Greens of Rainham/Medway Mercedes
Greens of Rainham was one of the main car dealers in Rainham located on the A2 at Moor Street on the same site as Medway Mercedes and Texaco garage. It closed in December 2008 and the site has been empty since then.
It has been announced that Greens of Rainham, the Vauxhall car dealer has been placed in administration. The Greens Vauxhall showrooms in Rainham and Snodland have been empty for several months so the confirmation was no great surprise locally. Sadly some 70 Greens of Rainham employees lost their jobs having been left in limbo since December when they were last paid but without being given any information until now about the fate of the company.
As of 2021 the showroom side of the site has been taken over by Medway Hyundai car dealers, the petrol station is still closed but now selling second hand cars and the former Medway Mercedes building is showing signs that it will become a wedding venue.
Medway Mercedes/Medway Autos/Texaco Garage Rainham
Greens of Rainham Vauxhall Dealer
Photo of Greens of Rainham, former Vauxhall Dealer on A2 London Road, July 2010
Price of Petrol when Greens of Rainham closed in 2008 was £1.139 per litre - surprisingly little different to recent prices in 2021
Greens of Rainham showroom interior, July 2010
Medway Mercedes/Medway Autos
This news would appear to confirm the depth and severity of the current recession by claiming a dealership that has successfully survived many previous recessions and downturns.
[information from Medway Messenger]
THE BARGAIN HOUSE
The Bargain House came to Rainham in 1924.
Mr Bays, the grandfather of Jonathan Baynes who now manages the Gillingham shop in King Street, came to Gillingham in 1910 and opened his first shop in Burnt Oak Terrace. The move to Rainham expanded the business and replaced a similar shop on this site owned by G. Hooker. The Bargain House was quite a feature in pre-war Rainham having a prominent position in the centre of the village. The building was far from attractive – the roof was corrugated iron – but it was one of the most useful places. The shop stocked a whole range of hardware, it had wicker baskets hanging outside and tin buckets and baths full of blocks of soap and packets inside. One Rainham girl, Miss Betty Fullager, started as an assistant in the shop at the top of Station Road on leaving school in 1926 aged 14 and stayed with the same business all her working life transferring to Gillingham when The Bargain House closed and only retiring from the King Street shop in the late 1970s. Betty Fullager was better known to her contemporaries as Sugar Fullager, the nickname given to her when she first joined I st Rainham Guides. The shop prospered in Rainham, only closing when the land was purchased by Barclays Bank to build their grand new building in 1936.
PARLIAMENTARY RECOGNITION FOR RAINHAM
by Freddie Cooper Aug 2004
The announcement that the Boundary Commission has recommended that the Parliamentary Constituency of Rainham will, after the next General Election, be known as Gillingham and Rainham will give Rainham its long overdue recognition and be welcomed by many residents.
Gillingham Borough Council embraced the area administered previously by Rainham Parish Council from 1st April 1929 under an extension of the Boundary Act 1928. That covered an area from the River to Bredhurst and from South Bush Lane to the back garden fences of the houses on the western side of Edwin Road, up through Springvale towards Bredhurst on a line which now would pass through the Church land in Drewery Drive.
Rainham had previously been on the extremity of the western boundary of Milton Regis Urban District Council and part of the Parliamentary Division of attachments were to the east and Rainham news was reported in the 'East Kent Gazette' and 'Kent Messenger'. From 1906 until 1926 we had tram connections to the Medway Towns but through history we had been Men and Maids of Kent whereas Gillingham residents were Kentish Men. It is clear to me that the Municipal and Parliamentary boundary previously referred to, rather than the River Medway, was the actual boundary between the ancient Kingdoms of East and West Kent.
Seventy-five years ago Gillingham wanted room to expand now it is estimated that Rainham has half the population of its previous parent borough.
Mr Clark says that he hopes that the ancient enmity between the two halves of the borough will now cease but I fear that this is unlikely to be realised whilst those on the eastern extremity feel that, despite all the endeavours of their representatives, they are `the forgotten outpost of the new Empire'. It was always thus even when Gillingham Council were our masters except when two of its most senior officers lived with us, we got quite a lot done in those few years, including Cozenton Park! Although I accept that members determine the level of rate income I believe that Officers mainly decide the priority of expenditure and I can only hope that with Parliamentary recognition, they will now realise that a very significant number of ratepayers live in the `Outpost'.
I am sure that Mr Paul Clark, MP, had parental encouragement to include Rainham within the Constituency's name for many of his ancestors rest within the Parish. I knew all those back until his maternal great grandparents, Mr and Mrs Alfred Thomas Warner, who lived in Lime Kiln Cottage, an old bungalow adjacent to his wood yard in Maidstone Road (then Bredhurst Lane) between Harvey and Nursery Roads.
THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM
Freddie Cooper (Action Forum, Aug 2005)
One of my neighbours sent me the photo of the pseudo Tudor farmhouse which appears on the cover which she had found in her album, asking if I knew where it was located and when it was demolished. I immediately thought that I knew its location but when I studied it I wondered if, in the circumstances, it would have had a chimney and I didn't remember the wall. I satisfied my doubts when I realised that there were no outbuildings, any farmhouse from Tudor times would have needed ancillary outbuildings.
Many older residents will recall that this building appeared in the late 1950s or early '60s in the field at the top of Twydall Lane in which the Mormon Church now stands. I was on Gillingham Council at the time and remember Mr Frank Thomas, a farmer who lived at Mill House, Windmill Road, above where that road used to join Chatham Hill, submitting a planning application for a residential farmhouse on the Twydall Lane site.
Mr Thomas became very irate when the application was refused and became involved in various much publicised protests which included exhibiting and painting large signs on the high wall facing Chatham Hill which so many saw on their journeys to and from work. Eventually he erected the structure as shown in the photograph which was very realistic but used solely for storing hay, straw and other agricultural purposes which required no planning permission.
The building was probably about 100 yards beyond the western boundary of Rainham but it became a feature for many years until it was eventually demolished when the site was developed.
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