Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 27 February 2003


FORMER baker and confectioner in Hythe, Ron Kernan, 73, was very interested to read in Memories of farmer Peter Harmer’s research about Zeppelin air ships for he has vivid memories of watching one over Horn Street, where he lived, in 1936, when he was only seven years old.

“I have thought since that the crew must have been having a crafty look at the military camp at Shorncliffe,” he told me.

That is just what I said, in Memories recently, after I saw a photograph of a Zeppelin over nearby Dover’s seafront, in our sister paper the Dover Express, for which I have worked for many years.

During those 45 years or so I also recall seeing an old picture postcard which supposedly depicts a Zeppelin caught in the

i beams of several searchlights which were part of our coastal sea defences.

Recalling the Second World War incident Ron told me “I looked up one day and saw this perishing Zeppelin overhead.

“I also have vivid memories of the ‘Doodlebug’ flying bombs which came over Folkestone and Hythe - and also of the terrific din as all the many anti-aircraft guns which had been greatly increased, suddenly opened up,” he said.

“I said to my mother one day, ‘tomorrow I am going to count all the ‘Doodlebugs’ that
Graf Zeppelin?
Ron Kernan, who used to be a familiar figure in Saunders’ shop, in Hythe High Street, was particularly interested in a Memories photo recently of the Britannia public house, near where the old Horn Street watermill stood, since he is so familiar with the area.

As to that Zeppelin I have yet to come across anything in the news columns in pre-war copies of the Folkestone Herald. Perhaps it was on one of the old pages that are missing from the old files.

Peter Harmer, of Rhodes Minnis, tells me he was very pleased to hear that another
me by e-mail to tell me that John Donovan, who was in the recently featured football group picture, worked for Hoover, maintaining carpet and washing machines in the 1950s.

Then, some years later, he took a job with Sealink as an assistant Purser.

Alan was in the same Anselm crew as John, when, in the 1980s, whilst on a night shift, John, sadly, had a massive heart attack from which he died on board ship.

“John Donovan’s parents ran the Harbour Cafe at 12 Harbour Street until the premises were demolished in the early 1950s,” Alan recalls.
FOLKESTONE & District Local History Society’s next diary date is March 5, 2003, when the subject of the meeting- is “The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway.” The Society meets at Holy Trinity Church hall, in Sandgate Road, at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. New members and visitors are welcome. More details about the Society’s meetings this year can be obtained from the secretary, Peter Bamford, of 7 Shorncliffe Crescent, Folkestone, whose phone number is 01303 223337.
come down’ - which I did, and I recorded 32 brought down in one day!”

Ron went on to tell me that he lived in Shepway throughout most of the Second World War, apart from one year in Wales, when he recalls being billeted on the same farm as Ron Dutt - who is involved in organising a Dover Road School reunion -and other local schoolboys.

“There were eight of us altogether and we all had jobs to do. I can remember one particular day when some of the boys found a cider barrel in an outhouse,” he chuckled.

He particularly recalled one lad whose “face was a picture of innocence” when the farmer came in and asked if they had been “at the cider barrel!”
Memories reader, Eileen Martin, of Folkestone, also remembered the Zeppelin airship flying over the district.

Another Herald reader to report a sighting of the Zeppelin, is Mr F.C. Sharp, of Rossendale Road, Folkestone, who told me: “I too saw the Zeppelin passing over Dover Harbour. I saw it lose height and dip in salute, as was the custom in those days.” And he added “I was told by my father, who was a first officer on the Harbour Board tugs, that it was the Graf Zeppelin, sister ship to the ill-fated Hindenburg.”

