DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 7 November 2002

 

 

 

LOCAL aviation history enthusiast and author of several books, Roy Humphreys, of Hawkinge, has identified the photograph of an aircraft crash nearly 90 years ago which featured in Memories recently.

And he came up with another photo taken at the crash scene - a field near Alderman Quested's Firs Farm - on October 22, 1913.

The Maurice Farman S.7 "Longhorn" aircraft was flown by Capt C. Mellor, a pilot with the newly formed Royal Army Flying Corps. Lieutenant Gunter flew with him as a passenger.

Both were injured when the aircraft, after a rather shaky take-off from 'Risborough Field' got out of control and crashed. Gunter was pinned beneath the upper wing of the plane and the pilot, who sustained three broken ribs, could not move.

Among those apparently unimpressed with Capt Mellor's performance was the matron of the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Strong tea warning!

Having heard that they had landed at 'Risborough Field' after giving a flying display, to take tea in the Officers' Mess, she commented "they should never drink strong tea when attempting to fly a flimsy, wood and glue aeroplane!"

Capt Mellor had flown in from Farnborough and had been taking part in army exercises near Dover along with the crews of two other aircraft.

The flying display had been for the benefit of Capt Mellor's old regiment, the Royal Warwickshires, who were stationed at Shorncliffe Camp.

With his 70hp Renault engine giving trouble it took three attempts by Mellor to get airborne and.
even then, one eye-witness at the Cottage Homes said the aircraft was "very wobbly."

The plane turned rather abruptly after take-off, narrowly missing some telegraph wires running alongside the railway and then appeared to be heading towards the Cottage Homes.

At less than 200ft up Mellor quickly turned to the right but the Farman dipped alarmingly - and then flopped in a heap of matchwood onto the farmland.

The engine appeared to be enveloped in flames but soldiers of the Royal West Kent Regt, from Dibgate Camp, threw earth over the hot engine to smother the fire. An extinguisher was also used.

Roy Humphreys told me: "Cheriton photographer J. Coombes cycled to the crash site at Firs Farm, eager to record for posterity something unusual and perhaps a glimpse into the future."

My thanks go out to Tony Dickinson, of Wear Bay Road, Folkestone, who sent me a 1950s photo of a St Peter's School football team via a friend of mine.

By coincidence / collected it from him just a day before my Memories page reference was published about a St Peter's School appeal for old pictures and memorabilia in connection with their forthcoming 130th anniversary celebrations.

The photo dates from 1955 and the players are, back row, left to right. Tony Dickinson. R Harrington, M Burton. / Webb. C Cook. M Wooderson. plus a

linesman; front row: A Harding, ...?.......?..., R

Pegdon, M Fagg and F MardeH.

Tony also sent me an interesting photo from the same year of the "Blessing of the Fisheries" parade with fishermen's sons in the procession.

He recalls that the model of a fishing boat was always carried from St Peter's Church on the Durlocks to the harbour for the blessing ceremony.

Ronald Dutt, 69, of St Michael's Street, who was
)
Pancaked!
ABOVE: A ST PETER'S School football team from 1955 - a photograph shown to the Herald by Tony Dickinson, of Wear Bay Road, Folkestone, in response to a plea for pictures for school birthday celebrations. TOP: A "box kite" Farman aircraft which came to grief at Cheriton after a demonstration flight by a RFC pilot.

a groundsman at Shorncliffe Camp for many years, is hoping to get former pupils of the old Dover Road School together for a reunion of classmates of the years 1945-48.

Those interested can contact him on 01303 254107.

Ron was among those who were evacuated to Wales during the war years. He was in a small party of old boys who made a trip down memory lane in re-visiting the Raglan area a couple of years ago.

A photograph taken of Dover Road School evacuees in Wales was published years ago in the now out of print paperback "The Story of a School -Dover Road, 1835-1958," by W.A. Parks.

Jeanne Brinton. Publicity Officer of Folkestone &

District Family History Society, seeks information and photos of Folkestone Hockey Club, founded in 1906. Post or copying costs will be refunded, she says. Jeanne can be contacted on 01303 226558 THE OIMCE familiar landmark of Dover or via e-mau: Jbri999@ao .com D . c u , . . _, „ n ..

Road School, shown to me by Ron Dutt.
 

