Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 13 September 2001


Their inscriptions record that the panelling was installed in March and April 1897 (Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee year.)

This was the year that the impressive-looking Metropole Hotel opened.

But there is also this cryptic note:

"Both married. Heaps, 16 kids; Kernan, four kids. Please have pity!"

Of course there was no "pill" in those days!

"We wondered if this might be of interest for your local history feature in the Herald," says Helen. "Maybe there are some descendants still living in the Folkestone district?

"There ought to be a few Heaps," she comments! For more information descendants can contact Helen Mayer or Martin Wills on 01303 244706 during office hours.
LOCAL history and 'family tree' research go hand in hand so it's hardly surprising I have a foot in both 'camps.'

And this week I want to congratulate the go-ahead Folkestone & District Family History Society on celebrating their 25th anniversary.

The Society began with a small group of enthusiasts meeting in someone's home and it is now a very active organisation with membership
pher Philip Ziegler is among many others who have sent best wishes for the future.

First in the list of members 25 years ago was Mary Pollock, who lives in Cheriton and she still supports the work of the Folkestone group of enthusiasts who get a kick out of helping each other.

Number two is Maureen Criddle, also of Cheriton, who has been one of the most active members throughout the 25
years and is the current chairman, although she intends to stand down at this year's AGM.

The Society's first chairman and member number three, was Bill Overy, who worked out to Canada to live, with his wife Edna.

He was succeeded as chairman by Peter Ewart, formerly of Folkestone who, with his wife Lynne and family, now lives near Ash. Peter and Lynne were numbers 4 and 5.
The Society was ambitious from the start and publishes an interesting journal called The "Kentish Connection," which has no doubt helped to maintain and boost membership, new members registering now being allocated numbers in the 700 series.

Like most family history societies the Folkestone society has a number of members living overseas who need help with their researches and to mark
‘Have pity on Heaps family’ wrote ‘chippie’
Helen Mayer, of The Metropole Galleries - formerly known as Metropole Arts Centre - on the Leas, tells me of an interesting 'find' during the refurbishment works that have been going on there over recent months.

"We have removed a section of wood panelling from what was the Mikado Bar, in the Metropole. And, by chance, this was the piece that the carpenters had 'signed' on the reverse," she said.

It has long been a tradition, for craftsmen, whether decorators putting up wallpaper or carpenters doing woodwork, particularly in new buildings, to date and sign their work.

Helen says the 'find' was made by Martin Wills and the carpenters' names were Heaps and Kernan (or possibly Keenan.)
'Family tree' researchers celebrate
in the hundreds.

The Society is marking its 25th birthday by updating its logo which has been designed by one of the members, Clare Bevan, a professional graphic artist. And, at the November AGM members will celebrate with a party.

Congratulations on the Silver Anniversary have been headed by Lord Deedes, whose family has a long pedigree connected with Hythe — and royal biogra-
A PENCILLED note on the back of this aerial view of the Grand and the Metropole, on the Leas, gives the date of 1919, which would surely make this one of the earliest photographs of Folkestone taken from the air. Note the bandstand and, in the bottom right hand corner there is the former cliff-lift, known as the Metropole Lift which was a boon to visitors staying in large cliff-top hotels fronting the Leas in years gone by.
the 25th anniversary one of the ideas to help them feel part of it was to send them credit-card size plastic magnifiers with their recent society journals. Quite a nice idea I thought!

The Society holds its meetings in the United Reformed Church Hall on the first Thursday of the month, providing it is not a bank holiday.

Active members of the Society in the UK currently number about 200.

