The White Horse pub is central to Rainham located on the A2 junction with Station Road and was sometimes known locally as the Wonky Donkey. Sadly it seems to be going downhill having closed last year, reopened again for almost a year and now is closed and boarded up (June 2017)

In previous years it was much more vibrant with many happy memories over the years.

1910 approx




The Temperance Hotel was located at 113 Station Road in Rainham opposite the train station. It became the Railway hotel and then Railway pub that closed in 2012 and as of 2017 is subject to a planning application to become a Wetherspoons pub.

The Parish Free Library and Reading Room became established at the end of the 19th century and could be found on the ground floor of the Temperance Hotel in Station Road. With a wide choice of reading material, over 2,000 books, daily newspapers and journals were available to read. A reference library could also be found. The lending library was only open from 7 pm to 9 pm. Mr Barrell from Milton Road (now Webster Road) served as the librarian in 1908.

The construction of Rainham Social Club took place at the rear of the Temperance Hotel around 1904. Although much smaller than the present club in Station Road, it had a full sized billiard table and a membership of about seventy. Mr Child served as the steward and the club stayed open from 10 am to 10-30 pm.

The information below is found on

1901/Stephen Mitchell/Inn Keeper/43/Kingsdown, Kent/Census ****
1901/Kate Mitchell/Wife/41/Wateringbury, Kent/Census
1901/Archibald Mitchell/Son/9/Maidstone, Kent/Census
1901/Albert Mitchell/Son/4/Maidstone, Kent/Census
1901/Dorothy Mitchell/Daughter/3/Rainham, Kent/Census
1901/Rosa Mitchell/Daughter/7 months/Rainham, Kent/Census
1901/Sarah Nye/Sister, Widow/51/East Malling, Kent/Census
1901/Alice Oben/Sister/43/East Malling, Kent/Census
1903/Stephen Mitchell/../../../Kellys Directory ***
1912-13/James Castle/../../../Kellys Directory ***
1913/James Castle/../../../Post Office Directory ****
1918/Mrs A Castle/../../../Post Office Directory ****
Charles Young Brown had the Railway Hotel, Rainham / Gillingham in 1919 for 14 years. I don't know if that is from 1919. *
1922/Charles Y Brown/../../../Post Office Directory ****
1930/Charles Y Brown/../../../Post Office Directory ****
1938/Hy A W Brown/../../../Post Office Directory ****

 The National School (later C of E) at the top of Station Road had been built in 1846. In 1887 the National School continued to function at the top end of Station Road for 180 boys and 160 girls. Samuel Hodson had served as headmaster since 1883 and Miss Emily Charlesworth assisted him while the infant’s school continued to be run by Mrs Brice. The Lower Rainham National School which had been erected in 1876 had about 60 pupils and was run by Miss Knight then by Mrs Seago. A small private school run by Miss Bertha Atkins also existed just off Rainham High Street near the church path.

The National School was enlarged in 1878 and 1884, to hold 600 (205 Boys, 190 Girls and 205 Infants) and in 1908 there were 549 scholars attending. 

 Some of my contemporaries will be interested to know that even in 1908 our Head teacher, Mr G.R. Bone, and the two Miss Campbells were already on the staff and the Girls' teachers included Miss Rickells. Nearly all female staff were unmarried and 1 believe that it was an act of 1941 which allowed married women to be appointed.


This photo of the National School on the left of Station Road was taken in the 1970s shortly before demolition and shows the building with the two extensions added in 1878 and 1884. The site is now the location of Wilkinson's shop.

Click to view the whole booklet about the Long Winter of 1962-63 (a Guardian pamphlet) which was published about the winter of 1962-63 and the impact across the UK.

By any standard the winter of 1962-3 was one of the hardest Great Britain has ever had. It has been reckoned that in the Midlands, which didn't have the worst of it, there has been nothing comparable since 1740.

Even the most conservative estimates for the country as a whole conclude that it was the coldest since 1829-30. It was a winter in which cars were driven across the Thames, pack ice formed a quarter of a mile outside Whltstable Harbour, a family was marooned on a Dartmoor farm for 66 days. It killed at least 49 people. And though its economic effects were not as severe as those of 1946·7, public transport was several times brought to a standstill, and the January power crisis was grave enough to provoke an emergency meeting of the Cabinet. It was a winter to remember. What follows-the day-by-day summary of the chilliest news, the special articles by "Guardian" reporters and correspondents which appeared in the paper at the time, the illustrations and the statistics is a memorial to the long winter 1962-3.



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