Thanks to Roger for the picture and information:
This is a copy of a photograph from the Cole Collection, I bought it when Maidstone Museum had an exhibition a short while ago. It’s an amazing picture and shows the limit of Banks Town. On the left is the original Royal Hotel, although initially it was called Kent House and was intended as the residence of Edward Banks. It was surrounded with gardens and orchards and of course stables. The gardens reached up to where the VC Working Mens Club building now (almost) stands.
In the centre of the picture is what everyone will think is the Hippodrome but I think, and I repeat I think, this picture was taken when that building was known as the Victoria Hall. The Victoria Hall was where 40 working guys formed the VC Working Mens Club and afterwards the building was erected over the road into which they moved. But why was it named the VC, surely it wasn’t called the Victoria Club Working Mens Club or perhaps it was the Victoria Club for Working Men? Answers on a postcard please!
The Methodist Church that now stands beside the Hippodrome wasn’t yet built. But you can see the Trinity Church just behind.
Left of centre is of course Rides Mill, currently being renovated by Caleb and Bernie Watson. It stands there in all its glory above the other buildings which it could do again. Unfortunately, the Swale Borough Council, in all its wisdom, are possibly allowing a block of flats to be built behind the Mill so blocking a view of what could have been a “new”? Sheerness icon!
To the left of Rides Mill in Trinity Road is, what can only be described as another beaurocratic cock up. They bought a nice town clock and placed it on the top of the council buildings only to find that it was too blinking heavy. The roof started to give way and the clock had to be removed. I’m not sure of the full story but I think it eventually wound up stored somewhere behind the dockyard wall. It may still be there?
On the extreme left is the water tower in Trinity Road. On top there was a railed viewing area from which the whole of Sheerness could be seen.