Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 5 April 2001

Sports champs
field of motorcycle racing right across Europe, and Victor, a former rowing champion, were both highly elated when Steve Redgrave brought Olympic 'gold' back to Britain after his recent rowing success in Australia.

And now the brothers are looking forward to a successful season on home 'ground' for Folkestone Rowing Club because this summer, the South Coast Rowing Championships are to be held in Shepway.

The Folkestone Club is hosting the event on Saturday, September 8, the week after the Folkestone Air Show and, \ needless to say, is praying for a ' spell of fine weather!

Lets hope their luck is in, particularly since the club is due to celebrate its 150th Anniversary next year.

F ifty years ago Folkestone Rowing Club was riding high for a different reason, Monty told me at his Capel home.

At the end of the 1950 season the club had a rather special dinner when the members celebrated winning for the fifth time, the National Amateur Rowing
pionship Fours Trophy. They were also toasting the most successful rowing season ever, in the long history of the club, which was founded in 1852.

The victorious rowers netted so many trophies they would fill an extremely large showcase.

And, for two years running, Victor Banks was in the winning crew which took the massive Daily Herald winners cup in the All-England Championship Fours trophy event, rowing as stroke in 1949 at Bideford and again at Southampton in 1950.

Previous wins by the club were in 1948, 1938 and 1936.

Remarkably George Edwards was a crew member each time.

Rowing ‘Double’

In 1949 and 1950 the four-man rowing squad was the same - Victor Banks, John Simmonds, George Edwards and Sid Colledge (bow), but while David Osborne was the cox in 1949, he was succeeded the following year by G. Allen, who was also cox to the club's Junior Four Champions that year.

'Monty' is wondering if any Herald reader knows what hap-
pened to the massive Daily Herald Trophy.

The other silverware won by the Club in 1950 was the South Coast Aggregate Championship Cup, South Coast Regatta Senior Fours Championship Cup, Lady Dickenson Junior Fours Championship Cup, Good Cup for Senior Sculls Championship, Hanson Cup for Junior Sculls Championship, Portsmouth Grand Challenge Cup, Scott-Paine Inter-Association Trophy,

Harris Mayes Senior Aggregate Cup, George Laws Folkestone Aggregate Cup, Kent Open Championship Fours Cup, Maitland Aggregate Cup; Peter Snewin Cup, Eastbourne Challenge Cup and Phillipson Cup, all for Senior Fours;

Cristopher de Piava Cup, Hepinstall Challenge Cup and Bell Cup. all for Senior Sculls; Southern Weekly News Junior Aggregate Cup, Herne Bay and Knight Challenge Cups, for Junior Fours; Southsea Rowing Club Junior Fours Challenge Cup, and the Worthing Novice Fours Cup.

In 1950 the Club was the only one to have won the National Amateur Rowing Association's Trophy more than twice.

Victor treasures photographs and press cuttings of the event and the souvenir menu booklet for the 1950 Folkestone Rowing Club Dinner at which the club's
LEADERS in two widely different sports in their younger days, two Shepway brothers, Victor Banks, 71, of Hythe, and 'Monty' Banks, 79, of Capel, are hoping for some better weather this summer. 'Monty' once a star in the Association's All-England Cham-
five-years of success were celebrated.

Victor and Monty, who both went to Merton Park School near Wimbledon, are the sons of the late William Banks, a greengrocer and his wife Laura, who had a family of six children, three boys and three girls.

I was interested to see pictures shown to me by Monty of his brother Victor when he headed a line-up of seven or eight go-karts in an event believed to have been held a good many years at the old Dover Go-Kart club circuit at St Radigund's. I recall that I once sampled a guest ride in a Dover Express squad on the same track.

Monty remembers getting up at 4am or 5am when he was a youngster to go on a milk round with his father. "I remember it was freezing cold in the streets
of London at that hour. We had chums of milk and ladles to measure out the milk," he said.

He also vividly remembers the London Blitz when he was serving in a Royal Artillery anti-air-craft unit, later transferring to dispatch rider duties and then going on to serve as a driver-mechanic in North Africa and Sicily with the 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders.

While in Palestine he contracted diptheria and did not get back to the UK until VJ Day.

His late brother Eric Banks was a Flight Engineer serving in the RAF.

Monty's two sons, Graham and Trevor, both became successful racing motorcyclists in speedway and grass track racing, notching up many trophies. Tragically, Graham was fatally injured riding in a grass track
race meeting a few years ago.

Joan of Arc

LOCAL historian and author Alan Taylor tells me that the old Folkestone fishing boat Joan of Arc (FE15) referred to in Memories by Harry ‘Barny’ Watkins, recently, was built in Boulogne for fisherman Bob Baker, in 1928. Reg Spicer bought her later. A mine of information about fishermen, Alan tells me he looked up his Kelly’s street directory for 1935 and found Bob Featherbe, Barny’s uncle, used to live at 19 East Street.