Quaker oats hoardings desecrate cliffs - claim

f Qflif PURE vandalism. That is how Herald JL/UJL writer Felix condemned the large advertising hoardings "defiling" the white cliffs of Dover and also Folkestone. Felix commended the action of the Dover Council in going to the top to get powers to put a stop to this "desecration of the cliffs." At the same time he posed the question "What Is Folkestone Town Council about in not taking similar steps to put a stop to the desecration of the cliff overlooking the harbour?" He went on to add "Here is one of the most Interesting parts of picturesque old Folkestone completely spoilt" - spoilt, he said, through a monster hoarding which advertised a certain Yankee breakfast cereal. "Will those members of the Corporation gifted with any sense of taste see to it that no part of Folkestone shall be defiled inthe future?" The reference was to Quaker oats adverts. The editor was looking back and also into the future. Reviewing progress of the town since it was a small fishing port, he observed that the population had zoomed from 8,507 In 1816 to 30.500 in 1901.

Festival finale ends with splash as storm breaks

QC1 THE TOWN'S Floral Festival finished with a splash In 1951 when the heavens opened and a united churches' service on the Leas had to be abandoned as a thunderstorm swept across the town. Everyone, including the Mayor and Mayoress, Brigadier and Mrs Mackeson, had to dash for shelter, the congregation scattering in all directions as a tropical deluge hit the Leas. It was a sad finale to what was seen as an outstandingly successful floral festival, the biggest event in the town for years. During the afternoon, however, wreaths were laid on the war memorial by the Brigadier, on behalf of the Oddfellows' friendly societies of Folkestone and Hythe, who had been present when the service began. Happily the "Clerk of the Weather" was kind to the owners who had worked so hard to get their old cars in showroom condition in time for the Veteran Car Rally the previous day. The editor was writing of the thousands of pounds worth of valuable publicity given to the town by the Daily Mail Cross Channel Swim Race in the media, including the newspaper reports read by millions of people, while the international nature of the event, he said, brought nations together.
JP protests at being axed over General Strike stance

t* qo/jTHE ONLY Labour representative on the local magistrates bench Mr W Hollands, a JP since 1918, was told by the Lord Chancellor that he was being struck off the list of local JPs because of his actions during the recent General Strike. He was alleged to have told workers to get goods they needed from local shops whether they could pay or not and also to have threatened men who returned to work. Mr Hollands was given a chance to explain his actions and replied that his actions had been misrepresented by a hostile press and other biased people opposed to his political views. He denied making any threats and requested he be granted an interview If his explanations were not accepted. The Duke of York, who was visiting the sixth annual Duke of York boys' camp at Littlestone, for 400 lads, drove a train over the completed section of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway; from Jesson Halt to New Romney and backi Carrying 700 excursionists the steamer Riviera collided in fog with an unknown fishing boat. In the glancing: blow the small craft lost its mizzen mast. Kent's amateur player in the county side, Hythe businessman Mr APF Chapman was appointed England's Test Captain for the final test at the Oval.
'End secrecy over sites for gipsies’ - councillor

it q^/jA SHEPWAY councillor who was heavily X7 lO criticised for divulging confidential Information about gipsy sites, was urging the Council to revise Its policy of marking some documents ’Secret.' He said it was wrong to consider confidential, for example, the earmarking of an old refuse tip at New Romney as one of 18 potential sites for gipsy caravan sites. Tbe council, he said, should not "set itself up as a secret society," to try to stop local people knowing what was going on. Clir John Jacquesisaid the list of sites was confidential "to avoid causing unnecessary anxiety among local people*" Had the list been made public there could have been protest meetings "all over Shepway," he feared. A farmer at Elms Farm, Hougham, successfully defended an action In the High Court over a "mysterious decline" of a Scottish pedigree herd of Galloway cattle grazed on his land In 1974, in a particularly wet winter. Hie court decided the stock must have had liver damage, before they arrived in Kent Independent and Liberal councillors -there were 12 of them - celebrated a: surprise victory in a fight for proportional representation on the district's policy and resources committee. The Conservatives, in an about-turn, granted the Independents and Liberals two extra seats, thus ending a bitter feud. The 12-strong group represented 13,000 voters.

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:-