Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 29 August 2002


Holiday idyll of twenties

WRITING from Reigate, Surrey, Malcolm Pendrill tells me he has been going through the papers of his late uncle, Leonard Sutton, and found a beautifully hand-written account of a holiday he and his wife May spent at Hythe in June 1920 and thought Herald readers would be interested in reading it.

“It paints such a vivid picture of the period I thought it should be shared with residents of Hythe today; over 80 years after it was written,” he says.

“Uncle was born about 1893 and died at Wadhurst. His working life was spent as a hospital administrator. His wife was a hospital matron. At the time he was writing, he would have been in his middle twenties. ‘The time apart’ he mentions was when he was in India during the Great War.

“I hope your readers find it as interesting as I did,” he says. This is the diary style account:

“Our Holiday, June 1920: June 21 Left Redhill 10.55am, arrived Hythe 12.20pm. Lunch at the Temperance Hotel; unpacked in the afternoon and went for a walk along the canal in the evening.
May found sixpence. Strolled along the seafront after supper.

“June 22: Shopping in the morning; visited the crypt St Leonard’s Church where the skulls are stacked. A large flying boat alighted on the sea opposite the Imperial Hotel about midday; left again about 2pm. Walk to Saltwood village in the afternoon; had tea there, came ‘home’ and spent the evening on the beach.

“June 23: ‘Carnation Day.’ Went to Folkestone by bus; bought a cap, some vases, crested china and something ‘in remembrance.’ Came home by bus and went on the beach in the evening.

“June 24: Spent a lazy morning on the beach; went on the canal in the afternoon; had tea at Cooper’s Gardens, and some fine strawberries. Came back and went on the beach in the evening.

“June 25: Walked to Dymchurch, about five miles; paddled and had a race on the sand. Visited the old English church; came home by bus in the evening. Had supper and a walk on the beach.

“June 25: Shopping in the morning; bought stockings, socks and tomatoes. Went on the canal in the afternoon; had tea at Cooper's Gardens. May can steer well now, but can’t row for nuts. Came home and went on the beach in the evening.

“June 27: On the beach in the morning and afternoon. Went to St Leonard’s Church in the evening (our first evening service together); walked back home along the seafront.

Cliffs ramble

“June 28: Went to Dover by bus; splendid view of the sea from the cliffs above Folkestone; went on the pier in the morning and on the cliffs in the afternoon. Spent two hours looking for the Bleriot Memorial; got back too late to go to museum (May’s fault.)

“June 29: Shopping in morning and on the beach. Went to station after dinner, then for a farewell row on the canal; pulled up to Cooper's Gardens; had raspberries and cream for tea. May nearly upset the boat on the way home. Paddling at 10pm.

“June 30: Last day of a glorious holiday; happy days that we shall always remember. The weather has been kind to us and we feel we have made up for the three years we were parted. Went on the beach in the morning; came home and packed.

May wrote some poetry in our excellent Mrs Chittenden’s book. Left Hythe 4pm, arrived Redhill 5.20pm. - Finis.”
DAVID Sheppard, who grew up living in a prefab in Hollands Avenue, Folkestone and now works in Saudi Arabia as an electrical engineer for BA Systems, sent in two memory-jogging pictures last week, passed on to him by his mother, believing they would interest Herald readers.

The first, featured in Memories last week was of families at a Coronation party held in the Empress Ballroom, in Dover Road. Space prevented the use of the other photograph, but I included a sneak preview of part of the picture of David's old cub scouts pack, which is reproduced above.

David thinks it was the 25th Folkestone pack and he says:

"That demure looking little chap, without a uniform, standing fifth from the left, clasping his hands, is your sports editor Mick Cork! (Unfortunately, although not wearing a cap, his face is in shadow.)

"We both went to St Mary's primary school when it was in Dover Road. The cub meetings were held in the Woodward Hall, next to St Eanswythe's School, on the Bayle
and, in the summer, in the playground," he said.

David himself is seated third from the right, while Michael Dyer is seated third from the left and Mick Cork is standing behind, a little to the right, next to one of the standard bearers.

"Other boys I can put names to are Roger Small, with the flag (he grew to 6ft), Roger and Trevor Eastmead, either Colin or Terry Tumber, Andrew Finn,.... Barnes (son of Ivor Barnes of the TV shop in Broadmead Road. Unfortunately, although I remember other faces, I forget some of their names," he says.

"I do remember, however, running to get home in time to listen to "Journey into Space" on the radio and sometimes, if I had any spare money, buying a bag of chips from the chip shop on Grace Hill, run by Cypriots, two men and their wives.

"What goes around, comes around and the engineers and foremen of the construction company that my department project manages, here in the desert, are Cypriots, but a lot more animated," says David.
MEMBERS of Folkestone & District Local History Society are looking forward to Wednesday, September 4 when Don Gregory is to give a talk on the interesting subject of “Folkestone Harbour -Early Years,” at their monthly meeting.

