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Walderslade is a large suburb to the south of Chatham, Kentmarker, England, encompassing almost all the ME5 postcode districtmarker (except parts of Luton).

Walderslade was formerly a small rural village nestled in the valleys of the North Downsmarker, however development accelerated with the expansion of towns in Medway after the First World War. The urban area developed quickly after the Second World War leading to the current make-up of several large estates surrounding the original village, which is the local centre of commerce.

Walderslade comprises several named areas, notably the Davis Estate (near Rochester Airportmarker), Wayfield, Weeds Wood, Walderslade Woods, Princes Avenue and Lordswood.

History

The name Walderslade comes from the Saxon language, and means "wood in a valley".

Governance

Most of Walderslade is within Medway, a unitary authority within the ceremonial county boundaries of Kent. Parts of Walderslade are, however, in different parishes and thus in different local government districts.

  • The southern most parts of Weeds Wood and the eastern bulk of Walderslade Woods are in Aylesfordmarker parish and thus in the borough of Tonbridge and Mallingmarker (formerly Malling Rural District).


  • The eastern parts of Walderslade Woods and southern parts of Lordswood are in Boxleymarker parish, in the borough of Maidstonemarker.


Geography

Walderslade is separated from the rest of the Medway towns by a green belt incorporating Rochester Airport, Horsted Farm and the Coney Bank to the north. There is a small link via Luton, which is connected to Wayfield and Princes Avenue estates. To the east is Capstone country park, a valley preserved from development (although formerly a large landfill): this clearly separates Gillinghammarker and Hempsteadmarker from Walderslade. To the south the M2 motorway completes the encirclement of Walderslade.

Walderslade village

The centre of Walderslade village comprises St William's Church, a health centre including doctors' surgeries, a Co-op supermarket, a public house (the Sherwood Oak), a number of estate agents and takeaway outlets (currently Indian, kebab, two Chinese and a fish and chip shop), as well as an Indian restaurant, newsagent, off-licence, chemist, two florists, café, dry cleaners, hairdressers, petrol station (containing a small supermarket), a public library and a nursery called Buttercups located above the florist. There is ample free public car parking offered by the Co-op supermarket and also in front of most the shops with other parking behind the shops making access convenient for people with children or people with physical disabilities. The church is also used as St William's Pre-School during the school terms.

On the outskirts are the Alexandra Hospital (BUPA – no A&E) – see Walderslade Woods, the Bridgewood Hotel, the Walderslade Working Mens' Club.

Also, opposite the Poacher's Pocket public house is a playing field which used to be part of the Walderslade prisoner of war camp during the Second World War.

Princes Park

Princes Park is lower down the valley to the north. It has a community hall, pub, newsagents and a supermarket (currently Morrisons, formerly Safeway), petrol station and a primary school (Maundene). The original farm house can still be seen by the observant on Princes Avenue itself closer to the centre of Walderslade village, on the corner of Dargets Road.

Davis Estate

The Davis Estate has a community hall, a parade of shops including a post office, newsagents; several take aways, the Tiger Moth pub and a garage. Neighbouring is the Horsted retail park where several large retailers are located and a hotel (Holiday Inn), close by is a large Asda superstore and a further hotel. the Bridgewood Manor, part of the Best Western chain.

Walderslade Woods

Walderslade Woods is a recent development, begun in the 1970s, to the south of the village near the M2 motorway. It is hemmed in a road, also confusingly named "Walderslade Woods" (the A2045), the only part of the incomplete Medway Towns southern relief road. (The northern relief road is a complete dual carriageway.) There are a few corner shops and one school, but plan have existed for more shops and at least one further primary and secondary school. There is a private hospital, the BUPA Alexandra. The area is at the intersection of Medway unitary borough, Maidstone boroughmarker and Tonbridge and Malling boroughmarker – thus there are two community halls.

Weedswood

Weedswood, to the north and north west of Walderslade village, has a parade of shops, the Poacher's Pocket pub and a kebab shop famed locally for being housed in what once was a public toilet. Greenacre and Walderslade Girls secondary schools are in the area, along with Oaklands Primary School. There are two churches, Emmanuel (Congregational Federation) and St Philip & St James (Church of England), and a community hall and public library which back on to Hook Meadow, a public playing field.

Wayfield Estate

Wayfield is an estate based around two through roads—Wayfield Road and Churchill Avenue—with several smaller roads linking them. The estate is to the north of Weedswood above and alongside the Princes Avenue area. It has several small shops, a woodyard, golf driving range with a pitch and putt golf course, a Fitness First gym and a playing field. The estate also borders two areas of woodland; the Snodhurst wood and the Collibank woods. Currently a Charlton Athletic community project is being held there.

Lordswood

Lordswoodmarker is a large development, also to the east. It has direct access to Chatham via North Dane Way (B2156), which hems in Walderslade to the east. (This road is also incomplete, with Walderslade Woods Road as part of the unfinished Medway Towns southern relief road.) It has two separate shopping parades: one, centred on the Kestrel pub, also has a library, hair dressers, and a recently refurbished health centre, the second is off Lordswood Lane, and includes a hairdresser, chip shop, bookmakers and off licence. There is also a leisure centre off North Dane Way, with a park and playing field.

Education

Walderslade has a number of schools, as part of the larger Medway area education system (except Tunbury, which is run by Kent County Council), which include:

Primary

  • Horsted Infants School, Davis Estate – Years R-2
  • Horsted Junior School, Davis Estate – Years 3-6
  • Kingfisher Primary School, Princes Avenue – Years R-6
  • Lordwood Primary School, Lordswood – Years R-2
  • Lordwood Junior School, Lordswood – Year 3-6
  • Maundene County Primary School, Princes Avenue – Year R-6
  • Oaklands Infants School, Weedswood – Years R-2
  • Oaklands Junior School, Weedswood – Years 3-6
  • Ridge Meadow Primary School, Wayfield / Weedswood – Years R-6
  • Spinnens Acre Junior School, Lordswood – Years 3-6
  • St Benedicts Catholic Primary School, Lordswood – Years R-6
  • St Thomas More RC Primary School, Weedswood – Years R-6
  • Swingate Infants School, Lordswood – Years R-2
  • Tunbury County Primary School, Walderslade Woods – Years R-6
  • Walderslade Primary School, Walderslade Village/Dargets Road – Years R-6
  • Wayfield Community Primary & Nursery Unit, Wayfield – Years nursery, R-2


Secondary

  • Bradfields School, a special secondary school for pupils with moderate or complex learning difficulties
  • Greenacre School, a boys' secondary school (formerly Walderslade Boys) in Walderslade Road
  • Walderslade Girls School, a girls' secondary school in Walderslade Road


Due to the selective education system operated in Kent, children have to travel outside Walderslade often to nearby Rochester and Chatham for grammar schools and for independent and religious education.

Transport

Access to Walderslade is off the M2 motorway at junction 3 and not far from junction 6 of the M20 motorway. This gives access to the Channel Tunnelmarker and cross channel ferries as well as road and rail links to London the M25 motorwaymarker, Dartfordmarker bridge/tunnel, Blackwall tunnel and the rest of Britain.

Bus services focus on the bus hub of Medway, the Pentagon shopping centre in Chatham. Other routes provide links with the neighbouring town of Maidstonemarker. There are also bus links to the Bluewatermarker shopping centre between Dartfordmarker and Gravesendmarker.

Notable people

  • Billy Childish, painter, writer and musician, grew up in Walderslade and attended Walderslade Secondary Boys' school in the 1970s.


References

External links




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