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Sandwich Taxi Bus

Our new village scheduled bus service.

This is a 12 month pilot project sponsored by the K.C.C. rural initiative and promoted by Gt. Mongeham, Northbourne, Staple Parish Councils and your District Councillors.

The project has now been running for three weeks, but take-up in Gt. Mongeham has been poor thus far.

Improvements to the service; Contrary to the originally published timetable (below), the bus will continue past Gt Mongeham Village Hall bus stop and complete the St. Martin’s Road loop to the bus shelter at St Nicholas Close, where the 82 bus from Deal terminates.

The bus is a hail and ride service, so the driver will pick you up or drop you anywhere on the route provided it is safe to do so. It only takes twenty minutes to get to Sandwich, far less time than the old 14 bus, so try a run to Sandwich and see! Concessionary passes are accepted on our Taxi-Bus or it’s a £5 return standard fare (children £1 per journey). You can make a £1 donation (purely voluntary) with your concessionary pass if you wish to help make the service viable.

Abbreviated Existing Timetable
Staple, Three Tuns0930110012301400
Staple, The Street0931110112311401
Guilton Corner0936110612361406
Sandwich Guildhall0950112012501420
Northbourne, Crossroads1006113613061436
Mongeham, Church Close1010114013101440
Mongeham, Village Hall1015114513151445
Mongeham, Church Close1020115013201450
Northbourne, Crossroads1024115413241454
Sandwich Guildhall1040121013401510
Guilton Corner1054122413541524
Staple, The Street1059122913591529
Staple, Three Tuns1100123014001530

The bus runs weekdays (all year), at present, but not weekends or Bank Holidays. Britannia Coaches are providing the bus, so keep an eye out for our new service. The scheme will run until June of 2020 with regular review meetings, we would love to hear of your experiences.

It is recognised by the Parish Councillors that the service terminates rather early for Gt. Mongeham and Northbourne villagers. The Parish Councils will thus decide, at their July meetings, whether to jointly fund, for six months, an additional return service to Sandwich after the Stagecoach schools’ bus, leaving Sandwich at around five o’clock. The cost to each Parish Council is likely to be a one-off payment around £2½k. If you think this is more likely to make the project succeed or a complete waste of money then please let the Parish Council know before Thursday July 4th (or attend the meeting).

An improved version of the timetable is expected in late September, allowing a further 30 minutes in Sandwich by giving the driver a lunch break. This is regardless of the extra late afternoon run being funded.

This really is a one-off opportunity to reinstate a daily bus service through the village. Remember this is a pilot service that could be improved and/or extended if the demand is there.

The message is clear; if the service does not find support in our villages then K.C.C. will not turn this pilot project into a permanent service, so please help the Parish Council to help you by trying the service.

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Great Mongeham may have been a settlement as long ago as the Bronze Age.  When the site for the new primary school was being dug in February 1949 the body of a man and two fragments of food vessels were found.  The man was in the crouched burial position used in the Bronze Age and one of the fragments was dated back to about 1000 BC.

Great Mongeham is close to the Roman road which ran from Dover to Richborough Castle.  Archaeologists have discovered Roman pottery and evidence of cremation but we do not know if there was a permanent settlement here at that time.

There certainly was a settlement here by AD 761.  In that year King Eadbert of Kent gave some land to St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury.  This included the village, which was then called Mundelingeham.  The name means “settlement of Mundel’s people”.  By 1195 it was written as Munigeham.  It had become Mongeham by 1610.

Being close to the sea and to the rest of Europe has affected Mongeham’s history.  In 1415 Henry V granted the Fogge family of Mongeham the exclusive rights to brew and ship beer to the English soldiers in Calais.  Chalk and lime used in the building of Deal Castle in 1538 was quarried from a pit called Pope’s Hole.  At the time of the Armada in 1588 Mongeham had a signal beacon which would have been lit to raise the alarm if the Spanish landed.  Later, smugglers hid their spoils near the village.

A number of buildings in Mongeham have shaped gable ends.  This was a Dutch fashion which is found in several places along the east coast of Kent.  The church porch, which was demolished in 1851, had a fine gable end.

The village church has a complicated history. The original building probably dates from Saxon times but there are claims that it goes back to AD 470.  In the sixteenth century the interior was brightly coloured but by 1665 the church was in a state of disrepair.  One third of the parishioners belonged to religious sects and did not attend services.  The church was restored in 1851.

Inside the church there is a helmet which may have been worn at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  There is also a poem by Robert Bridges, a former Poet Laureate, written as a tribute to his nurse, Catherine Ashby.  She came from Mongeham and spent much of her life in service with the Bridges family who lived at St Nicholas at Wade in Thanet, where Robert himself is buried.

Also in the church is a fine sculpted monument to Edward Crayford, whose father-in-law was three times Lord Mayor of London.  The Crayfords were once a prominent local family, but Stone Hall, their house by the church, was demolished long ago.  William Crayford led a contingent of Kent men in the Wars of the Roses on the Yorkist side.  He fought in the Earl of Warwick’s division at the battle of Northampton in 1460 and was knighted by Edward IV for his services.