Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 24 January 2002



CAPEL resident Vera Leveson, 85, came into the Folkestone Herald office to see me with a copy of an old engraving, thinking Memories readers might be interested to see what Bouverie Square used to look like before the changes of recent times, and more due to take place.

"We lived there when I was five," she said. "And I remember there used to be a tennis court in the Square. It was privately owned and we, the residents who lived in the houses around it, used to pay 75p a year towards its maintenance.
Archibald Gardener, the one-time Folkestone solicitor, with his son Eric.
either to the Council or Lord Radnor; I am not sure which."

Each resident, said Mrs Leveson, had a key to let themselves into the tennis court area which was enclosed by railings surrounding gardens.

Mrs Leveson told me her uncle, Samuel Barnard lived in a big house in the square, owning Nos 6, 7, 8 and 9 at one time, as well as another property in Sandgate Road.

Her family lived in No 6, which her uncle left to the family.

Meanwhile Mrs Ann Webb, of Cheltenham and her brother are embarking on some family history and are trying to find all they can about their father Eric Gardener, who was born at 11 Marten Road, Folkestone on May 18, 1908.

They seek information too, about his solicitor father, Archibald and his wife, and also about Eric's early years - and any other family history.

Archibald Gardener was a solicitor with the firm of Wightwick and Gardner in Folkestone, but was not one of the partners, coming from a different family.

Little is known about Eric's early years prior to his going to Cranbrook School, in September 1921.

Archibald Gardener died on March 22, 1922, after having apparently encountered considerable financial difficulties during the First World War and afterwards. He is buried at Newington where his wife Elizabeth (nee Holdom) had some property and there are family graves.

Leaving Cranbrook in December 1925 or early 1926, Eric taught for a short time at a prep school in Hastings or St Leonards and then
READERS continue to contact me about the wartime shelling of Folkestone. Mrs M.K. Philpott, of Canterbury Road, tells me her mother was born in Saffron's Place in 1903 and was a first cousin of John Punnett, who also hails from there. "My gran and his mother were sisters. They were daughters of a fisherman named Fagg."

Mrs Philpott goes on to say she remembers John Punnett when he worked at Pain's the grocers before the war. "I often saw him outside the shop. He now lives opposite my son in Downs Road. Unfortunately, my mother died in 1959, aged 55."
BOUVERIE Square, as it was in 1862, the inscription states under this engraving. Note the old Sandgate service horse-bus on the right of the picture, shown to me by Mrs Leveson.
became an engineer with the A.E.C. company.

But his heart had really been in growing things and he and his wife were able to set up a market garden in Wiltshire, in 1937.

Alongside working and running this he became involved in horticultural politics and rose eventually to high office in the National Farmers' Union, including that of deputy president.

He was awarded the CBE for his service to horticulture, but died of cancer in 1971 aged 63.

He pre-deceased his elder brother and sister, both of
whom have since died. Mrs Webb kindly enclosed a tasty recipe for a white Christmas cake, incorporating paw paw or pears, pineapple and numerous other fruits. Sadly I wasn't able to incorporate it in my column in time for anyone to make one in time for the 2001 festivities!

If anyone can help Mrs Webb, who has recently visited the Folkestone office to consult Herald newspaper files, her address is Woodwards, Caudle Green, Cheltenham, Glos. GL53 9PP or she can be contacted on 01285 821213.

Build new police station or else, Council warned

| Qf\QTHE HERALD issued a solemn warning, backing up a statement by the mayor, Earl Radnor, that ratepayers could be made to foot all of the cost of policing the town and running its magistrates court unless the Council took steps to build a new police station and prutidi- .in improved courtroom and cells. The Home Office had issued a serious warning it could withdraw its 50% grant unless this was done by September. Some councillors wanted a police station completely separate from the Town Hall. Meanwhile the Council was considering a municipally-run phone service, not to mention a tramway! The Herald was celebrating its 12th birthday with a 16-page broadsheet paper and, as a veteran and classic car enthusiast I was interested to see a prominent advertisement with illustrations of cars of the time, one reminiscent of the old horse-drawn cabs, for sale or hire from J.W. Cann, at Chcriton Road. An engineer, he was to become a pioneer of charabanc pleasure motoring. similar to coach proprietors of today. I also noted an advertisement for umbrella specialist W. Martin Walter, who later founded the East Kent motor company of the same name.

