DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 29 May 2003

 

BELOW: This interesting photograph from Folkestone Herald files pictures the vessel “Doris” sailing off the old Victoria Pier at Folkestone, probably in the 1920s. Sadly the photograph is not identified - apart from the name of the craft which has been neatly written by hand on the actual photograph. Does any “Memories” reader know anything about it I wonder?
PENSIONER Freda E. Swan, of Orchard Valley, Hythe is a Herald reader who particularly likes to turn to the Memories page and, when she read about Mrs Pat Allen’s search for local cinema pictures for a book she is writing, she wrote to me about her own memories.

“I have a small, framed photograph of the old Picture Palace in Hythe High Street. My late sister started work there on Armistice Day, 1918, aged 14, in the office.

“My two cousins left about that time. One played the piano for silent films. When it closed in 1927 and “The Grove Cinema” opened, the three staff transferred to that, where they stayed until it closed.

“I have a small souvenir of the opening, on May 16, 1927 and paper cuttings of its closing. My late husband and I spent many J happy hours there. He did go to the “Palace” as a very young boy,” she writes.

“The staff did stay a little time at “The Ritz,” but not so much is known about that.”

Something else Freda is interested in, she said, is Empire Day, which used to be widely celebrated every year.

“As a seven year old I had the honour of unfurling- the flag- during the celebrations on Hythe Green, on May 24, with a young lad also from my school.

“It was a great day, with an afternoon of sports to follow - there’s nothing quite like
it today,” she commented ruefully

Freda goes on to tell me she treasures some old local photographs with which her late husband helped Mr Whitney produce a book on old Hythe.

“Having been born and brought up in Hythe I do know my Hythe. I have lived in my present home for 61 years!” she writes, in impeccable handwriting.

Did you see the famous Golden Arrow train which steamed into Folkestone with an enthusiasts’ Kent tour special on Saturday, May 17?

Golden Arrow
Hauled by a fully restored Battle of Britain class engine “Tangmere” it is due to tour Kent several times this year. Wessex Trains (0870 747 3829 or www.wessex-trains.com) plan further trips on June 26, July 31 and October 25.

The circular route takes in Canterbury East and Canterbury West, Ashford, Headcorn, Tonbridge, Dover, Deal, Sandwich and Thanet.

The re-introduction of the Golden Arrow Pullman boat trains to Paris after the Second World War, in April 1946, was seen by France and the UK as an important symbol of a return to normality in Europe after the hostilities.

One of the boys who was watching the “Arrow,” on that occasion was Brian Pickett, who went on to become such an enthusiast that, 57 years later, he restored
the Tangmere locomotive which was taken out of daily mainline service back in 1972.

It was all set to be scrapped, as were hundreds of other locomotives when steam was phased out in favour of electric and diesel hauled trains. But Brian rescued it from a scrapyard and heads a group who restored it to its former glory.

I made a reference some time ago in “Memories” to an interesting hardback book “One Man’s Railway - J.E.P. Howey and the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway.” Written by John B. Snell. It was published by David St John Thomas Publisher, 10 years ago, priced at 13.95.

A reader contacted me for details of how to get hold of a copy of the book. The usual advice is to approach a reputable bookshop and quote the ISBN number, which is ISBN

0 946537 80 1, or you can contact Thomas & Lochar (David St John Thomas Publisher),
PO Box 4, Nairn IV12 4HU.

This was a completely revised edition of the same work first published in 1983 and my special interest was a section about the one-off special locomotive powered by a Rolls-Royce petrol engine which once ran on the popular railway.

I was also very interested in a photo of millionaire racing driver Count Louis Zborowski, who built his own aero-engined cars at his Higham home, near Canterbury.

He had hoped to partner Capt John Howey in opening- the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, but death on the racing track ended that dream.

