Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 5 September 2002




SENTIMENTAL photographs were among treasured possessions lost when a Folkestone family's home, the Alexandra Tavern, at 66 Bridge Street, was bombed in a hit'n run air raid on November 13, 1940.

Mrs Ivy Marsh (nee Marsh), of Easton, Norwich, has been telling me how her parents had to leave the public house in a hurry. At the time Ivy was \ working in Surrey.

' Ivy, who was in the infants class at St Mary's School, Dover Road, in 1926 is appealing to Memories readers for help in trying to track down copies of two Folkestone school photographs in which she appeared.

She recalls a group picture with the children all sitting at tables, except for one little girl on a rocking horse.

The other photograph she is looking for is a class group taken in the back playground of George Spurgen School, in Sidney Street, in 1928 or 1929.

Classmates of the time she remembers include Ivy Gearing, Kathleen Kennet, Myrtle Byegrave,
Diana Godden, Lily France and Ann Todd. Ivy says she is the child seated on the ground holding a blackboard in front of her. There was also a student teacher in the photograph, she says.

"Recently I have been writing My Lifetime Memories' which start with my early years and school days in Folkestone and I would like to get hold of copies of these two pictures for it," she writes.

"I would be very grateful if anyone can help me and would gladly repay any expense to have copies made."

Ivy's full address is St Matthews, 83 Dereham Road, Easton, Norwich NR9 5ES, or you can call her on 01603 881099.

Alternatively if any reader would like to call at the Herald office on a Thursday and ask for me I can scan pictures on a computer scanner in a few minutes and will happily send copies to Mrs Marsh.

Retired consultant
Still on a sad note, I heard a few days ago of the death of a family acquaintance of many years, retired surgeon and radiologist Douglas Nelson. 82. formerly of Etchinghill. He died at his home in France where he lived with his second wife Dawn. They also had a holiday home in Dover.

For many years Douglas Nelson held private consulting rooms in Folkestone and subsequently at St Saviour's Hospital, Hythe. For 39 years he lived at Etchinghill but retired to live in France in 1982.

A man of many talents he trained at St Mary's Hospital Medical School from 1936 and, after war service in the RAMC - during which he was briefly a PoW in Rennes, but escaped and served with the Maquis - he became a specialist in radiology.

Within two years, at 28. he became the youngest Consultant to be appointed in the NHS and went on to become Consultant Radiologist, in 1950, to the South-East Kent Hospital Management Committee, working at Ashford, Willesborough, Folkestone, Dover and Deal, rising to the top of his profession.

Outside work he wrote and edited scientific papers, both medical and aeronautical, wrote novels, was a car rally driver, a skilled alpine plant grower, fisherman, nature lover and ornithologist.

He also found time to work his own golden retriever gun dogs and entered them in competitions and was a member of a local syndicate he revived. Another interest was telepathy.
A FEW years before retirement the late Douglas Nelson, pictured when he stood as a Liberal candidate in the KCC elections, in April 1977.
That’s my father!

DAVID Sheppard's family picture of the Coronation party group in the old Empress Ballroom, in Dover Road, in 1953, featured in Memories on August 22 was of particular interest to veteran reader Mrs Doris Saunders, 84, of Folkestone, and with special reason.

Doris points out that, seated in the centre, were her parents, William and Annie Caroline Hollands, who were very well known in the town.

In fact, she told me, Hollands Avenue was named after her father, who became the town's first Labour mayor, just after the Second World War.

Another Memories reader. Derrick Lawson has been showing me an interesting, but fading
sepia photo of what turns out to be the first London Underground train, back in 1862.

Derrick's grandfather gave it to him back in the 1940s. pointing out that one of the distinguished passengers in one of the wagons was Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, wearing a tall, 'stove pipe' hat.

Nothing to do with Folkestone really, but Derrick wondered if any Memories reader could explain what the initials "S&K," on the side of the wooden railway trucks, stood for. Could it have been Surrey & Kent, he wondered.

Derrick didn't know where the photo was taken but I said I had seen the picture before and, looking into my files, found a negative I had made after spotting the picture in an old copy of an early railway magazine.
LOVERS of Old Folkestone and Sangate will soon be able to read copies of two new books by local historian and author Alan Taylor, of St Michael's Street, who is Chairman of the Folkestone Local History Society. For more than 12 months he has been hard at work on another book on Folkestone, but this time with a 'then and now' theme and also compiling a second selection of old photographs of Sandgate. The first may be in the shops by the time you read thisl
SEABROOK reader Edwin-UttleVpostcard view gives a ^ birds eye-view of the old Pleasure Gardens Theatre.


