Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 13 June 2002


BELOW: STATION Road, Morehall, Cheriton, looking towards Shorncliffe Road signal box which can be seen in the background. Local history enthusiast Peter Hooper thought it would interest Roger Lewis, a Memories reader who was seeking a picture of the signal box showing the sign Shorncliffe Station. Unfortunately the sign is not visible in this postcard which was posted at Shorncliffe Camp in 1911. Out of sight are sidings where army horses and stores used to be brought to Cheriton.
Memories reader Mr L. Gibbons, of Canterbury Road, Etchinghill, is appealing for help in finding someone who recalls the Folkestone Dolls Hospital.

He says he understands from older members of the family that his great uncle, Thomas Lewis, who was the superintendent of the tennis courts and croquet lawns at the old Pleasure Gardens Theatre, also operated a tennis racket repair shop.

His wife Susan, apparently, ran the dolls hospital from the same building, 39 Castle Hill Avenue, or "Rink Lodge" as it was known, living there until about 1915, according to a Kelly's street directory. After that the trail runs cold, he told me.

Mr Gibbons would also like to know if anyone remembers his uncle's brother John, who ran the Turkish Baths, in Ingles Road, "up until the time he was invited by King George V to take advantage of facilities at Pentonville Prison, in 1920.”

Charabanc proprietor?

After that, says Mr Gibbons, he thinks John Lewis ran a gymnasium in St John's Church Road, aided by his son Frederick. It was also suggested he might have run a charabanc service between Folkestone and London in the 1920s.

I have made a quick search through a privately produced manuscript I have about the history of Shepway bus and coach services, but I have not been able to find any mention of John Lewis running charabancs.

Perhaps a Memories reader can throw some light on the matter. If so they can contact Mr Gibbons on 01303 862583.
Help please!
CORONATION memento: Postcard collector Peter Hooper showed me this picture, below, shown to him by Tony Dickinson, the second boy from the left in the front row of the East Cliff group thought to be about to embark on an outing in the early 1950s, possibly in Coronation year - 1953. Back row, in front of the ‘M’ in the coach owners name of Newman, is Jack Cairns, who, Peter recalls, was once his foreman at the local gas works in Folkestone.


London-Paris run speed up boosts Folkestone

A QAA FOLKESTONE was due to benefit with a boost in steamer passenger traffic between the port and Boulogne with a speed-up in the journey time from London to Paris to six hours. 50 minutes compared with eight hours 15 minutes three years back. The Herald was calling for a restaurant to be opened up in the popular beauty spot of the Warren to improve the viability of a scheme for a railway halt for holidaymakers and local people. There was a feeling among businessmen that if Folkestone ever did get a tramway, it would not be opened by the Council but by private enterprise. Felix repeated a question often asked by visitors and locals alike, why had the Town Council not heeded pleas for glass covered shelters for promenaders on the famous Leas. And the editor was questioning whether the Town Council could consider itself progressive all the time it neglected to improve the facilities on the Leas for visitors by putting up such shelters, where they could take refuge against wind and rain. Other resorts, he said, were cashing in on Folkestone's reticence to invest in its assets. It was disgraceful, he declared.

Bus drivers in trouble again over road racing allegations

f QO*T SANDGATE Council was told by a councillor JLTjmm I how a near-fatal crash was narrowly avoided as two buses, in one of which he was a passenger, raced each other between Hythe and Folkestone. He said they kept passing each other and then cutting in, in front. They were an ‘East Kent’ car and one from the rival Cambrian Coach company. Members of a shove-ha'penny club at Folkestone's Prince Albert public house were hoping for a visit from the Rector of Saltwood who was partial to a game of shove-h’apenny! He was said to be in good company, which include King Edward VII and local MP Sir Philip Sassoon. Local resident Francis Gane was blaming the decay of Sandgate Castle on one-time Railway Company owners. He claimed the castle was secure until the private railway company, receiving only a nominal rent for it, allowed the castle to become undermined. Do you know why there is an ‘e’ in the middle of the name of our town? Herald journalist Felix, writing 75 years ago, said it had been suggested this was because, without the ‘e,’ the letters in the name ‘Folkstone1— as it was once spelt — formed an anagram, “Kent fools," much to the amusement of some folk in rival towns and resorts who liked to have laugh at the expense of Folkestone.
Jubilation as Utilecon van sales top 500,000 mark
<1 qfa YOUNG farmers' clubs were cancelling meetings owing to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the district. The then editor of the Herald. Mr L.R. Jones, was Question Master at an Empire Brains Trust held at the Leas Cliff Hall as part of the Empire Careers Exhibition organised by Folkestone Rotary Club. “Brains" making up the trust panel came from Australia, New Zealand. South Africa. Nigeria and the Leeward Islands, as well as the UK. The luxurious, bullet-proof car of Hitler's Luftwaffe air force chief Herman Goering. was on show 50 years ago in the showrooms of Caffyns, in Sandgate Road. Proceeds from a small admission fee went to the funds of SSAFA (the Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association.) An effigy of the Second World War leader sat at the wheel. Weighing five tons the car had an engine as big as that of an average 56-seater bus. Kent's SSAFA president. Lady Broome was among those present. The Herald featured a photo of a batch of Morris Cowley vans newly arrived at Martin Walters' Folkestone works for conversion into the firm's famous Utilecon all-pur-pose vehicles for export to the Gold Coast. During the past year the value of Utilecons exported tODDed the 500.000 mark, a tidv sum in 1952.
Royal visit and feast of fun - inspite of the weather

0*7*7 JUBILEE celebrations 25 years ago went JL7 I f hand in hand with a royal visit, the Duke of Kent dropping in by helicopter to visit Littlestone's lifeboat station where SPIDOT, the only lifeboat launch vehicle of its kind in Britain, was put through its paces. At its Littlestone base it was inspected by the Duke along with Air Vice-Marshal Sir Geoffrey Bromet, president of the New Romney and Romney Marsh branch of the RNU, and other VIPs. Earlier the Duke visited inshore lifeboat stations at Dover and Walmer. At Folkestone the celebrations included a Lions pram race frolic on the Leas. Entries included a Golden Hind sailing ship, Sir Francis Drake and Queen Elizabeth I put in an appearance and there was also a bit of a pub crawl, of course, all in aid of charity. The Herald had six broadsheet pages of Jubilee celebration pictures and also looked back -25 years to the day the Queen was crowned. The paper's headlines for this read “It's our jubilee too!” and “The Day S. Kent went mad.” Bad weather took the shine off things and it didn’t help that Folkestone’s leaders had been a trifle mean about decorations, compared to their neighbours at Dover, where “vast sums” of 1,000 and more had been spent - compared to 150 in Folkestone. On top of that the 400 enthusiasts who took part in the carnival parade were soaked to the skin, but the town celebrated and had fun regardless!

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:-