DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 14 December 2000

e-mail: hollingsbee@bigfoot.com USUI EKMw R

Their ‘locals’
PETER and Sally Russell, of The Street, Postling, Hythe, are both descended from publicans in either Folkestone or Sandgate and thought Memories readers would be interested to see some photographs of the old public houses.

Mrs Russell was prompted to contact me after the publication of the excellent locally produced book “Tales From the Tap Room” by local history enthusiasts Eamonn Rooney and Martin Easdown.

She was quick to notice that the only photograph the authors had been able to track down relating to the Ill-fated South Foreland public house, was a 1912 view showing a glimpse of the corner of the building and the Pavilion Livery Stables, which once stood on the opposite corner of Seagate Street — which ran from Dover Street to Beach Street.

Obscuring most of the ground floor was a big
charabanc, stacked with passengers, standing outside the Wonder Tavern, which stood on another street corner.

Eamonn and Martin tell us that the South Foreland was opened in 1855 as wine and spirit vaults by James Golder Robinson. He died just two years later but his widow carried on the business for another five years, until 1862.

Then Charles Jordan obtained the lease. He was the first of five of his family to hold the licence until the South Foreland's untimely end - blown to pieces by a German parachute mine on the night of November 18, 1940. The damage was photographed by the Herald.

It is hardly surprising that it was a member of the Jordan family who should turn up with family photographs of the South Foreland public house.

For Mrs Russell is a descendant of Charles Jordan and, as well as photographs, she has copies of documents concerning the lease of the public house to members of the family.

On the death of Charles Jordan in 1874, his widow Maria took over the lease for 14 years, the first seven years at £80 per annum and the second seven at £90 a year. Unfortunately Mrs Jordan failed to see out the term of her lease, dying on September 7,1883.

According to Tales From the Tap Room she was succeeded as mine host at the South Foreland, in turn, by son Henry (1883-1913), known to all as ‘Harry,’ Henry's widow Annie (1913-24) and then ‘grandson’ Frank Jordan from 1924 until 1940, when it was destroyed.

The authors probably meant the grandson of Charles Jordan, for Mrs Russell points out Frank Charles Jordan was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Ann Jordan. FertanntntHo r f rank-he wasn't
Harry Jordan's South Foreland pub, on the corner of Seagate Street, with his daughters Florence and Nancy Jordan in the doorway. Nancy, the youngest is believed to have been the winner of the county's first beauty contest, at the Folkestone Hippodrome, in 1902. Brother Frank was a later licensee. LEFT: The Providence Inn, Sandgate, picturing Peter Russell's great-grandparents, Charles and Annie Russell. The family also had the Ship, at Dymchurch.
in the public house during the airraid. But, sadly, Ronald Early, aged 20, was, and he was killed.

According to Mrs Russell’s copies of the leases of the South Foreland, ‘Harry’ Jordan was granted a 28 year lease of the South Foreland in 1888 by Rebecca Robinson.

He died on January 30,1913 but his wife Annie carried on the public house and, by agreement, became the official tenant from March 25, 1916, on a yearly tenancy at £85 rent per year.

Previous to taking the South Foreland Charles Edward Jordan was described as a fly proprietor.

Mackesons took over the pub around 1920.
Next door to the South Foreland according to my 1938 Kelly’s directory, was another public house, the Chequers Inn.

Mrs Russell is a grand-daughter of Frank Jordan and his wife Clara Ellen (nee Herring.) She and her husband have three children, Nicola Trimble, Neil and Matthew Russell.

It was unusual for a licensee's name to be painted on a public house in such large letters - bigger than the name of either the ‘local’ or the brewers, Leney’s of Dover, j

But Harry Jordan was an institution. Bluff and outspoken, he was a typical John Bull, says a glowing tribute in “Rambles Around Folkestone” (1891-1913.) _*r
Harry Jordan was quite a celebrity, being well known as a bit of an expert on horses and greyhounds and also for his roses and sweet peas. And he did his share of what one may term charitable work behind the scenes, particularly in the Fishmarket area.

Peter Russell's great grandparents, Charles and Annie Russell, were licensees of the Providence Inn, Sandgate. The Russells also had the Ship, at PymahnTcli at one time.

I slipped up in the caption to Alan Taylor's picture in Memories of the turbine steamer Onward, in saying it was pictured leaving Folkestone. It uas Boulogne. Sorry Alan!

