Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

From the Folkestone Herald Published 18 May 2000

Nostalgia trip.

Herald reader and veteran of Dover Road School children’s evacuation to South Wales in 1940 when Britain faced possible threat of invasion, Ronald Dutt, of St Michael's Street, is looking forward to a return trip to South Wales.

With two other former Folkestone evacuees Ron, a former Shorncliffe Camp groundsman, is off on a trip down memory lane in June when the trio will be visiting wartime haunts of 60 years ago around Raglan, Monmouthshire.

Ron is meeting up with former Dover Road School boy Robin Doughty, now living in Wigmore, Gillingham and Brian Godden, of Longfield, near Gravesend, who worked for the Electricity Board after leaving Harvey Grammar School. They plan to make their emotional trip to South Wales on June 6.

There they will join another former evacuee, John Garnham. He served his time as an apprentice plumber with Jenners, of Folkestone, but now lives near Raglan.

The trip follows an appeal in Memories by Robin Doughty who is still hoping to hear from more former Dover Road School boys evacuated to South Wales.

Robin can be contacted on 01634 360490, while Ron Dutt is on 01303 254107.


A Herald reader particularly interested in the 1940 picture of Dover Road School children evacuated to South Wales used in Memories some weeks ago was Mrs Kathleen Stone, of Pavilion Road, who wanted a copy because her brother, Roy Baker (68) is the Baker on the extreme right In the front row referred to by Victor Challis. Also living in Pavilion Road he worked on the railway at Ashford for some years before going deep sea with the Merchant Navy, travelling all over the world.

Still on a war theme, Mrs Pauline Ellis, of Star Lane, Cheriton, has been seeking a picture of men clearing up after war damage at Alexandra Street, Folkestone.

A copy was included in the book Frontline Folkestone, published Just after the Second World War by F. J. Parsons Ltd, the former Herald owners. Sadly the Herald no longer has any of the photographs used in this long out-of-print book. Neither does it have an original copy of the book!

But a colleague of mine does have one and I have copied the picture in it and produced a reasonable photograph for Mrs Ellis .... But, if any reader has an original photograph I could borrow, to make a better copy, I would be pleased to hear from them.


Last week I was delighted to see a couple of family albums shown to me by veteran Herald reader Brian Swoffer, 80, of Wear Bay Road. Among family snaps were some interesting old pictures recalling Whitsun holidays of 1910-13 when his father George and business pals Cyril and Joe Judd, Jim and C Baker, Cecil Pursey and John and Will Dunk, explored the picturesque Royal Military Canal from Hythe to Sussex, plus fine postcards of a couple of early charabancs which I hope Memories readers will find as interesting as I do.

Christ Church Club charbanc

CHARABANCS line up for a Christ Church club outing outside the church hall around 1910-13. The first car is believed to be Maltby-built on a Lacoste et Battmann chassis. Those in the picture include blind organist Alfred Marsh, with dark glasses, in the front and the curate, centre, the Rev Often. The picture was shown to me by Brian Swoffer, of Wear Bay Road.


Christ Church outing

Christ Church outing group outside Fernley Hall Hotel in the same charabanc as the other picture, right. Brian Swoffer says those in the back seat include Arthur Plaistow, George Swoffer (Brian’s father) and pals Will and John Dunk.


Swan public house

The Swan public house convenient watering hole for those on a canoe trip of the Royal Military Canal in the early days of the century See story below.


There is a snap of the Swan public house, a convenient 'watering hole’ for canal explorers, I suppose this is the Swan at Appledore. Another fine looking ‘local’ was Oxney Ferry Inn, presumably the Stone Ferry pub.

Canoes must have had a mast that could be lowered to enable the slim craft to negotiate one or two low bridges en route!


Riot in rival port as mob toasts relief of Mafeking.

