Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 21 June 2001


Memento bid
EMBERS of St Saviour's Church are appealing for the loan of memorabilia for a display to mark the centenary of their church in Canterbury Road, Folkestone.

The Rt Revd Stephen Venner, the Bishop in Canterbury, formerly known as the Bishop of Dover, will be presiding at a special sung eucharist celebrating the consecration of the present church 101 years ago, and it is planned to stage a display of photographs and other mementoes - such as the silver trowel used to lay the foundation stone next month.

The service is at 7.30pm on July 25 and the exhibition in St Saviours, which is very much a community centre, will be open daily from July 21 to Sunday July 29.

Before the present St Saviour's was built services were held in an iron building, known as the 'Iron Church' while the surrounding area was still being developed. This later served as a hall.

Now demolished, the old iron church stood where a modern doctor's surgery was later built.

Members of the congregation have been busy for months searching for any mementoes connected with the life of the church, and looking through back issues of the Folkestone Herald for the past century to get a better idea of the church work in the parish during that time.

There are photographs of some of the former parish priests and events, back numbers of the parish magazine, a selection of old postcards and press cuttings, an early printed history and guide and other items to name just a few mementoes.

Curiously there do not appear to be many photographs of the outside of the church.

And members feel sure there is more of inter-
est to be found, such as photographs of past events.

They appeal to anyone who may have been associated with St Saviour's, or whose family was connected with the church in the past, to get in touch on 01303 244551, or e mail if they feel they may have some item which will help picture the life and work of the parish and its ups and downs over the past century or so.

RoyTricker, in his History and Guide, tells us St Saviour's had its birth in 1880 as a mission, in what was regarded as Folkestone's poorest district - a rapidly growing northern suburb which was a far cry from the wealthy and classy areas of the fashionable resort.

It was born out of the parish of St Michael’s and All Angels and was close to the junction of the Folkestone and Dover railway line, an area full of tiny terraced houses where many of the railway workers lived.

Row upon row of these homes had been built and there was an growing need for a church.

In 1880 the Vicar of Folkestone, the Revd Matthew Woodward, with the approval of the Revd Edward Husband, Vicar of St Michael's, obtained the blessing of the Archbishop of Canterbury to establish a mission.

A building in Sidney Street, originally intended to be a baker's shop, was acquired and adapted to serve as the Mission Chapel, Sunday School and a "Cocoa Tavern."

The Sisters of the Community of St John the Baptist at Clewer had a major role to play in the project. They had first come to Folkestone in 1867 to work at the St Peter's Mission and then, from 1875, at St Andrew's Convalescent Home, adjacent to St Peter's Church, and also at St Eanswythe's Mission in the Bayle.

In October 1880 two Clewer Sisters moved into 19 Sidney Street and the following month Mr Woodward conducted the first, evensong ser-
vice in the Mission.

Progress was rapid. Lord Radnor promised a plot of land if a permanent building was built within seven years and, after a great deal of work, the Mission Priest, the Revd Claud Hankey and his committee built the temporary Iron Church, which opened in June 1882.

In 1888 a building fund for a permanent church was started and in November the altar arrived and was pressed into use in the Iron Church.

Building St Saviour's on what was then a market garden in open fields with a small stream running through was not without its problems.

But the contractor, the late Alderman William Dunk, of Tontine Street, and the Vicar, the Revd Alfred G. Day, became good friends and during
1890 most of the footings were laid and the foundation stone was laid on May 12, 1891.

But St Saviours was a small parish and the church was to be built in stages over a number of years. Indeed the church was not completed until 1913. An opening service in the first part of the church, was held in July 1892. In October 1893 the congregation celebrated the conversion of the Iron Church into a parish hall and a century ago this year Mr Dunk built the mission hall in Archer Road.

Originally St Saviour's was to have had a 100ft western tower topped with a tiled cap rising another 25ft but the Vicar regarded this as a useless expense and a gabled west end was built instead to house the three bells.
THE ARMY authorities at Shorncliffe Camp re-acted promptly to news in 1901 that a sugar tax had caused the Mineral Water Manufacturers' Association to raise prices. They announced that they intended setting up their own mineral water factory at the camp site. It was claimed experience proved that drinks could be produced economically and with daily camp consumption at 144 bottles, even a profit could be made!

