Isle of Sheppey
Westminster was a village that lay to the west of Minster, and Sheerness, on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, and for many years was a thriving little community that gave work to many of its occupants on their doorstep, and areas close by. As the village was adjacent to the sea, it was an ideal place for the Coal Works to be situated, and boats used to come in regularly and unload their cargoes. There was also a Gas Works, and Sewerage Station.
By the early 1970s, some hundred years after it had been built, these businesses started to close down as technology advanced. Also at this time, due to the volume of traffic coming on to the Island, which included lorries destined for the busy Docks, it was decided that a new road was needed to take the traffic away from Queenborough and Sheerness, and run via West Minster. The local authority decided to pull the houses down and re-house the occupants elsewhere, as it was felt that this area would be suitable for Commercial re-development, especially with the new road. Sadly this project never happened, the road was built but the commercial businesses never materialized so now the village remains a tangled mass of weeds and bricks, a ghostly reminder, of the happier times, and families that lived there. A few businesses operate on one side of the main road today, and two disused gas containers, remind us of their work in bygone days, times that have gone forever.
However, it is my intention to revive these times and families that lived there, especially for those relatives that seek their ancestors. For them, little is written about the village, and even fewer photographs exist, but over a period of time, I hope to gather a collection of photos, memories and Census details to assist them. Please note that these are all taken from transcriptions and should be checked. In some cases I have attempted to guess at the places that are so obviously incorrect, and these are marked with a query.
I should be pleased to hear from anyone who has memories of their lives in the village, or photographs which they would like to share with others, or even details of their families, before this history is gone forever. Can you help? Glenys Puxty
Last update 19.08.2013