Travel became much easier once the railway opened in 1841.
Travel became much easier once the railway opened in 1841. The average speed of a coach travelling to London was 7 miles per hour, and the roads were often muddy and difficult to navigate. The railway meant that travel further afield, whether for business or leisure, was quicker and easier. Our group found an entry in an account book showing that a local farmer 'gave Harris a present to enable him to visit the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park'; the opening of the railway would have made such a trip much more achievable for most people.
Visit to the Great Exhibition
Local coach services, which must have lost much of their trade to and from London, tried to fill the gap by offering coaches to and from railway stations along the line. This image advertises a coach service which connected Maidstone with the South Eastern Railway at Paddock Wood, predating the line which opened in 1844 to link Maidstone with the mainline at Paddock Wood.
Advertisement for connecting coach service