Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 14 February 2002


BAFFLING, that's my reaction to the lack of interest shown by Shepway Council in the one-time historic Lympne aerodrome.

It has apparently snubbed attempts by enthusiasts to at least mark the site with a commemorative plaque or stone to draw visitors' attention to its history.

And yet, says local aviation enthusiast and historian Roy Humphreys, "You cannot drive past the former aerodrome without being made aware of its history.

"To me, at any rate, the old airfield screams indignation at the lack of any visible commemoration."

Frustrated, the Hawkinge author told me: "I
have tried to persuade Shepway District Council there is something of historical significance that shouts to be recognised.

"They are not to be persuaded, however.

"Despite Shepway's interest in air shows my enquiry fell on deaf ears," Roy protests.

Lympne, he says, has a long and important history, its feet planted firmly in the First World War.

"It can boast to having had the first trials of light aircraft flown from a grass field anywhere in the British Isles."

Roy went on to tell me he found the photo below in his Aunt Beattie's album. It shows a Royal Aero Club official at Lympne apparently standing on the top of a giant step-ladder to judge the take-off height of a biplane in 1926.

At the time his aunt thought it was sheer folly to stand on top of a ladder on an airfield with low-flying aircraft anywhere in sightl

The trials, promoted by the Air Ministry with Daily Mail sponsorship, were designed to encourage private designers and enthusiasts to submit for vetting private-owner aircraft for flying club use.

"It has to be said some of the designs were
ATTENDING a recent reunion of Old Harveians - old boys of Harvey Grammar School - teacher and lay reader Kevin Edwards, found himself sitting next to a school mate he hadn't met since their ways parted on leaving school. And Arnold Cornish showed him two pictures bringing memories flooding back of their links with St Saviour's.

Kevin, who lives in Geraldine Road, Folkestone, was particularly interested in a Herald newspaper picture of young people who went to a barn dance held at St
laughable, some outright dangerous, while others never looked like flying in a month of Sundays," said Roy.

But the work of some designers was quite stunning, he added.

The first competition, in 1923, was for single-seater planes with 750cc engines - hardly enough to lift a pilot and fuel off the ground, let alone fly, and yet some did!
Saviour's Church hall in aid of the Hungarian Relief Fund, back in 1956. He wonders how many other Memories readers recall the event.

Wearing glasses, Kevin is pictured bottom left. Gordon Hawker is three along from him, while a girl called Monica, who married his old school mate Arnold Cornish, is one of those seated in front. Extreme right in the same row as Kevin, is John Downing, who later became a Church of England minister.
Updated specifications later saw this rating increased to 1,500cc which was a step in the right direction. And, in the following ten years many record flights were made from Lympne, involving some of the most famous names in aviation history - and the name of Lympne became known the world over.

"Shepway District Council's negative reaction is, to say the least, lamentable," said Roy.



Springy turf gallop could bo attraction of the town

<1 QfV*| THE Folkestone Herald suggested that JL«/Vfc a “pleasant gallop might be provided” on springy turf, adjoining a new carriage road being built at the foot of the hills bordering the town, saying it would prove a great attraction for visitors as well as horse and pony riders and without fear of trespass on other grasslands in that part of town. Works costing half a million pounds were being carried out to Improve Folkestone Pier for cross-Channel steamers. The Folkestone Chamber of Commerce was discussing an Information Bureau to boost tourism and trade. The feeling about town was that the resort was lagging behind other areas and something should be done about It. One idea was that a fund should be started, and Illustrated guides and lists of guest houses published regularly. There was also a need to step up publicity around the country for the district, to encourage more visitors. The Herald owners, FJ.Parsons Ltd, offered to adapt a town guide It had published for the past three years, for this purpose. The Hythe reporter, calling himself “Alert,” urged motorists to watch their speed, particularly down Sandgate Hill.

HeraUman highlights risks to fishing of inshore trawls

i 007HERALD writer Felix highlighted a protest I which seems never ending - the danger of trawling up stocks of immature fish by using small mesh nets. Curiously, however, the campaign 75 years ago was mounted not by British trawler men, but the national Federation of Sea Anglers, who were unanimous in urging the Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries to take action to restrict inshore trawling. Felix said fish stocks were getting scarce. A Herald editorial slated councillors at Hythe for not showing a “bold front” and recommending approval of one of the tenders for a much needed pavilion at the town's recreation ground where there was no shelter from rain for those playing tennis or for visiting cricket teams to change or rest. It was evident the town needed to spend around £600 for a suitable building, £200 more than the amount councillors had hoped, the editor declared, it was no good postponing a decision. Good progress was being made on constructing the Romney, Hythe & Oymchurch Railway, it was reported. Just over 200 people sat down to a tea at Hythe provided by Messrs Mackeson for brewery workers at The Institute. After tea children of staff received gifts from Mrs Harry Mackeson, and there was a oroeramme of entertainment.
District in mourning for popular King George VI

•I QrnA BBC News announcement of the death of King George VI was received with profound shock and sorrow by the whole district and flags were soon flying at half-mast, while cinemas and theatres remained closed for the day as a gesture of mourning and the business of Folkestone Town Council was quickly adjourned after the Mayor had spoken of sorrow everyone felt. There was a strange, hushed atmosphere and, in the evening very few people were to be seen in the streets. In Hythe and other areas it was the same. Later there were tributes to a popular monarch and widespread expressions of sympathy for the Royal Family, including Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and her daughter Queen Elizabeth II whose accession to the throne was solemnly proclaimed by the district's mayors. For the first time in history the Mayor of Folkestone read the official proclamation announcing the Queen’s accession, in Shorncllffe. Britannia Inn, not far from Dun-geness lighthouse, was destroyed by fire. Stanley Lake the licensee, and his wife and two daughters, aged 19 and 20, asleep when the outbreak was discovered, escaped unhurt through bedroom windows. It was built by fisherman William Lawrence with bricks from a former smugglers’ warehouse.
‘Royalist’ director heads bid to celebrate Jubilee

M FOLKESTONE businessman stepped In to

JL9 ■ / offer to start a fund to pay for Silver Jubilee Year decorations for the town after the District Council seemed set to turn its back on national celebrations on grounds of costs. Incensed hearing aid consultant Mr C.E. Groom, head of a local firm, declaring himself 101% royalist, pointed out the resort once boasted it was both “spacious and gracious.” A council amenities officer had admitted staff were “almost ashamed" to put up existing flags and bunting for Cricket Week. Some councillors Insisted they should make an effort, even at the cost of a few lights at Christmas. An 11th hour rescue operation saved the town’s historic Radnor Club in Sandgate Road, from the brink of financial disaster and promised to restore it to its former elegance. The club had 400 members and plans included re-naming it The Executive Club, its aims being to foster goodwill and exchange ideas to boost business interests in Shepway. A noise-limiting device to stop a disc jockey's voice becoming too intrusive was one of the measures demanded for a Grace Hill disco which was driving elderly neighbours mad. Fitting this equipment and some double glazing were two conditions Imposed with the renewal of the disco licence. Local licensees were being warned by the police to stamp out under-age drinking in Shepway and to beware of serving drunks and motorists.

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