Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 17 July 2003


BELOW: Star tableau in Hythe Venetian Fete in 1949 was this Dresden china candlestick entry which won two trophies. See story below.

Alas, space prevents me featuring this week information and pictures sent in by a several “Memories” readers over recent weeks. Rest assured I have not forgotten them and I will use the information and pictures soon!

Please keep those letters and the interesting old photographs coming!
FORMERLY a home-help and friend to an elderly lady who was nearly 93 when she died some months ago, a ‘Memories’ reader has passed on to the Herald a bundle of more than 50 excellent large photographs of Hythe Venetian Fete, most of them apparently dating from 1949.

The lady, who misses her friend a great deal, wishes to remain anonymous. She told me she has been helping the family, most of whom live ‘down under’ in New Zealand, to clear the late Thelma Norris’s home, where the photographs were among’ family property.

They were wrapped in a brown paper parcel, in a suitcase.

Thelma Norris, who lived in Folkestone for 50 years, was the daughter of Roland Harman, of Lympne, a master builder.

Mr Harman, who also lived into his early 90s, was evidently prominent in local affairs and a road, Harman Avenue and some cottages, Roland Cottages, were named after him, she told me.

Mrs Norris had no children, only nieces and the family did not want the pictures, but her home help thought they should be kept and passed them on to the Herald.

There is nothing on the backs to identify the photographs, but a dozen or so have been back-stamped with the name of the photographers, Raphael Studios, of 29 High Street, Hythe._
Some have what could be a negative number and two are of the “Borough of Hythe Challenge Trophy, 1949, to be awarded annually for the most outstanding entry in the Hythe Venetian Fete.”

This silver trophy is in the form of a model of a warship of the Cinque Ports mounted on a wooden base and with a series of plaques, one giving the name of the trophy, while the others are shields, to be engraved with the names of the winners each year.

Only one shield has been engraved, with the date 1949, so this suggests the picture dates from that year.

Symphony of Colour

After consulting the bound newspapers of the Herald for 1949 I found that another photo was similar to one used in the paper’s picture feature on the Venetian Fete, headlined on the front page “Water Fete - Symphony of Colour,” and clinches the date as 1949.

It shows Hythe mayor, Alderman P.F. Spicer, wearing his chain of office, with Busck Nielson, First Secretary of the Danish Embassy, who stood in for Prince Georg of Denmark, and opened the event, when the Prince was taken ill and could not attend.

Over 25,000 people were estimated to have supported the spectacle, including the mayors of all the towns of the Cinque Ports
Federation and never before, had the event been so well organised.

BBC commentator Wynford Vaughan-Thomas contributed a great deal to the success of the event, his running commentary lasting close on four hours, while pretty TV announcer Sylvia Peters added glamour to the occasion.

That silver Cinque Ports ship trophy given by Hythe council for the best tableau in the fete was awarded to what the Herald described as “An exquisite candlestick, in Dresden china style,” featuring Ann Walter, aged 14 and Elizabeth Walter, who was seven, both of Hythe, Belinda Pembroke, 10, and Valerie Moncrieff, 13, of Folkestone - see Raphael’s picture above.

Clustered around the foot of the giant candlestick, with its five ‘flaming’ candles, they wore Georgian period costumes.
The entry also took the Wellesley Cup for best entry in the open General Section.

Biggest tableau in the carnival of floats, requiring some skill to manoeuvre along the route of the procession, depicted Queen Alexandra of England, the Princess of Denmark surrounded by Alexandra Rose sellers of her day, in period costume.

They stood on the terrace of Windsor Castle which took up more than half the width of the canal. Entered by Mrs R.A. Mitchell, of Cannongate Road, Hythe, the tableau took second prize.

Honours in the class for tableaux with a stage and screen theme went to a duelling scene from Hamlet by S. J. Sharp & Son, of Hythe while the humorous class was won by the Royal School of Infantry’s massive Brontosaurus with moving head, flashing lights and cavernous jaws.

