In 1882, my great-great grandfather, John Newport, market gardener of Herne, died and his oldest son, George, my great grandfather, living in Hampstead at the time, went to Herne to settle his father′s affairs and arrange for the funeral.
From sketches of the old cottage, in Herne, signed and dated by my grandfather, John James, we know that he must have gone with his father.
While the family matters were being settled and arrangements made with the vicar of Herne, the Rev. James Robert Buchanan, for the funeral service, they stayed at the old cottage, in "School Lane", which was still occupied by George′s youngest brother, James, who would continue to run the market gardening business and would do so for a just over another decade before retiring to Herne Bay. Living in the house, acting as housekeeper, was their widowed sister in-law, Jane Cottew.
John was interred in the same plot as his wife, Sarah and his father-in-law, Richard Spicer, and George arranged with a local man for him to look after and tend their grave. Sometime later, my grandfather took on the responsibility of checking that the work was being done and, at one time, remonstrated with the man because he wasn′t doing what he was being paid to do.
The point of all this is that John James, a very religious young man, must have got to meet and know the vicar of Herne very well. Looking at the letters he wrote in later life, and the cuttings he kept in his scrap books, he would have asked many questions, discussed his religious beliefs, put forward his ideas, and talked about church history.
In 1887, the vicar, James Robert Buchanan wrote a book on the "Memorials of Herne, Kent", in which he describes the history and design of the St. Martin′s church and it′s quite probable that, in one of their meetings, my grandfather read this book or even had a copy; and this gave him the idea, much later, in 1898, that he could do the same with the church in Hooe.
Some years ago, many years before I even knew what a website was, I met and got to know someone, living in Herne, who showed me a copy of the book, and, some many years later, I asked for and was given scanned images of the pages. These scanned images, with my own versions of the front and back covers and inside pages that I had no copies of, I′ve put together in the form of a "flipping book".
I′ve also produced a transcription as this can be searched for names of people and places, while the "flipping book", can′t be. Also, the drawings are well worth seeing and these I couldn′t reproduce any other way.
To the "Flip Book"