Consulting my own 1938 directory I found Robert (Bob) Featherbe at 3 The Stade, while Frederick John Featherbe was at

6 East Street and Frederick George Featherbe lived at 15 Great Fenchurch Street.
VICTOR Banks, below left, in his go-karting days and, below the victorious Folkestone Rowing Club crew with the massive Daily Herald cup after winning the National Amateur Rowing Association All-England coxed fours Championship in 1949, for the fourth time at Bideford. Left to right they are Victor Banks, stroke, John Simmonds, David Osborn, cox, George Edwards and Sid Colledge, bow. And, with new cox G. Allen, they did it again, the following year.


Council axes Sandgate Rd route from trams scheme

*1 QA1 0N THE ove of an inquiry int0 the

proposedTramway system for the town, by a Board of Trade inspector. Folkestone councillors axed one of the most vital routes in the scheme - from the Town Hall to the Central Station, caving in to pressure from "West End'' objectors to trams along Sandgate Road. The Herald took the Council to task over this, the editor stating that without it. the "miserable little scheme'1 which was left, was bound to fail. The Sandgatc Road line would have been one of the best paying lines, he said. All expense in promoting the project would be lost and. lie declared the town was heading for a serious Council blunder. In truth, he said, the council had never seriously intended to keep the pledge to go ahead with a scheme that it made to a House of Lords committee which sat to consider opposition to a rival scheme by a private group of speculators. And it had broken faith with Cheriton which had joined with them in a two-part co-operative scheme. Folkestone planned a scheme without overhead power which would cost about 30.700.

Fire causes serious damage to barracks hospital

•I nr| A MAJOR fire extensively damaged JL79JLshorncliffe Military Hospital, the operating theatre and X-ray department being gutted before the outbreak was brought under control by Army fire fighters and firemen from Folkestone, Dover. Canterbury, Hythe, Dym-church and Lyminge. Nearly 40 patients in the surgical ward were evacuated to safety as were a number of patients from other parts of the hospital. The cost of re-equipping was put at 40,000. Fireman WH Hardie, of Folkestone, injured in the fire-fighting was taken to hospital with a suspected fractured pelvis. One patient who had to be moved was an aircraftsman from Hawkinge airfield who had an appendix operation the previous day. John Walters, of The Riviera, Sandgate. reported that the 4-masted vessel Pamir, one of the famous “Flying P Line," like the Preusscn wrccked off Dover in 1910. had been towed up channel by a tug bound for an Antwerp breaker's yard. Her sister ship Passat had taken a similar course a week before. Folkestone & Hythe MP Brigadier HR Mackeson. formerly of the Royal Scots Guards, became President of Kent County Cricket Club. His father and uncle both supported the club.
'Message from Mars’ for Folkestone brotherhood

’’I QO SEVENTY-five years ago a Men’s Brother-J.74Ohood advertised a ‘recital’ called “A Message from Mars,” by Joseph Clark, of London, which is quite topical at the moment! In another column there was a report on a Lyminge livestock market where 14 prime fat cattle. 145 fat sheep. 21 suck-ler calves, 230 fat and store pigs and 134 head of poultry, were for sale, as well as 1,550 dozen eggs, 50 lbs of farm butter, potatoes and other produce was available. 1st quality beef made 19 shillings per score; 2nd quality, 17 shillings; fat cows, 14s; Kent wether mutton, 8.75s a stone; Kent barren mutton, 7s per stone; half bred mutton 10s a stone; roasters and fat hogs, 22s a score or store pigs 43s each. The Harbour Garage, at 1 Sandgate Road, was advertising for 590, a 13 hp Lagonda 4-seater soft-top semisports car capable of 80mph and 33 miles per gallon. It amazes me that it was thought worthy of the space 75 years ago to list the latest people to install a telephone in their homes or places of work in a weekly paper, even to the extent of listing subscribers throughout the Canterbury district. A public servicc? Or moral blackmail!? Anyway the Herald devoted half a column to it. 75 vears ago this week.
Package tour plan bid for more European trippers

Q*7 “ENJOY a cross-Channel voyage to a pic-JLvs * Oturesque resort. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel where you can sample the food of the country at dinner and breakfast. Browse around the shops and marvel at the low prices. Love the friendly local people as they fall over backwards to make your stay as pleasant as possible. All this, and more, for about 10 a head...." That was the glowing sales pitch by Folkestone to attract visitors, particularly from the Continent, with a package tour plan offer, as a drop in the value of the d, part of a world-wide slump, made a visit to Folkestone and other parts of East Kent an attractive proposition. A report by the Herald stated that every shop in Shepway had become a “bargain basement for the prudent Madams from Boulogne or Brussels with their pockets full of francs." Well known Folkestone fisherman Reg Brickell never imagined when he accompanied Australian swimmer Des Renford across the Channel on six Channel swims that he would one day make a 12,000 mile trip to the other side of the world. But when Des Renford, who had nine successful swims to his credit by 1951, featured in an Australian version of the popular television series “This is Your Life,” Reg and his wife were flown out to Australia by the television company, so that Reg could appear in the programme.

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:-