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Peter reveals Faversham's history in photographs

By Faversham Times  |  Posted: January 25, 2013

  • WADING HOME: Two boys brave the flood in Water Lane, Ospringe

  • ENTHUSIAST: Peter Kennett has more than 4,000 vintage pictures

  • DEEP DRIVER: Water Lane years later

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EVER wondered how Water Lane in Ospringe got its name? It's clear from these photographs, which show the waters lapping at the pavement as the road was transformed into a river.

The water itself came from Westbrook stream, which rose by Lorenden Park and helped to power Faversham's Chart Mills. It was also the main source of fresh water for Faversham Creek and flowed down Water Lane for about 600 metres.

The road was thought to be a winterbourne, meaning it was dry through the summer months, but the bare legs on display here suggest another story.

The stream dried up after the 1960s, presumably to the delight of walkers and drivers who would have had to navigate the river on a regular basis.

These are just two of the thousands of vintage snaps in Peter Kennett's personal archive.

He has collected more than 4,000 vintage photographs from fairs across the country, and shares them in popular slide show events where he talks residents through their town's not-so-distant past.

His book tells the story of Faversham through vintage photographs from the 1890s to the 1960s.

Mr Kennett, 65, of Broomfield Road, explained: "The images show Water Lane, near the A2, which used to be a road and a river.

"I like these photos because if you look at them one after the other it looks as though the two lads walking through the water are about to get drenched in the spray from the car. But under closer inspection you can see that the car actually came around a decade later."

And of course the high water levels made the area prone to flooding. On January 20, 1891, a 60-day frost came to an end, leaving snow to thaw and pour into the stream basin. On the day of the flood it was added to half an inch of rainfall caused homes to be flooded by three feet high waters.

Luckily no one was injured, but a local relief fund was launched for the victims of the damage.

Faversham From Old Photographs is available for £12.99 from Bowstring Bargain Books, West Street and KGN News, Preston Street or as a DVD for £8. To buy from Peter directly, e-mail claire.mcwethy@KRNmedia.co.uk

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