Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

From the Folkestone Herald Published 23 December 1999

Success story.

IT’S NICE to be able to report a successful appeal for information through the Herald Memories page by Trevor Page, who wanted to know the whereabouts of a group of Hythe evacuees to Wales in the Second World War.

Mr Page, who was born in Folkestone in 1943, but now lives in Flaxpond Road, Ashford, (01233 666151) spotted the picture of five girls, believed to have come from Hythe, in Cardigan Heritage Centre, while on holiday.

St Leonards Old Girls

The school girls were evacuated to Cilgerran in the early part of the war and their picture, which was taken in Wales, is on display in the heritage centre as part of an educational display about the Second World War.

The same picture was also used in a recent book from Alan Sutton Publishing about the Teifi Valley in Wales.

First to contact me about Mr Page’s appeal was Mrs Edna Stephenson, herself an evacuee to Newport, in South Wales, from North Kent, but now living in Dover Road, Folkestone.

She tells me she spent some time at Cilgerran where there was a large house which had been turned into a fever hospital. While she was there as a patient her mother was sent for and stayed on a farm called Penralltcwdgan.

On her discharge from hospital they both stayed on at the farm for her to recuperate, and she recalled a girl there called Mary, who came from Hythe. Past school leaving age she had stayed on at the farm.


Memories flood back.

“I don’t recognise her in the picture, but I must admit that looking at it and reading of Mr Page’s letter brought so many memories flooding back. Some happy - some sad.

“We did go back just at the end of the war for a holiday and I also made a brief visit about 15 years ago. I look forward to hearing if you have any response from the evacuees pictured,” she said.

Well Edna, I did indeed have a good response.

Kay Atkinson, of New Road, Hythe, wrote to tell me her mother, Mrs Amy Atkinson (nee Dawson) knew them all.

Joyce Fhijnbeen and Doreen Newman

OLD GIRLS of St Leonard’s School, Hythe, Joyce Fhijnbeen nee Dawson, and Doreen Newman nee Burgess.


“The girl bottom left is in fact her young sister, Joyce Dawson (now Fhijnbeen.)

The girls are: Back row, left, Hilda McKay, now deceased; May Jones, who no longer lives in the area; Joan Mayfield, deceased; front row, left, Joyce Dawson, who married a sailor in the Dutch Royal Navy; and Doreen Burgess.

“Joyce moved to Holland, where she still lives and had three children.

“Doreen, who still lives in Hythe married Eric Newman, whose father owned a butchers shop in Marine Walk Street, Hythe." And Kay Atkinson adds that the girls were all pupils at St Leonard’s School, Hythe.

Mr Page, who says he regularly sends his copy of the Herald out to Nova Scotia, where it is avidly read by his mother-in-law, will be delighted to hear of Kay’s letter.

He says he is very interested in local history and, his father having been in the Home Guard, has a special interest in the Second World War as it relates to Folkestone and district.

Until three years ago he lived in Hythe.


Looking ahead to the year 20001 note from my events diary that Eamonn Rooney, a local history enthusiast is due to talk to Folkestone & District Local History Society on Folkestone's 19th Century Photographers at their meeting on January 5. The meeting is at 7.30pm in Holy Trinity Church hall.

Grand and Metro

AS FROST and snow threaten our comfort its nice to look back on summer days, especially on the Leas and this is a view of old cars outside the Grand and Metro-pole hotels between the world wars, when the automobile was fast superseding horse-drawn vehicles. It is from an out-of-print copy of Metropole, Folkestone, the Old... the New, the story of a great hotel, by ex-Herald editor Leslie Jones.



Town seaman killed in Mabel Grace collision.

ONE crewman was crushed to death and another badly Injured when the Mabel Grace, largest and fastest of ferries operating out of Folkestone was involved In collision with the 998ton steamer Lisa five miles off Folkestone, while returning from Boulogne. There was a large hole in the side of the steamer and the bows of the Mabel Grace badly damaged, setting fire to the forecastle. The dead man was Tom Ford, 37, who left a wife and four children in Belle Vue St and the other Joseph Gains, 26 who had both thighs fractured. The Lisa crew were forced to abandon ship. A ‘Well wisher of Fashionable Folkestone' questioned why the town was not building any flats ‘like Brighton and other seaside places’ saying that if built near somewhere like the Metropole they would soon be let. The Folkestone Express editor was convinced only local tramways which were connected to adjoining towns had any chance of being successful. But he feared the townspeople were going to be tricked out of such a service by opponents to the scheme for which a parliamentary Bill was sought. A firm of London dentists announced that it was to give away free every year 100 sets of false teeth to poor people and invited local clergymen, doctors etc to submit the names of ‘candidates.’