>ruH auis on compraims

cruelty to bus horses

f\0 MOTOR buses were alleged to be a I/O growing nuisance in Folkestone and e and, after objections at a meeting of e Town Council to the grant of any more ces for further public service vehicles of kind, two new applications were refused, lwhile, the local RSPCA officer told of com-ts of overloading of the older horse-drawn s, some were carrying too many passen particularly up the Canterbury and Dover out of town, causing unnecessary suffering e animals The East Kent Agricultural Show held in Folkestone and was a groat succuss. rtud the Herald, attracting thousands of tators, grandstands being packed. Animals red were said to be of better quality than and records were set up by Southdown p and horses. A particular feature of the v was the number of agricultural implo-ts displayed. A report of the event covcreu ly two complete pages of the Herald. The t Springs Water Company held an open day ark the installation of a still" for oven fur improving its products by distillation of the llent local, but hard 'silver' spring water.

Town’s Titanic’ survivor at preview of epic film

a QCQTHE DRAMATIC film "Titanic" was showing at the Odeon cinema, recalling the gruat sea tragedy in April 1912, when the new "unsinkable' liner hit an iceberg and sank, over 1,630 of the 2,340 people on board being drowned. And the Herald carried a picture of one of the rescued passengers, Folkestone-born Mrs Elizabeth Darby (nee Rameli, and for merly Mrs Nye), who had been sailing to America to start a new life there. A sister of Mrs E.A. Dalton, then living at 135 Dover Road, Folkestone, the Salvation Army member attend cd a New York preview of the film where she met one of the women who shared her cabin on that lateful voyage. She also met three women who shared tlio same lifeboat with her. Her fathor, Mr Ramell used to have a coach-building business in Dover Road. He was said to bo the founder of the Salvation Army Band in the town. She had previously emigrated to Canada, on marriage, and subsequently moved to the USA but later came back to Britain. Elovon British drivers and their Sunbeam Talbot cars, flew from Lympne airport to the Continent to join in the International Alpine Rally in the South of France in a flout of nine chartered freight aircraft.
Massive crowd expected for big agricultural show

1 QOQFREE Parking for up to 20,000 cars was being provided for a big event in Folkestone - the Kent Agricultural Society's annual show, on ground to the north west of Cherry Garden Avenue, where cows normally grazed, a small army of men being involved in the ground work over a number of weeks. At the entrance to the site a replica of an old English cottage of the Tudor period was con structcd as one of the attractions. St Leonard's Church, Hythc made an appeal to restore five out of eight bells in the church which were found to be cracked, the cost being estimated at 560. The leaders came up with the idea of a 'pilgrimage' for supporters to take gifts to the church on St Leonard's Day (November 6.) The quayside overlooking the port's fishing boats, at The Stade, was crowded for the annual service of Blessing for the Fisheries by Bishop EJ. Bidwell, formerly Bishop of Ontario. Mr Saxon Brown also attracted a big crowd near the har bour when he won a successful wager of 20 that he could pull along a loaded motor charabanc using only his teeth. Both events were pictured in the Herald in
Vital role of conferences in attracting tourist trade

of Q’yQSHEPWAY must remain in the con-/ Oference business if it is to survive. That was the view of the District Council's publicity sub-committee after reading a five-page report on conferences by the amenities officer. The Council should consider a new conference centre or hire a consultant to see what could be done to upgrade the dilapidated Leas Cliff Hall. At Hythe furious traders were wondering how planners contrived to organise roadworks closing three roads in the town centre in the busiest summer months - when there was a summer festival in addition to the regular attraction of the Venetian Fete on the Royal Military Canal! Roads hit were Mount Street, Sun Lane and Marine Walk Street, all running from the bustling High Street. The landlord of the Star Inn, Newington, Finally called time and stopped serving refreshments as the property was handed over to the Department of the Environment prior to the building of M20 link rotida. Industry must be kept out of sleepy Saltwood, decided the parish council 25 years ago. They endorsed the majority view at a village meeting called to discuss plans to extend the popular garage of Mr M.G. Horton with a body work shop.

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