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Article contributed by Peter Stuart
Reprinted 1980 by W.J. Parrett Ltd, Sittingbourne ISBN 0-9507107-0-9
© COPYRIGHT PARRETT & NEVES INVESTMENTS LTD. 2004.
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Doddington is a picturesquely situated parish about 3.5 miles from the main road at Teynham, being six miles south from Sittingbourne and six miles west from Faversham. Doddington is in the North-East Kent Parliamentary Division, in the Hundred and Union of Teynham, and the Lathe of Scray. It is in the Faversham County Court and Petty Sessional Division. The acreage of the parish is 1945, and the population in 1901 was 492. The rateable value is £2,850. The soil is variable and the crops are principally fruit and corn, with much wood and park land. There are many badger earths in the district.
Sharsted, the home of the De Launes, is mainly in this parish, and is a typical English park of some 250 acres, fringed with rich fruit land. Sharsted Court is a Tudor mansion, which was extended and modernized in the early part of the Eighteenth Century. It is the seat of Mr. Alured Faunce de Laune, and Mr. Edmund Faunce de Laune (his brother) also resides there. Doddington Place, formerly the residence of the late Sir John Croft, Bart., and now of Colonel Jeffries, is a modern mansion built of red brick in the Elizabethan style.
The Parish Church, standing amid most pretty surroundings on a hill overlooking the village, is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. It is in the Early English and Transition styles. The small tower, partly of shingled boards, containing two bells. There is a tomb in the church bearing an epitaph in Lombardic characters. The chancel was renovated in 1874, and in 1907 the nave of the church and the fabric at the west end, which was much decayed, was thoroughly restored. During the course of the works carried out in 1907 two ancient frescoes of great antiquity, together with another window, were opened up. The pulpit is Jacobean. The living is a Vicarage, of the net annual value of £200 with residence, the gift of the Archdeacon of Canterbury, and the present holder is the Rev. Thomas Guppy Hall, M.A. The parish is in the Ospringe Deanery, and in the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Canterbury.
There are several charities, which bring in annually a net sum of £13. The charity trustees are the Rev. T. G. Hall, and Messrs. T. Potts, W. Norrington, H. E. Cobb, and W. C. Fryer.
Deering’s Charity is worth £8 per annum, which is expended in providing warm clothing for poor parishioners. Another sum of £3, paid yearly from certain estates in the parish, is expended on food for the poor, and £2 annually is received for providing books and vestments for the choir at the Parish Church.
The Guardian for the parish is Mr. John Jarvis, and the Overseers are Messrs. W. Norrington and John Day.
Parish Council This Council meets four times a year, or as often as is necessary. The members are as follows:
Messrs. W. Norrington (chairman), A. F. de Laune, H. E. Cobb, W. C. Fryer, G. R. Millen, W. Rose, and T. Potts, School House, Doddington (clerk).
Doddington, Wychling, and Newnham Council School Managers: Members: Hon. V. A. Parnell, Wychling (chairman); Miss Elvy, Champion Court, Newnham; and Messrs. John Gilbert Coast, Newnham; William Norrington, Doddington; and H. A. Jarvis, Doddington. Miss Elvy acts as correspondent. The Council Schools are situated in the Street, Doddington, this being a central position for the three parishes. The Schools are spacious, and will accommodate 220 children, and there are 210 on the books, including the mixed and infants’ departments. The Schools were enlarged in 1907.
Headmaster: Thomas Potts.
Assistants, Mr. J. W. Butler and Miss M. E. King. Infant Mistress, Mrs. Potts.
The Parish Church: Rev. Thomas Guppy Hall. M.A., Vicar. Churchwardens, Messrs. William Monk and William Norrington. Sidesmen, Messrs. Samuel Wingfield and H. E. Cobb. Services are held on Sunday at 11 am. and 6.30 p.m. Celebrations of Holy Communion at 8 am on Sundays (except the first Sunday, when it takes place after morning service) and on Holy Days. Daily Prayer on weekdays at 10 am. Evening Service on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Sunday School, 10 a.m. and 2.15 p.m. Band of Hope, Mon. days, 4.30 p.m.
Wesleyan Chapel: This chapel, erected in 1903, is a pretentious building, standing in Doddington Street, though actually in the parish of Newnham. Services are held on Sundays at 10.30 a.m. and 6.30 p.m., and on every other Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. The pulpit is filled either by the resident ministers at Faversham and Boughton, or by the local preachers of the Faversham Circuit. Sunday School, 10 a.m. and 2 15 p.m. Superintendent, Sister Mary Broad. Band of Hope, Tuesdays, 7 p.m. Scripture Union, Wednesdays, (girls) 6 p.m., (boys) 7 p.m. Prayer Meeting, Thursday, 7 p.m. Class Leaders, Sister Mary Broad and Sister Julia Langdon.
Convalescent Home: Highgate Wood Lodge, Chequers Hill, Doddington, is a Convalescent Home carried on in connection with the Dr. Stevenson (Wesleyan) Orphan Homes. The resident principals are Sisters Mary Broad and Julia Langdon, who are deaconesses of the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion.
St. John Ambulance Brigade (Doddington Division). Superintendent,
Thomas Potts; First Officer, H. C. Norrington; Hon. Surgeon, Dr. P. D. Selby; Sergeants, A. Humphrey and W. H. Andrews; one corporal and twenty-seven privates. The Division covers several parishes in the district. Headquarters, Doddington Council Schools. Drills, Tuesdays.
Doddington St John Ambulance 1907 Photographed at Doddington School
Miniature Rifle Club (for Doddington and district): President, Colonel P. D. Jeffries, C.B; Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, Mr. T. Potts, School House, Doddington. In connection with the Club there are outdoor ranges at Doddington and Newnham, and a fine indoor range for winter practice at the large oast house at Champion Court, Newnham. There is a ladies section affiliated to the Club.
United Britons Benefit Society: There is a strong branch of this Society in the village, the membership being 130. Secretary, William Norrington.
Chequers’ Slate Club: This Club is carried on for the purpose of providing benefits in cases of sickness and death, with annual share-out in December. The Club has been established twelve months, and there are 40 members. Meeting nights every alternate Monday. Secretary, Arthur Cherrison.
Eastling, Doddington, Newnham, and Wychling Cottage Gardeners Society. No monthly shows are held, but the annual show and sports held each summer are well patronized. Secretaries: Show, F. T. Pincott, School House, Eastling; and T. Potts, sports.
Cricket Club: Matches, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Ground, Doddington Place; Captain, H. E. Cobb; Secretary J. W. Butler, Stapleton, Wychling.
Football Club: Matches played on Saturdays. Ground, Doddington Place; President, Rev. T. G. Hall; Secretary, J. W. Butler, Stapleton, Wychling.
Hockey Club (ladies and gentlemen): Matches played principally Wednesdays and Saturdays. Ground, Doddington Place; Secretary, Miss Hall, Doddington Vicarage.
Carrier, Lenham to Faversham: Mr. Hughes calls at Doddington on his way to Faversham on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Postal Arrangements: Doddington Sub-Post Office, Street, Doddington (Sub-Postmaster, Henry Allen Jarvis). Stamps, postal and money orders, telegraph, savings bank, express letter delivery, and Inland Revenue licenses. Mails received and delivered, 8.15 a.m. and 3.10 p.m. Box cleared for despatches, 9.40 am. and 5.35 pm. Sundays, 11.10 am.