Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 27 September 2001



THE OLD North Foreland public house, pictured about 1885 after its conversion into the Fishermen's Bethel. A photograph in the collection of local historian and author Alan Taylor, it is one of the many interesting illustrations which appear in the book “Tales from the Tap Room” by Martin Easdown and Eamonn Rooney, which was published last year by Marlin Publications, of Seabrook, Hythe. See “From Our Files,” below, for the year 1901. An earlier name was the Red Lion.
D-Day photo?
I HAD an interesting chat the other day with two visitors to Folkestone from Lincoln, which is where my wife hails from and where my son is living, while working as a doctor in Grantham Hospital's A&E department.

Singing the praises of the Hotel Burstin, where they were staying, on the latest of several visits to explore the attractions of the district, they told me of a special quest.

They are trying to help a fellow villager living in Saxilby, a parish on the outskirts of the city, who served in the Army during the Second World War and embarked for France from Folkestone on a troopship soon after D-Day.

Reg and Flo Hewitt, and their village friend, Jack Woolner, who is nearly 80, have been trying
for some time to find a photograph of a troopship which, they say, set out from Folkestone around that time, but without success.

They knew that there were security restrictions, but why was it, they asked, that by contrast there were lots of photographs connected with the epic evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, including pictures of returning troops, after what was, in effect, a defeat and yet nothing, it seems, of invasion troops leaving the Channel coast.

I made several suggestions to try and help them track down a picture, such as an approach to the Imperial War Museum and local archives, but if any Memories reader can offer any help, Reg Hewitt can be contacted on 01522 809703, or you can write to him at 29 Mill Lane, Saxilby, Lincoln LN1 2QD.
Part of a D-Day armada of ships which sailed from Kent in 1944 on a long and lonely crossing down Channel to the Normandy invasion beaches, escorted by destroyers. A photo from Bob Ogley's book "Kent at War."
Gerald Hogben was particularly interested in the "From Our Files" section for 1951 in Memories recently. He told me he was the steersman on John Pegden's traction engine that was at the head of Acrise Young Farmers' Club procession of ancient and modern farm vehicles in Folkestone's Floral Festival week Carnival, way back in 1951.

He says a descendant of the former traction engine contracting firm family, Richard Moffitt, still lives in Elham.

Gerald recalls that the procession stopped briefly on its tour of the town at East Cliff and he recalls photographs being taken while the traction engine was stationary - and he just won-
dered, he said, whether anyone in the district has any of the pictures today.

As "From Our Files" recalled, John Pegden's 40-year-old traction engine proudly displayed the Union Jack at the head of the procession - because John's father Albert drove such an engine in South Africa during the Boer War, a century ago now.

Back in 1951 the Herald told how the Pegdens once owned five of the "old ladies," as the traction engines were affectionately called, the oldest then 62 years old and still working. I wonder if any are still making the rounds of steam fairs today?

A Pegden descendant, Mrs Jeanne Brinton, of Folkestone, was also interested in the "From
Our Files" mention of the Pegden traction engines.

She tells me there is a picture of one of the Pegden steam engines in a book of old photos of Elham she has. One edition of the book had a map showing the location of the Pegdens' yard but later editions didn't have this.

The Pegden yard has now been developed with some nice houses but, she says, "I am happy to say the link has been kept, the area is now called Pegdens.''

Jeanne once stood for the Council in the Harbour ward, when, she recalled, fisherman Jesse Pegden signed her nomination form. But, she said "I didn't expect to be elected.....and I


New owners take over Sandgate nursing home

>f THE HERALD reported the opening of

JLtJ VJL the Alfred Bevan Memorial Home, in Sandgate, formerly Beach Rocks Convalescent Home, built by the London Samaritan Socicty. This was sold to the trustees of the Morley House Seaside Convalescent Home for 15,000, a tidy sum in 1901 and one they gambled on raising by instalments, tt was renamed In memory of Sir Alfred Bevan who had generously cleared a debt of 4,500 on Morley House home St Margaret's Bay. Soon after the new owners took over the Boer War broke out and they offered it for use as a reception home for wounded soldiers returning from the front, and women and children of working men. It took in invalids freed in the relief of the besieged city of Ladysmith. The fishing community mourned the passing of C.A. Barclay, a successful local trader who had moved to Switzerland for the good of his health. He had helped anonymously many causcs. none more worthy than the Fishermen’s Bethel, built at his own expense, in Folkestone Coffee House on the site of the former North Foreland public house.

