Benefactions in Snodland by the Hook family
The Hook family came to Snodland in 1854 as the new owners of the paper mill. They brought with them the Swedenborgian faith and a determination to improve the lives of Snodland parishioners. Their most substantial bequests are these: c.1870: Charles Townsend Hook acquired the British Schools. The family paid all expenses apart from a £90 government grant. 1870: Mrs Eustace Hook gave stained glass windows in All Saints church and later contributed to the cost of the tiles on the chancel floor. 1877: The Clock Tower was built in memory of Charles Townsend Hook. 1878: Gas lamps were provided for the parish with gas supplied from the mill gasometers. 1881: The Temperance Coffee Tavern in May Street was opened. 1882: The New Jerusalem church (Swedenborgian) was consecrated on 27 June 1887: The Providence Chapel (replaced by the Congregational church in the High Street) was sold to the Misses Hook to become the infant department of the British Schools. 1893: Three almshouses in memory of Eustace Hook were opened on 27 December. One was for a member of the New Jerusalem church; one for a member of the Church of England, nominated by the Rector; one for a person elected by the Nonconformists. 1893: The Technical School in Waghorn Road was opened. It supplemented the work of the British Schools, teaching boys woodwork and metalwork. 1895: The Devonshire Rooms opened as a Sunday School for the New Jerusalem church and for use as a parish meeting place. 1897: Maude and Agnes gave the Cricket Pavilion as a memorial of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. 1900: The Public Baths in Queen’s Avenue were opened, and given to the parish council. Twenty-five lime trees were given to the cemetery. 1903: The six Drummond almshouses were opened in memory of the Hook’s governess Amelia Drummond. 1915: Maude gave land for a fire station in Waghorn Road (which was built in 1923).