•Still on the subject of trains I was taken to task by a reader for apparently giving the impression that the “Golden Arrow” once steamed past homes fronting the Tram Road railway line down to the harbour. I am sorry if any reader was misled.
Nostalgia
 

Visitors not impressed by 'daily dose of stench’...

f QftQ CARTOONIST A.J. Boz had an amus-.LSUOing cartoon featured in the Folkestone Herald highlighting the long saga of whether or not Folkestone should have a public tramway service, like a number of other successful coastal resorts His picture depicted two trams - one taking power from overhead wires — in Guildhall Street, on one side of the Town Hall, and, on the other side a third tram in Rendezvous Street, coming from the harbour. This was picking up its electric power via a groove in the road. I had to smile at the small headline over a paragraph in Herald writer Felix's weekly column in which he told of the contrast between Lord Radnor's magnificent "drive under the hills" together with planned widening of Cherry Gardens Avenue, into which it led, and a "certain stench which spreads itself over the avenue." He didn't name the source but drew the attention of the Council to evil-smelling stable manure being carted through the streets of "fashionable Folkestone" almost in the middle of the day. Thu stench could be "carved through with a knife" and visitors were not impressed, he commented.

 
Woman bullion smuggler jailed and fined 10,000

m qpaA FOLKESTONE court heard how a >L*990fashionably dressed Frenchwoman had attempted to luavc the country with gold and platinum bars worth 7,900 concealed in her clothing, while 3,000 dollar bills and travellers' cheques worth 5 DUO dollars were found hidden in the lining of a suitcase. She refused to reveal who was behind the smuggling bid and was jailed for six months and fined 10,000, with the alternative of a year's imprisonment. Meanwhile the town was gearing up for Coronation celebrations with early street decorations already going up in the form of heraldic shields on lamp-posts in Sandgate Road, with red, white and blue streamers descending down from the lamps to the shields. Students at the Folkestone School of Art were putting the finishing touches to a five foot diameter plaque they designed depicting the town's official seal, which was to be placed above the portico of the Town Hall, flanked with the Union Jack and ensigns of the three Services. And the first shops were staging their special window display while, all over the district, teams of parents and helpers were busy organising Coronation street parties and other events.
 
Pedestrian warns of bus 'racing’ and traffic speed

1 QOQ^ "TERRIFIED pedestrian" was com-plaining about the "reckless driving and terrific speed that motor cyclists and motor cars" indulged in continually in Folkestone. The writer also complained about buses racing each other and the ‘ awful speed" of motorists, particularly in Sandgate Road, Cheriton Road and Castle Hill Avenue. The Herald received a letter from a Twickenham man who told of a bell-ring-inq record set in St Leonard's Church, Hythc, in 1J546, doscribed as a "13,440 plain bob major" rung in seven hours 55 minutes, starting at 7am. This was considered remarkable, as were the ages reached by the ringers, who were named as Charles Fowler, of Hythe, who rang the treble bell and was 74 when lie died in 1875; Henry Down, of Hythe, who died aged 80 in 1885; James Harrisson, of Folkestone, 79 when he died in 1887; Joseph Stokes, of Aldington, 71 when lie died that same year; Joseph Chapplo of Hythe, 82 when he died m 1869; John Friend, of Hythe, 77 when he passed on in 1881; Edward Hyder, of Aldington, 84 at his passing in 1896; and, finally, tenor bell man Thomas Post, of Aldington. He was 87 when he died in 1906.
 
Young generation hit back at ‘over-zealous’ bouncers

| Q7QBRAVE police hero. Inspector Phillip JL*710Roberts was honoured with a Queen's Commendation after successfully persuading a heavily armed man threatening to kill him to put down his rifle. The police officer, aged 52, who was being held at gunpoint apparently convinced the gunman he was not a policeman but an ambulanceman and eventually he handed over the weapon. It was then found the man had other weapons, including a shotgun, pistol and ammunition. Over-zealous 'bouncers' were ruin ing nightlife for young people in Folkestone, it was claimed. The Heruld told of allegations by music lovers of haphazard disciimin.ition and aggressive behaviour towards disco fans. One fan claimod the only way to get into some discos was to bribe the bounccrs, some youngsters using duty-free cigarettes to grease their p.ilms. A concerned ratepayer at Lydd was sounding a warning not to be too ready to accept assurances about cancer risks from the Dungeness Power Stations being "negligible," pointing out that the Electricity Board was bound to be opti mistic, yet seemed reluctant to have any monitoring of actual cancer figures within the area of a nuclear power station.

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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