DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 20 December 2001

 

RAY MARKS, who lives in Hillview Road, Canterbury, has fulfilled a promise he made to his late father Doug before he died a couple of years ago, and lent me this photograph of the victorious Folkestone FC side of the 1896-97 season, which he thought other Memories readers would like to see.

They won the East Kent League and came second in the Kent League, and Ray, who used to play for Maidstone and Tonbridge reserves, says he still has the gold medal awarded to his grandfather George Marks who played at centre-half in that successful Folkestone FC side.

Ray took the opportunity when he visited the Herald office to look up the soccer reports of the time to see what was reported about the matches in which his grandfather played, and was fascinated with what he found.

The Folkestone side became a professional one in the 1895-96 season when they set what became a pattern in the league for a number of years, leading for most of the season but ending up in second place.

Striving to do better the club advertised for players, badly needing a striker or two, and more than 70 men applied, but they were hampered by being unable to offer more than a job with small wages.

Sadly George died fairly young, of cancer, in the early years of the Second World War.

Mark is the son of Winnie Harris, now Mrs Marks, of Maidstone, who was one of those who recalled the incident at Folkestone when a tidal wave and waterspout hit the coast - a most unusual event that has been the subject of several of my Memories features.
Winnie was the one who took her young brother John Harris, to the beach but had to leave in a hurry as the storm approached the Channel coast. And they were just in time to escape being swamped by the mighty wave.

On the subject of the Harris family, Ray Marks told me that he was able to engineer a reunion of two members of the family recently.

This was after a meeting, quite by chance, on the Sene Valley Golf Course where he was playing.

A Folkestone team of footballers and cricketers was playing golf against a similar Canterbury team and he was surprised to discover one of his opponents, playing for the home side was a cousin, Colin Hatcher, whom the family had lost touch with. And he was also descended from a Harris.

In fact their mothers. Win Harris and Elsie Harris, were both descended from Harris brothers, but had lost touch over the years and he was pleased to be able to organise a reunion.

Ray Marks told me his mother. Win Harris was the daughter of Bill 'Nimble' Harris, a father of five, who was one of the men who made safe a wartime mine which drifted into harbour, threatening serious damage in 1940.

This earned him a bravery award, but his son Les, 17 at the time, was none to pleased about the risk he had run at the time. 'Nimble' protested however that "Someone had to do it!" This story too, has featured in Memories.

Saffron’s Place
READERS continue to send in their memories of the devastating shelling of Saffron's Place in the Second World War which destroyed several homes.
Champions!
A SMALL Herald headline of a century ago caught my eye the other day. "The Camp and a Woman Soldier," it read. The story told of an amazing discovery, about a century before, at Sandgate. Among troops camped there - this was before Shorncliffe Camp was established - was a woman masquerading as a soldier. She had served six years in the Berkshire Militia without detection! It is recorded her behaviour was "so prudent" the officers subscribed something to "clothe her properly and carry her home." It is not disclosed what the woman's reaction was to detection! I heard of a similar case on the radio the other day.
THE JUBILANT Folkestone FC squad of 1896-97. They were: back row, left to right -E.S. Large, secretary, Billy Harris (capt), JH Bailey. HE Stonebridge, T Andrews (trainer); centre, WG Sidey. JS Clark. JS Welch: front. CW Garrett. A Hart. G Marks. J Hirons and J Anderson. But also in the team that season were Howe. Franks and Redman.

John McLaren, of The Bayle, Folkestone, wrote to say he thought the damage was caused by a shell that went straight through the lofty powerhouse chimney at Tolputt's timber yard, without bringing it down.

But he was only a schoolboy at the time and admits he could be mistaken.

The incident is pictured in “TargetFolkestone,"

(by Roy Humphreys) he observes. But this was on
December 23, 1943.

The photo shows that the shell left a gaping hole in the stack and I believe the chimney had to be demolished rather smartly before it collapsed.

John says his grandparents lived at one time in all the streets mentioned in connection with the Dover Street/Saffron's Place shelling in the course of their lives, but they had moved away before the war to Mount Pleasant Road.
 

