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Tilmanstone Colliery

Kent Coal Field

Ian Ingle - Mining Relatives, My Great Uncle Edwin Drew
Erica Boorman - Both of my grandfathers worked at Tilmanstone Colliery as did my father and at least one of my uncles

Ian Ingle
8 Nov 2017
Mining Relatives, My Great Uncle Edwin Drew
Hi Fionn

I have just viewed your website. There was a description, by the author, of a person who, I suspect, was my great uncle Edwin Drew. Eddie, was my grandmother’s (Madge Ingle ne Drew) brother. Eddie was indeed a miner who had suffered a head injury leading to him no longer being able to work underground. Eddie's father was also a miner who was killed in WW1. Eddie's head injury led to him being given a job in the baths.

I think his son might also have been a miner, but I am not sure. I also have a cousin (related to Eddie) who was a miner in Scotland, who moved South to work in the Kent mines. Although many of my family were local Kent miners, many were also professional soldiers.

Eddie lived in a small house close to Eythorne Methodist chapel. My father, my grannie and Eddie are all buried there. I did visit Eddie as a child and remember the open coal fire. I used to play his old piano. Eddie, so the family fable goes, was a talented jazz pianist in his youth and toured in a big band quite successfully. This is plausible because Eddie as a child played a number of instruments including trumpet, cornet as part of a Salvation Army band. However, despite all the temperance and tee total philosophy, Eddie played for drinks in a local pub.

Ian Ingle

Sent from my iPad

Erica Boorman
14 October 2013
Both of my grandfathers worked at Tilmanstone Colliery as did my father and at least one of my uncles
Both of my grandfathers worked at Tilmanstone Colliery as did my father and at least one of my uncles. My mother's father Edwin (Eddie) Drew I know worked in the baths following a bad accident on the face. I know he had a metal plate in his head and had to take medication to stop him fitting. He retired some time in the 1970's.

His son, my uncle, Brian Drew, also worked on the surface. He took early retirement during the strikes in about 1982.

I believe that at some point in the 1950's my mother Rosina Fagg (nee Drew) also worked in the canteen.

My father's father, George Fagg, also worked at Tilmanstone probably in the 1950's.

My father started working at Tilmanstone in 1943/44, I don't know how long he worked there, but I do know he was only 14. I remember him telling me about how they worked virtually naked because of the heat! I would love to know more about their working lives.

I remember as a young child we would stay with my grandparents and on a Friday night my granddad and uncle would come in the back door of the house leaving their work clothes in the kitchen with my nan, while they took it in turns to have a bath. In a tin bath by the fire in the living room, with my nan and mum boiling kettles on the gas stove, sometimes I would be allowed to help fill the bath ready for them, but my nan stayed to help my granddad and everyone would clear out while my uncle had his bath.

Usually in the summer we'd go out into the garden or the park. I just remember being very small at the time. My grandparents didn't have an indoor bathroom until about 1980-83, so I remember visits at Christmas involving freezing visits to the loo in the evening, when I was ready for bed the last visit of the day involved boots and coat over a nighty!

I also remember having baths in the tin bath in front of the coal fire in the living/dining room. The front room was only used by guests, whether it was important visitors or family staying on the sofa bed and all of the best ornaments were kept in there as well as a mirror with a picture of one of my great-grandmothers on. I remember my granddad growing loads of vegetables in the long garden and my grandmother washing clothes in an old boiler. I don't think anything had changed since WWII!

As I said I would love to know more about their working lives and those of any of my father's brothers who may have worked at Tilmanstone from the 30's to the closing of the Colliery at the beginning of the 80's.

Erica Boorman (nee Fagg)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tilmanstone is a small village in Kent, in the South East of England, near Eastry, a much bigger and more developed area. Tilmanstone no longer has a village school; however, the independent Northbourne Park School is close to the parish boundary. The name of Tilmanstone has historically been famous for its colliery, although it is actually located in the village of Eythorne, operated from 1906 to 1986 as one of the four main pits of the Kent coalfield.

The yew tree in the churchyard has been dated to more than 1,200 years, so it is likely that it is older than anything else in the village. The manors of Dane Court, South Court, and North Court form the foundation of the ancient village. The Kent Archaeological Society transcription of 1922 included the North Court and South Court Manor Court Rolls held in the Library of Lambeth Palace.

These rolls cover the years 1753–1789. St. Andrew's Parish Church includes the Tilmanstone Brass, which recognized Richard Fogge circa 1482 and features a point perspective with three-dimensional figures, something that at the time was only popular in Florence.


The Tilmanstone Colliery is actually located in the village of Eythorne, on the ridge to the west. Tilmanstone Colliery Halt railway station served the pit between 1916 and 1948.


Tilmanstone Colliery Eythorne Kent
Photo from Kent History Forum

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