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From the Folkestone Herald Published 27 January 2000


FORMER wartime evacuee from Folkestone to Raglan, Monmouthshire, Robin Doughty met up with four schoolboy contemporaries as a result of a story in Memories back in October and three of them, who went to the old Dover Road School, are planning a journey of remembrance in June.

For June 2 will be the 60th anniversary of Dover Road school’s evacuation to safety in South Wales, at the beginning of the Second World War, so they plan to meet up again at the old school.

Old Acquaintence

OLD ACQUAINTANCE not forgotten: The four wartime evacuees from left, John Garnham, Robin Doughty, Brian Godden and Ronnie Dutt.


The four evacuees were pictured in last week’s Herald which told of their recent reunion in Folkestone. This came about as a direct result of Robin Doughty’s appeal in Memories back in October for any news of his old school pals.

The pals are all 67 or so this year and all now retired.

Robin, of Gillingham, was a property services officer running the architects’ and surveyors’ department of the old Gillingham Borough Council; Ronald Dutt, of St Michael’s Street, Folkestone, (01303 254107) was a groundsman at Shorncliffe Camp for many years; John Garnham, who served his time as an apprentice plumber with Jenners, of Folkestone, has made his home near Raglan, (01873 830584)

Fourth member of the group, Brian Godden, of New Barns, Longfield, near Gravesend, (01474 708315) worked for the electricity board after leaving Harvey Grammar School.

Mr Godden did not go to Raglan, but he met Robin at George Spurgen School after Robin returned to Folkestone from Wales, before joining Harvey Grammar School pupils in Merthyr Tydfil to which they had been evacuated, in 1944.


Emotional reunion.

The pals held a modest, but emotional reunion at the A.V.S. Club in St Michael’s Street, Folkestone.

Robin Doughty is still hoping more of the former evacuees from the Dover Road school will get in touch with him.

He tells me one of his treasured memories of his time at Dover Road School was of visits to a bakers shop opposite the old school to buy their lovely slices of spiced bread pudding for an old penny (less than 1p) a slice!

Robin, who lives in Maidstone Road, Wigmore, Gillingham ME8 0LJ can be contacted on 01634 360490.

By a strange coincidence the other day I came across “The Story of a School - Dover Road, 1835-1958” by Mr W. A. Parks, produced by the school in 1958 when it was entering a new era. This followed the building of a new school at Park Farm, the old, three-storey building being badly overcrowded and lacking modern amenities.

The book includes a nice picture of children with teacher Mr C. G. Hunt evacuated to Monmouthshire in 1940 and numerous other pictures.

Dover Road School Children 1940

DOVER Road School children with teacher Mr C. Blunt in Monmouthshire in 1940 after their evacuation to safety from Folkestone.


No doubt any Herald readers who haven’t got a copy could have a look at a copy in the excellent local studies centre at the public library at Grace Hill.

Talking of the Public Library the Heritage Officer, Janet Adamson, whose office is at the library’s Heritage Room in Grace Hill, is seeking help with an inquiry. And she writes:

“I am helping a researcher in looking for family and former friends of the late Navigator Pilot Officer Dennis Raymond Fullager who was shot down over Antwerp on July 9,1943.

“We understand that his parents lived in Bartholomew Street until the 1960s.

“Pilot officer Fullager was 21 when he died, and had been in the RAF for two years.

“He had attended Hythe Church of England School and the Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone.”

Mrs Adamson goes on to say that a researcher living in Belgium is writing a book and arranging a commemoration for the seven crew members who died in the crash, and would welcome contacts with anyone who remembers Raymond.

Replies should be sent direct to Mrs J Adamson, Heritage Room, Folkestone Library, 2 Grace Hill, Folkestone CT20 1HD.

Several readers have been in touch with me about the recent Otto Marx the builder’s staff outing picture in Memories, as I wrote briefly last week.

Mrs Alma Bickley (nee Ashdown) who is 73, told me her father Joseph Ashdown was in the picture, along with his mate Charlie Porter. Her father would be remembered by many for his bushy moustache, she told me.

Both men were painters and decorators with Otto Marx for many years and she told me how Charlie once did Joseph a ‘good turn’ while he was ill. He went in to finish a job his pal had been doing - but hung the wallpaper upside down and Joseph had to do it all again! He was none too pleased at the time.

I also heard from Mrs Doreen Tindale of Sturdy Close, Hythe who tells me she has a copy of it and her father, Arthur Robinson, was in the picture, "two rows behind Otto Marx and two to the right.”

And holding the Otto Marx name plate in the front was John Lusted who, she believes, still lives in the area.

Otto Marx photo 1937



Why not a Kent amateur soccer league says fan.