Herald warns of backlash if council drops trams plan

A qa<| THE HERALD warned of the "odium" JL*7UJL that would fall on the shoulders of the Town Council if, after all the debate about a Folkestone tramway service, not to mention the 1,000 cost of getting parliamentary powors to go ahead with the scheme, councillors did nothing The council is pledged to the hilt to provide a tram service, said the editor, and link up with the planned Cheriton service. Dover Corporation's Tramway service, opened in 1897, was paying its way and the council there was considering extending the area covered along with extensive rosidential development and Tiopes of a move to county borough status. In contrast to Folkestone there was "no shilly shally wavering' between opposite factions and no anger or discontent over fears of increased rates to pay. Dover was providing a lesson in "municipal progressive-ness," Folkestone would do well to note in an age of keenest competition between resorts. Wireless experiments were being conducted with messages being sent from Folkestone pier to Dungeness by a rival firm to Marconi.

 
Rescue hero suffers burns freeing airman from blaze

a qa/j FARMER Albert Daniels, of Terlincjham Farm, Hawkinge, received burns injuries to the face and right hand when he went to the rescue of Flying Ollu.i'i John Campbell Purvis, 21, of 25 Squadron RAF, who died when his Gloster Grebe fighter plane nosed dived from low altitude striking the ground with great force and caught fire. The farmer was assisted in extricating tho pilot by Thomas Carman, of Alkham. Hawkinge aerodrome fire fighters were unable to save the piano, a photo of which was printed in the Herald. Folkestone Rowing Club was basking in success after a good season, which augured well for their Diamond Jubilee the following year. An official said they were the finest oarsmen on the South Coast, had the finest clubhouse and a larger fleet of boats than any other club affiliated to their association. One of the oldest clubs in town, they had four clubmen who had each been members at least 40 years. A waggonnr working for Elham farmer Hubert Finn Kelcey, Richard Radbourne, 23, died from injuries caused by a kick in the stomach from ono of two horses he was leading back to the farm at lunchtime after oloucihina.
 
Lucky escape for trawler skipper Keystone Butler

a QC*! MASTER and engineer of the Folkestone trawler Bonny Lass (FE87) Charles 'Keystone' Butler, of St John's Street, had an unusual accident which could have had serious consequences while fishing in the Channel just before Christmas. He was cleaning out a bilge pump when the coupling of the main shaft caught the sleeve of his jersey, and whipped him over onto his back. Fortunately John Milton was acting as crew and was able to stop the engine and cut him free and they were able to motor back to port whore he was treated in hospital for a severe head wound requiring 14 stitches. 'Keystone,' who was 47 on Christmas Day had 33 yoars sea experience behind him, in fishing vessels and, in wartime, minesweepers. Described as the largest 'floating garage' yet constructed for British Railways, the latest cross-Channel ship ss Lord Warden, a ferry with stern loading, was launched at the yard of William Denny & Bros Ltd. of Dumbarton. At the samo time special new loading ramps wero being built at the increasingly busy Channel ports of Dover and Boulogne, so that motorists could drive on and off the new style ferries.
 
Grey stallion vanished - as new owners drove it home!

| MEMORIES of the dreaded VI flying

(O bombs of the Second World War wero revived by the death of General Sir Frederick Pile, the Herald recalling that the heaviest concentra tion of anti-aircraft guns ever seen in the UK was assembled at Folkestone and on Romney Marsh to counter the threat. It was General Pile who organised the operation, moving in 48,000 troops and guns in 48 hours. And so effective was the barrage that 78 per cent of flying bombs were destroyed before reaching their Imuliin targets. Three local people died and over 150 were injured. Stable staff at Hawkinge were scratching their heads. Dorking customers collected three horses from Mill Farm Stables but when they arrived home there were only two animals in the horsebox. An 800 grey stallion appeared to have gone missing on route! All anyone could think of was that, somo-where on route, when the driver stopped briefly, the animal had simply squeezed its way through a gap! Local branches of the Marriage Guidance Council had a problem. In recruiting volunteers they had to overcome the fact that by attending the centre some helpers might be construed by any observers as having a problem themselves!

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