Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

From the Folkestone Herald Published 2 March 2000

Beano trip!

WHOOPS! Sorry Alan Taylor and Bert Binfield, I seem to have dropped a proverbial clanger and used the wrong picture in my Memories page, on February 17 and I can’t blame my Mackintosh computer or printing problems - only my poor memory.

Bradstone Road

I regret to say the photograph identified in the caption as a group of workers of local builder F.W. Clark & Sons about to set off on an outing, had nothing to do with that company.

One reader who was understandably puzzled was Ron Hammond, of Ernwell Road, Folkestone who began working for the company as a boy in 1929 at six shillings (30p) a week!

He thought perhaps I had been shown a picture taken before his time. In fact Ron produced a copy of the same photograph that Bert Binfield had shown local historian Alan Taylor - the one I had scanned into the computer system weeks ago - and apparently lost.

So, thanks very much Ron!

Ron was also able to give me nearly all the names of the 21 people in this photo and, what’s more, he was able to give the jobs they did into the bargain!

Ron was also able to tell me: “You may take note Bert Binfield’s father, Horace, is on this photograph.

“He taught me a lot about the art of bricklaying,” Ron told me.

The picture dates from 1931 and the ‘Beano’ outing party he says, was headed for the sights of London.


Open top.

‘Monty’ Second World War hero of the desert war in North Africa who is pictured at El Alamein only weeks after speaking to army officers about the fight ahead in which Rommel's tanks were defeated.
Pictured outside Folkestone Corporation yard in Bradstone Road, in 1931 before setting out on an outing to London are members of the staff of builders F.W. Clark & Sons, whose business was based at the Viaduct, also in Bradstone Road.


The Rodwell’s open-top coach or charabanc, with folding hood, is almost completely hidden by the merry makers who are pictured standing outside Folkestone Corporation’s weighbridge office which was in Bradstone Road. It stood opposite the firm’s works.

One man is missing off the left hand end of Ron’s copy of the picture compared with Mr Binfield’s. Perhaps he was the bus driver.

In the front row, from left to right, are Mr Southern, a guest; Steve Look, a labourer whose father, says Ron, had a boatyard down in Harbour Street; Ernie Southern, a young labourer; Fred Knott, a guest who was a pal of Ron’s.

Sadly he was killed while serving on a destroyer in Dover Harbour. His father had a general store in Dover Street.

Next was Frank Reed, an office worker; then Frank Biscoe, a carpenter whose father was a bricklayer of the same name; Dick Couglan, plumber who later worked for Woolworths and was in the St John Ambulance; Bert Savage, painter whose father was a fireman; Bill Boorman, painter who later became self-employed; Walter Williams, plasterer who had several brothers; Owen Maguire, painter, from Cheriton; Bill Withey, foreman plumber, who lived in Greenfield Road and had worked on aircraft during the First World War.

Next comes Percy Mount, carpenter’s apprentice who lived in the miller’s house behind the Salvation Army premises; Horace Binfield, bricklayer, of Blackbull Road, who was Bert Binfield’s father; Les Worsley, joiner shop foreman, who lived in Garden Road; and on the right hand end is Councillor Alfred J. S. Clark, the firm’s ‘governor,’ who lived at 28 Chart Road and later in Manor Road.

Left to right in the back row are Ernest Hogben, painter apprentice, who lived in Rossendale Road; next is Ron Hammond himself who, as an apprentice bricklayer lived in Mount Pleasant Road; Jack Prior, a painter, also of Mount Pleasant Road; Alf Porter, painter, from Cheriton; and finally, Bob Clark, foreman painter and the man who organised the outing!


'Monty' Second World War hero of the desert was in North Africa who is pictured at El Alamein only weeks after speaking to army officers about the fight ahead in which Rommel's tanks were destroyed.


Next week in Memories I intend to return to the subject of another local firm of builders, Otto Marx and a big contract they won to build the old Astoria (Odeon) Cinema - and a secret wartime meeting held there by that ‘Desert Rats’ hero General Bernard Montgomery.



Ruskin’s good and bad memories of old town.

