Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 24 October 2002




TONY Tanton of Stanbury Crescent, FOLKESTONE, was particularly interested in the old photograph in Memories recently of Maltby's former coachworks and garage in Sandgate. He worked there later when the business was owned by Caffyns.

Tony served his apprenticeship with Caffyns and has very happy memories of working there so close to the sea, back in the mid-1950s. It was quite a contrast moving to new premises at Park Farm after the disastrous fire which virtually destroyed the premises. That was back in the 1960s, he thinks.

Miraculously, he said, the several paint spraying booths, in one of which he had been working shortly before, escaped the conflagration, although they were inevitably coated with cellulose from spraying vehicles,

An electrical fault is believed to have been the cause of the inferno, he said.

And Tony, recalls, it could have been much worse.

A petrol tanker had been inside the premises late into the day, but it was eventually collected and driven away .... otherwise there might well have been a devastating explosion.

Tony lent me a series of pictures of the devastation after the fire, taken by Arthur Bailey, who at one time lived above the coachworks. Tony's son also worked for Caffyns, in Folkestone.
serviceman from the old Star and Garter Convalescent Home, in a wheelchair pulled by a donkey.

The photograph featured in Alan Taylor's recently published book on Sandgate, reviewed in Memories on September 19. She writes:

"My Dad, Ted Ashdown, who is 91, remembers being a donkey boy in about 1924/26, when he first left school.

"He used to wait at the bottom of Sandgate Hill for the disabled service man to come along in his wheelchair, and attach the donkey to the chair, and help him up the hill.

"Of course, they were not required on the journey back. The mind boggles at the thought of these chaps hurtling down the hill on their return.

"Dad also remembers Harry Macintosh working with him."

St Peter’s School appeal

St Peter's Primary School, at The Durlocks, in Folkestone, is looking forward to the celebration of its 130th anniversary, on Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9 and appeals for the loan of any old school photos former pupils may have.

There will be a service of thanksgiving on the Friday, at St Peter's Church, to which all old pupils are invited and this will be followed the next day by an exhibition of photographs by local author Alan Taylor, from 10am-1pm. The school is on 255400.
Shock blaze
Memories reader Wendy Bell was very interested Arthuf vjncer of Frampton Road, Hythe, tells me

to see a plcture in the Herald recently of a disabled he reads the Memories page every week and says it
A PHOTOGRAPHIC display, featuring the century-old Leas Pavilion - pictured above - and Folkestone photographs, past and present is being staged in the Chichester Hall, Sandgate this Saturday, October 26, 10am to 4pm. The event, incorporating videos of Old Folkestone, has been organised by the go-ahead Folkestone & District Local History Society.

A number of recently published books by local authors will be on sale.

Left, and below, are two of the photos of devastation caused when a fire ripped through Caffyns Garage, Sandgate.
is always a pleasure to see and read about some of the events that happened so long ago but are thankfully, not forgotten.

Arthur enclosed a photo of lads of St Leonard's School, Hythe, planting trees on the north side of the Royal Military Canal, near Military Road.

"I left school in July 1949 so it couldn't have been any later," he said.

Arthur says it is a great pity so many of the old trees have now gone. The photo will feature in a future Memories page.

Editor predicts a rail link-through the Alkham valley

1 qaa COUNCILLORS were studying the loss to the town caused by the nuin-l)er of empty properties - it amounted to almost a penny rate. The optimistic editor was predict ing that, with the development of the East Kent Coalfield it might not be long before there was a need to cut a railway line through the Alkham valley to link Duver with Shorncliffe, to smooth the transport of the coal raised by the collieries. The editor also wrote about an old chestnut, the mystery of long-standing animosity between the towns of Folkestone and Dover. He wrote that it could not be explained by "ordinary common sense." There was no reason at all why there should not be friendly relations between the two towns, he said. A staff man with the pen name "Vigilant" was bemoaning the fact the town had had no proper summer weather in 1902. A large number of Folkestone post office staff gathered to welcome back home Mr F Gell (RAMC) and Mr Fenton of the Kings Royal Rifles, on their return from the Boer War in South Africa. Special mention was made of staff who handled military mail during the long war.

Bayle Fayre banned after rife licentious behaviour

Q CO THE HERALD recalled the later, ribald days of Folkestone Fayre, which was held in The Bayle, for over 400 years, at the Feast of St Rumwold. on June 4. It ceased in the 1850s - because, in the words of a contempo rary writer it had become "nothing but a scene of drunkenness and profligacy of the lowest description, at least after dark." The move to stamp out corruption was backed by the then "Folkestone Chronicle" newspaper. The event was also known, apparently, us the Feast of Gooseberry Pies and Custard! French motorcycle champion M George Monncrct, 42, wearing a traditional berry, successfully crossed the Channel on a motor scooter mounted on streamlined floats like a catamaran. Powered by a 125cc engine the craft made the trip in about six hours. Tributes were being paid to Frederick Thomas Wheeler, of Sandgate. who died aged 86. He served 40 years in 'Windjammers,' sailing round the world, and was in the crew of Folkestone trawler Elsie (FE 88) when it picked up 28 survivors from the steamer Avoca, sunk after a collision off Sandgate. Members of Folkestone Co-operative Drivers' Club held their first dinner in the Leas Cliff Hall sun lounae.
Hythe hero after rail crash which left 12 people dead

SEVERAL local families were mourn-JL«/& / ing the loss of loved ones when a very full Folkestone Express was derailed at an estimated 57mph approaching Sevenoaks, leaving a dozen people dead. Another 50 odd passengers were injured as the 5pm train from Cannon Street hauled by a steam locomotive jumped the rails and carriages were smashed against a bridge it passed under, at Riverhead. Those killed included five from Folkestone and district, two more staying in the town, two from Dover, and a six-year-old boy from Sutton, near Deal. Mrs McNulty, from Hvthe, who escaped injury, helped rescue three fellow passengers from a wrecked Pullman carriage. Other local passengers told of miraculous escapes. A bus driver was the witness of a forced-landing made by an RAF biplane from Lympne, which land upside down in a ploughed field at Cheriton. Both Auxiliary Air Force airmen escaped without a scratch. The Cheriton driver told how the aircraft came close to colliding with his bus and a nearby farmhouse. The Herald featured a photograph of the aircraft.
Shock as Council clamps down on hire car safety

^ Q77A NEW Government clampdown on J.V I I hire cars to improve safety resulted in what was described as an alarming fail rate in Shepway. The Council adopted the stringent new tests to bring private car hire vehicles in line with taxis - and 68percent of about 50 cars tested failed. The Council's 'taxi inspector' pointed out the enormous mileage done by the cars and said some cars were simply not getting enough servicing. But a drivers' spokesman observed that some of the faults were so small they were put right within an hour. Gambling animal lover John Aspinall, of Port Lympne Wildlife Sanctuary, was in trouble with the Council for failing to get planning consent for a new elephant house. Shepway was well off target in its bid to raise £10,000 for the Queen's Silver Jubilee appeal fund and, in fact, it was feared there could be a deficit of around £1,000 on jubilee seals it had been hoped to sell. Even income from the latest floral carpet bedding on The Leas garden was over £400 down on the average, of £6-700 pounds, by the end of September. Shepway councillors were not impressed by Government moves to vet their performance dealing with planning applications!

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:-