Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 27 June 2002


Outing girl
I HEARD this week from a Memories reader who tells me she can name 37 of the people in the East Cliff Street outing picture of the early 1950s, featured on June 13. Mrs Christine Cook (nee Dillon-Baker), of Foreland Avenue, Folkestone, says she has a copy of the photo and is one of those in the party, standing next to Tony Dickinson (second boy in front row.)

Christine also told me about the Golden Wedding a few months ago of Billy Doyle, formerly of Dover Road School, and his wife Phyllis.

"Sometime ago I wrote to you confirming the name of Billy Doyle in a picture of the Dover Road boys evacuated to Wales with their teacher Mr Blunt.

"Billy still lives in Wales, at Usk. As a schoolboy in Folkestone Billy was an altar server at St Peter's, on the Durlocks and lived in the East Cliff area.

Golden Wedding

"Recently Bill made a brief visit to East Kent for his sister Josie and brother-in-law Keith Hopper's Golden Wedding.

"Josie and Keith Hopper are my aunt and uncle and live near Minster, Thanet, where their son Ashley and his wife Ann run a successful electronics business," writes Christine, who enclosed a photo of Bill Doyle with sister Josie taken last month, during that visit.

Turning to the outing picture, Christine says that behind her in the group is the late June Watson (nee Clarke), "the girl with a fringe." In the centre of the front row, in front of Mrs Chapman, the outing organiser, is a fair-haired
girl called Elizabeth Perry (nee Stone.)

Christine says that both she, June and Elizabeth, plus Elizabeth's uncle Len Stone, once worked for the Folkestone Herald and its onetime midweek paper the Folkestone 8- Hythe Gazette. "That was in the early to mid-1960s," she said.

"My aunt Josie (nee Dovle) when living in the East Cliff area used to help Mrs Chapman with her bed and breakfast business.

"Josie would also," she recalls, "take some of the older boys of the Fagg family out in their pram - that is to say boys of Connie and Jim Darkie' Fagg. Tony and Tim Fagg are in the photo.

“Bluebell Girl”
"Mrs Chapman's son Clive was a jockey and her older daughter, Valerie a dancer with the famous "Bluebell Girls" in Paris! I believe Valerie now lives in the United States.

"The first girl, front, right, in front of my mother Eileen (nee Hopper) is Valerie Hibbert, who played pipes in the local pipe and drum band with Major Nicholson. And the lady, centre, right, back row was Mrs Edie Elgar (nee Lilley), mother of our former Folkestone mayor Mrs Sheila Simpson.

"I can name 37 of those pictured, with the surnames of Buss, Davis, Ling, Harris, Igglesden, Allen, Taylor, Hogg, Fagg, Clarke, Dickinson, Hibbert, Elgar, Stone, Chapman, Anderson and Cairns."

Sadly, Christine added, most of the adults are no longer living, and three younger ones, brother and sister June and Colin Clarke and Brian Hoag.... "but their memories live on with us. East Cliff was a happy, united neighbourhood."
MUNDELLA School - Mrs May Boniface (nee Stevens) writes from Rayfield Close, Bromley, with her version of the school song referred to in Memories recently.

“I vaguely remember one verse of a song written by a lady PE teacher in the late 1930s:

‘Mundella’s the name that we all now are singing, The name of the school near the hills & the sea. Where we learn of the joy with which young life is winging, And aim every day better scholars to be.’

“I have very fond memories of Mundella School days and a great affection for Folkestone and visit whenever I can.”
Surprise, surprise!

When Keith Beer, formerly of Broadmead Road, Cheriton, but now living in Canterbury, picked up his Folkestone Herald of June 13 and looked at the Memories page he spotted a familiar photograph and called out to his wife Pat (nee Iddenden) to show her.

"Imagine my surprise to see the coach outing picture with me, aged three and a half, standing in the centre of the front row. We have an enlargement of the photo in a family album," she said.

“It was taken 50 years ago, in June 1953 and, extreme left, with a baby in her arms is my mother Dorothy Iddenden (nee Spurrier.) The baby is my little sister Doreen, who was born in May that year. Now Mrs Wicks, she lives in Cheriton.

"The outing was to Battersea. My mother believes the boy with his hands on my shoulders was David Ling.

"My husband and I both come from Folkestone and, although we now live at St Stephens, Canterbury, we always read the Folkestone Herald," she told me.
THE 1950s outing from East Cliff bound for Battersea, featured in Memories on June 13, which is referred to, left, by Christine Cook and Keith and Pat Beer.

BELOW are brother and sister Josie and Billy Doyle, who had a family reunion recently.