F0LKEST0NE Football Club which was low on funds was organising a series of money-raising events. Including a smoking concert, and Mr C Jenner suggested that In the next season the club should be run on amateur lines and that an amateur league should be formed In Kent. This proposal, however, didn’t prove popular. Better, more comfortable carriages were coming into use on the railway services from London to Boulogne and Calais via Folkestone and Dover respectively. Eighty men of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Buffs East Kent Rifles Regiment were being selected to join a Special Service Company to go to join British troops already fighting In the Boer War in South Africa. And 100 Buff reservists joined at Canterbury to go out with the next draft of reinforcements. The South Eastern & Chatham Railway company promised to keep the jobs open of any staff in volunteer corps who called for active service and to allow married soldiers half pay In their absence, presumably to help their families left at home without a breadwinner. Meanwhile a force of some 6,000 British troops was fighting Its way towards Ladysmith to relieve the beseiged garrison town and other soldiers were making their way towards other beseiged garrisons.



Tributes to 12-times mayor the late Stephen Penfold.

GALE force winds in the New Year ripped off the canvas tops of several service buses In the town. And at Tolputt’s timber yard In Tram Road a stack of timber collapsed against a concrete wall causing 35ft of It to fall onto the footpath. Fortunately no one was hurt. The Impressive excavation of the newly found Roman villa at East Cliff, the only Roman seaside villa in Kent, earned high praise in a national publication “The Year's Work in Classical Studies, 1923-24It did credit to Mr S.E. Winbolt and his team who carried out the work, said the writer. The town was still seeing a surplus of buses on some routes but few on others as rival buses vied for passengers on busy roads and more prosecutions of drivers and conductors for loitering' at bus stops resulted. One case Illustrated the dilemma facing the police in enforcing the law. One conductor fined a modest sum for loitering was reported to be third in a line of buses at a stop which could cause an obstruction. He had only two passengers on board, neither of whom got on the bus at that particular stop. It was not his first offence. Folkestone's soccer side was drawn against Chatham, away, in the draw for the Kent Senior Cup. The team had already beaten Chatham on their home ground and drawn the return match at Folkestone.



Father of five who sold 2 radios on HP is jailed.

HYTHE father of five children was jailed three months for selling a radio he had bought on hire purchase from a Folkestone shop. The family were due to pay for it at the rate of six shillings and sixpence a week (about 32p) but paid only the Initial payment of about 14 shillings (70p.) The man sold it for 6 to pay the rent when threatened with eviction and admitted doing the same with a second set, obtaining 5 to buy food. A General Election was in the offing and Mrs Ray Ward Bateson was adopted as Liberal candidate for the constituency and the adoption of Brigadier HR Mackeson as Tory candidate and Mr Moss Murray as Labour candidate was due to follow. Herald columnist Townsman was looking back over past elections and noted how few voters turned out to vote in 1868 - under 2,000. That year financier Baron Mayer de Rothschild (Radical candidate) defeated his Unionist rival by 747 votes after a rowdy affair. Nine years earlier he had been returned unopposed but there were the usual hustings and the Hythe Town Band turned out to play. The 66 starters from Glasgow In the 1950 Monte Carlo Rally arrived safely in Folkestone en route for France. After checking In the driver of a 6,500 Rolls-Royce opted for travel by air from Lympne to Le Touquet and rejoined fellow competitors at Boulogne. Was that elitism or did he fear the sea crossing might be too rough!



Good - and bad news for local workers in January.

LOCAL boat-builders Foreland Marine clinched orders for no less than 32 vessels at the International Boat Show, enough to keep the business ticking over nicely for three months. Local residents would be sleeping more soundly In their beds predicted the Herald with the arrival at the port of minesweeper HMS Kellington to search out and make safe any wartime mines still lurking In local fishing waters. A Kent fisheries officer had stepped In to pinpoint where more mines might be found. This followed a series of sinister ‘finds’ In the trawls of local fishermen. But at first an under secretary of State for defence had ruled out a sweep of the Channel as ‘'Impractical.'' At the New Inn, Etchinghill there was a degree of sadness and celebration when mine hosts Bill ‘Son’ to his regulars - and Rene Marden retired, ending an 84-year family link with the pub. Rene's grandfather George Butler was licensee 41 years, his son and daughter in law, Mr & Mrs Ernest Butler, were mine hosts from 1932, and Bill Marden, from Cheriton, and Rene married in 1942 and soon afterwards took over the pub. Traditionally a poor time for Jobs, the first three weeks of the New Year saw 150 workers laid off in Shepway - including 82 part-timers at Portex, 30 at Debenhams, 23 at Martin Walters (in addition to 20 more at Dover) and Lympne preparatory school Mr CFO Bull announced his school was to close.


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