As to Dover Road School memories featured in the Herald Alan Taylor contacted

Women to rescue - to stop children’s ward closing

*1 OnQ TRIBUTES to manager H.W. Rowlands ISUOwere paid at the 15th annual meeting of shareholders of Folkestone's popular Pleasure Gardens Theatre Company when members heard of the great reputation of the theatre among visiting artistes. All said what a pleasure it was to perform in Folkestone. An innovation during the year had been the staging of a lawn tennis tournament in the grounds, which was a moderately successful 'first' but deserved more support from local people. Annual boxing championships at Shorncliffe Camp gymnasium were supported by a 2,000-strong crowd. Hie Herald reported that "dragoon, gunner and infantrymen all fraternised with one another," all intent on a good evening's sport. Troops and civilians came from Canterbury, Brighton, Maidstone, London, Woolwich, Dover and Walmer to watch. A lift for the Royal Victoria Hospital was the target of an appeal, details of whicn were given at a meeting of governors when the success of cash-raising efforts to keep the children's ward open, was reported. This was thanks to a women's group, led by lady Radnor who were determined to see that the ward did not close.

Savings Bank celebrates centenary in Folkestone

a Qg>o FOLKESTONE Trustee Savings Bank ^«/90celebratod its contonary on February 19. the first ’office' having opened at 2 Guildhall Street. It was for many years at 10 Cheriton Place but, within days of the centenary, moved back to near rs original site, at 7 Guildhall Street, following close on amalgamation with the South Eastern Trustee Savings Bank. At Hythe all hopes for the future of the Venetian Fete rested on launching an appeal to set up a fete reserve fund, with a minimum target of £1,000. Organisers felt unable to carry on without, bocause of fears they have to foot the bill should tho event make a loss due to bad weather or other causes. Loading light in Folkestone over 40 years, Harry Henley, a director of Folkestone Herald owiiit-. FJ Parsons Ltd, died aged 73. He retired in 1947 after 55 years in printing and was succeeded as manager at Folkestone by his only son Don Outside business Harry took a great interest in charitable work and played a leading role in Folkestone football from 1908. Keen on bowls, he played twice for Kent. Jean du Prcaire, who crossed the Channel by watcr-cycle, had to borrow his fare back, unimpressed French coastguards sending him home!
‘Holy horror’ at the prospect of a Folkestone ‘switchback’

fi QAQHOME Secretary Sir William Joynson ■L«/^OHicks spoke at a rally in the Leas Cliff Hall, attended by over 1,500 Conservative women who were prominent in the fight for voting rights for the fair sex. Sir William was supported by the; constituency MR Sir Philip Sassoon and MP for Canterbury, Sir William Wayland. Major concerns highlighted by the speakers included the menace of communism, equal franchise for women, housing. the potential of aviation, and assisted passage for many of the unemployed to take up new jobs across the then flourishing British Empire. Nearly five columns of the broadsheet paper worn filled by a report of the meeting. Folkestone Operatic Society, with a large cast, over 60 strong, staged "The Gondoliers" at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre and the Horald printed a picture across the full width of a broadsheet page. Feature writer Felix wrote of the stir created in the town when Earl Radnor made available a seafront site next to the Victoria Pier for construction of the Switchback Railway, described as "the American invention." People held up their hands in "Holy horror" at the prospect fearing an invasion by "London trippers."
Women look back 50 years to time they won the vote

^ Q7QMANY women were looking back 50 I ©years to 1928 and the time that the epic struggle for women's rights finally succeeded, with the passing in Parliament of an Equal Franchise Bill. In Hythe there was a special reason to celebrate because there, 50 years before, Hythe Men's Conservative and Unionist Association made history by admitting women, at its annual meeting for the first time, with the purpose of forming a joint association. President of the new joint group. Sir Charles Wakefield quipped that he was glad to join in celebrating tho 'marriage' and hoped "there would never be a divorccl' One of a Lydd family of fishermen and hfeboatmcn, Mr L A Oilier, was granted consent by Shopway District Council to sull fish from the garage at his home. He had previously done this when living in a smaller house in the same street, but a neighbour objected when he moved into a larger home. "If you live in a fishing village you expect people to want to sell fish." commented one councillor, supporting his enterprise. The old fire station in Portland Road, Hythe, was to have a new use, for garaging of vehicles and plant, but consent for use as a repair workshop was refused.

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