DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 7 August 2003

 

BELOW: A CHARMING study of twenties fashions - a motor charabanc, with gleaming paintwork, which was one of a fleet of similar coaches run by the London & South Coast Motor Service Ltd established by John Cann, of Folkestone, in the early days of motoring. The postcard view, taken about 1910 outside Martin Walter’s former motor showroom, at 90 Sandgate Road - now a travel and sports shop - was one of a number lent to me by a Memories reader. Note everyone wears a hat, most with wide brims, anticipating a sunny excursion.
CHOOL teacher Mrs Christine Dodd, of Saltwood, read with interest a recent Memories appeal for help about Ash-Eton, a property at Radnor Park now used as local NHS offices — and contacted me to tell me Folkestonian Rodney Morgan wrote a history of Ash-Eton Preparatory School.

She told me the school was founded in 1923 by Mr Morgan’s father, who was her great uncle, Capt Frank Morgan.

“The history, I believe, is deposited in the local town archives. I have a copy of the original in my possession and would be happy to send Karen Clayton a photocopy if she wants one.”

Christine sent me photocopies of a number of old photographs of the building’s exterior and interior, which were published in the book and says the text makes interesting reading for anyone interested in local history or education.

“Briefly the building Ash-Eton was built in 1903 as a private school - no one seems to know why it was so called. It was unoccupied when it was bought by my great uncle in 1923 and flourished as a preparatory school in Folkestone between 1923 and 1940.

“In 1940 at the time of the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk the buildings were requisitioned by the military authorities and. not handed back until 1945.

“The school itself moved to Cornwall for the duration of the war.”

The site was bought by Kent County Council circa 1947 to use as additional
accommodation connected with the Royal Victoria Hospital, she said.

“My great uncle was educated at the Harvey Grammar School and Goldsmith’s College, London University, where he met his wife Gladys Cadman - also a trained teacher.

“He served in the Royal Horse Artillery in the First World War in Belgium and France and was awarded the Military Cross.

“After the War and service during troubles in Ireland he returned to Folkestone and was attached to the Royal Army Educational Corps at Shorncliffe Camp.

“It was on leaving the army that he bought Ash-Eton and realised his ambition to have his own school.

Big sports ground

“During its heyday, in inter-war years, the school acquired seven acres of playing fields over at Park Farm and additional buildings on the opposite side of the road

— where the Sports and Fitness Centre now stands - and 3 Radnor Park Avenue.

“There was a gym, hard and lawn tennis courts.

“The main building had accommodation for up to 50 boarders, although some pupils lived at home.

“Gardens behind the main building provided fruit and vegetables for the school.

“The school took boys from seven years to 14 and prepared them for common entrance to public schools, the Royal Naval
College, Dartmouth and Pangbourne Nautical College.”

From 1934 onwards, she said, morning classes were introduced for five to six year olds. The school had a modern curriculum for the time, which included Physics, Chemistry, Art and Craft, an emphasis on spoken French and there were even facilities for photography and model making.

Music was taught by well known local music teacher Linda Rowe.

“My uncle, now in his 80s, who attended the school with his cousins, remembers Ash-Eton with affection and I can remember my mother telling me of happy Christmas times for the Morgan family being spent there, sometimes with one or two pupils from overseas who couldn’t go home.”

Ash-Eton school itself came to an end in 1942 as, although it had moved to Cornwall,
it never really recovered from the move and when its founder died in that year, the school was closed.

Christine, who sent me a cutting from the Herald for June 1934 reporting on a sports day at Ash-Eton School, is carrying on the family teaching tradition.

She taught for many years at the Folkestone School for Girls. Now teaching part-time at Pent Valley School, she says she likes to read “Memories.”

