Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 10 July 2003


VENETIAN Fete float designers could pick up an idea or two from a fascinating collection of photographs dating from 1949 that were among the personal effects of an elderly local lady who died recently, and have been passed on to the Herald. One of the simpler floats was this one advertising the netwerk of WRAC TA units across the country at that time. I wonder if any reader can put names to someone on the float?
THE HERALD’s “Memories” page has come up trumps as far as one particular reader is concerned, after we succeeded in putting her in touch with a branch of the Folkestone Hall family who moved to the United States years ago.

She is Mrs Christine Cook, of Foreland Avenue, Folkestone, who is descended from Folkestone mariner Capt William Stephen Wood, a one-time master of sailing ships operating' out of the port.

Christine told me she doesn’t have a computer but she will be getting in touch with Tracy Hall Bretz, who e-mailed me from Seattle, Washington, about her family connection with the Halls of Folkestone, following a “Memories” feature about Captain Wood, who married into the Hall family.

“We were delighted to read of the Seattle, Washington, connection, from Tracy,” said Christine.

“I had often wondered if there were still distant family members in the United States.

“I remember my grandma, Mabel Florence Wood - sixth child of Capt Wood and his wife Elizabeth (nee Hall) - telling me her mother had a cousin, or cousins who went to Seattle, but I didn’t even have a surname to begin tracing anyone who might still be living over there.

“Your column has really come up trumps! Thank you very much,” writes Mrs Cook.
Christine was delighted to see the picture of the Durlocks, in Folkestone, with her mother Eileen and grandmother Mabel in the garden, which featured in “Memories” on June 26. The timing, she said, couldn’t have been better.

She received a visit the very next day from her uncle Keith Hopper, who had taken that picture way back in 1933, when he was only six years old, she said.

He and his wife Josie were tickled pink to see the old photograph he took, printed in the Folkestone Herald!

“He told me he could remember the camera was made of brown bakelite and was purchased in three parts, costing sixpence (2.5p) each, from Woolworths!”

Guests of MP
Christine says her mother Eileen’s father, Harry Hopper, was a keen gardener, and her uncle told her that when he won the Best Kept Garden Competition on one occasion the local MP, Sir Philip Sassoon, sent not one, but three cars to pick up the first, second and third placed gardeners and their families from their homes, and take them to his Port Lympne home - now the Port Lympne zoo park - and entertain them to tea, to mark their success.

Her uncle could still remember the long trestle tables set out for the celebration tea party and how beautifully kept the MP’s home and gardens were, she said.
Capt Wood’s wife Elizabeth Ann Hall was a witness at the marriage in 1881 of Tracy Hall Bretz’ great-great-grandparents, Cecil Begent and Mary Ann Hall.

Another reader to contact the Herald about the Durlocks photograph was Mr J.H. Bridges MBE, who lives in one of the 33 properties on the estate. He sent in some interesting details about the properties, which will have to be held over for a week.

“Memories” reader Karan Clayton, who is interested in finding out something about Ash Eton School, Radnor Park, now NHS offices, has had at least one reader contact her as a result of her plea for help through “Memories.” Karan works there as a caretaker and wanted to know something about its history.

Father Francis Capener, Assistant Priest with Our Lady Help of Christians, in
Folkestone, says he is not sure about Ash Eton being a school for gentlemen before the Second World War, but, he says, it was certainly a privately owned, fee-paying school for boys. In fact he says:

“I was a pupil there, 1936-39, and remember very clearly the Headmaster/owner Captain Morgan, who we all held in the greatest respect.”

•I hear former staff of Silver City Airways are holding their annual reunion at Lydd Airport on July 12. Chairman of the group is Keith Dagwell, who is an expert on the history of Silver City Airways.

It was a Silver City plane I believe which took the 1,000th car across the Channel from Lympne back in 1949.

