Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 3 April 2003



Sad story
ABOUT 1876 a Frenchman from Brest arrived ‘down under’ by ship at Bluf£ in the south of New Zealand. He was 30 and could not speak a word of English. Three years later he married Mary Jane Swain, in nearby Invercargill.

Mary Jane came from Elham, near Folkestone, where she was born about 1860. Alas, Mary Jain Swain had a short life.

After having two children she died about 1888 and later, her French husband, known by his Anglicised name as John Cantrick, but christened Jean-Marie Quentric, married again.

Researching the Frenchman’s family is a descendant of Jean-Marie Cantrick, Norma Benney. She lives in France and is appealing for help from Folkestone Herald readers.

J Norma, whose letter came to me via a Memories reader, writes:

“Other members of the family living in New Zealand have been assisting me and, as a result of our research, we have prepared a booklet of the Cantrick family history.” But, she continues:

“We have been unable to trace Mary Jane Swain’s parents and other siblings.

“Also, despite our endeavours, we have not been able to find any photographs of either Mary Jane Swain or John Cantrick (Jean-Marie Quentric.)
“If anyone has a shoe-box or album of family photos which might include a newspaper photo of an Elham girl with a Frenchman, way down in New Zealand, a copy would be gratefully received by me - a grandchild of the Frenchman and an offspring of his second wife.”

Norma Benney’s address is 84220 Goult, France or call her on 00 33 4 90 72 36 94.

When a Rhodes Minnis reader of Memories Mrs Marie Hambrook (nee Carstairs) requested a copy of a picture of St Eanswythe’s School that I featured recently I provided her with a copy of an additional photo taken at about the same time, that I found in the archives.

Marie immediately spotted herself in the photo! Marie thinks it is an older picture and pointed out that all the girls wore hats at that period!

“I have recently met up with some ‘evacuees’ from St Eanswythe’s and also have some photographs of us at Whitebrook, in Monmouthshire - Happy memories,” writes Marie.

A Memories reader who served in Palestine with the 3rd Hussars was curious to learn how I knew the date of the 3rd Hussars photo used in Memories on March 20. The Herald has a copy of a card-mount-ed photograph, with printed caption, taken by W.H. Jacob, of Sandgate, at Shorncliffe in 1898. A copy is soon to wing its way to a regimental museum!
Steam days collection

FOR FELLOW steam buffs a modest paperback I have only recently seen will be of particular interest, featuring 105 photographs in colour of steam locomotives and trains in Kent, many of them in East Kent, including Folkestone and Dover.

It is simply titled “Kent Steam,” by Michael Welch, a volunteer worker on the legendary Bluebell Railway, just over the border in Sussex, and is published by Capitol Transport at £8.95.

There are several shots of the Golden Arrow - immaculately turned out and
gleaming - hauled by either Bulleid Pacifics, in original and rebuilt forms, including one at Folkestone Junction, “Rotterdam Lloyd,” or the “William Shakespeare” of the later Britannia class of BR locomotives.

There are also shots of trains in the Warren and, of special interest to me, reviving memories of my young enthusiast days, are pictures of the “Golden Arrow” at Dover, particularly one of “501 Squadron” (34085) in the early streamlined form, in 1959, steaming past locally based engines of the Dover locomotive shed, heading for the Shakespeare Cliff tunnels and Folkestone en route for London.

There is also a nice selection of shots of the Folkestone Harbour branch line pictured above - the Junction Station area and the Warren.

Sadly, they all lose something printed in black and white!

Better road links boost development of homes

“I QrtO GOOD progress was being made in •l.«7\/Owidening Cneriton Road from Mount's nurseries to Mrs Jeffrey's farm and ornamental trees were being planted. An enormous amount of 'rock' had been laid as a foundation. New roads were boosting housing development at Morehall, Ashley Park and dneriton generally. Edwin Finn, of Lydd was among speakers who lobbied Kent MPs over the question of compensation for public house licensees put out of business by a move, supported by 17 votes to seven by a Royal Commission, to reduce the number of pubs in the country. After undertakings were given to cut the number of lodgers beds to one per room in several Folkestone s public houses, to lessen the chances of overcrowding, licences were renewed for the Tramway Tavern {Frederick Skinner), Bricklayers Arms (Mr Whiting),: Granville (Charles Partridge) and the Star. One public house refused renewal of its licence was the Marquis of Lome. At Sandgate they were still clearing up after a storm. Eastward,: lawns at the Riviera had been flooded and ground scoured away by the waves at the bottom of Radnor Cliff.

Big welcome for town’s new Technical College

M qjjaA NEW Technical College in Folkestone was widely welcomed, providing under one roof workshops that had previously been scattered across the town in three of four buildings. Students and trainees in motor engineering, building trades, including bricklaying and plumbing, and electrical engineering, were able to work in a really up-to-date centre, with a degree of sound-proofing, modern and safer heating and lighting, and with the flexibility of movable partitions. The choice of materials used was intended to minimise the amount of painting needed^ and included a new material made in Kent, called holoplast. At the entrance there was an attractive mural by students of the School of Arts and features outside included two Victorian statues found in a shed on the site by the architects. Friends and family were coming to terms with the shock death of Lady Conway of Allington, whose home was at Saltwood Castle, the restoration of which occupied her life for 30 years. She came to the castle in 1922 as the young American bride of Reginald Lawson, a member of the Burnham family. He died in an accident in 1930 and in 1934 she married the first Baron Conway.
Greyhound race track plans are hit by a lack of interest

«f q^q PLANS for a greyhound track in Cheri-Alj^Oton met with church opposition. At a joint conference in the Woodward Institute, in Folkestone^ clergy and ministers said to represent the whole district passed a resolution protesting at the “action of an outside company having the power to impose a greyhound racing track upon the district' and pressed for legislation to give local authorities power to decide what was best for the area. But they needn't have worried, the promoters had already decided the take-up of a share offer, advertised in the Herald, was so poor they had returned punters' money and suspended the share issue. A Chamber of Commerce debate: on plans for a municipal car park in Folkestone occupied two broadsheet Herald columns and the matter was deferred for a month. Plans were drawn up due to a growing problem with trippers' charabancs on Marine Parade and elsewhere, up to 80 a day at the height of the summer. Southern Railway decided to re-open on Sundays, the Elham Valley line, Appledore, Lydd and New Romney branch, and the Sandling to Sandgate branch line.
Shock as Dormobile coach works sheds 55 workers

A Ck*7QTHERE was a shock for Shepway / Owhen one of Folkestone's biggest employers, the Dormobile Ltd coachworks, with 400 staff, made 55 workers redundant. Work was reported to be drying up because of contracts going to Irish firms. Another shock for the town was the discovery of a dump of more than a thousand wartime bullets and tracer shells up to six inches (15cm) long, on wasteground at Golden Valley where children played. The find was made within yards of Shepway Council's technical and planning services centre. It was suggested this was one of a number of ammunition caches hidden by Home Guardsmen when the UK feared possible invasion in the early part of the Second World War. Four men died and five were seriously injured in a lift accident caused by a faulty cable at Littlebrook Power Station. The victims included a father of four from Seabrook, and a Folkestone ; man was among the injured. One man was killed and another badly injured in an accident on Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. Both aged 22 and from Maidstone, they were on a carriage roof when the train went under Prince of Wales Bridge at Burmarsh.

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:-