Return to Elizabeth Goodhind page


The following information on the descendants of Elizabeth Goodhind are provided by her great-great granddaughter VALERIE (MARTIN) WRIGHT of the UK. We are extremely grateful to Valerie for sharing her memories of her family:

ELIZABETH GOODHIND married WALTER FREDERICK MARTIN in 1875 sometime between July and September.

By the 1881 UK census, they can be found living at 7 Orchard Street, Dartford, Kent and had their first 4 children: Kate (5), Elizabeth (3), Walter (2) and Harry, my great grandfather, was 5 months old.

By 1891 census, the family had moved to 67 Spring Vale Road, again in Dartford. Walter was still employed as a carpenter/joiner. Their daughter Elizabeth was a dressmakers apprentice, aged 13; Walter was a Grocer's assistant, aged 12; and Harry was still at school (aged 10). Frederick (8), Annie (7) and Lucy (5) had joined the family and were also at school. Eldest daughter Kate was now 15 yrs old, also a dress makers apprentice, but now living with her Grandmother Ann (Norman) Goodhind, 80 yrs old. Elizabeth's sister Sarah, 39 yrs old was living at 146 Hythe Street in Dartford.

By 1901 census, the family stayed at no. 67 Spring Vale Road. Walter (22) was employed as an Iron founder; Frederick (18) and Harry (20) had followed their father's footsteps and become carpenters. Annie (17) was a dressmaker, like her sisters, and little Lucy (15) was a employed as a milliner making hats.

Walter Frederick passed away in 1903, aged 50 years old, and presumably was still working as a carpenter.

In the 1911 census, Elizabeth was a widow of 55, living with her son, Walter, in 79 Spring Vale Road, a house of 5 rooms.

Elizabeth lived until the age of 93 yrs (she died in 1949) so there are a few gaps to fill in. I assume that as Walter never married and that he was the informant on Sarah's death at (her sister) Elizabeth's house in 1947, the three of them lived together.

Walter Frederick and Elizabeth are buried together in Dartford Park Road Cemetery grave no. A 1539.

Their son, HARRY MARTIN, is my direct line. Harry married GRACE BREWER in 1902. I am not sure on the actual dates that Harry Martin bought 'Kids' cottages, but he bought the first one and then, as the family expanded and the cottage next door became available, , he bought that one too. These cottages, located at Leyton Cross Road, Dartford Heath, Wilmington, Kent, were originally owned by "Kid's Brewery" and I think for workers to live in. "Kid's Brewery," owned by Charles Kid, was sited where the "Horse and Groom" pub is now. The present "Horse and Groom" was rebuilt in 1900.

The second cottage was turned into a general stores, at one time called "Handy Stores," to be run by Grace. Harry, being a carpenter, built the shop frontage onto the cottages and all the fittings himself. The old photo, taken shortly before the cottages were sold, is of the area behind the counter. The family had not changed anything since Walter and Grace died.

Visit the Elizabeth Goodhind Family Photo Gallery

Dartford Heath, originally owned by Lord Tredegar, was taken over by Dartford County Council. The Heath is now Crown land. Grace, my great grandmother, used to sell sweets, ice creams and teas as well as groceries. On weekends and holiday, large family groups used to come up to the Heath from Dartford and surrounding areas for picnics and to play games. Grace used to serve teas on huge trays, with large teapots and cups for up to 30 people. These were carried over to the heath and later returned to her.

Ice was bought from Dartford and this had come down from the arctic by ship. They bought it in a large block and transported it by cart, dripping as it melted all the way home!! Uncle FRED MARTIN's job as a child was to break off chunks of ice, put it into the well and then put in a special bucket filled with ice cream powder and water. He then had to stir it until it was ready to serve. Not a job he liked much!

When Fred, then a printer, got married to IRENE ("Rene") MABEL DIMOND in 1952, the family, being builders and carpenters, along with Fred's sister-in-law Maud's brother, a plumber by trade, set to and built them a house in the garden. This is no. 11 Leyton Cross Road.

Son THOMAS MARTIN worked for Kent County Council as a carpenter, having spent years working in London, which included times sanding the marble floors of the London Banks. (Needless to say, he developed breathing difficulties).