RIOTS broke out in neighbouring Dover when news came through from South Africa that Mafeking had been relieved. A large crowd, many drunk, acted on a rumour that shopkeeper, J.F.Brown, of Cannon Street was pro-Boer smashing his window and wrecking his shop. Local Volunteers and “red coats" were called out to control the crowd. The court was full as rioters appeared before magistrates and a mob cheered the accused as they were taken to prison. A few days later people celebrated Queen Victoria’s birthday. Figures for fish caught by UK fishing boats in the period 1897-99 made Interesting reading for local fishermen, the value for each season’s catch being, respectively 7.993,000, 8,480,000 and 9,351,000. In 1999 the quantity of fish landed In England and Wales was 8,605,000 cwt, exclusive of shellfish; leading quantities being of haddock, 2,646,000 cwt, herrings, 2,239,000 cwt (together representing 56% of the total.) Prime fish were soles, 79,000 cwt worth 569,000; turbot, 65,000 cwt worth 260,000; plaice, 752,000 cwt worth 923,000. Cod totalled 565,000 cwt worth 413,000 and mackerel 449,000 cwt sold for 264,000.



'Cheerful Sparrows' work for the poor recognised.

OLD TRAMP steamers and French trawlers were pressed Into service at Channel ports to cope with an influx of foreign made cars being imported to beat a 33% duty due to be imposed In July to protect the British car market. At a meeting of the Town Council reference was made to the confusion caused to visitors by having a Leas concert hall and the teas Pavilion and it was proposed to name the new band pavilion the Pine Cliff Pavilion - as if that would be less confusing. Another suggestion was The King’s Hall, but this was met with laughter. “Leas Cliff Hall” soon won the day. Highlights of another successful year’s charitable work by the brotherhood of Cheerful Sparrows were celebrated at the annual meeting. The brotherhood entertained 1,425 poor children with a tea and musical treat at the Drill Halls, relieved hardship and stress caused by unemployment, financed a district nurse to visit the sick and. In another record year of fund-raising, brought the total given to the funds of the Royal Victoria Hospital to 8,660 in the five years existence of the brotherhood. The total raised in that time was 13,000. Chief money raising events of the year had been the Hospital and Charity Fete in August, with a tattoo to follow.



World record entry for Easter hockey festival.

THERE was a ‘world record’ entry of 40 teams for the Easter Hockey Festival on the Sports Ground. It was said to be a world record for any festival, with entries from Zurich Antwerp, Roubaix, the Hague and Dordrecht as well as leading UK clubs. The festival was a proving time for clubs as the choice of a Great Britain team rested on the results in 81 games, some played in bad weather. Was the Council "sinning against the light" (by obstructing the view) in planning to build a band pavilion on the cliff was a question asked when the lights dimmed then failed altogether at a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce when the subject was raised! An RAF officer, Flt-Lt Miller from Detling, landed his glider, undamaged, on the beach near the Rotunda in a thunderstorm and It was inspected by many local people before it was dismantled and taken away. The lieutenant had been attempting to climb to a height of 10,000 ft At Lydd a Lydd Club Day Committee concert; featuring 47 artistes, proved a great success all those taking part combining in a grand finale leading the audience in singing “When You're Smiling." British Railways' passenger steamer Canterbury was back on service on the Folkestone Calais run after a winter re-fit.



Mystery of a solicitor who walked out and vanished.

TALK of the town was the mysterious disappearance of a local solicitor, Anthony Denne, of Julian Road, Folkestone, a partner In a well established local firm. He was said to be a sick man. He just walked out of his office and vanished. A tall, balding figure, he was a respected Rotarian and a life member and enthusiastic supporter and backer of Folkestone Sports Centre, being the former chairman of the fund raising committee. He had four daughters, one of whom had recently qualified as a barrister. On the jobs front came the sad news that the 70-room Princes Hotel was to close, staff being given six months notice. Within hours of the publication of the Herald’s midweek Gazette newspaper which called for action to deal with dangerous wrecks in the harbour Council workmen moved in with power saws, a crane and truck to break up the hull of a former French fishing boat Laissez Dire in the Pent basin. There was also a promise to deal with another wreck at the Stade. Hythe Civic Society joined the local council In objecting to plans for new homes proposed in Hythe, but the health and housing committee wanted the scheme to go ahead because of the pressing need. Some Cinque Port mayors were said to be upset that no holders of their ancient office had been invited to attend the enthronement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Frederick Coggan, although Cinque Port Barons had.


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:-