DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 7 February 2002

 

 

Shell shock
Recent Memories features on wartime shelling of Folkestone predictably sent many readers reminiscing about the past and this resulted a number of letters and e-mail messages.

Mrs S. Elsey, of Eythorne, near Dover, contacted me via my e-mail address about the 1942 shelling of Saffron's Place to say her late mother, a member of the Milton family, used to talk about it and an uncle lived there before the war.

In fact the Herald of October 7, 1944, recording the shelling attack, told a poignant story, of tragedy and suffering as it affected Mrs Ada Milton who lived at No. 2 with her three daughters, Ada, 17, Avril, 12 and Lily aged nine.

The family endured bombs and shells throughout the war except for a brief period at the beginning of the war when they were evacuated, with Mrs Milton's invalid husband, to Monmouthshire.

There they stayed until Mr Milton, whose health ) had been rapidly declining, lay on his death-bed | and whispered to his wife: ‘When I have gone, take the children home'."

He was subsequently buried in Folkestone and his family returned to their old home - in fact they were there when shells destroyed the row of houses next door.

The family mercifully escaped but before the Saffron's Place shelling there had been much heartache for the family.

Mrs Milton's son George lost his fiancee during the bombing of London and narrowly escaped injury himself.

Then her late husband's fishing boat, from which they had made a living before the war, was destroyed by fire and, shortly after that Mrs Milton received the devastating news her mother had also
been killed during the devastating London Blitz.

From Hythe I heard from Mrs Doreen Tindale, of Sturdy Close, who tells me that in 1941 she joined the Women's Auxiliary Police Corps and went to work at Folkestone police station, dealing with ARP matters. At first, she says, Sgt Rowe was in charge, but then Chief Inspector Butcher took over as ARP sub-controller.

"We had our offices in the house in Castle Hill Avenue which is alongside the rear of the police station grounds — in those days a garden.

"My work covered many things, but one of my tasks was to make a new file for each incident involving enemy action. If several roads were concerned in one incident they all went in one file and, as was the case with shelling, if more than one missile arrived in one place then all the paperwork went in together in the relevant file.

Mine of information
"As I was made redundant in April 1945 I did not see the closure of our office, so do not know what happened to these files. I have often thought since then I would love to have the opportunity to look through them again. May be they are in a dusty cellar somewhere - or went to the incinerator.

"They would be a mine of information if they could be found," says Mrs Tindale.

I wonder if these papers were among those researched by Roy Humphreys for his book "Target Folkestone" which told of the war damage in the town during the Second World War.

Derrick Lawson, of Lynwood, also enjoys a spot of nostalgia and tells me he has for some time been seeking an old photograph of Folkestone's former Morehall Electricity Generating Works. The best he has found so far is the top picture, which gives a glimpse of a giant wooden water - a prominent fea-
ture of the complex and the local landscape.

The motorcycle combination rider's name is not known to Derrick, but the lady behind, in a spotted dress, he says, was his late Aunt Ivy Scowen, onetime manageress of Scotts Cleaners, in Cheriton Road, who featured in a Memories article last year. The lady in the middle was a friend of Ivy and, in the sidecar is Ivy's cousin Violet.

Extreme right is Derrick's late Aunt Edie, who once tipped the scales at 44 stone.

"I have searched for years for photos of the old Electric Works and even written to the Electricity
Company, but without success. If any old timers out there have got any pictures of the old works I am sure Memories readers would like to see one - so turn out your old photos," pleads Derrick.

"The house in the background of my picture, believed to date from 1924, is No. 4 Electric Cottages - now known as Lawrence Way - where my grandfather, Joseph Radford Scowen lived, from 1911 - 1935.

"He was Chief Electrical Inspector at the old works' If you can help Derrick let me know and I will get in contact with him.
A fine, real photo postcard, postmarked 1910, of the Fishmarket with title added faintly in white ink, bottom right, and showing lots of fisher folk, male and female, a line of fish carts, bulks of timber, and the upper part of the Jubilee Inn appearing over the top of the open fish market hall in the foreground. Children in the foreground appear to be riding on the back of a cart or rail wagon. A private-^ ly produced card from the collection of local history enthusiast Peter Hooper. j
From Our Files Compiled by Bob Hollingsbee I
I DiukitlAtgv vinlimtiiav maiia m. I