Racing bus drivers pose serious threat - warning

*1 Qni FOLKESTONE Herald was calling for 19Uii Lord Radnor and the gaiiant Captain Graham Gosling to be granted the Freedom of Folkestone to mark their service to their country in the Boer War. The editor said that if put to the vote in the district he was sure the public would be unanimously in favour of It. Hythe Council took action to stamp out racing by bus drivers by refusing to renew tho licences of two drivers who were reported by the council surveyor. He told of the “considerable amount of racing'1 that took place on the Seabrook Road on Sunday evenings and the mayor said he too had taken action in one case and called on the public too to report the offending drivers so that speeding could be stamped out. Mr Denne, a charabanc owner, who was present said he had warned his drivers not to speed. The subjcct was also raised by the Herald editorial, which warned the practice was far more serious between Folkestone and Hythe than most realised^ Opened in St John Street was a new Railway Mission built through the efforts of the Lady Supt, Miss Cadman and her team.
Council in doghouse after ‘ban’ on Co-op bus firm

A QOft FOLKESTONE Town Council's action in JL9&0 suspending the licences of the town’s Cooperative Transport Society’s buses for ordinary street traffic was condemned by many including those who attended a meeting of Hythe Labour Association. That meeting was held to debate the national deadlock In the coal industry, as miners fought for a "fair living wage." The Labour Association members called on the Folkestone Council to rescind Its decision declaring it was “unworthy of the town." They accused the Council of victimisation and stated that the suspension of licences had been carried by a minority Council group. Folkestone Magistrates were forced to adjourn cases against drivers and conduce tors who worked over four days in early June after the ban. This was pending the result of an appeal to the Ministry of Transport by the bus company. A peregrine falcon, one of a pair living at the Warren, was shot after scores of homing pigeons taking part in international races had been killed by the birds, which also preyed on cockerels, ducklings, young chicken and many young rabbits. It was even alleged that the falcons^ which had a 4ft wing span, had tried to take off a full-sized cafe The shot bird weighed 3.5lbs.

£200,000 sea defence scheme for Sandgate

'1 QC1 THE TOWN Council approved a OJ- £213,250 sea defence scheme for the stretch of coast from Radnor Cliff to Sea Point. The plan required approval of the Ministry of Local Government and Planning. In addition to this work the Council was seeking government aid for £90,000 already being spent or due to be spent on emergency coast defence work, including construction of 17 groynes. Survivors of General Frcnch’s "Contemptible Little Army" (the Kaiser’s description) of the First World War. including men who marched down the Road of Remembrance en route to the battlefields of France and Belgium, were due to take a trip back down that "memory lane” to remember fallen comrades at a rally and service in the town. Twenty-four Italian miners, the first to come to Britain to work in the collieries, arrived at the harbour from Milan via Calais en route for London. They were met by the Italian Vice-Consul, Mr F. Ronco and representatives of the Ministry of Labour and given refreshments. Larger parties were expected to follow, it was revealed. Alderman Gordon Paine, the mayor of Lydd was elected to office for the 20th successive vear and thanked for his oast services.
Searchlight Tattoo planned -as Festival of Britain feature

«• Q*7£THE CHANNEL steamer Isle of Thanet was JL«J / D specially chartered to take nearly 800 people to Calais and back for the unveiling there of a memorial to the defenders of that port in the Second World War, in May 1940, The band of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps played them aboard the vessel. Over 700 troops were preparing to take part In a Festival Searchlight Tattoo over two days in July during Folkestone's Festival of Britain celebration. The two and a half hour event was to take place on the Cheriton Road sports ground. Local pigeon fanciers were being offered a freshly laid egg of what might have been a future champion! It was laid on a handy saucer before incredulous staff of the old B.K. Restaurant, In Tontine Street, by a homing pigeon^ believed to be taking part in a race from the Continent. Tired after a Channel crossing It simply dropped in looking for a bite and, having had Its fill of some food, promptly laid an egg. (No! — Its not April Fool's day!) General Sir Frederick Pile, MC, based at Saltwood in the 2nd World War to direct operations against flying bombs, came to Folkestone to take the salute at: a Radnor Park service.^Hundreds of old soldiers marched down the Road of Remembrance to the harbour as a climax to a town rally and service when they relived the journey to battlefields 60 years before.

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:-