Ashford's earliest settlers lived by a ford which crossed the river Stour in a clearing of ash trees. Over many centuries the urban area grew into a small market town serving both its local residents and nearby farming communities. By early Victorian times, the local economy took off with the coming of a railway line linking London to Dover. Of even more critical importance was the establishment of a large works producing locomotives and rolling stock for this booming industry.Housing expanded in tandem with commerce and gradually villages such as Kennington and Willesborough became absorbed by the town. In the 1960s Ashford was designated a growth town for relocation of over crowded Londoners. The building of the Channel Tunnel and an international terminal for high speed trains has been the latest phase of development. You can see these changes from the collection of photographs in this book.
Robert Turcan is a retired fund manager who was brought up on a fruit farm in the North Kent horticultural belt. He has a lifelong interest in local history, in the pursuit of which he has amassed a considerable collection of topographical postcards, books and maps. His appreciation of the constantly changing environment is complimented by keen amateur photography, as well as a number of previously published titles on Kent's towns.