Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 5 December 2002




HAVING read briefly about the local Coastguards who used to live in the large converted hulk of the sailing ship "Pelter" which was put ashore at the Warren, I was pleased to find a big feature about it, with a rare photograph, in the Herald of 50 years ago this week.

Apparently nine families lived in this unusual coastguard station and cultivated a garden on adjoining land. - See picture, top right.

Families included the Wades, Robinsons, Tiddys and Sisks, some of whose descendants. I'll wager, are still living in the district.

The captain of the coastguard, a Mr Campbell, also had a cabin aboard at one time.

Nine cottages were subsequently built to replace the Pelter, near Warren Halt.

The Government sold the hulk to a timber merchant for 15 - and he subsequently sold the copper he recovered from it back to the Government, for 100. That's enterprise for you!

The cottages didn't last long and, within 10 years the coastguards moved again, possibly to cottages once owned by the Gas Company, in Lower Sandgate Road.

Over time a decline in smuggling reduced the need for coastguards and their numbers dropped considerably.

Frustrated plans

Michael Stainer, owner of The Grand, on the Leas, was very interested in the "From Our Files, 50 years ago" column in the Herald of November 14 in which Surgical Plastics Ltd was reported to have sold out to Pfizer Ltd, of Sandwich, who were looking around
for another factory site in the district.

"At the time Pfizers were in occupation of the vast old West Cliff Hotel/Majestic Hotel, situated on the corner of Sandgate Road and Castle Hill Avenue, where Majestic Parade and Castle House now are.

"I remember Pfizer's young managing director telling my father that the company had deployed every imaginable stratagem to persuade the Folkestone councillors to allow the construction of new factory facilities on land adjacent to the Folkestone Water Works.

"But it was turned down apparently because it was said there was an inadequate water supply!

"Pfizers entertained all the councillors to a dinner here at The Grand in an effort to persuade them. It was said many of the councillors were hoteliers, and that they were concerned that the presence of an expanding employer would attract the staff away from the summer season jobs in the hotels to the well paid all-year-round jobs in the pharmaceutical business!

"How times change! Most of the hotels and boarding houses have gone - and the site Pfizers wished to develop remains largely vacant," said Mr Stainer.

‘That’s my Uncle!’

Maureen McKeen (nee Bridgland) wrote to me from Sycamore Drive, Swanley, in north Kent, to thank Les Page for his photograph of local fishermen printed in Memories on November 21.

"In the photo was my Uncle George, my mum's brother (Bonnie Mockridge)," writes Mrs McKeen.

"I have sent the cutting to my brother Freddy Bridgland. who lives in New Zealand.

"My grand-daughter lives in Dover and sends me the Folkestone Herald every week," she told me.
On guard
RIGHT: TED Luckett, left, in this picture, taken at the gas works, was the uncle of Les Page, of St Martin's Road, Folkestone, who showed me the photograph along with the top picture of Dover Road School infants, taken in 1933.

"My wife, Alma, is sat in front of the teacher, Mrs Ravenhill," Les told me.

"All those in the picture must now be 79 or

80," he added.

In his time Ted Luckett was also a fish hawker.

Tram scheme bombshell at parkland protest meeting

*1 QHO ALDERMAN Banks claimed the trams planned jointly by Folkestone and Clieriton councils would not be able to pass under the archway carrying the railway over the road near the Central Station, being only 20ft wide. He was taking part in a discussion about the legality of taking a strip of land off one side of Radnor Park to widen Cheriton Road for the tramway Aldorman, later Sir Stephen Penfokl questioned why, in addition to taking a strip of land to widen the road it was intended to take a piece in Park Road as well and to cut down a 17-year-old plantation of trees and he said the council surveyor should be ordered to stop such work pending 'further developments.' Special services were being held in the iron-built Railway Mission Hall newly built as a result of the efforts and enthusiasm of local railway workers and their families, ably assisted by a generous friend. Miss M Cadman, of St Michael s Street. The new mission was sited off St John's Street and the base of the embankment currying the railway between the Central and Junction stations. A handsome table was presented to Miss Cadman as a thank you gesture.

Insurance’ plan for Hythe Venetian Fete is debated

m npnVENETIAN Fete organisers were thinking of holding the popular event twico in one week, in 1953. In good weather this could boost receipts, if there was bad weather two dates might reduce the risk of making a loss if one had to be aborted, it was suggested. A strong plea for support from all over the district for the event was made at the annual meeting. The 1952 event raised a tidy sum for charity and 600 was presented to the Old People's Welfare Committee. This was on top of 100 already sent to the Lynmouth Flood Disaster Fund. It was agreed profits in 1953 be shared between the Old People's Welfare Commiltee and the Hythe Institute. The town mourned the passing of motor coach tour pro moter Charles Armondc Older, of Quested Road, Folkestone, who had organised tours to all parts of the country. He was said to be the first driver with Folkestone & District Road Car Co, later to become the East Kent Road Car Co. and subse quently the Globe licensee, in Hythc. Five women swimmers planned to enter a 500 Channel swim race in 1953, Jenny James, Elna Anderson (Folkestone sports teacher) Margaret Feather, Kathleen Mayo and Doris Fell
Fishing port famous for its tasty 'Hammy Bloaters’

m qm DID YOU know Folkestone once pro-I duced thousands upon thousands of i tasty Folkestone "Hammy Bloaters," famous far and wide? At the time there was thriving herring industry in the port, wrote Herald columnist W.G.G. - William G Glanfield, who wrote under the pen-name Felix and published a book on Folkestone I have been trying to find for years. Sadly the life of the prolific writer was cut short as a result of injuries received in a road accident, in 1935. Talking of fish, local fishermen had a fight to land a big shark caught off Dymchurch 75 years ago. The Folkestone boat "Our Willie" (skipper Capt H Sharpe) was fishing on "The Trail" five miles out when there was a violent movement of the net and a battle began. Unable to get the monster aboard, "Micky" Morford and his mates struggled to get a line around its tail as it played havoc with the nets and they literally towed it back to Folkestone! All the time it lashed the water with its fins and fishermen at the quayside declared the sound it made was like that of a ship's propeller. Measuring 8ft long and weighing 6cwt it was sold in France.
Shepuuay blitzed by sightings of mysterious alien 'UFOs’

* q^^THERE was something in the air in 1 t Folkestone - Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs.) Kent was, apparently, a 'nigh activity area' for mysterious sightings and Shepway in 1952 was said to be blitzed by strange objects whizzing about. The most recent sighting was by two women at Capel who reported an "inverted mushroom" hovering over the cliffs, a claim backed by a Folkestone woman. But Hythe claimed five UFO 'sightings' in eight months! A local headmaster praised plans which would introduce a three-tier education system in the district, with a new 'middle' school built at Sellindge. Ford agents Peacocks, of Folkestone, were celebrating their 50th Anniversary. The business was begun by Mr F.H. Peacock in 1927. His firm's offerings then included a Ford runabout, with dickey seat, at 135 and a four-door Ford saloon for 215! New cars that is! After the Second World War, when vehicles and raw materials were in short supply. Peacock's allocation for 1947 was three Ford Anglias and two Ford Prefects - all black! To boost income they bought up ex-NAAFI 8hp saloons, still in wartime camouflage livery and overhauled and resprayed them for sale!

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:-