Bob Turrell, of Rossendale Road, Folkestone read with interest my recent reference to veteran motorcycling enthusiast Monty Banks and his racing son Trevor taking part in a big race in Germany, and brought in two photos of Folkestone Motor Cycle Club dinner and dance, in 1954-55, in at least one of which the then young, dark-haired Monty appears. I recognised him straight away!
School history
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Local developer exploits use of local resources

•f QAQTHE HERALD reported a boom in X57UO housing, noting the disappearance of

ii number of "To Let" notices in the town and the arrival of newcomers to the properties concerned. A reporter told of recent occupation of "good houses" in Shorncliffe Road and other property around the railway station, and said the latter would serve the community better renamed Folkestone West. Tribute was paid to the late John Pope, a prolific inventor, who was said to have assisted considerably in developing the natural resources of the resort of Folkestone. He was the pioneer in using Portland Cement, dosigncd and built Marine Crescent, "of cement and beach," without bricks and analysed natural materials found near the Junction Station and produced some of the strongest cement ever made in Britain. He built Bradstone Hall, first a theatre, then adapted as the Salvation Army Citadel. One of the first football photographs was published by the Herald, of the unbeaten Excelsior team after beating Faversham 5-0. In the team were H. Smith (goal). Cocks, Finn, Harrison, Wonfor and Saunders, H. Hall, E. Hall, Tribe, Champion and Craker.

 
Auschwitz victim faces court after smuggling

QCQTHE LEGENDARY George Formby, of ukelele fame, travelled to Folkestone in a yellow Rolls-Royce to join the audience for an Emile Littler inspired Zip Goes a Million" show at the Pleasure Gardens Theatre, taking pride of place in the dress circle box. He was Keeping a promise to Roy Barbour, a friend of many years, to attend the performance when Roy played the part of Percy Piggott in the production. A Frenchwoman who bore the physical and mental scars of having been branded with a letter 'A' for Auschwitz by the Germans at the notorious Second World W.ir prison camp, appeared in court. The mother, whose elder son died in the camp, won a 2,000 roduction in a 10,000 fine after the court was told an error was made in stating the weight of platinum she smuggled into the UK. At least 26 tableaux were expected for Hythe's Venetian Fete on August

12 and an additional attraction was the showing of an amateur cine film by Colonel F.F.C. Cooke, callod "Coronation Memories," recording celebrations in Hythe. The East Kent bus company opened a new express coach link with western Europe, joining up its London-Dover service with Continental services from Brussels and Ostcnd.
 
'Wing walking’ stunt big draw at cliff-top air strip

“I QOQBREATH-taking "wing walking" stunts JLw^O were among the attractions at an improvised flying strip in a field adjoining the popular Valiant Sailor public house, at Capcl. Former RAF pilot Mr K.K. Brown, was giving pleasure flights in conjunction with his colleague Mr L. Jackson, flying a 110hp Avro 504K monoplane. The headquarters of the company was at the old Bekesbourne aerodrome. Similar flights were staged by the fliers at Lympne where spectators awaited King's Cup Race competitors due to arrive on one of the stages of the round-Britain race. The Herald gave a trophy for the best performance by a private aircraft: flown by its owner on the leg of the King's Cup race from Southampton to Lympne airport, and the winner was Squadron Leader H Probyn, stationed at Manston, flying a Westland Widgeon. Local fishing families were mourning the death at 88 of William "Billy" Spearpoint, of Saffron's Place, a real Folkestone character who had at one time practically run the Fishmarket in his capacity as a fish salesman. As an auctioneer he sold thousands upon thousands of catches of fish, worth many thousands of pounds.
 
Tittle tattle’ bars people from homes list - claim

| Q'TQTHE HERALD told of claims council-J.9 10 lors blacklisted families on Shepway Council's housing list because of personal prejudice, while a housing management committee, which selected council tenants was alleged to be too influenced by 'tittle tattle.' One councillor said some people were permanently banned from the waiting list even though they met council criteria. Legion standard bearers were at the funeral of Frederick Bath, of Claremont Road, Folkestone, who served in both World Wars and was active in the Dunkirk Veterans Association: In the Second World War he had lucky escapes in France when the Germans over-ran the Low Countries, narrowly escaping to Dunkirk to board the "Queen of the Channel" only to experience near-death again, as the vessel's bows were blown off in a bombing attack. Happily, he was picked up by a lighter. This, apparently, made him well qualified to spend the rest of the war dealing with unexploded bombs as a member of a Royal Engineer's bomb disposal squad! In the First World War he fought in the Indian Ocean, South Atlantic and Dardanelles and was on HMS Revenge at the Battle of Jutland when the German fleet surrendered.

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