Fascists gather strength in Folkestone and Hythe.

THE Fascist movement was reported to be flourishing in Folkestone and Hythe district under the leadership of its Commandant, Colonel Swinhoe-Phelan, and claimed a growth in members of 100 a week. In early December a public meeting was called to explain its alms of supporting the monarchy and the constitution of the Great Britain and the British Empire, and fighting ‘‘revolutionary" movements seeking the downfall of these institutions. Among speakers was the founder of the movement, Miss Lintorn-Orman and General R.O. Blakeney CB, DSO. The former urged strongly that people should not buy German goods; particularly if British ones were available and the General stressed how great the threat of communism was. The Council considered a proposal the borough should contribute a share towards the diversion part of the scheme (in effect a new Inland road away from the cliff edge) to improve the main road to Dover after the Ministry of Transport agreed to contribute half, 21,476, the KCC 25%, and Dover Council 12.5%. It was suggested Folkestone should find the other 12.5%. The plan was to widen the road between the Royal Oak and Dover and to re-route the main road through Cape! and widen the Road between the Royal Oak and Valiant Sailor. It was agreed, if some of the jobless were employed.



VIPs join in as cricket club celebrates great season.

TRIBUTE was paid at Folkestone Cricket Club’s dinner to all that Kent county cricketers Les Ames and Brian Valentine had done for Folkestone cricket and It was suggested their portraits should be hung in the pavilion on the Cheriton Road sports ground. The Cricket Club was still on a high after one of its best ever seasons and held a dinner to celebrate. Guest of honour was former Kent skipper Brian Valentine who praised the local club. Also there was Les Ames, on the way to his 100th century it was hoped he would knock at Folkestone v Leicestershire In July. Anglers at East Cliff were complaining of catches being stolen as they fished, not by their fellow men, but the rats which flourished among the rocks of the seashore. A photographer working for the midweek Gazette produced a brilliant photographic montage across centre pages featuring long-serving members of Folkestone’s East Kent bus company staff, their periods of service ranging from 36 years, driver A Philpott, 34 years, drivers H Cole and H Champion, and 31 years, conductor Miss Lucy Chittenden, to five who had been with the company since 1920 and one since 1923. Folkestone was beginning to feel the effect of the run down of hotels and guest houses due to the recent war and it was on the cards that the annual hockey festival would have to be switched to Hythe because there was no hotel able to accommodate 400 guests.



Controversy as ‘City’ sets sights on land for homes.

THERE were fears that London boroughs short of building land for homes had their beady eyes on land and property in Shepway and other parts of East Kent. At a meeting of Kent MPs and county councillors It was suggested the Greater London Council, negotiating agents for London boroughs, was forcing up prices of land by competing with district councils for property. Hythe and Folkestone MP Albert Costain said East Kent had its own problems and he said they sought assurances from the GLC that it would not buy up any more land without consulting the KCC. The meeting decided to press the GLC for this. 34 years on, a local inquest was held on the body of a young Luftwaffe fighter pilot which had just been recovered from where he crashed in 1940 on an Ivychurch farm. Folkestone and Ashford coroner John Clarke recalled that he had been called on to hold inquests on two other wartime pilots, a German and one of our RAF filers who was a South African. The body of the young German, Richard Riedel, was found by a Brenzett Aeronautical Museum team recovering plane wreckage from a depth of more than 20ft below ground at Melon Farm, Ivychurch. He was later buried in the German cemetery at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. The District Council's spending plans for the coming year had yet to be approved but nearly 4 million was already due to be spent on housing, including building over 300 homes.


If anyone should have any a better picture than any on this page, or think I should add one they have, please email me at the following address:-