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Rural Transport – Sandwich Connect Bus Timetable   

Background
During 2018, Kent County Council conducted a Countywide consultation process regarding the future of rural transport in Kent. The ‘Big Conversation’ was conducted to help us understand how we get better value out of the subsidy that we use to provide bus services and understand if our residents and bus users were open to using different forms of  transport.

As part of this process, Kent County Council allocated funding to provide a series of year long Pilot routes. In the summer of 2019, we are launching 6 new routes in Dover,  Maidstone, West Malling, Sevenoaks and Tenterden. We hope that the new routes prove popular and are sustainable and if they are we can look to use them as the basis on which to provide rural transport in the future. As a 12-month pilot we encourage people to use the service or risk losing it when this period ends.

What is the Sandwich Connect?
The Sandwich Connect is a new Kent County Council Rural Transport Initiative. Kent makes
significant use of taxis and other school transport providers, as part of its network of home to school transport, but there is an opportunity to make greater use of these operators in between the morning and afternoon school runs. Like a normal bus service, the Sandwich Connect will charge individual fares along the line of route as well as accept ENCTS passes.

The Sandwich Connect
Bus will serve all marked bus stops along the line of route at the request of passengers, as
well as offering a ‘hail and ride’ service in more rural areas. This service launched on 10th June 2019 and is operated by Britannia. Working in collaboration with Great Mongeham
Parish Council, Northbourne Parish Council and Staple Parish Council, an additional late
afternoon service has been introduced, providing further journey opportunities for local residents.

Where will the Sandwich Connect operate?
The Sandwich Connect will operate in Staple, Guilton, Northbourne and Mongeham, providing these rural communities with a link to Sandwich. The Bus will operate between  the hours of 0940-1757 Monday to Friday only, with the exception of Bank Holidays when there  will be no service. Please see the enclosed timetable for more information on the times.

Sandwich Connect revised tt proof 28.8.19 (1)

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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.