10 facts you probably didn’t know about Royal Tunbridge Wells
Most people know Royal Tunbridge Wells for its history, parks, and shopping. A vibrant area boasting countless leisure activities, places to eat, home to many happy, friendly people.
However, here’s 10 lesser known facts that you might not have heard about the town we live in:
The town has been Royal for over 100 years
2009 was the 100th anniversary of the ‘Royal’ addition to our town’s name. It was King Edward VII in 1909 that officially recognised the significance of Tunbridge Wells with its frequent royal visits – Queen Victoria has even dropped by in the past!
We have our own Bigfoot
Well according to reports in 2012, there were several sightings of an 8ft hairy, ape-like creature with red eyes. The beast apparently roared at a man walking in the woods who fled home terrified. Whilst others note similar sightings as far back as 1942, scientists believe the rumours are hoaxes stemming from folklore.
Royal Tunbridge Wells is twinned with the German town Wiesbaden
And it’s a beautiful place! In 1989, Tunbridge Wells was officially twinned with the German town, contact was made between four ex-servicemen here and several paratroopers in Germany through a national newspaper advert in 1960. A friendship formed which eventually led to an official ‘twinning’!
From the headless horse rider in Hurst Wood to the 20 ghosts said to haunt The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells is said to be a hot-spot for interesting ghoulish stories. From darker stories like The Coach and Horses Passage’s tale of a drunken man who hung himself from a beam which still creaks from the weight today to London Road which is said to be home to a disappearing white Rolls Royce, locals always seem to have accounts to share. Scotney Castle is said to be haunted by a drunken revenue collector and monks apparently inhabit Bayham Old Abbey where visitors have smelt incense and heard bells ringing when passing by.
Have you seen anything yourself?
The Conservatives win every election
In 1974, the Tunbridge Wells Parliamentary Constituency was formed. The seat has been Conservative ever since! Three MPs have served since then, Patrick Mayhew (1974-97), Archie Norman (1977-2005) and Greg Clark (2005-present).
Bob Mortimer loves living here
The comedian, one-half of the Reeves and Mortimer duo, was initially born up north but has lived in our town for a number of years. He says he likes the weather, the people are friendly and he’s never felt any danger.
It’s one of the top 50 places to live in the country
Tunbridge Wells was named in the best 50 places to live in 2014’s Halifax Quality of Life Survey featuring the town at number 31 in the whole of England. 96.1% of people were considered to be in good health, we received a 7.3/10 life satisfaction rating and enjoy 32.9 hours of sunshine a week!
Nick Knowles from DIY SOS went to Skinners School
That’s right, Nick Knowles, best known as a BBC presenter on the National Lottery and home improvement show, DIY SOS went to the local Skinners School. Nick left school to become a labourer before rising to TV fame and has since moved to Spain!
It’s home to one of the oldest motor clubs in the UK
After being founded in 1911 when “flat cap and goggles were all the early competitor needed” the club grew and grew. Nowadays, TWMC organises social events, the popular Evening Autotest Series, visits to Hot Rod racing and more.
Read more on their website
It’s been home to a number of famous residents
Former England Cricket captain David Gower, comedian Jo Brand, athlete Kelly Holmes… the list goes on! Perhaps it’s due to the large number of period buildings of the 17th and 18th Centuries here?
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