Readers wishing to learn more about the group’s activities can contact Sally Maycock, on 07941 008311.
Link with US

Metropole cliff lift to boost resort’s holiday amenities

*1 Cl AO CELEBRATED musician Sousa and his _L7\/Oband performed at tho Victoria Pier pavilion attracting large audiences. Folkestone's planned new cliff lift, to be built near the Metiopole Hotel, promised to be a very welcome amenity for both hotel guests and locals, giving ready access to the beach where, it was reported 'bathing is carried on in the Continental style, and rapidly becoming popular from tents." There were also the beautiful gardens below the Leas "so splendidly kept up by tho Lord of the Manor.” The lifts were to descend from the Madeira Walk, slightly below the level of the Leas promenade walk, with the capacity to carry 16 passengers, including bathchairs (wheelchairs.) The work was being carried out by the Metropolc Lift Company whose directors were the same as those of the Board of the Folkestone Lift Company. The editor took issue with a reader who complained about the state of the Baylu pond - a century ago big enough for swans to swim in. The re.ider thought neglect meant the swans were in danger of being poisoned, but the editor pointed out the pond had only recently be cleaned out.

Risk of too many empty homes in town centre?

npnTHERE was a warning Folkestone XSdiSwas in danger of "over building" on the outskirts of town while a considerable number of properties in the town centre remained empty. Tho Town Council deferred the purchase of 15 acres of land adjoining Sugar Loaf Hill it had been proposed should be developed, with housing, 166 homes, consisting of two-bed room, three bedroom and four-bedroom houses, being proposed by the borough engineer. The plan was deferred pending the result of a deputation to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. It was proposed to begin road works in connection with the now estate in the autumn. These homes were in addition to 220 or so for which consent had been given to boost postwar re-housing, at Creteway Down - where a new sports field was planned - and at the Harbour. At Swingfield a still-active Mrs Mary Ann Hughes (nee Horn), who had been born in Guston, near Dover and worked until she was 74, was celebrating her 100th birthday with 40 members of her family. She had 18 great grand children and 12 great-great-grandchildren. An assurance was gwen that Shorncliffe would remain one of tho UK’s permanent army bases.
Thousands more visitors could be attracted, claim

“I QOQADVERTISE t,, 9roilt attractions of J.iJdS.0Folkestone far more widely, urged Cllr A.H. Ullyett, F.R.G.S., who was so moved by fine v/iows from the Leas - "comparable" to tho Bay of Naples, he said. The town was not only the 'gateway' to Europe, he said, but a place "endowed by nature with tho richest gifts" augmented by the “wonderful jewel" of the Leas Cliff Hall, the Zig Zag path, the Marine Gardens Pavilion, recreation and sports grounds, not to mention the Theatre, museum - one of the Finest in the county - and the public library. On top of that there were the interesting old features of the town, such as the Fish Market and Roman remains, and then there was the Warren, not only a natural attraction but a source of remarkable fossils, and also the sands at East Cliff. And these worn only a few of the advantages enjoyed by the people who lived in the town. They ought to be able to draw thousands more visitors a year, he said, but the town seemed afraid to advertise. Felix, delving into the archives came up with the curious fact that in 1661 it was recorded that butchers were not permitted to sell any meat in Lent.
Channel ‘motorway - to cut shipping disasters

| Q7QA SHIPPING 'motorway' in the .L7 I O Channel could help prevent major oil slicks polluting the shores of Shepway, declared Folkestone and Hythe MP Mr Albert Costain, who was backing a scheme proposed by Trinity House pilots in a bid to tighten up existing shipping lane regulations. The 'motorway' he explained would offer four lane traffic flow through the Channel with large ships, like tankers, keeping well towards the centre of the Strait. The plan followed serious pollution after disasters such as the wreck of Ihe Amoco Cadiz off the French coast. Meanwhile experts were testing an oil pollution boom to shield beaches from disastrous oil slicks, aided by Folkestone fishing boat "Lady Rose." Folkestone joined with thousands of people across the country to mourn the passing of the famous "Are You Being Served?" personality Mr Granger, the well known actor Arthur Brough, 73, who lived and worked in the town many years. Arthur - real name Frederick Baker - who also starred in the "Dad's Army" series, died at his Marlborough Court flat, in Folkestone, only a few months after the death of Elizabeth Addyman, his wife and stage partner of 40 years.

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:-