Swim race shock as prizes refused by angry Egyptians

"I QC1 THERE was a startling finale to the 1391 celebrations and prize-giving after the Daily Mail International Channel Swim Race, Dr Sabri, who was in charge of the Egyptian team, including race winner Mareeh Hassan Hamad, in a dramatic move, shocked everyone when he handed back the winners’ cheques to Stuart MacLean, Managing Director of the Daily Mail, protesting at the newspaper’s slandering of King Farouk. He claimed Farouk was much ioved in Egypt where he had reigned since 1936 but was forced to abdicate after a coupe in 1952. Dr Sabri praised the Daily Mail's sports coverage, and in particular its support for Channel Swimming but slammed its political staff, speaking of “abusive and untrue statements” about the King in the same newspaper which reported the swim race results. A fair number of local folk were probably among supporters of Brenda Fisher. 23, the daughter of a Grimsby trawler skipper, who was one of those who succeeded in swimming the Channel in the Daily Mail’s 1961 Channel Swim Race. The fourth swimmer home, Brenda set a new women’s record time of 12hrs 12mins for the swim from Cap Gris Nez.
Local girls shine in Victoria Pier beauty competitions

*1 QOCA BLONDES v. Brunettes contest was held JL%7^0 on the Victoria Pier - where the world’s first beauty contest is alleged to have been held -with 60 competitors. Chief honours went to a blonde, Miss Mabel Sanfali, of Birmingham. Two brunettes from London were second and third. In a beauty contest two Folkestone beauties, Stella Vipond; and Mrs Phyllis Wilman, came second and third respectively, the winner coming from Nottingham. Two to three thousand spectators watched a gymkhana at the Cheriton Road polo ground by soldiers of the Xlth Hussars cavalry regiment who concluded the entertainment with a ‘'Wild West" trick riding display. Folkestone Lifeboat, turning out for the second time in a day went to the rescue after the French steamer Cassard,of Nantes, was badly damaged in collision, in fog, with the steamer Kurdistan. They brought ashore the crew of 21, leaving behind the master M Loumelie who stayed with his ship. The same night tt was beached a short distance from the shore opposite the Hotel Metropole with the aid of Dover tugs Lady Brassey and Lady Duncannon, its bows right under the water and Its stern up in the air. Later it was patched up and towed to Dover harbour.
Action demanded to clean up dowdy Leas Cliff Hall

>| Q7CA YEAR short of its 50th anniversary, the 1>7 I O Leas Cliff Hall was in trouble - well, the owners were, because, according to many people it was becoming more and more dilapidated. Cllr Eric Hamer said it had been allowed to become shabby, which was short-sighted on the part of the Council. “I know money is tight, but I think this is a foolish policy. This is somewhere that cash should be spent,” he declared. The late Bert Reed, of Old Dover Road, Capel, came in for considerable praise for helping student teacher Wendy Brook, aged 20, set a new Channel swim record, crossing from Shakespeare Beach. Dover to Cap Gris Nez. Bert, a well known fisherman, was pilot for the swim In his boat Accord. Strong winds couldn’t stop Wendy setting up a good time of 8hrs 56mins. A great favourite with youngsters in the port In summer was the partly sunken and rusty wreck of an old vessel on board which they could play and use as an improvised diving board. But, known simply as MN-51, it was seen as a danger and it was one of the features said to place the harbour bottom of a poll of the country's ports, consequently the Council’s safety committee was demanding government action to get it removed. Unfortunately this was difficult because the national commissioner of wrecks refused to accept that it was a wreck!

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:-