"That’s really interesting. I’ve never seen one of those before". It's not often I manage to get Ian Beavis at the Museum to say that.
Let's back up a bit in this story. A little while ago I was invited out the back of the Kitchen Door Centre in the St. John's Quarter by the owners Ray and Yvonne. They took great pleasure in promising to show me something I'd never seen before. We all stepped out into the back garden and Ray disappeared behind the shed. A few seconds later he emerged carrying a rather large rusty post. Not interesting, right? Wrong.
Ray set the heavy post down on the ground with a thud and twisted it around. He ran his fingers down the corroded lettering and read out "Tunbridge Wells Borough Boundary". Now that is interesting, and definitely something new to me. I beamed a big smile. "Where on Earth did you find that" I said. "It was attached to the fence when we moved in" he said. We both looked at each other stumped. Where had it come from? I decided to take a photo and get in touch with the Museum to see if they knew anything.
Alas, as you've probably guessed from the opening paragraph, it had everyone stumped. Ian Beavis hypothesised that they must have been made to demarcate the boundaries of the ‘old borough’ established in 1889 – presumably one of the ‘unmarked’ sections where there was nothing obvious on the ground to show where it ran. But there doesn't appear to be any record of such things anywhere.
Also, as you probably know, this part of St. John's is not the boundary of the borough - that's around the junction between Powdermill Lane and St John’s Road about a mile up the road. This post must've been moved here a long time ago. Where did it come from? Who moved it?
Have you ever seen one before? Let me know in the comments if you can help solve this mystery.