Builder pledges ‘no housing estate on beauty spot site*

1 Q07THE TOWN Council engaged in hours of I debate over the proposed appointment of a Musical Director for the Leas Cliff Hall with a view to holding events round the year. Many people feared the Council's financial expenditure would escalate as a result of the appointment. As Folkestone was speculating about the future of the Leas Cliff Hall Felix was looking back to the days when Folkestone had no “Music Hall" and “half Folkestone'' would walk to Sandgate to see a good show at the old Alhambra music hall in Sandgate. It was nicknamed “The Bricks" for it used to be the Bricklayers' Arms. Queen Stim-t bjilder Mr F Menpes, whose families had been in the district since 1S77, pledged he would not put up streets of houses on the several acres of “Killing Wood," a beauty spot he bought on hills near Folkestone. He said he might build one mansion, with tennis courts and a carriage drive, but intended to preserve the wood as it was. A writer called for improvement in access to East Cliff and the building of a carriage road into the Warren to open it up as an amenity .irea. The New Year's honours list included a knighthood for Hythe-born Percival Bower, MBE, Lcrd M.nor Birmingham foi 1924-6, who was born in 1879. the son of soldier at Hythe School of Musketry.
Salary cut for new parks boss - in economy move

<f QrrtA NUMBER of East Kent soldiers wore .L/9^home from leave from the Korean war after 14 months. In a money-saving bid Folkestone Town Council decided to appoint a new parks superintendent at a salary one grade lower than that of the departing official. Some councillors had wanted to go even lower so that instead of earning 1,000 a year he would get a maximum of 810. The last parks superintendent's salary was based on many year’s service and one councillor said at the lower rate they could still get a well qualified man ready to prove his mettle. Folkestone Council. New Romney Council and Romney Marsh Rural Council all decided to oppose the latest bus fare increases proposed by the East Kent Road Car Company. The planned fare rise would make the Lydd to Folkestone run cost the best part of four shillings. So much sea water was whipped up and over houses in Sandgate In recent storms that in running away it swept through several side streets and flooded some basements to a depth of 5ft. And drains wore so full the local firemen could do nothing to pump it out until thi- tide wont out. The Vicar, the Rev JC Gethin-Joncs. Munched a relief fund to help those who lost property destroyed by strong winds and the flood water.
Burglar caught in nail-biting police chase over viaduct

f Q“p"yA FOLKESTONE soldier who went absent J.9 f I from his unit in Germany to get back to his wife and young child in the town, was arrested after a nail-biting chase across the town's railway viaduct. He was later charged with a string of burglary offenccs. There was a new air of confidence among Folkestone hoteliers' who had been through a lean patch. And chairman of the hoteliers' ■isuicidtiun, Mrs Elsa Page, predicted a rosy future ahead for the town. She said the local hotel industry was “a long way from being ready to call in the pallbearers." The association, she said, was neither dying nor dead. “Tourism in Shepway is very much alive." Her optimism was endorsed by vice-chairman John Harrison, who spoke of a wolcome boost in Continental visitors attracted by the low pound. An ambulance responding to an emergency in Saltwood was badly damaged when it crashed on an icy road, one member of the crew being injured and the driver treated for shock. An obsolete Council computer went haywire and almost stopped staff being paid! The 'crazy' computer, shared with Ashford, went wrong once a week, and was to be scrappcd and a replacement bought, costing 61,000, the council to pay half plus 4,000 a year running costs. The oid one overheated and burned out circuit boards. Staff had to travel to Eastbourne and use a council computer there to get pay cheques out in time.

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