After Grace died in 1955, her daughter GRACE MARTIN (who we called "Molly") carried on running the shop. I can remember being excited to go there after school, as it was on route between the bus stop and home. And with a 2-mile walk (aged 5 yrs old), you can see why a stop for an ice cream, sitting on the wooden chairs in the sun with red roses to watch swaying in the breeze, was such a good idea. I also loved to see the jars of brightly coloured sweets lined up, twinkling in the light on the bay window.

Another shop set up a few yards away. And when that became a Post Office, "Handy Stores" lost a lot of trade, together with the fact that people didn't find the Heath so attractive to come to with so much traffic noise (the A2 was built right through the middle of it). Eventually in the mid 1970's, Molly had to give it up.

Grace and Tom lived in the cottages up until Molly's death in 2003 and then just Tom until they were sold in March 2007. Sadly in 2008, they were demolished.

Harry and Grace's second son, WALTER JOHN MARTIN, was a carpenter and by the time he died in 1937, he was a successful builder. He had built many houses in the North West Kent area. When he had the opportunity to build on land in Birchwood Road (which runs on from Leyton Cross Road), he built all the houses on the left hand side from Hook Green Lane to the last semi-detached house 37a. No. 9 was built as his family home . He built a few more bungalows from 39 but I can't remember how many are his because he was not allowed to build where the Dean Holes are. Later, restrictions changed and another builder built some bungalows, Walter having died. It is said that the notorious Highwayman Dick Turpin (buried in Hemel Hempsted, Hertfordshire) used to hide from the authorities in the Dean Holes. 38b was built in the 1960's. Walter had not be able to build on this land because it provided access to the Farm behind the houses.

Sadly, Walter's success as a builder - a reserved occupation during WW2, so that bombed houses could be repaired and rebuilt - led to his demise. He contracted TB and meningitis, and as he was not a solider, he was not allowed the drug penicillin, which would have cured him. He left a young wife and a 12-year-old son JOHN WILLIAM MARTIN (my father).

Johnny was a highly capable young man and was sent to Dartford Grammar School in 1942 where he excelled. He received a School Captain's prize and a Science prize in 1950. He and his best friend Eddie, whom he meet at Wilmington Primary School, where well known in the area! In fact the village planted two trees at the entrance of The Close in Wilmington, to celebrate Edward's 60th and in memory of John. The boys got up to no end of pranks, from electrifying the front gate of number 9 – the milkman was not happy and they had to pay for the spilt milk – to making fireworks in the shed at No 9 from incendiary bombs they found on Dartford Heath. It won't be a surprise to hear that John made a career out of his love of explosions!

He left school (having met BETTY ANN BROWN, a school secretary, he was in the Sixth Form), and obtained a Bachelor Honours Degree (BSc Hons) in General Science from Sir John Cass College London University in 1952. In the summer of that year, he and Betty married and he worked for Vickers in Crayford. There he worked on problems of automatic bomb sights for the Valiant Bomber. In 1954, he obtained his Masters Degree (MSc) in Cathode Ray Polarography, studying whilst being employed and becoming a dad for the first time.

He worked for ARDE1 in Woolwich on improving the performance and accuracy of Internal ballistics of solid fuel rockets, later moving on to ARDE and RARDE2 at Fort Halstead in Sevenoaks, Kent where he worked on the assessment and performance studies of surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, and also on electrical initiation of explosives. He produced a vast number of published papers in his field. He became an Associate of the Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1955, an Associate of the Institute of Physics in 1958 and Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry in 1962.

My Father spoke five languages and travelled abroad a good deal. In 1963 and 1965 he had trips to the USA. In 1965/66, he was frequently in Toulouse, France working on the Black Box of Concorde.

He died in October 1966 after fighting an unidentifiable two-year 'illness' which was, by the account of his doctors, due to his work. I do remember lots of discussions about this at the time. Mother was told there were to be no investigations due to his work being under the Official Secrets Act. In those days there was no compensation and life for our family changed significantly. He was such an exceptional man who could undertake his work, give time to his immediate family as well as his extended family. Nothing was too much trouble and he was always there to help. The family and Eddie his best friend never truly came to terms with our loss.

In 1970, he was posthumously given an award from the Committee of Awards to Inventors for his part in developing a Constant Resistance press under a UK Patent.

1Armament Research and Development Establishment
2Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment


Top of the page
Return to Elizabeth Goodhind page
View Elizabeth Goodhind Family Photos
Return to the Goodhind Home Page