For those who like to see things for themselves, to compare old scenes with the reality of new places, a handy guidebook titled ‘A Walk in the Past’ has just been published revealing the hidden history and heritage behind the remarkable Kentish Wealden village of Hawkhurst.
The booklet (£2) offers photographs, stories and maps and is stocked by Bob Searle of Maison Meublé at the furniture shop right in the centre of the village by the Royal Oak.
But, if you want to be truly ‘with-it’, download the 20 page booklet (using the link above) as a free pdf for a virtual view of things as they used to be 100 years ago. You can still walk round the central area of shops and back-roads in half-an-hour to see the village across time. Or, you may wish to collect local leaflets to walk the Heritage Trail or take the Smugglers Trail via smuggling inns down to the coast.
It’s the village from which the infamous Hawkhurst Gang ran their smuggling runs in the 18th century, where William Rootes began his motor car empire in the 19th century, and where Oxo started life as a liquid, before it became a cube in the 20th century.