Kings Hill through the ages
A much-anticipated book charting Kings Hill’s history from medieval royal hunting ground to wartime airfield and to the thriving community it is today has just been published, with all proceeds going to the charity Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI).
Called ‘Kings Hill – A Different Ball Game’ the book is illustrated with photographs dating back to World War II and of Kings Hill today, including a stunning aerial shot of the village in the snow.
It includes chapters on life during the war, the site’s purchase by Kent County Council from the Ministry of Defence for £475,000 in 1971, how Liberty (or Rouse Kent as it was known then) and Kent County Council formed a partnership to develop Kings Hill into a contemporary garden village, the preservation of its heritage and the lifestyle and workplace people enjoy today.
Among many interesting facts, it explains why the wartime officers’ mess was called ‘The Twitch’ (named after the nervous tic aircrew would develop after one too many ops), the ghostly appearance of a Mosquito fighter and other spooky tales as well as people describing their lives at Kings Hill in the 21st century.
“It’s a celebration of the birth of Kings Hill and is dedicated to all those who had a hand in its creation,” said Caroline Binns, Liberty’s Associate Director, Marketing & Leasing.
“It’s a treat for history lovers but much of the book explains the stories behind its development – how the site’s heritage has been honoured, the commissioning of the sculptures which have become its landmarks, and how, as developers, we go about crafting a new village with a landscape-first approach and much more.
“Many of those working and living at Kings Hill have contributed stories and memories and lots of the photos are of them and their life here.
“We have decided to give all proceeds from the book to the RBLI which is raising £14.5m to create a new Centenary Village close to its Aylesford headquarters from where it delivers care, accommodation, training and employment services for veterans.
Steve Sherry CMG OBE, RBLI Chief Executive, said: “We are immensely proud to have been chosen as the beneficiaries of this truly remarkable book.
“Not only will it tell readers about the rich, deep history of one of Kent’s most established communities in Kings Hill, but it will also directly benefit the lives of injured ex-servicemen and women living in RBLI’s own village, right in the heart of the county.”
Called ‘Kings Hill – A Different Ball Game’ the book is available from the Control Tower reception priced £10.