DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 1 May 2003

 

BELOW: This attractive Folkestone harbour scene, dating from around the 1920s, was captured by a Kent photographer specialising in local views for postcards and it is one I picked up at the recent Collectors' Fair at Westgate Hall, Canterbury. The well supported event was organised by the local Postcard Collectors' Club.
A FIRM favourite feature in the Herald for reader Peter Hogben is the “Memories” page and he was prompted to write to me last week after reading about the centenary of Shorncliffe Garrison Church, in the “From Our Files” section, for 1953.

Peter thought, he said, that the church he knew was a much newer building: — as indeed it is, it was dedicated on St Mark’s Day, in 1941.

In 1953 the Herald was telling- of the plans then to celebrate the centenary of the old church, which was still standing- on a fine site overlooking the Channel.

Peter goes on to say he can recall “Lord Haw Haw” — the nickname of Second World War traitor William Joyce.

“I recall the German propaganda broad-casting-misfit,” referring to the church. He had boasted ‘Don’t bother finishing the building of that church at Shorncliffe, we are going to bomb it!’

“I am not certain, but I thought Otto
Marx, the builder, was the main contractor,” said Peter.

“As kids, I and all my mates, sang in the choir there in the forties and fifties - as we were paid good money, from which we could buy the Woodbine cigarettes!”

78rpm Bells!

And I was fascinated to hear Peter’s next revelation. “The church bells,” he said, “were, in fact, a 78 rpm record and an amplifier in the ‘belfry’ with a very distorted sound, causing much amusement!

“The record was played every Sunday morning and evening. The verger climbed to the top of the church to start the recording of bells to call the faithful - mostly serving soldiers attending church parade.

“The verger was Captain Lawrence (retd) of the Royal Pioneer Corps, later to become mayor of Folkestone.

“Opposite the church was a NAAFI type
building, called the Montgomery Homes, intended for soldiers.

“After choir practice evenings us kids (there are still a few around the town) used to pile in to scrounge chewing gum and have a game of snooker.

“On the juke box was a record called “Isle of Capri,” by the Ken Colyer Jazz Band. It was played non-stop and was one of the earliest revivalist jazz numbers of the age.

“It had a big influence on our choice of music later, as teenagers.

“Most of us went to the school next door

- now a bit derelict - St John Moore primary, where the head teacher was a Mrs Stokes. Some of the teachers were serving soldiers.

“A very happy school, with happy kids, inspite of the war and shortages. No sweets

- but the Woodbines were cheap!”
Great Exhibition

Folkestone & District Local History Society’s next diary date is May 7, 2003, when the subject of the meeting is a major event in the UK’s history, The Great Exhibition, at Crystal Palace, in 1851.

The interesting story will be told by Walter Williamson. This will be followed a month later by Brian Bamford’s account of “Life as a Foot Soldier under Wellington,” that’s on June 4.

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 of meetings can be obtained from the secretary, Peter Bamford, of 7 Shorncliffe Crescent, Folkestone, whose phone number is 01303 223337.
Church

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Leas barrier loses town a new express train service

•a Q/\QONLY the construction of the town's ■L7Ui9 railway viaduct could be considorod a superior engineering feat to the Folkestone Pier extension, tne last concrete block of which was laid in April, said the Herald. The positioning of the block, weighing 20 tons, marked the end of the construction project which involved incessant labour day ana night, from the end of March 1898. Tne project began with sinking huge iron foundation cylinders near the old harbour breakwater. A 'palisade1 of a fence, still dis-figured the Leas over Easter and it was said this had cost the town a new afternoon express train service to and from London, a railway spokesman saying they could not take the gamble while Folkestone appeared to be trying to deter visitors, with a dispute over access to the Leas, rather than trying to attract them to the resort. The Herald editor was calling for an additional siimmur attraction in the form of dog shows which were increasing in popularity ana being promoted in rival resorts, like Hastings. Writer Felix was calling for a bi lingual town guide to help a growing number of visitors coming to the town from France.
 
Local horse owner chalks up a success on the turf

m qj”*jQUEEN Mary, who died in 1953, .LwOOendeared herself to the pimple just like our sadly departed Queen Mother and Herald writer The Roamer recalled how popular she was in Folkestone. She once put her parasol aside so that a small girl with a camera could take a better picture of her. I wonder if that picture came out and is still in the family album of a local family? Queen Mary, widow of King George V, also bought a number of articles made by patients at the local Star and Garter Home, a toy dog, dolls' house, miniature furniture set and a knitted baby's coat. Roamer recalled he once visited the Park Lane, London home of Sir Philip Sassoon, the constituency MP for 25 years, at tho same time as her royal highness. The occasion was an art exhibition hosted by the MP. The same day Roamer went with Sir Pnilip to meet Charlie Chaplin, a personal friend, who was visiting London. A local man's horse, "Le Serpent," trained at Mr E. Long's stables at Shorncliffe, was the 7-2 winner in the first race at Fontwell Park. Owner was Mr R Hurst, of the Hurst firm of Folkestone turf accountants. TV viewers' hopes of improved reception in Sh>!pw,iy were dashed the BBC ruling out a booster station.
 
Four light aircraft squeeze into drill halls for exhibition

*1 OOQHERALD reacior Mr K. Allan, of Tontine Street told how he picked up New York on his amateur three-valve radio set by fit ting short wave coils and, during a period of three hours heard a personal account of the triumphant Atlantic flight of three aviators, Baron von Huenefeld, Capt Kochi and Major Fitz-maurice broadcast from the Richthofen Hotel. He sent the paper a shorthand summary of their story. Mr Allan said it was difficult to believe the broadcast didn't come from London it was so clear. Sadly, it was a different story for a reader who tuned into the broadcast from the Leas Cliff Hall of concert given by the town's municpai orchestra, tho reception being plagued with interference from Boulogne. A novel feature at Folkestone drill halls was a display of four light aircraft, a De Havilland Moth, Avro Avian, Westland Widgeon and a Blackburn Bluebird, staged by the Cinque Ports' Flying Club, based at Lympne. Supporting the display was an exhibition of aviation photographs. More than 20 machines were expected to be flying at an Easter holiday event at the airfield.
 
European Cup defeat sparfcs drunken orgy of violence

| Q7QA FRONT page story in the Herald 25 JLtJ I Oyears ago told of angry soccer fans who went on a drunken orgy of violence and looting on a cross-Channel ferry in tho early hours of the morning, as they travellod home after their team's 2-1 European Cup defeat in Germany. In a costly rampage, they smashed open shops and cabins and were alleged to have stolen 4 000 worth of hard liquor, jewellery, watches and cigarettes. A massed force of about a hundred police officers rushed to cor don off Folkestone Harbour as some 700 Liverpool fans arrived back in England aboard the ferry Vortigern. while police dog handlers also stood by, and there were extraordinary scenes as tho fans lining tho decks chanted, waved flags and shouted obscenities at all and sundr\ Tlit v were escorted ashore in small groups and there were strip searches for many in Customs. Eventually 15 fans were arrested. Shop manageress Mrs Pat Crossland, of Dover, said tho fans seemed like a well-organised gang. Belgian day-trippers unfortunate enough to have booked on the same ferry were given a safe escort off the ferry via a separate exit onto the quayside.
 

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