Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 30 August 2001

Note from Bob... Follow Up see 20 Feb 2003


OSCAR Hopkins, who was born in South Street, Folkestone, was particularly interested in recent references in Memories to Second World War air crashes in the Shepway area.

In 1944, he says, when he was 14, he recalls that an American Liberator bomber crashed in woodland near Beachborough Hill.

He was on his way to Newington village to pick up a re-charged accumulator, as used for early radio sets, when he heard the ack-ack guns start up.

Oscar, who now lives in Hythe, lost his old Folkestone home in late 1944 or 1945 when it was blasted by a parachute mine.

Another Memories reader, Mrs Suzanne Royd-Taylor, of Shorncliffe Crescent, Folkestone, said it may be of interest to other readers that in "Before the Channel Tunnel," by Paul Crampton, published earlier this year, there is mention of another crash, on page 71.

Doodlebug casualty

This also took place in 1944. it was a dreaded "Doodlebug" which crash landed in a field in front of a house named Cliff End, on plot 9, Danton Pinch, in the Peene area, he says.

When it exploded it blew away part of the frontage of that property and the house had to be shored up for safety.

The property was much later occupied by a member of Mrs Royd-Taylor's family. It was not far from the hillside landmark long known as "The Dolls House."
Peter Pan’s Pool

A VETERAN Memories reader, Mrs Nellie Greenstreet (nee Pickard), of Grasmere Gardens, Folkestone, has been looking back, she says, to happier days.

Nellie, 88, has lived in Folkestone all her life and she wonders, she tells me, how many people can remember when the fishing pond in Radnor Park was a highly popular boating pool.

"I remember as a child visiting "Peter Pan's Pool," she says and "we used to sing along to this verse":

Peter Pan's Pool is better than school;

Any day for a girl or boy

And I'll tell you why you ought to try

This wonderful pool with its joy.

If you know you cannot row, go to Peter Pan's Pool

There you'll find the proper kind of boats, at Peter Pan's Pool

You'll be taught how to handle an oar

Glide round by the Island and skim by the shore

Taught with..........(?) also sincerity, that's Peter

Pan's Pool.

The missing word was something like 'allerity' says Nellie. ('Alacrity' - perhaps?)

"It cost around three pence and sixpence (2.5p) for a pedal boat, or a rowing boat."

And, she says, "there was more enjoyment in our young days, than watching the Box."
BELOW: The Peter Pan Pool at Radnor Park - a postcard view from the collection of local history enthusiast Peter Hooper, of Folkestone. The lower, aerial photograph is of the Rotunda amusements area in 1949. Bert Bellingham's Southern Queen is the pleasure craft, bottom left.

7,000 volunteers camp on St Martin’s Plain

>4 Qf|<i WHEN 7.000 volunteer soldiers set up J- camp under canvas at Shorncliffe. for an August exercise involving men uf the local garrison. this was an opportunity to boost sales of the Herald which had a page report with four photographs. (Oil grounds of cost the Herald did not carry many photos in the early days. The necessary zinc blocks were expensive to produce.) Troops arrived in eight trains, complete with their horses, and the scouts' bicycles! It was a sight to behold when battle stations were sounded for a mock fight. There were high jinks too. when 500 Queen's Westminsters enjoyed early morning "bathing parades" in the sea at Seabrook. before breakfast! James Rye. 101 in May. died in August. He had begun work as a farmer's boy at Walton Farm, on what arc now the outskirts of town. He ploughed the fields upon which much of fashionable Folkestone was built. He walked the town when he was a hundred and sang and danced a hornpipe after a pint, and his memory went back to the Battle of Waterloo. He helped take homecoming wounded in farm carts from Dover to Canterbury.

Best ever Channel race sees 18 swim Channel

•f QC| AFTER three postponements due to .Lv73.L rough seas the Daily Mail cross-Channel swim race was blessed with perfect conditions for what was held to be the greatest ever swim race, as 18 men and women from all over the world made successful crossings from France to England. For the second year running the winner was an Egyptian, the 1951 winner being Marcch Hassan Hamad. 34 who fought a great finish with Frenchman Roger Le Morvan. aged 27 who had also been second in 1950's race. This time he beat last year’s winner Abd El Rchim. aged 41. First Englishman home was Godfrey Chapman. 21, of Weymouth, the youngest swimmer in the race, who came sixth. The same day another swimmer on a practice swim for the Channel. Elna Anderson, of Denmark, became the first woman ever to swim the 16 miles from Dungoncss to Folkestone, in 9hrs 18mins. St Michael's Church, Folkestone, closed since 1940. was due to be demolished but the lower room of the Husband Memorial Hall, on the opposite side of Dover Road, named after a former minister, was being restored for services and social activities. The church had been declared redundant in 1944 after war damage and future needs had been assessed.
Council backs down over scheme for Stade homes

>4 QOC LORD Folkestone joined the local contro-ii/^Oversy over re-building plans for homes and other property in East Street. Radnor Street and the Stadc. calling for the preservation of some of the attractive buildings. They could surely make progress without destroying picturesque buildings, lie said, speaking at the two-day 'bazaar' in aid of an extension to the Fishermen's Bethel at the Stadc. The Mayoress. Mrs Wood opened the bazaar the second day when her husband, the Mayor, Alderman RG Wood presiding, announced that the council had met that morning and appointed a new sub-committee to bring up a new scheme for development - “The old scheme is dead," he stressed. Around 250 in transfer fees was believed to have been paid for popular Folkestone footballer L.E.G. Ames, who was transferred to Clapton Orient. Forty buckets of red hot soot were removed from a defective flue serving two properties in Radnor Street - designated a "danger zone" — after firemen had removed some brickwork to get at the source of a serious fire. One tenant thought an old beam had caught fire in his chimney. The Electric Theatre, staging shows as well as films, re-opened after major alterations by Messrs 0. Marx and installation of new projection equipment.
Inquiry launched after fire causing 100,000 setback

| WEEKS of blistering sun scorched the coun-

_LZ7 I Otryside tinder dry and there was a major inquiry after a serious. 40-acre range fire at Lydd. one soldier being seriously hurt an'J other people put at risk. A huge pall of smoke. 1.500 rt high, drifted for miles. The Fire Brigade warned that people could easily be cut-off and their lives endangered by such outbreaks. It was estimated the fire would cost the Central Electricity Generating Board about 100.000. since the blaze had caused the automatic shutdown of two nuclear reactors at Dungcness power station. The cause was thought to be the sun shining through a piece of broken glass and setting light to tinder dry grass. Lymingc Historical Society heard about Kentish folklore, particularly superstitions connected with the coast and sea. such as the fact that rats on board ship were considered lucky, particularly if they happened to be white. Feathers of sea birds were said to be bad for stuffing pillows, because it was believed you would never be able to sleep with your head resting on them. If a big flock of birds flying over the district made a whirring sound, it was considered by some a good omen. In the Folkestone and Dover districts such flocks were called "Seven Whistlers.'' “Herring Spear" or -Herring Piece," while in Thanet they were known as “Gabriel's Ratchets.”

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