DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 22 May 2003

 

RON Dutt, of the Dover Road and Hillside School old boys’ association, has been telling me how their recent reunion drew more than 80 pals to swop memories and news at the Amalgamated Veterans Social Club in St Michael’s Street. Below is a picture of Class 4 in 1947, and the names he remembers - he is in the centre of the front row

- are Tommy Gatehouse, Charles Price, Ron Broderick, Willy Hall, headmaster Mr Wheeler, Don Allen, Alex Clampitt, teacher Mr Appleby, Peter Daughters, Frank Dorrell, John Warner, Sid Hughes, George Balls, George Bowles, teacher Sam Moore, Arthur Pordage, George Day, Peter Hooper, Read and Don Gerrard.
GOOD News! It’s great to be able to report some good news - particularly, of course, when “Memories” has been able to play a part in it.

I heard this week from Peter Turner who has been keeping1 my wife and I up to date with the results of his appeal for information about his grandfather G-eorge Macklin.

George was 55 when he was killed with four other civilian workers in an air raid on Lympne’s wartime RAF airfield, on August 30,1940 - when Kent’s fighter and radar stations were targets in a major offensive.

Mr Turner received numerous calls as a result of a Memories appeal. In fact, he said, he could not have hoped for a better response - and, there was an unexpected bonus! Peter was absolutely delighted to receive war medals that had been awarded ) to his grandfather. That was something I am sure he never dreamt he would find!

All this in spite of the fact his e-mail address (petertO@tinyworld.co.uk), as published wasn’t quite correct.

Peter said the medals were still in the original box complete with the postmarked envelope they had arrived in!

The campaign medals were sent to him by Percy Mount, now 89, of Chart Road, Folkestone, who read the Memories appeal for information in the Herald.

Percy explained that George Macklin had lodged with his grandmother in Folkestone
sometime prior to 1920, and later with Mr Mount’s mother, Annie Elizabeth Mount, known as ‘Lizzie’ who lived at various addresses, finishing up at 6 Bonsor Road, where George was living up to the time of his death.

Percy Mount, who lost his father in the battle of Arras, at Vimey Ridge, on Easter Sunday, 1917, got to know George Macklin very well, for George treated him just like a son. Mr Macklin served in the Queen’s Regiment throughout the First World War and Mr Mount inherited his war medals.

When Percy married he lived and worked in the building trade in the Gravesend area

- at Thong Lane aerodrome - and, when George Macklin was killed he was unable to attend the funeral. Percy said he understood that at the time of the air raid George had been digging defence ditches.

Filling craters

Before the war George had worked for Messrs Clayson, the builders, of Lyminge.

More details of the tragedy came from Frank Diwell, 83, whose uncle George Diwell, was one of the other raid victims.

Peter says “Frank told me that a number of men were working at Lympne aerodrome filling bomb craters. When the air-raid siren sounded most of the men hurriedly jumped on to a lorry and left the area.

“But the five killed did not reach the
lorry in time and took cover in a shelter which received a direct hit from a bomb.” Mr Diwell, he said, thought George Macklin had a daughter, Hilda, but Mr Mount has no knowledge of a daughter.

Frank Watts, 65, contacted both Peter and myself, to say he was descended from one of the other victims, Frederick Townsend. He said he believed the men were building air-raid shelters.

Most of the labourers, he told me, were volunteers and what had happened was that the older, slower men were simply not quick enough to get to the lorry before it left to escape the oncoming raid.

The five men took cover behind a partly constructed wall which, unfortunately, took a direct hit. The explosion was such, he said, that Fred’s body wasn’t found for a couple of days - the blast had carried it

Fi
half a mile away. Identification was through a distinctive belt that Fred wore; a wide leather belt with a large brass buckle.

Fred had been the proprietor of a fish and chip shop at 66 Dover Street, Folkestone, which was destroyed in the same shelling raid which blasted the Bliss family’s newsagents shop. The two families, said Frank were related.

Both Fred Townsend and George Macklin are buried at Hawkinge cemetery, in an area reserved for civilian casualties of war.

Frank was also interested in the photograph in Memories of the old railway sidings on the seafront. He could remember, he said, when the last rails were lifted, in the 1960s and the firm he worked for created the West Sidings car park, later absorbed into the harbour complex. Close by were the stables of the Peden family.
Success!
 