Herald satisfaction at launch of Leas pavilion

<| Qf\OTHE TOWN was full of anticipation of a _L7\S^joyful occasion, with a big programme of events organised to celebrate the Coronation of King Edward VII - but then came hastily-organised church services to pray for his recovery, after he was taken ill and underwent an operation. A Herald editorial even carried the somewhat misleading headline “An Empire in Grief," as the editor wrote of preparations for months past to celebrate. But there was some justified satisfaction in the opening of the Leas pavilion, construction of which the Herald was pressing for eight or nine years, although wrote the editor, it was very modest compared with what they had hoped for. Both the editor and Herald writer Felix were writing of Sandgatc's potential as a winter health resort, protected from wind by the hills and facing due south, and they both wished it well. Local church congregations were celebrating peace at the end of the Boer War in South Africa and Felix was writing about some of the heroes of the bitter conflict who attended a service at Shorncliffe Camp. Felix also told of the "grumblers" who still complained after faster trains began to run on the line to London.

Herald condemns dumping of tunnel spoil on the sands

f QO7 THE HERALD questioned the “brainwave' of AmtjmL I the official who decided to make the East Cliff sands a dumping place for tons of clay - scores of cart-loads of spoil from tunnelling work as part of a drainage scheme in the north of Folkestone. But the golden sands had the potential to become a major attraction of the resort, wrote the exasperated Herald editor. The dumping should be stopped once and for all. he wrote, adding that he was hopeful for prompt action following protests made by at least one councillor he knew. But he wanted to know what had happened about plans announced "with a flourish of trumpets,” some time ago, to build steps down to the sands. The baffled writer said “The ways of the Folkestone Corporation are too difficult for me to understand!" And he questioned why there was so much delay in completing the town's war memorial. Early in the month there were high hopes the "Royal Cliff Pavilion" would rcplacc the name of the Leas Cliff Hall, but then came news from MP Sir Philip Sassoon's private secretary that no sanction could be obtained for the “Royal" label from the Home Office, which “regretted” that it could not recommend the King to grant consent. Plans were being considered for the site of the old railway workshops on the Stade.
Local gill’s triumph as she heads for Helsinki Games
•< Q fa A HYTHE athlete. Miss Ann Johnson, J.79^was celebrating her selection to take part in the Olympic Games in Helsinki. Only 18, she was to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland In the 200 metres and 4 X 100 metres relay. Ironically, to further her running career and get the training she needed, she had to join Cambridge Harriers, because Hythe Athletic Club had felt unable to organise a ladies' section. Her official 'invitation' was signed by the Duke of Edinburgh. For five days a week in the summer ferries were operating day-trips to Boulogne allowing excursionists five hours ashore. There was to be a disappointment for railway buffs when Princess Margaret visited Folkestone at the beginning of July. She was to have caught the famous Golden Arrow boat train express from London, but the planners got it wrong. The annual switch to a summer time-table meant she would be taking the Ostend boat train express instead. During her visit Princess Margaret was due to unveil a plaque at the Bruce Porter Home, marking the gift of a lift to the hospital by the people of Folkestone. Following lunch at the Grand Hotel she due was to visit the Royal Victoria Hospital to inspect the re-built west wine destroyed bv a German shell in 1944.
‘Jaws’-scale alert as two big sharks swim offshore

<| Q77 LOCAL fishermen were hoping for a more JLZf I I enlightened decision from the Government on new inshore fishing regulations, in particular Stanley Clinton Davis, under-secretary of State for Aviation, Companies and Shipping. Bert Reed, chairman of Folkestone Fishermen's Association, said he was hoping for a change of heart as more and more boatmen were threatened with being forced out of business. The fisherman said it was ridiculous to expect inshore fishing boats to have the same level of safety equipment as Atlantic-going vessels. The bravery of Folkestone fireman John Sharp who lost his life fighting the horrific blaze in the old Dover Crypt Restaurant in which six residents also died, was recognised with a posthumous bravery award. There was reported to be a ‘Jaws’ scale beach scare at Folkestone after two large sharks were reported to have been spotted off the harbour pier by anglers. One shark of 15ft was reported heading for Dover, then another, said to be 25 to 30ft long was seen beside the pier. They were thought to be following shoals of mackerel. Anglers feared they could be man-eaters, but Herald angling correspondent Ron Tatt thought they were “probably” basking sharks which shouldn’t hurt anyone. There was fear too, that thousands of holidaymakers would be stranded, if nearly 900 ferry workers went ahead with a 48-hour strike over Sealink's refusal to take on 80 summer staff.

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