DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 8 August 2002

 

Documentary
BARRY Fletcher, with 30 years experience In film-making, Is a man with a vision. He lives Just outside town, In Densole, and plans to make a documentary about Folkestone and Cheriton.

Liaising with Folkestone Local History Society he alms to produce a 60 minute film with a “past and present’ theme, which could take up to six weeks of filming and editing.

But In order to complete his project he needs the help of Memories readers.

Barry wants to track down original film footage of the Folkestone and Cheriton of yesterday, amateur or professional, which could be copied on to video tape and then, In edited form, woven Into the documentary.

Anyone helping with the loan of cine film clips will get a free copy of the final video which It Is Intended to put on sale locally.

He hopes to Interest Channel Four In the project and also that sufficient Interest will be generated In the planned documentary to attract some sponsorship from local businesses.

Born In Portsmouth, Barry Is a freelance video producer with a lot of his own equipment. He has worked on a number of documentaries and once produced a 16mm film for the BBC.

He says he gained valuable experience locally, some years ago, after media training, as a district reporter for four years with the Folkestone Herald.

Operating as an Independent video producer, he Is specialising In making professional presentations of special events, and can be contacted on
01303 892830 or via his mobile, on 0780 882 1709.

I wonder If there Is any cine film footage, for Instance, of a very special car that was visiting Folkestone 50 years ago?

H Is hard to credit that anyone then would have enough ‘spare’ cash to splash out to order a gold-plated car, but there It was, pictured In the Herald’s former midweek paper, the Folkestone A Hythe Gazette, ‘the last word In motor cars” - a gold-plated, “star-studded, luxury Daimler” parked for some time In Guildhall Street and also In Sandgate Road.

The opulent car belonged, of course, to two big celebrities of the time - Sir Bernard and Lady Docker. It was being shipped across the Channel, on Its way to the South of France, to which Sir Bernard and his wife were travelling.

Showpiece Daimler

‘Sir Bernard thinks other countries should see what we can make here, even In these hard times, so this last word In cars, said to have cost 30,000, will be a showpiece among the millionaire habitues of the Riviera,” wrote ‘The Townsman’s Dlaiy” columnist

Some Indication of Sir Bernard’s wealth can be gauged by his directorships. He was the Chairman of the Birmingham Small Arms Co Ltd, and the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Co Ltd, as well as being a director of the Midland Bank.

The visit of a gold car was surely the kind of news that would Interest the makers of Rathe film clips which were traditionally shown at local cine-
A RECENT Bygone Kent magazine carried a review of a large format paperback book about "Elham's Charity School" by Betty Coton, of Kirby's Lane, Canterbury. The magazine also features the "Captain Swing" riots and destruction of farm machinery in Kent by disgruntled working men of the 1830s, thrown out of work by advancing mechanisation. In the May magazine focus switched to subjects such as the remarkable “Napoleonic Bones in Hythe," — the macabre collection of bones in the crypt of St Leonard's Church, Hythe. The writer was Stuart Hadaway.
mas In support of the main dim programme.

Memories reader Mrs Julie Baker, who has been looking at the 1891 Census record for the town, tells me of her frustration in trying to find out where in Folkestone or Cheriton one of the roads listed might have been. And she wondered if any Herald reader could help.

The road was Garden Terrace. It was there, •he said, that her husband’s grandmother lived, at No. 27. She believed there were at least 47 homes In the terrace.

I suggested that It might have been part of another road. I noticed, for Instance, that on looking In a 1949 street directory, there was an entry for Garden Cottages, but the reader was referred to Wllberforce Road. There one found Barton Cottages, Hall’s Cottages, Garden Cottages and Rose Cottages, but no Garden Terrace.
JIMMY Rowland planned to utilise this skylight from a Folkestone bank to give a Martello Tower a very special cap, 25 years ago. Twenty-five years before that Sir Bernard Docker was using this gold-plated Daimler, below, to ‘sell’ British goods.

