel carried on the business until VAT was introduced and left the premises in 1980. The building remained empty for a period before, like the Mill at the hilltop, it was destroyed by fire.  

Mrs Tyler also told me about Mr Richens, whose shop next to the Three Sisters PH was already established when Mr Barnes arrived in 1918. He supplied most general needs from meat to oil, in fact like most village ‘butchers’, he had a slaughter house at the top of the garden. We had one within 30 yards of the C of E School at the top of Station Road and our lessons or play were often accompanied by the squeal of pigs.   One has to remember that there was a small general store in most roads for the odd daily purchase, we had no refrigerators or freezers and children were often sent for small quantities ‘on the slate’ (payable on pay day). I would presume that Otterham residents would have come by bus or bike to Rainham for their main purchases. Regular rounds by cart or van were made by milkmen, bakers, greengrocers, a fishmonger, and coalmen and, when in season, a shrimp and winkle man on a trandesman’s cycle clanging a bell before Sunday teatime. For those able to purchase fair quantities a boy would call from the International, Quinnells, or Roses on Thursdays for an order book for groceries to be delivered the following day.   Although few lived in the immediate vicinity it is an indication of the number employed in the manufacture and distribution of bricks and cement that there were three ‘pubs’ in Otterham Quay around the turn of last century.

In addition to the Lord Stanley and the Three Sisters there was also the Anchor and Hope which was demolished in 1921 and a Working Men’s Club (period of activity unknown but I seem to remember it about 200 yards N.E. of the Three Sisters around the time of the last War).   Incidentally the Three Sisters PH and all that side of Otterham Quay is in Upchurch (Swale), the boundary line runs roughly up the centre of the creek. I hope to write more about brick and cement making and barge transportation when Otterham was a hive of industry around the early 1900s in a later issue.  

Freddie Cooper

Rainham Kent Photos & Information

In a recent issue of Action Forum, there was a query about The Lord Stanley Pub. I have received a number of calls about this and the information received is summarised below.

Bob Barnes' grandfather took over the Lord Stanley in 1913. It was initially a pub and general store, similar to an off licence today. It was located at the bottom of Windmill Hill opposite Otterham Quay caravan site where a new bungalow now stands.

It was converted to a private residence but burnt down around 1980.

 A picture of the pub can be found in the Meresborough Books publication, "Photos of Old Rainham", 1983 and also in "Gillingham, Then and Now" by John Guy, 1981,available from Rainham Bookshop.



Historical tales

Local Events


Rainham Life