Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 24 July 2003


BELOW: An attractive float, believed to be one of the entries in the 1949 Venetian Fete that is referred to by Memories reader Joyce Pickering, who featured on the 1949 WRAC Territorial Army float pictured recently. My thanks go out to other readers who have also sent in, or brought me other photographs and stories. Shortage of space prevents the use this week of all the contributions sent in, but I will endeavour to include them as soon as possible.
DURLOCKS resident and Memories reader Mr J H Bridges, MBE, was interested in Christine Cook’s photo of the estate featured in the Herald recently and says Mabel and Eileen Hopper, pictured, were shown standing on a footpath, with the front garden of No 22 immediately behind them.

Evidently, he says, in a letter to the Herald, the photo was taken from the front garden of No 25.

“The street lamp shown was, in fact, in the corner of the front garden of No 21, which is just out of the photo on the left, although the perspective makes it appear to be in the garden of No 19.

“Mr Hopper was the tenant of No 26 from 1933 until 1937. At the time of the photo, \ the tenant of No 19 was Alfred May. Joseph J Hinton was tenant of No 32, which was a flat in 1947. The family moved into No 19 in the 1960s.

“Sir Phillip Sassoon was indeed a prime mover in the planning and building of the estate. Work is said to have commenced in 1918, but 1919 is more likely, and continued until 1921,” says Mr Bridges.

“There are 33 properties on the estate, 23 houses and ten flats. They were originally intended as a move to rehouse the families of fishermen, who were living in very substandard housing on The Stade.
“However, by the early 1920s, the First World War fishing boom was over and, in the event, only the so-called ‘gentlemen fishermen,’ ie, those that owned their own boats, could afford to pay the 12 shillings (60 pence today!) a week rent. This rent was still being paid in the 1960s!

“Until 1993, the estate was managed by the Phillip Sassoon Housing Society (Folkestone) Ltd, but in that year the management was undertaken by the Southern Housing Group at the request of the Housing Corporation,” he writes.

Continuing, Mr Bridges says that in 1996/97 a substantial repair and renovation programme was carried out and much of the garden space was lost for car parking.

“Sadly, there is no longer a best kept garden competition, but some of the remaining gardens would probably give Mr Hopper a run for his money!” writes Mr Bridges.

Venetian Fete float
The Women’s Royal Army Corps TA float picture in Memories recently caught the eye of Joyce Pickering, nee Kewer. “I am holding the banner on the left of the 1949 float, dressed in sports wear,” she told me.

“The three central girls were Scots, Welsh or Irish and two others wore fencing gear. In the following year’s fete, I was Queen Victoria’s daughter, the lady who was Prince Albert was called Jean; her father was a Sergeant Major at Shorncliffe Camp.” Joyce sent a copy of a newspaper clipping
showing a similar WRAC float picture and one of the 1950 float she appeared on.

Herald reader Mary Elgar, of Elham, wrote to me about Caroline Weeks’ recent appeal in Memories for help in finding out something about the history of Park Road, Cheriton, where a friend spent the best years of her life as a child, she said.

Mary says: “I am 66 and my grandfather, Frederick King, owned four houses in Park Road, the part parallel to the railway lines. He ran a laundry in the 1920s and served the officers at Shorncliffe camp. A lot of local people worked in the laundry.

“When I was a child, I used to visit my grandmother, who was Frederick King’s daughter. She lived in No. 48. She was known to all and sundry as ‘Aunt Beat.’ “The names I remember from the past, around 1940750s are: Davis, Ward, Tritton,
Sutton, Philpott, Tiltman, Rodwell and Couchman. If your reader wants to know more I would be only too happy for her to contact me,” writes Mrs Elgar.

I also heard this week from a reader with a special interest in the former Ash-Eton school referred to in Memories. Rodney Morgan, of Broadfield Road, told me: “My father, Capt Frank Morgan MC, started the school in 1923 on leaving the Army.

“It was a preparatory school for boys after starting as a private school. The gym built in 1928 was considered then the finest in east Kent. It is now part of the sports centre complex.

