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 below 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