Make or break year for tramway service plans

1 QHOMINISTRY consent was granted to J.7U4i Folkestone Council to acquire, by compulsory purchase, slices of land needed from frontagers, to widen Choriton Road. The need for this widening had been seen as one of the principle obstacles to going ahead with the proposed local passenger tramway service. The coining 15 months were likely to decide once and for all whether the Folkestone would bite the bullet and introduce a public tramway. The annual open tennis tournament was held in the grounds of the old Pleasure Gardens Theatre, which were also the venue for the fourth annual Military Tournament, or tattoo Mr Rowland, manager of the Pleasure Gardens Theatre, was credited with engineering a successful switch of this big local event from Shorncliffe Camp to the gardens. Folkestone race course, at Westenhanger, seemed set for success after some hiccups. Improvements included a "drawing room" for women to watch racing in bad weather, a doubling in the size of the restaurant, a new grill and bar, and a ring for horses due to take part in the next race.
Hythe councillor caught up in Lynmouth Hood disaster

| ft rn A CROWD of 32,000 watched the annual Hythe spectacle of the Venetian Fete, said to be a great success, takings totalling 3,500. The week had started with a mixture of rain, wind and storm but there were dear skies for the event, with a running commentary by Frank Phillips of the BBC. Hythe councillor C.T. Sandford told the Herald how he was on holiday with his wife at Lynmouth when a flash flood sparked the well known disaster there. He could only watch as water poured into their house as the river burst its banks. They saw boulders and trees being swept along by the flood water along with his brother-in-law’s chicken house full of chickens and geese. A fresh water angler on holiday from Bicester landed a fine 8lb 12oz bass from the beach with a hand line, near the Sandgate Tollgate. Another visitor, Beryl Wood. 16, from Essex went to the rescue after a small boy from Swansea went swimming in spite of a red ball warning of dangerous conditions at Folkestone, and got into difficulties. Boatman Mr T. Pegden of the Stade, who spotted them, brought them safely ashore. Local scouts in camp by Lake Windermere were shocked by the drowning of a Dover College boy who had tried to swim on his own to an island. His plight was seen but a rower who dived in and went to his aid was too late to save him.

Pastor aged 70 steps in to decorate own church

A Q07 UNABLE to recruit able bodied handy-I men, the Revd John Jones, 70-year-old pastor of Canterbury Road Congregational Church, who came to Folkestone after 25 yenrs mission work among the poor in London, set about redecorating the church on his own* He devised his own home-built scaffolding to work on the high walls and ceilings. A Herald writer who inspected his work after three weeks, when there was still much to be done, hoped volunteers would yet be found to help. Local cricketer A.P.F. Chapman, the England test captain; put in at least two appearances playing for Hythe, in August. The Herald published a dramatic picture of a De'HaviJland RAF bi-plane air craft upside down in a potato field at Cheriton after a forced landing during a training flight from Lympne. Miraculously, Auxiliary Air Force Pilot Officers L.J. Mason and J.J. Parkes escaped injury and managed to clear a group of farmworkers working nearby. A Hythe bus owner was fined 3 with costs, in his absence, for driving a charabanc with seats for more than 14 people on Bonnington Road, Dymchurch
Public asked to help plan for future of the district

A ft^^THE MAN-sized piece of stone on the 1 / Leas which is Folkestone's special tribute to airmen and woman who served during two world wars was lowered in to position by a team of Jenners workmen, a stone's throw from the War Memorial, 25 years ago. The piece of granite, from Criggion Quarry, in mid-Wales, was donated by the Amey Roadstone Corporation and attached to it is a commemorative bronze plaque for which funds were raised by the local branch of the Royal Air Forces Association. People in Folkestone and Hythe were being invited to attend a series of Council-organised meetings to put their views about how the two towns and surrounding districts should go forward - how to influence the shape of things to come. This was all part of the process of drawing up the local part of the overall Kent Structure Plan for the future. Homes, jobs, shipping, transport education, and recreation were due to be considered. Skate-boarding was creating a few headaches 25 years ago and there were: calls for regulations to: protect both the public and the youngsters. The Council called for a full report on what should be done after consultation with the police and other bodies.

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:-