Boer War volunteer goes back to old council job

f QflQ COUNCIL staff welcomed back to his _L7\S^ old job one of their colleagues, Charles Matthews, after he had served as an army reservist in South Africa from December 1899. during the Boer War. While he was away all his colleagues had contributed a weekly sum towards maintenance of his wife, which was considered a very noble and chivalrous gesture of loyalty from scanty earnings. The Herald, meanwhile, urged more support for the efforts of the local branch of the Soldiers' & Sailors' Help Society which was helping to support the wives and children of local men away fighting in the Boer War together with the families of those who sacrificed their lives in the drawn out fighting. The Herald looking back noted that there was piob<4bl> no year more free of storms and gales for half a century than 1901. That was not to say the Kent coast had been completely free of bad weather, as the news columns of the Herald testified. As an indication of the rapid growth of development in the area it was stated that in Hjthr 200 new homes had been built in the past year and there was scarcely a shop or house to let in the old Cinque Port.
 
Talented captain takes post as town’s musical director

it QQ7 CAPTAIN Algernon Holland, who started his I musical life as a chorister at St George's Chapel. Windsor Castle, and had often sung before Queen Victoria, was appointed the town's Musical Director. The captain, who played many instruments, was himself a son of the Director of Music of the Scots Guards' Band. The seventh annual open badminton tournament in Folkestone included tie Kent championships. with men's, ladies' and mixed doubles events. Ladies were due to be admitted free at a dance being held in the pavilion of t u- old Victoria Pier with cars laid on afterwards to take dancers 'home' to Morehall, Cheriton, and Shorncliffe Camp. In ■idditinr to news of Shepway district villages the Herald in 1927 was reporting on events in Dover district villages such as Adisham, Eythorne and Nonington. and also carried a lengthy report of a colliery disaster at Bettcshanger. near Deal in which four men. three of them married, were killed and 11 injured, when some <.-iplii>iiti- was mysteriously detonated at the pit bottom. At Folkestone Town Hall a public meeting was due to be held by the church, which was billed as ‘‘The Protestant Parsons Pilgrimage'' telling of an "attack on the truth and the peril of the return to the domination uf Roniii."
 
Busy schedule for visit of Princes Margaret

•f QCOPKINCESS Margaret was due to make _L*/3^an official visit to Folkestone early in March to open a new lift at Dr B.irniirdos' Bruce Porter Home at East Cliff and to re-open the west wing of the Royal Victoria Hubpitil which was extensively damaged by an enemy shell in the Second World War, an unveil .1 commemorative plaque. The Princess was also due to visit the Leas Cliff Hall to take tea with local people and sign the distinguished visitors' book. Sixty-nine British and Irish competitors in the Monte Carlo Rally arrived in town to catch a ferry to France after encountering snow, ice and fog en route from Glasgow. One car checked in with only four minutes to spare after assistance from a Folkestone garage with an electrical fault. Pte John Leonard Pannell, 37. whose wife and three sons lived at Ross Barracks married quarters, at Shorncliffe, got the DCM for gallantry. When his patrol commander Capt E.A. Deed and a sergeant were killed in an ambush he took command of his Malaya 'convoy.' Eleven soldiers died and another 12 were injured. A public meeting heard four other towns had followed Folkestone's lead in starting town funds in support of a Daily Mail Olympic Games Appeal to help athletes with their fares to Helsinki for the games.

 
Four star Burlington Hotel bought by local business

f CT77 SPECULATION and rumour buzzing for months Jmtj I I ended when new broke that Folkestone's only four-star hotel had changcd hands for a sum thought to be about 200,000. The 77-year-old Burlington was bought outright by Inter City Tours, Folkestone travel agents headed by Sidney de Haan who pledged the hotel's four-star status would be maintained and there would be no redundancies. Tontine Farm owners Anthony Catt and his father were baffled. Shepway District councillors gave consent for Tony to build his dream home near the farm - but jibbed at approving extension of a power supply to it and the farm, expected to cost him 2,000. It was alleged the farm had .< pnwur supply, but Mr Catt said the only power supply came from a generator bought by pensioners who rented the farm cottage. Meanwhile the farmer had equipment lying about that he could not use and was forced to live with friends at Lyminge as the dispute went on. A New Romney resident was claiming shingle dumping by the seawall near Pirate Springs threatened the golden sands and would 'foul' other IiimcIius furthei afield by the action of the sea. How would Folkestone like it if the East Cliff binds had shingle dumped on them for a distance of 30 metres out to sea, he asked. Almost one person in 10 in Hythe and Folkestone was out of work, with nearly 2,000 out of work, twicc the regional and national average.

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:-

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