The Society meets at the Holy Trinity Church hall, in Sandgate Road, at 7.30pm. New members and visitors are welcome. More details about the Society’s meetings this year can be obtained from the secretary, Peter Bamford, of 7 Shorncliffe Crescent, Folkestone, whose phone number is 01303 223337.


District goes to town in Coronation celebrations

«< QnOTHE HERALD commemorated the JL«7U<£ Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra with an eight-page souvenir picture supplement on art paper depicting, apart from a variety of portraits of the royal family and royal palaces, a series of photos of local celebrations, with a procession through the town of decorated 'floats' such as Folkestone Gardeners' flower-decked cart pulled by two horses, which was a top prize winner in the competition, a friendly society's Stonehenge tableau drawn by horses and complete with an escort of ‘Druids.' a fishing industry tableau, and a steam-powered bus with solid tyres, ail festooned with Union Jacks and bunting. I would have been interested to know who this was entered by and who the passengers were, but cannot find a mention of this pioneering steam bus in the newspaper of that particular week. Across the centre of the supplement is a panoramic view of the Coronation Treat for schoolchildren in the Pleasure Gardens Theatre grounds and there were several fine views of decorated local buildings. (Alderman Salter was involved in celebrations and I wonder if he later owned the steam bus said to have rusted away near Salter s Laundry.)

Lightning shock for laundry van driver at country club

Q THERE was quite a shock for Advance Laundries van driver William Ch.mdlcr, of Coolinge Road, while delivering a basket of laundry at Lympne Country Club. As he lifted the basket there was a brilliant flash followed by a loud crack, and he felt a tingling sensation like an electric shock, but he was unhurt. The laundry was undamaged but the basket was scorched. Sponsored by Mr J Heath, of Folkestone, Channel swim record holder Hassan Abdel Rehim, of Egypt, completed the Devon coast to Lundy Island swim in 12 hours, swimming an estimated 18 miles. His prize? £250 or four fat bullocks (!) plus a trophy and. of course, a barrel of Devon cider! Herald columnist "Roamer" was singing the praises of the smart St John Ambulance men and women, boys and girls, who. particularly in summer, voluntarily stood by in case of emergencies at hundreds of local events. And, he pointed out. they “didn't get a bean” for their services, in spite of what one or two people seemed to think. Thousands of people had to run for shelter when the annual ceremony of the Blessing of the Fisheries, was hit by a torrential rain just as a procession through the streets, negotiated the cobbled North Street down to the quayside. Boys in fishermen's tanfrocks were carrying a fine scale model of a fishing boat and the show went on.
Lucky escape for seaman rescued by fishermen

*f FOLKESTONE fisherman John Featherbe,

I a strong swimmer, had a lucky escape while sailing as a member of the crew of the boat Josephine. Thrown overboard in a nasty sea as he was putting up the fore flagstaff, he became entangled in a rope carrying streamers attached to the staff and was caught in a strong current. Colleague Janies Swan, the engineer, threw lifebelts towards him and Alfred Richards, also a good swimmer, jumped in and went to his rescue with another lifebelt, while Swan brought the boat round and got a line out to them. Later Featherbe. of Bates Alley, a father of six. was found to have a broken ankle as well as bad cuts. There were strong protests from local traders at a Ministry of Health inquiry at the Town Hall when the Town Council applied for a loan for £1,500 to cover the cost of transferring a drinks licence to the Leas Cliff Hall, and a further sum for furnishing the property. During the three-hour proceedings local furnishing stores protested at the decision of the Council to award the contract to an out-of-town firm. The Herald report occupied eight columns of a broadsheet paper, spilling over on to two pages. The paper gave details of pensions for people of 65, to start in 1928.
Drama of two young girls saved in dinghy mishap

Q"7TOURISM was uppermost in the minds of I I Shepway councillors who were discussing a plan to engage a tourist/marketing officer which would cost ratepayers £8,000 a year. He or she would be responsible for promoting the resort, assisting in ‘packaging' holidays and shopping weeks, developing a guide book and producing a more complete accommodation register, and organising at least two seasonal information centres. The brave action of two women saved two small children who had drifted out to sea in rubber dinghies at Hythe. The two young women, one from Saltwood and the other from Sellindge, dived into a choppy sea to rescue the girls, both aged about seven. Twenty five years ago Herald reader William Honey, of Clifton Crescent, was looking back to the miracle of the evacuation of the British army from Dunkirk as they narrowly escaped the overrun of France by the invading German forces. He was praising the role played in the background by the “Wrens." of the W.R.N.S. and told of the welcome they gave the crews of Harwich Flotilla corvettes on their arrival back in English ports. Mr Honey served aboard HMS Shearwater, the captain of which was the late Commander R. Egan. William later joined a destroyer serving in the Arctic, followed by the Mediterranean. South Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

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:-