They take a little gravel -and they take a little tar...

*1 (JAqA CENTURY ago, just like today, there >l>91/Owas a problem over roads or pavements which seem to get 'excavated' for repairs soon after they're laid or re-surfaced! Reader W.H. Hammorton, came up with a witty verse which sums it all up: "They took a little gravel. And they took a little tar. With various ingredients. Imported from afar. They hammerod it and rolled it And when they went away. They said they had a pavement That would last for many a day: But they came with picksand smote it, To lay a water main; And then they called the workmen. To put it back again. To run a tramway cable. They took it up some more; And then they put it back again. Just where it was before. They took it up for conduits. To run the telephone. And then they put it back again. As hard as any stone. They took it up for wires. To feed the electric light And then they put it back again. Which was no more than: right. Oh! The pavement's full of sorrows. There are patches everywhere; You'd like to ride upon it But it's seldom that you:; dare, It's a very handsome pavement A credit to the town; They're always digging of it up. Or putting of it down!"

 
6,300-strong force repair breaches in sea defence

QCO^HE ANNUAL conference of the River >Lę790Boards' Association, in Folkestone, heard of magnificent work to repair coast defences after the great storm which hit the East Coast early in the year. In Kent alone there were more than 4S0 breaches in defences and 50,000 acres of land - 78 square miles - was flooded, up to 8 or 9ft deep. Within days a workforce up to 6,300 strong was at work and four and a half million sandbags were among material used in emergency repairs before another high tide. Work continued to complete permanent repairs before winter storms. Plans were made for over 7,000 children in Folkestone to see film of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Wilf Armory, the once popular manager of Folkestone FC, welcomed a special soccer fan to a match 50 years ago, a veteran of the game, Mr W.B. Macgowan, aged 92, who for many years was secretary of Folkestone Junior League and a lifelong supporter of the Town club. Folkestone & District Trades Council passed a resolution deploring the action of local master builders in refusing to grant workers a day’s holiday to celebrate the Coronation, and strong-lv nrnpri tlmm tn rp-nnnsiHnr
 
Flying display draws cars and bikes by hundreds

*1 QOQcharabancs- cars' motorcycles and bicycles, as well as many pedestrians, formed queues miles long, all flocking to a flying display at Lympne held by the Cinque Ports Flying club. A Herald writer told of a car park filled with hundreds of cars, while motorcycles formed a solid mass of machines about 70 yards long and six yards wide. Apart from crowd-thrHling stunts by skilled airmen visitors could pay for a short trip in one of several different aircraft to taste the thrill of flying. The Herald was following the progress of the building of an Admiralty harbour at Dover and the construction of an aerial ropeway to carry coal from Tilmanstone Colliery to the Eastern Arm of the harbour. On the eastern side of the pier workmen were building a small railway, 200 yds long over the rocks to where a concrete-making plant was to be installed to build several piers in the sea encasing iron standards carrying the ropeway down from a tunnel in the cliffs to the harbour. Writer Felix; delving into archives came up with a rare town guide, nearly 90 years old, which told how, in 1661 it was ordered that no fishermen should go trawling before March 12.
 
Warehouse plan - at once historic Dying circus’ site

t* Q*7QA FIRM called Cheldale Ltd was plan-JmTj I Oning to convert hangars at the old Lympne airfield into warehouses and use the old airport buildings as part of its plan to turn the site into a rest centre and parking area for jug-

Eernauts travelling to and from the Continent, ocal residents opposing the plan at an eight-day public inquiry heard there was already a similar facility at Lenham, near Maidstone. Former leading fireman Mr E Croucher, of Ingles Road, Folkestone was looking back, in a letter to the Herald, to the Second World War and the year Christ Church, in Sandgate Road, was destroyed, leaving just the tower standing - as it does to this day. Mr Croucher told how he was on fire duty in Hove at the time, having charge of a large Dennis fire appliance and was drafted as part of a convoy of fire engines to drive to Folkestone and Dover where air raids were reported. The convoy was augmented en route by other Sussex firemen and their pumps and appliances, from Brighton, Peacehaven and Seaford, and he recalled arriving in Sandgate Road at midnight and seeing just the tower of Christ Church standing as the Home Guard cleared a way through the debris for them.

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:-

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