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Document three

The opening of the Dartford by-pass in November 1924

Fifteen miles of broad new highway on the London-Dover road were rendered available for traffic on Wednesday November 19th 1924 when amid scenes of the greatest enthusiasm the Prince of Wales came down to Dartford to open the Dartford (Southern) By-pass and the New Watling Street.

Dartford and District was en fete, business houses closed early, and everyone apparently who could travel made their way to some portion of the Prince's route to catch a glimpse of him. The Prince, who looked fit and well was attired in a dark suit with navy blue overcoat, black shoes and a bowler hat.

The scene at the junction of the Southern By-pass road and the new Watling Street was a most animated and striking one. Punctually at 11.15 am the huge crowds who had assembled at the Crayford end of the Dartford By-pass gave vent to their enthusiasm as the Prince of Wales arrived in his beautiful car, with the Royal standard surmounting the bonnet. After the formal introductions the Prince, who manifested a keen interest in the new roadway, re-entered his car, and proceeded at an easy pace through lines of cheering spectators to the Shepherds Lane function.

An unrehearsed incident occurred when just prior to the Prince cutting the silken barrier at Watling Street, a workman, in fixing the mechanical device, stumbled, and catching the ribbon, snapped it!


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