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1900

Port cashes in on storm bound rival's harbour.

ft QftfkTHE UNSIGHTLY advertising hoardings J.%/l/vJat Folkestone harbour and on the famous White Cliffs of Dover behind Snargate Street advertising Quaker Oats, pills and soap etc already referred to in Memories some months ago. were a big talking point in the town in December 1900. There were letters to the Press and the Herald stressed the bad impression they gave to visitors arriving in England at either port, who were outraged by the 'vandalism' it represented. "Disgraceful exhibitions of insular greed" was what the editor called it. appealing to traders and customers to “set their faces against" such a practicc. In doing so he was siding with many influential and titled people who were backing a campaign against such ‘hideous advertisements.' Dover Council, he noted, was seeking powers from parliament to suppress the nuisance and get rid of the signs. Folkestone he noted was not immune from such "atrocities" - somewhat ‘■ni.illui signs were in the fishmarket area - and he hoped the local council would have the good sense to prevent the desecration of Folkestone. Lord Radnor was welcomed back to the town upon his first visit since returning from the Boer War.x

 

1925

'Salvation Smith’ pioneer recalled street battles.

01 QOC SEVENTY-fivc years ago Folkestone was mourning the passing of 86-year-old “Salvation" Smith, one of the gallant handful of men who started the Folkestone corps of the Salvation Army, the old 335th, which had violent beginnings. Salvation Smith himself was showered with all manner of missiles, including bricks and lime, which came close to blinding him and he came close to death in another incident. Week after week his little band faced a violent mob, nicknamed the Skeleton Army which bitterly opposed the setting up of the Salvation Army and were undeterred by the handful of police who accompanied the Salvationists on their marches through the streets attempting to rally people to their cause. Willi.ini smith, of Bradstone Road, was a furniture dealer. A powerful speaker, he persisted in his cause, and won the admiration of many of his 'enemies.' But not before four men were arrested for rioting, tried at the Kent Assizes and bound over to keep the pcacc. A mis-guided early Mayor of the town was said to have sided with the "Skeleton Army" - or rabble - opposing the small group of Salvationists who sought to establish their cause in Folkestone. There were running battles through the streets. The first band, about 5 strong, took to the streets in 1881.

 

1950

Highest ever car ferry figures at the harbour.

*1 Q COCAR TRAFFIC figures for ferries sailing .Lę70Uto and from Folkestone were the highest ever between July and the end of October. More good news for the port was that the Monte Carlo Rally cars would continue to travel via Folkestone, and not Dover as rumoured would be the case in 1951. Steel sheeting and piles were being driven into the beach by a pile-driver to repair sea defences at Sandgate where the seawall had collapsed in front of Castle Close. It was said to be a race against time as winter gales set in. Silver City Airways, operating a car ferry servicc by air between Lynipne and Le Touquet, reported a 50% rise in traffic. At one stage 20 services a day were operated. A Hythe council workman ch-.irin^ weed from the Royal Military Canal performed an unusual rescue when he found a heron in difficulties. It had a 21b carp stuck half-way down its throat and was near drowning. The man, who wasn't named, yanked the fish out and the bird flew away none the worse for its experience! The midweek paper the Folkestone Gazette carried a photograph of Land Army girl Miss Frances Enid Bateman, of Grimston Gardens, who was one of 500 Land Girls who attended a farewell stand-down parade at Buckingham Palace.
 

1975

Local firm started in forge and grew to £1 m company.

Q7C IN THE early 1950s a Lympne farmer hired a JmSJ t 9 welder to make some farm gates in the old forge at Court-at-Street: 21 years later South Coast Welders Ltd, a director of which was Robert Hugh Benson, employed over 100 people and could boast orders worth in excess of £1 million. The company was based at the old airport, occupying a site of over 5 acres. Specialities included steel footbridges, which have gone all over the country and abroad and overhead gantries for those motorway road signs. One over the M25 weighed nearly 28 tons. The Herald diary page was looking back 60 years to the heydays of the old Victoria Pier, with a fine picture of the crowded Pier towering over competitors in the annual rowing regatta, just before the start of World War One. A huge banner across the pier head pavilion advertised a Bohemian Concert Party giving three concerts a day. The picture was sent in to the Herald by a reader, Doug Burch, who was one of the rowers, along with Tom and Harry Boundy (whose parents had a drapers shop where Marks & Spencers later opened). Wally O'Clee, another Sandgatc Road businessman, and Bob Smallfield. Sadly that pavilion, which staged both early beauty contests and the early film shows, was burnt out in a spectacular blaze. The pier, opened in 1888 and demolished in 1954, was once a stop for coastal pleasure steamers.

 

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