“The school evacuated to Cornwall at the time of the Dunkirk retreat in 1940. Sadly my father passed away there suddenly in 1942 aged only 52, and that brought an end to the school.”
Estate pride

Life-saving fund mooted to cut deaths from drowning

■ Q AO WITH Folkestone and Cheriton still, ■L3vU apparently, as far away as ever from a start on a public tramway system, the 'GB' Surface Contact Company, manufacturers of a system of public tramways, with power coming from contact with the studs in the road between the rails, took the unusual step of taking a page advertisement in the Folkestone Herald. This claimed its system was the only suitable kind of tramway for the district. It is an unfortunate and regrettable fact that few, if any, Folkestone fishermen of old could swim and this prompted a reader to kick-off a fund to provide swimming lessons for any of the boatmen who wished to learn. Children in the growing district of Morehall were said to be receiving no education because no school was serving that area. The editor said there was no doubt that if a school was built the development would be speeded up, justifying the cost. At Sandgate there was pressure to get the unused section of the horse tramway lifted and the road reinstated to improve traffic safety. At Lympne, there was a kaleidoscope of colour pro vided by six acres of sweet peas being grown by Mr Halsey for Carters, the major seed merchants.
Biggest ever flower show attracts many visitors

ft QCO™E TOWN'S biggest over flower show, once an annual event, was held at West Cliff Gardens, where four large marquees housed the National Sweet Pea Society’s southern provincial show and also the Folkestone show, drawing over 1,000 entries in 100 classes. A dazzling show of sweet peas, over 15,000 shown by two firms as well as exhibitors, greeted visitors and one thousand small plants were used in two squares of carpet bedding, displaying the words 'Parks Dept.' This council department also put on a brilliant display of over 900 specimen plants. Lord Folkestone, elder son of Earl Radnor, was married in St Margaret's, Westminster and the Herald carried on its front page two photographs taken after the ceremony. The bride was Miss Anne Seth-Smith, who had homes in Kenya and near Fordingbridge, Hampshire. The Herald published a lengthy feature on the coming of the railway to Folkestone 110 years before, and also reported on the launch of the neighbouring port of Dover's 750,000 new car ferry terminal at the eastern arm of the harbour, which was officialjy opened by the minister of transport Alan T.

Borstal boys playing with shell grievously injured

*1 QOQ^ Borstal boys were badly injured /ZOat Lydd ranges when a live shell they found exploded. One had an arm blown off and a leg badly injured and the other lad lost a hand and had other wounds. At the time, it was said they were walking along the sea wall at Jury's Gap, about six miles from Rye. They found tne shell on the tank ranges and picked it up thinking it had been fired, then-one dropped it and it went off. They had been returning to their annual camp on the marshes. A third boy and the one who lost his hand both ran for help to the coastguard station and two doctors were quickly on the scene to tend to their injuries. HMS Marlborough paid a four-day courtesy visit to Folkestone, having previously been to Folkestone just prior to the start of the First World War, and the town entertained the Royal Navy personnel who were led by her distinguished master Capt AFB Carpenter VC. The gardens of the attractive home of Lady Raphael, at Hockley Sole, Capel, were open for a fete in aid of the two churches of Alkham and Capel. Opened by the Mayoress of Folkestone, Mrs R G Wood, it drew visitors from a wide area.
Faults sent power station costs up to 340m, claim

Q"7Q DESIGN faults and bad management / O were to blame for Dungeness B power station being ten years behind schedule, pushing up construction costs by a staggering 250 million, to 340 million, claimed John Donoghue, the former chairman of shop stewards committee. He strongly refuted that workers were to blame for delays. Calling for a public inquiry into the plant he said a lot of time was spent ripping out faulty equipment and replacing it. He said the men seemed to earn more money pulling down parts of the station than building it. But Herald editor of the time, David Wynne^Jones, told of disputes in the years 1977 and part of 1978, costing over 337,000 man hours of work. A mystery gunman who roamed the countryside at night firing at houses was scaring people of Romney Marsh. Miraculously no one was hurt when the sniper attacked five homes at St Mary-in-the-Marsh, Lydd and St Mary^s Bay on a Friday night. One property was the home of a New Romney alderman. She heard nothing but the dogs barking. The next morning, however, she discovered a hole in a window. It was believed the shots may have been fired from a car.

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:-