ACROSS THE YEARS
SOUP KITCHEN AT FIVE OAK GREEN
From the Kent and Sussex Courier, March 1879
ln connection with the Five Oak Green Congregational Church place of worship, a soup kitchen has been established for many years past and has given out an immense quantity of soup and bread which have been very eagerly and gratefully received by the poor inhabitants of the neighbourhood.
During this severe winter just gone, 1,724 quarts of soup and 672 loaves of bread have been distributed.
At the close of the most recent soup kitchen session, free tea was given when the large schoolroom was crowded. Afterwards a meeting was held, presided over by Mr. Waghorn, of Tunbridge Wells, to whose indefatigable efforts the whole management is due.
This being decidedly a meeting of females, the chairman, with his usual kindliness to the villagers, recently resolved to have the men to supper.
This resolution was practically carried out last Friday when 90 tickets were issued, and about that number of strong, stalwart Kentish men sat down to a very savoury and substantial repast in company with Rev J. R. Thomson, M.A., and Mr. Waghorn.
Mr H. Hassal, at the conclusion of the meal, proposed a vote of thanks to the Rev.Thomson and the non-conformists of Tunbridge Wells. He remarked that he did not know what they should do in this neighbourhood without them.
After the meal, all adjourned to the Chapel with the greatest order and sat listening with marked attention to the addresses.
The Rev. Thomson cited in eloquent but homely language the beautiful example of our Lord Jesus Christ who did not overlook the bodies of men, while at same time intensely seeking their spiritual welfare, showing that we did well in this way to imitate Him.
From the Kent and Sussex Courier, April 1940
DEATH OF SIR OSMOND D'AVIGDOR GOLDSMID - A GRANDSON OF ONE OF NAPOLEON 111's DUKES.
It is with great regret that we record the death of Sir Osmond d'Avigdor Goldsmid, of Somerhlll, Tonbridge, which occurred at his residence in London on Sunday at the age of 63.
Sir Osmond had been prominently associated with public work in the county and Capel for many years and was greatly revered by all who knew him.
The grandson of Count Henri d''Avigdor, one of Napoleon III's dukes, Sir Osmond added the name and arms of Goldsmld to his own on the death of his cousin, the Right Hon. Sir Julian Goldsmid whose estates he inherited.
Educated at Harrow and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he devoted himself to a life of public service at Somerhill and in London. He was Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Kent and in 1912 fulfilled the office of High Sheriff. Sir Osmond was closely connected with Capel where he took an active part in the various institutions formed in the parish. He frequently presided at the meetings of the Capel Parish Council of which had been chairman since 1902. He was also Chairman of the Board of School Managers and it was the Goldsmld family who provided Tudeley and the parish with the hall which bears that name.
One of his greatest interests was the Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, of which he had been President for many years. It was largely through his efforts that the present hospital became one of the finest cottage hospitals in the South of England.
On Monday the 19th the Rt. Hon. Lord le Despencer relieved 400 poor persons in the vicinity of his residence at Mereworth Castle by a charitable donation of two oxen with flour and fuel for each and on Friday last his charity was extended to the poor of Tudeley, Capel and places adjacent whom were proportioned out one bullock with equal quantity of flour and fuel.
The act of benevolence will be continued weekly at the above places as long as the severity of the conditions may continue and we learn that the gentlemen and farmers in those parishes much to their credit have entered into a subscription for their further relief in aid of which his lordship has subscribed liberally.
Equally moved by the same human adversity, the farmers in the neighbourhood have lent out their waggons to convey the fuel given by his lordship to the door of each poor person.
With great pleasure we also find a spirit of emulation prevails among all ranks in this uncommonly harsh season to relieve the suffering of their unfortunate and distressed fellow creatures.
15-year-old Mary Ann Godden was declared guilty of stealing at the shop in Five Oak Green of Mary Ann Playfoot who found her till short by four florins and a shilling (nine shillings altogether, around £40 today).
Mary Ann told the local policeman she had gone in to settle a bill and the money in her purse was the change but the bench, while describing it as a sad case, found her guilty and jailed her for 14 days.
UNFIT FOR PUBLIC WORSHIP
Tudeley Parish Church is in a very dilapidated condition and the internal arrangements render it wholly unfit for the due celebration of the public worship of God.
It has been resolved therefore that efforts shall be made by voluntary contributions for its immediate restoration. It is estimated that to carry out the work in a satisfactory manner at least £600 (about £30,000 today) will be required.
The parish being almost entirely agricultural, it is hoped that the desire to promote the glory of God may animate many not particularly connected with Tudeley to subscribe to good work.
A SANITARY TALE
The Rural Sanitary Authority of the Tonbridge Union was concerned about the conditions at Five Oak Green which were described as "wretched" and had caused several cases of "low fever." The cause was the foul water supply in the village.
The Rev. Mr.W.E. Hayman pointed out that the source of the water supply was pure but as it neared the village five cottages poured the whole of their drainage into it and further, in the summer young Five Oak Greeners delighted to perform their ablutions.
TRAGIC DEATH OF MR. THOMAS TOLHURST, AGED 35
In a mysterious motor car accident, which occurred between Wateringbury and Nettlestead in the early hours of last Saturday morning, Mr. Thomas Tolhurst, of Moat Farm, Five Oak Green, met his death.
He was returning from a private dance at Maidstone and it is believed that his car overturned after running into fog. Mr. Tolhurst was found lying underneath the car in a ditch. At the inquest a verdict of accidental death was returned.
Mr William Tolhurst identified the body as that of his brother, a single man, aged 35. He had left home early in the evening and the witness did not know where he was going though he frequently went to dances.
Greta Anne Hales, of Vineyard Hill, Wimbledon, said she spent the evening with Mr. Tolhurst at the dance at Maidstone. They departed after midnight and returned to a house at Loose to fetch his car. It would be about 3.20 am when he left and he seemed all right, but a little tired.
Mr. Tolhurst, educated in Tonbridge, followed his late father's example of taking a lively interest in all local and agricultural affairs.
In World War One he joined the Yeomanry in 1914 before being transferred to the Royal West Kent Regiment but was later invalided out.
He become chairman of the local branch of the British Legion and with the Paddock Wood branch of the National Farmers' Union he served as vice-chairman.
Mr. Tolhurst was also a member of the Parish Council, Tonbridge Rugby Football Club and took a keen interest in matters appertaining to sport, including football, cricket, shooting and hunting.
A packed congregation of over 200 attended the funeral at Capel Church with family and villagers combining to pay tribute and respect to a man who had won the high esteem of all with whom he had been associated, a man who was known for his sporting qualities and high integrity.
There were no fewer than 154 floral tributes.