Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 14 November 2002




CALLING railway enthusiasts! From Richard Bourne, of Haxby, Yorkshire I received an interesting e-mail inquiry about a pair of beautifully restored stained glass windows acquired recently by the National Railway museum in York.

The windows were once owned by the British Transport Commission and there was a suggestion they were from Dover Town Station - demolished decades ago - dating from the opening of the line.

They each contain two crests. "One has the arms of the South Eastern Railway, I think," says Richard, "and that of Kent. The other is a bit more of a mystery, with neither crest being readily recognisable."

South Eastern and Chatham Railway Society's expert on such things was doubtful the windows were from railway premises at all, but thought they might be from a Dover hotel, perhaps the Lord Warden, which of course, was built by the railway.

“Great shame”
When I received Richard's e-mail I thought of railway enthusiast and author Brian Hart, son of Eric Hart, of Folkestone. He has written a number of books about railways, including the Elham Valley Railway and has another due out before Christmas.

I sent Brian copies of the pictures of the stained glass windows and he told me: "I recognised them immediately. They belonged to Shorncliffe Station (it will always be that to me - never "Folkestone West"- ugh!)

"I remember them well and used to gaze on them as a boy in the 1950s/60s. They were in the spacious booking hall on the up (London) side. The coat of arms containing the amalgamated lion/ship.
above a white horse on the English cross, belongs to the South Eastern Railway, whilst the white horse of Kent on a red shield is reproduced on the lower half of that particular window.

"The other window bears the maple leaf of Canada and this window was specially produced and donated in an act of commemoration to honour all those Canadian soldiers who gave their lives during the Great War.

"It seems likely that the upper shield belongs to a particular regiment, possibly the initials 'R.E.' standing for Royal Engineers?"

Brian, who is hoping his latest book "Folkestone's Railways" will be published before Christmas, adds that he remembers the windows being taken out of the station during the latter part of the 1960s - and he believes there were others.

The late Douglas Pidding, he said, who was a Lyminge councillor and former BR worker, showed him one when he lived near Lyminge Station.

Another, he had been told, depicted a locomotive at Sandgate Station. He did not recall it but wonders if it could have been in the spacious refreshment rooms on the up side of the station.

Shorncliffe was once a very important station, said Brian, its refreshment rooms being exactly like those in the film "Brief Encounter."

"It's a great shame the windows have been forgotten and the purpose of their particular location lost in relation to the sacrifice made by the brave Canadian soldiers."

Brian likened the 'deposit 'of this window in the National Railway Museum at York, to moving the Cenotaph to the Imperial War Museum! On the other hand, he added, at least they are preserved.

But it would be a lot better, in my opinion, if they were installed in a surviving Folkestone station!
BLACK and white images cannot do justice to these two stained glass windows, from the old Shorncliffe Station, which are now in the National Railway Museum in York. The Canadian Forces memorial window is shown on the right.
TONY Dickinson, of Wear Bay Road, sent in this 1950s photo of the traditional "Blessing of the Fisheries" parade. Fishermen's sons in the procession carrying a model fishing boat include G Featherbe, on the left, Tony on the right, D Woods and J Fisher.

Folkestone preparing for official visit of the Kaiser

*1 QnO THIE Kaiser was due to pay a courtesy ■LZrvr^ visit to Folkestone and there were hopes that he might visit the cemetery in which were the graves of a hundred German victims of the collision between the warships Grosser Kurfurst and the Konig Williem during an exercise five miles off the port back in 1878. Altogether 300 moil died. A fish shop propnetoi by the name of Smith displayed what was said to be the biggest skate ever landed at the port. Caught in the nets of a fisherman named Harris, it wjs nearly 10ft from tip to tail <nul 8ft across and weighed 280lbs. Herald writer Felix told how a Mr Moody of Sandgate used to "cure" unusual specimens and they were for years a feature of the Royal Oak of which he was mine host. Suspended from the ceiling they attracted visitors from far and wide, but were eventually removed to Birmingham and displayed there. There were mixed views in the chamber of commerce about an offer from the London Chamber to help youths get jobs in London. Felix wrote of people with weak nerves, being sometimes terrified by noisy street hawkers offering "Foine plaice and soule, brockler and taters."
Pfizers take over factory and reveal job boost plan

t* QPO FOLKESTONE Town Council approved ^«/0^the expenditure of £150 011 a Coronation firework display. Sutgical Plastics Ltd was reported to have sold out to Pfizer Ltd, of Sandwich who wore looking around for another factory site in the district to begin production early in the New Year. The foundation stone of a new Lyminge Methodist Church was laid, to replace the one destroyed by a flying bomb in August 1944. Unemployment figuro for the Folkestone, Hythe and New Romney area in Octobcr was 856 Building tiade workers formed the largest group. Folkestone Co-operative Drivers' Club, formed in 1950, was 40 strong and searching fur suit.iblc club premises of its own. Group Officer M.H. Barnett was the new CO of Hawkinge WRAF depot. A council alderman declared it would be vandalism if the East Kent Road Car Co implemented its plans for a new bus station, approved on a majority vote by the Town Council. The Council restricted the height of development to two storeys but approved removal of all trees, to be replaced with new trees, shrubs and grass verges where possible. The alderman protested that the trees were an attractive feature of the town centre.

Double tragedy as family car plunges into a dyke

«f QO7TWO DIED when a car carrying five >L«/^ / people overturned and plunged into a flooded dyke on the Ham Street/New Romney road as they tried to avoid an oncoming car. Four managed to get out but one man died and a child aged three, from Bayswater, later died of pneumonia. Plans for a public library at Cheriton hit objections from a group of ratepayers who objected to the cost, of what seems a modest £12,160, but then Cheriton then had only about 8,700 residents. There was talk of a 9d rate. The outcome was that there had to be a local inquiry - which also costs money. It seems to have been such a 'hot potato/the Herald devoted four broadsheet columns to a report of the hearing. A branch of the Association of Men of Kent and Kentish Men was formed in Hythe and Herald writer Felix expressed the hope members would do their bit to help push the sales of the hardback book "Biography of Kent and Kentish Men" by a Hythe author, the late Revd Dr A Winnifrith. The book was printed and published by the Folkestone Herald's former printing works in The Bayle, now the site of a block of flats.
District hit by power cuts -as firemen plan pay strike

■<| Q^“»TWENTY-five years ago this month ■Lt/ I I guess what, Folkestone was in the grip of the nightmare of a power 'black-out' chaos and local firemen, concerned at "constantly low wage settlements," said they were ready to strike as part of county-wide industrial action* despite the added fire danger of candles, paraffin lamps and oil heaters being used by some families in the emergency. This was not due to a storm, although the district was hit by gale force winds, but unofficial action by power station workers. The problem was serious enough for the Herald to publish a cut-out-and-keep-guide for readers telling them when to expect cuts in power supplies. A warning was issued that patients could die in local nursing homes, such as one in Hythe, if cuts came during operations. The Royal Victoria Hospital Folkestone and Etchinghiil Hospital had power generators. Local firemen were warning that an all-out strike was imminent if the 10% limit on wage rises wasn't lifted. Drivers were warned to be particularly careful during black-outs when traffic lights would not be working, and a "Good Neighbour" appeal went out to all householders to keep an eye on elderly or infirm neighbours.

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:-