Wednesday, January 7, 2009

400 Years on at the Wells of Tunbridge and what's changed?

Another gem from the early days of TonbridgeBlog, this time I'm ranting about those naughty but nice ladies of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century:

Interesting to read all this nonsense in the local news about some Tunbridge Wells folk objecting to the potentially raucous behaviour in their back yard at the forthcoming 400 years celebrations. Maybe they think it might lower the tone of their neighbourhood.
I happened to read an extract from Daniel Defoe's book A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain todaywhich was written in the mid-Eighteenth Century. There is an amusing section on Tunbridge, by which it is referring to the mother town, which talks about the carryings on at the nearby wells
...."Yet Tunbridge (Wells) is a place that a lady, however virtuous, yet for want of good conduct may as soon shipwreck her character....nay some say no lady ever recovered her character in Tunbridge, if she first wounded it there, without some apparent folly of her own." He goes on to refer to the "....malice, the busy meddling, the tattling from place to place, making havoc of the characters of innocent women at the coffee houses....I left Tunbridge for the same reason that I gave as to why others should leave it, namely that my money was almost gone, so I retir'd to Lewes...." Maybe the genteel folk of the daughter town will now realise that bawdy and raucous behaviour is a long standing tradition in the town!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the Pantiles supposed to be 'notorious' in the old days?