1970s Allington

A Memory of Allington

I moved to 71 Hildenborough Crescent, Allington, Maidstone, Kent in 1973 aged 10 years old.
In the nine years I lived there I saw many changes. Parts of Allington were still being built. There were no houses built in between the frontage of the Mid Kent shopping centre ... it was just waste land later to become Foyle Close. There were no houses built lower than than Lullistone Road down Castle Road. The Quarry was there but still easily accessable down the path behind Fordwich Close. I collected many fossils there. Before the Community Centre was built during the 70s it was just an orchard we used to play in. I remember the swimming pool being built at Allington County primary school and the sadness we all felt when told by Mr Williams the Headmaster of the school that one of the soldiers helping to build the pool was killed in an accident there.
Allington Castle was still open to the public then between 2pm and 4pm and there was a barn close by used for discos and summer fetes. I don't think the lock, weir or Malta pub was changed much since it was built.
At 11 years old I went to a brand new school, Maplesden Noakes in Buckland Road  The school was only half finished but it felt special being the first year at the school in 1974. The Headmistrees was Titleboam, a scary woman whos sexuality was of constant conversation.
I always felt Allington was split into two halves divided by the London Road. The houses of Conway Road, Ash Grove and Poplar Grove all seemed older, 30s style I guess, whereas Allington Farm side was more 60s and 70s.
As well as the quarry and the orchard down Castle Road I used to hang out up the Rec as we called it on Poplar Grove and had a few liaisons with girls up Giddyhorn Lane which ran behind the Rec from London Road.
In those days we still had a football team and football stadium off the London Road down Leafy Lane ... it was a dog track too. It's now a DIY superstore I believe.
Maidstone was different too when I first moved there in 1973. There was a brewery on the river front - Courages, no law courts or Safeways. An ABC cinema which was later built on to make the Stoneborough shopping centre.
I have much affection for Allington and Maidstone. I was aware while growing up there that the town was growing and changing which made it feel a vibrant place to live.

A memory shared by Andrew Parker , on Sep 30th, 2008.

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