In the Steps of George Newman and Beyond
Dail Whiting has done us all a great service by bringing George Newman’s “Wateringbury Revisited, or Fifty Years Ago” back into print. Newman’s articles, written in the early years of the twentieth century for The Kent Messenger, and now reproduced with their kind permission, are a wonderfully evocative recollection of the village of Wateringbury more than fifty years previously. Although some of the articles were subsequently republished in limited editions, these books have long been out of print, and are now hard to find.
With this book Dail Whiting has now made Newman’s work accessible once again, which will enable him to be introduced to a whole new generation of readers. She has carefully checked the text, updating it where appropriate, and adding helpful explanatory notes. Dail has enhanced the narrative with many interesting old photographs and drawings of Wateringbury, some of which have never been published before. She has also included several large scale O.S. maps of the village in the 19th century and added fascinating details about who was living where at the time. The book is easily referred to thanks to a wonderfully comprehensive index.
Dail is a meticulous researcher, as I know from many dealings with her over the several years that she has spent working on this project. She has written a useful brief biography of George Newman, while her essays on the Leney Family and the Phoenix Brewery, the Fremlins of Warden House, and the Jude Family and the Kent Brewery, are valuable examples of original research which contain much new and previously unknown information, which will be of keen interest to brewery historians everywhere.
This excellent little book will of course be of compelling interest to all those who live, or have lived, in Wateringbury, but I hope also that it will enable George Newman’s evocative recollections of life in a Kentish village in the 1840’s to reach a wider audience.
Nick Redman, Archivist, Whitbread Group PLC.
(The Whitbread Group Archives have been closed since the first edition of this book was published. DW.)