Hayes – The Project This is an ongoing project to provide insight into the development of Hayes from the Stone Age to modern times. It includes such themes as people, buildings, churches and individual memories.

The Hayes Project

Local historian, Jean Wilson, is compiling an impressive history of Hayes on her website Hayes (Kent) History.

Here is an excerpt from the website, which looks at Hayes during World War II.

Thank you to Jean for permitting us to include this on our website.


World War II 1939-1945

The fear was growing that Britain would again be involved in a war. As early as 1935 the Government had sent a circular to county councils setting out the need for local authorities to form a Civil Defence organisation. Bromley Borough Council began to implement plans as part of the London Civil Defence region. The HVA took an active interest and its small sub-committee set up to watch over the official arrangements for Hayes was absorbed into the Council’s Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Committee in 1938. In spite of complaints that it was all proceeding too slowly a great deal had been achieved by the time war was declared on 3 September 1939.

The Old Rectory was designated as a damage and casualty centre and a sub-fire station. The fire appliance was kept in Hayes Garage which was across the road.

The Old Church School was set up as a first-aid centre after the Borough Council in June 1939 approved the expenditure of £2000 to convert it. It would be manned 24 hours a day. The Clubroom was later fitted out with showers for a gas decontamination centre.

Gadsden, which had been bought by the Kent County Council in 1928, had not yet become a school and it became the centre for ARP activities. Gas masks were assembled and distributed in 1938 from here and the Old Church Schools. It became the base for local ARP rescue units. Later, in May 1940, it was also used as a Reception Centre for a large number of refugees arriving from the Low Countries.

Jean WilsonLocal historian

To read the rest of this article, see images from that time and explore the people and places in Hayes, head over to her website.

Hayes (Kent) Village Association

The Association was founded in 1933 to protect the interests of residents and preserve the local amenities.

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