 

 

Local inventor sees test of life-saving equipment

| CAPT F Hammond, the deputy harbour

jJtjVmm master, who was a bit of an inventor, had the satisfaction of seeing one of his life-saving devices tested in an emergency when a gust of wind capsized a sailing boat heading into port. The equipment he designed to launch ships' lifeboats came Into its own when local soamen rushed to the rescue. The lifeboats of the steamers Duchess of York and Mabel Grace were swiftly launched and joined in a race to the rescue with a third craft commandeered by a sailor named Rogers. Between them they picked up the crew of three and towed In the capsized sailing boat. A “canvas city" stretched from Church Road, Risboro Lane right across St Martin’s Plain where four battalions of soldiers In the West Kent Brigade plus the 23rd Field Army Brigade, were In camp. Others were In Underhill Valley. The soldiers did some new-look training which incorporated valuable lessons gained at heavy cost in the protracted Boer War in South Africa. Some were hard at work constructing temporary bridges across the Royal Military Canal at Hythe, or sinking wells for water and others built hidden barbed-wire barriers.

 
Baldwin’s daughter guest at Hythe railway opening

•f Q4)7 STAFF of the once flourishing local motor I engineering firm of Martin Walter Ltd filled three large charabancs for an outing to Rochester and Maidstone organised by the firm's social club, from outside the old Tontine Street garage. On the way a stop was made at Sturry for a cricket match between the single men and the married men. the latter being led by 70-pius year old Mr R Young, the oldest employee. At Maidstone, where a stop was made for tea the party was joined by the firm's MD Mr Spencer Apps. who announced a staff dinner to be held in 1928. and a fellow director, Lyne Smith. Betty Baldwin, daughter of the Prime Minister was a guest at the opening of the Romney. Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports officially opened the line. Public services began the next day. Sunday. The Herald recorded that a Folkestone man. the late Frederick Francis, “87 when he died a few years ago." could claim credit for being the first man to persuade Charles Dickons to give a public reading from one of his books In the UK. He met him on the Road of Remembrance as we now know it and Dickens only agreed provided the ordinary working man had the chance to hear him. Those talks were in due course to be given all over the country.
 
Rescue drama watched by 800 on Channel steamer

< QCOTHE CROSS-Channel steamer Maid of 193^ Orleans, her 800 pa->sun|tor!> watching. changed course and went to the rescue of Boulogne fishing boat Sante Marie which was in distress in the Channel, find took her in tow. into Boulogne. The spectacle of 55 fire hoses shooting water high over the inner harbour was a sight to behold for thousands of visitors 50 years ago, as firemen, holding an exercise, dealt with a series of ‘Incidents.’ Regular Herald columnist “The Roamer" was answering the frequently posed question: ‘What is the story behind the statue of a dwarf, in military uniform, in Klngsnorth Gardens?' (A detailed explanation was given in the Herald by our 2002 news editor Rcbucc.i Smith only last week.) Folkestone was to share in what was described as the foremost luxury train service, by Golden Arrow, to France. In future the winter service was to operate via Folkestone, passengers crossing the Strait in the Cote d'Azur to catch the French express Fleche d'Or for Paris. The summer service was to continue via Dover. The sixth annual Folkestone Flower Show attracted a record 750 entries. The Town Council set a target of 220 new houses to be built in the coming year and received consent to build 44 at Cretewav Down.
 
Swimmers were heroes in the rescue of dinghy sailor

>4 Q77QUICK action at the Warren by a boy of 15 JL3 I I helped save tliu lift.- of a friend of 16 when a freak wave lifted a rubber dinghy and smashed it against the sea wall. Swimmers immediately went to the aid of dinghy sailor Andrew Fogg, including Mark Ruddock, aged 16. Fortunately said Mark, he was swimming close by. The heavy sea overturned the craft and his friend was thrown out. A Londoner joined in the successful rescue, but Andrew was unconscious and they had to pump water out of him. Meanwhile an air-sea rescue helicopter arrived and lifted the boy and his companions to safety. Shocked and ti.idly hru sed all over Andrew was detained in the Royal Victoria hospital for observation. Industry and employment in Hythe received a double boost from local companies. Slabcon (BG) Ltd made a prediction of 70 new jobs as it announced expansion plans. And major local employer Portex clinched a major contact with the Soviet Union worth 1.25 million for medical products which created vacancies for more skilled workers. Buyer of Martello Tower No. 1, which was in a neglected state, from Folkestone Council, biisim.bsm.in Jimmy Rowland was expected to take adv.iiit.i^v of the experience gained by a near neighbour. Ted Parker. ex-Royal Marine and a retired probation officer. He had already restored the adjoining Martello Tower some years before, complete with roof-top swimming pool.

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