Fumes protest as army plan Shomdiffe isolation hospital

■I QnO PLANS by the War Department for a military isolation hospitaldose to the existing military hospital at Battery Point. There were said to be complaints already about fumes from a "disinfector unit" built at the hospital. Shorncliffe garrison church was a victim of sacrilege" by a burglar who broke in, ransacked the building and tried to force the safe. He also tore the alms box from the wall but netted only three farthing coins - worth less than an old penny. War hero Lieutenant W English VC came home from the war front in South Africa to take part in Coronation ceremonies in London, and was expected to visit family in Folkestone. The Herald backed efforts to make more of the Cinque Port of Hythe as a winter resort, sheltered, as it was reckoned to be, from the north winds. But, as with Folkestone, more seafront shelters were needed in case of rain or snow. Progress had been made with the opening of a golf course. Years ago, as a mark of respect for the dead and those who grieve, it was an offence to smoke in a churchyard or cemetery in Folkestone, not to mention taking short cuts through the graveyard with your bicycle.

 
Grand plans by Council to mark Queen’s coronation

m QGO CORONATION Parade, was proposed .Lę70^as the new name for the East Cliff promenade, which it was hoped to illuminate-and more shelters for pedestrians, both at East Cliff and Madeira Walk were planned as part of Folkestone's new amenities to mark the Queen's coronation year. The Council was also thinking of an indoor swimming pool, replacement of the Metropole Lift, the opening of a children's library and a cover building for the Roman Villa it was also hoped to open up to the public, at East Cliff. A Cheriton farmer was fined for moving three cows out of a 'foot and mouth' infected area. The "Corporation of the Bailiff, Jurats and Commonalty of the Liberty of Romney Marsh," a largely ceremonial body today, held its 491st annual meeting at Dymchurch and the Herald featured a photo of the oldest Jurat present Edward Lord, 89, of Ruckinge, cutting an iced cake. Mr Lord, who succeeded his father as a jurat told how, over his 60 years as a member of the ancient corporation, its powers had been taken away. He urged that they try and regain some of them. The Corporation's only income was from wrecks washed up along the shoreline of the Marsh.
 
Channel swim triumphs -then doctor admits hoax

H THREE British women "succeeded" in

( Channel swims — Mercedes Gleitz, a typist, making her eighth attempt; Mrs Ivy Gill, of Sheffield, and Dr Dorothy C Logan, of Hythe and Harley Street who, landing at Folkestone, in 13hrs lOmins, was heralded as the new women's champion. But controversy surrounded two swims. Miss Gieitz, piloted by Folkestone fishing smack FE11 skippered by Harry Sharp, swam in thick fog throughout and was said to have staggered ashore at St Margaret's Bay and was brought back to Folkestone in a semi-con-scious condition. Owing to lack of 'independent' witnesses there was doubt about the swim, causing Miss Gieitz to make a "vindication" swim of 10 hours a fortnight later, watched by a "Daily Mail" aircraft. Dr Logan^ who swam under a pseudonym, came ashore near the Victoria Pier and was acclaimed the new women champion but. a few days later admitted it was a hoax. She swam for six hours then got onto her escort boat rested and resumed her swim when three miles out. She said it was to demonstrate how easy it was to fake a swim.
 
'Miracle’ detergent to fight oil pollution of the beaches

*1 077* MODIFIED light aircraft and a local t I fishing boat demonstrated a new system to tackle oil pollution along the Channel coast. The plane sprayed the sea with a disper-sant to help prevent oil hitting the beaches. Gallons of crude oil was pumped into the sea and on the sands and then sprayed with the dis-persant, the demonstration being watched by 80 leading oil experts. In 30 seconds 80% of the oil was said to have been dispersed and. after two further sprayings other stubborn patches of oil were also dispersed. Teenage trouble spread across Folkestone for the second time in a week, as rival school groups clashed in and around Cheriton Road soccer ground where Folkestone beat Horsham 3-0. Two boys were treated in hospital after violence broke out and the day ended with chanting fans marching noisily through Golden Valley housing estate. Parents were fighting to ban industrial traffic from a road running by three school complexes off Park Farm Road and the KCC was investigating a safer access. Sixty-five members and friends of the British Legion went to Boulogne to attend the unveiling of a new plaque to the Unknown Warrior in Chateau d' Aumont.

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:-

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