PAPERS commented on the Folkestone connections since boyhood of John Ruskin, the academic and artist who died in January 1900. He once bought a collection of pictures of old Folkestone In a local auction, but when it was suggested he might present them to the town when “they had served his purpose” he briskly replied in a letter he could only reply that, as Folkestone had sold all that was left of Old Folkestone “to the service of Old Nick” - the South Eastern Railway - which charged him a penny every time he went to take a look at the town from the old pier and blotted the view with smoke and steam, he was “not Inclined to present the town with any peeps and memories of the shore it had destroyed or the harbour It had filled and polluted.” They were bought, he said, to Illustrate Turner's work and his own on the harbours of England and would, he hoped, be put to wider service than they were likely to find In Folkestone Museum. Fortunately a second consignment of pictures (the source not quoted in either case) was bought by an Arthur Tite who allowed John English to use some in his popular book Old Folkestone Smugglers and Smuggling Days.



Elham Valley line pressed in to use as main line blocked.

THERE was an overwhelming vote at a public meeting against the go-ahead being given for a bandstand In front of the Leas Cliff Hall. The report of the meeting took up three columns of the Herald. A number of councillors were on the platform. A landslide blocked the main Ashford to Folkestone railway line near Smeeth station and It required a team of a hundred men to clear the line. The rails were forced out of position and trains had to be diverted, some via Chatham, Faversham and Canterbury and the old Elham Valley Railway. Mr H Selby Lowndes, 52, was celebrating his 25 years as Master of the East Kent Hunt and was honoured by a dance at the Grand Hotel. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather In turn had held the mastership of the Whaddon Chase hunt for about 200 years. If there was a lobby against fox hunting 75 years ago It must have come as a shock to members to learn a consignment of three dozen foxes had arrived In the UK from Canada. The story made headlines all over the UK. But these were silver black foxes for breeding for the fur trade, the nearest such being at Bexhill. Writer Felix was reflecting on the fact British beef farmers could not satisfy public demand as economically as Importers of carcases of beef from thousands of miles across the Atlantic.



Ban the H-bomb - that was election call in 1950.

“WORLD Must Ban the H-Bomb” that was one of the headlines on a page of our old midweek paper, the Folkestone & Hythe Gazette, featuring the speeches of local general election candidates. Another subject of debate was Labour's case for nationalisation of Industry, while a Tory 'pledge' was more pay and better conditions for regular service men and women so that eventually peacetime conscription could be abolished. A mine disaster that killed two coastguards at Sandgate 80 years ago, in November 1920, was recalled by the Gazette. The drifting French mine was secured to the rail of steps leading to the beach from the Parade so It would not be dashed against the wall by heavy seas. Leading boatman William Walker, 38, survivor of the blowing up of the battleship HMS Ocean, had started work on the mine, which was of a type he was not familiar with, when it exploded killing him and Coastguardsman James McDermott who had been guarding It. Many surrounding properties were also damaged, from Encombe Dwellings to Devonshire Terrace, as ceilings were brought down and furniture smashed. Months of legal battles followed to get the Government to accept responsibility for compensation for the many thousands of pounds worth of damage. Why didn’t they call In an expert



Decision imminent on 40 million port marina plan.

WE DON'T want men as midwives. - That was the message from the nursing profession locally as there was talk of new legislation to allow men to train in midwifery. There were plans at the same time for midwifery training at Willesboro’ Hospital. 6,000 people on the local council’s waiting list for homes were not happy at the revelation that one in 20 of the houses In the area were empty and not contributing to rates. That figure did not Include holiday or weekend homes, or larger properties In which only one bedroom was in use. The Council’s plans sub-committee declined to use Its powers to make a decision on local businessman Sidney de Haan's 40m marina plan announced 11 months before for a site at Copt Point Briefly the plans included hotel accommodation with 3,000 beds, a conference centre for 1,200 delegates, a non-tidal marina with locks and 200 rentable mariners' apartments, casino and restaurant, health resort with 150 beds, underground parking for at least 1,500 cars and an advanced sewage treatment scheme. Objectors included Trinity House Pilotage Service, British Rail (concerned about sea defences), the Countryside Commission (worried about destruction of natural beauty), a local yacht and boat club and Kent Trust for Nature Conservancy (concerned about the Warren site of scientific interest.) Support came from the Committee for the Protection of Rural Kent.


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:-