Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 19 September 2002



READERS who revel in nostalgia have a treat in store with two new books hitting the book shelves, both written by local author and historian Alan Taylor.

Alan, of St Michael's Street who was born and brought up in Folkestone and has lived here most of his life, is chairman of the Folkestone Local History Society and already has a string of books to his credit.

First of the new books - both hardbacks - to
land on my desk was Sandgate in old picture Postcards - Volume 2. published by Dutch publishers European Library.

Once again the author presents a fascinating selection of 76 photographs covering a great variety of subjects which, together, illustrate many of the changes which have taken place over the past century or so in a popular community which is steeped in history.

Definitely a good buy at £9.95.

Alan acknowledges the assistance of his family in producing the book, fellow enthusiasts who

loaned photographs or supplied information, and the staff of the Heritage Room at the public library for their help.

The result is that all the photographs have informative captions.

And I wouldn't be at all surprised if even more information and further photographs come to light as a result of publishing the new book.

Although he has written quite a few local books Alan, now retired.
DETAIL of one of the early pictures of Sandgate High Street in Alan Taylor's new book, with Maltby's garage and coachworks, right.
Nice one Alan!
spent most of his working life in occupations connected with shipping, including 22 years at sea as a ship's carpenter.

But local history has long been a hobby of his and he has been an active member of Folkestone Local History Society for many years.

Past and Present
Alan, who lives with his family at St Michael's Street is frequently consulted for information about Old Folkestone and district and is always on the look out for more material, especially old photographs, postcards and prints.

Next week I hope to review his very attractive new large format book on his home town.
as will be gleaned from the title Folkestone Past and Present, the publishers of which are Breedon Books Publishing Co Ltd, based in Derby.

For £14.99 the enthusiast gets a beautifully produced book which has obviously been a real labour of love for Alan, who has put a lot of thought and work into it. Family support came from wife Eileen and son Andrew who wrote an informative introduction and helped with proof reading and other tasks.

Also acknowledged by Alan is the invaluable assistance of other local enthusiasts, with information and the loan of material. With Christmas not far away the book should do well!
A CHARMING memento of Sandgate - in the days when the once imposing Star and Garter Convalescent Home for disabled servicemen was a prominent feature of the community, after the Boer War. The donkey and smartly dressed 'patient' are posing outside the entrance to the home in this photo taken by local firm Halksworth Wheeler. TOP RIGHT: A cab driver poses for a photographer at the old Sandgate Hill tollgate.

This has a different theme from earlier books


Snorting, rattling, puffing cavalcade of motorcars

A CLOSE upon a hundred "motors" in

great variety which had been driven to the const from Crystal Palace made a remarkable sight a century ago this month in the grounds of the old Royal Pavilion Hotel - now the site of the Burstin. "Up they came, one after the other, snorting, rattling, puffing, whilst a few silently glided to the place of rendezvous," wrote Herald writer Felix. Unfortunately the Herald does not appear to have published a photograph. "Chauffeurs in marvellous costumes, and wearing goggles, appeared as not of the human kind, whilst only their voices revealed tho fact that some of those who had travelled down belonged to the gentler sex, so strangely were they clad," he added. The ostler with nosebag of corn and chaff for the usual classic horses of the hotel, was temporarily ousted by men running about with square tins of petrol ready to refuel the motorcars, or painted pails of water to refill the boilers of the steam-powered cars. Hotel manager Mr Eeley, meanwhile, had laid on a "capital automobile luncheon." John Sanger's Circus was in camp again at Sandgate Hill.
Trio plan trip to the Congo, in converted ship’s lifeboat

a Q CO TWO Folkestone men and a Londoner -Lę73^were planning a 5.000 mile boat trip from the Kent port to tho Bolgian Congo in a 30ft converted ship's lifeboat that John Franklin, 33-year-old car dealer, of Radnor Bridge Road, bought for £250. John planned to make the trip with his brother George, 42, a merchant seaman, of East Cliff Villas and Mr F.W. Sharp, 53, of Forest Gate, London. All three had merchant navy experience and had sailed practically all over the world. With their boat they believed they would find plenty of work in the Congo and that John's wife and three daughters, aged eight, nine and nine months, would eventually be able to join them. Tho town's active St John Ambulance 'branch' was set to get its first superintendent after being 'promoted' from a division to a corps. The first to be appointed was Robert William Harris, who had been divisional superintendent on the Isle of Wight. A Town Crier 'cried' a warning at 32 places, Lydd residents threw open windows to prevent blast damage and fishermen kept well clear - but when a wartime bomb was detonated on tho ranges no one hoard a thing! A now way of dealing with bombs had evidently worked!

‘Joy* flights over the town from the ‘Valiant Sailor’

a AUTHOR and playwright John

Ferguson, of Sandgate. was due to have his play, "The Scarecrow," translated into French, produced in a Paris theatre. At the same time his new thriller "The Man in the Dark" was due to be published by Bodley Head. L.J. Skytrips Ltd was advertising "Aeroplane Joy Rides” from the Valiant Sailor, Capel to see Folkestone and the surrounding district from the air, with trips costing five shillings (25p), ten shillings, or as required. Herald writer Felix was telling the story 75 years ago of a prank once played on one of a Sandgate Hill tollgate keeper named Jarvis. Often tormented by some locals, probably because he had a peg-leg and could be slow at night getting out of his cottage to open the gate. One night a hearse driver knocked him up and there was some banter over whether ho should have to pay, for he said he was carrying a "corpse." As they were arguing a prankster, Bobby Down, concealed in the hearse and pretending to be the 'corpse,' said very slowly, "Jarvis, the Lord will pay you!" Needless to say, the superstitious old man beat a hasty retreat.
Serious pollution creates a stink at the seaside

•i SOARING pollution levels were being

_L*7 ■ I recorded on Shepway beaches. At one point off Sandgate, a favourite spot for summer swimmers, a figure of four times the level recommended as normal by the World Health Organisation was recorded. One visible legacy was thousands of shellfish, said to be mussels, rotting along the shoreline, which was driving people from the beaches. Ron Tatt, the Herald angling correspondent at the time, said he didn't know if the cause was sewage, detergent or what, that was killing the shellfish and reducing the number of fish landed by anglers, but urgent action was obviously needed. Shepway Council's environmental health officer said the lovels of pollution were unlikely to harm swimmers. He wouldn't stop his children swimming there. "Lifeline for mini train" read the headline for a story about a valuable contract won by the 50 year old Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway to transport Marsh children to and from Southlands School, New Romney, which would help finances during the winter months. The first of the new service trains carried about 200 children. A small landslip at Sandgate Riviora caused a headache threatening seafront homos.

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:-