Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 28 August 2003



MEMORIES reader Paul Emden, who lives in one of the flats at St Andrews, at The Durlocks, has made a nice little collection of old pictures of the property when it was St Andrew’s Convalescent Home and also a guest house. Some of the flats command good views over the harbour.

Paul has kindly sent me copies of his photographs with a little background information about the property, for use in Memories.

I particularly like one which shows the Matron of the home in 1917 and a pony trap used to give rides to the inmates, which meant going up and down the steep Durlocks and North Street, says Paul, who pointed out that the trap was in the charge of a coloured man. (The photo was taken at the junction of The Durlocks and East Cliff Gardens.)

The St Andrew’s home, he says, moved from its original site in Guildhall Street, to its prominent site overlooking East Cliff and the port 120 years ago, the cornerstone being laid by the then Duchess of Edinburgh.

The home was run by the Order of the Nuns of Clewer and a chapel was added in 1889.

At one time, says Paul, the home was for patients recovering from TB and those staying there during their convalescence included men, women and children.

“At some time, probably after the First World War, it became a WTA (Workers
Trade Association) guest house,” and this use may have continued after the Second World War, he believes. During the war he understood it was used as a billet for Canadian troops.

Because of its prominent position it is not surprising, he says, that during the war anti-aircraft guns were sited in the gardens and the remains of the metal rods which helped secure them can still be seen.

“After the war the home closed and was re-opened as the Continental Hotel until its conversion to 27 flats around 1990.

“Should anyone have any further information regarding this wonderful Grade II listed building, or any early photographs or memorabilia I would love to hear from them, as I am very keen to records its history. It is a well preserved building and one Folkestone can be proud of,” writes Paul, who can be contacted on 01303 249923.

More Durlocks memories

Peter Croucher contacted me about recent Memories references to The Durlocks, Folkestone, to say he was born in No 24, in 1928 and his sister at No 2 in 1923.

“I am now living in Southwater, West Sussex, having left Folkestone in 1950 and would very much appreciate a copy of any article or photograph,” he told me in an e-mail message. He can be contacted on

Still on the subject of the Durlocks and “Estate pride,” I also heard from Mrs D.L. Rawlings, of Kennington, Ashford, who points out that the foundation stone for
the Durlocks was laid by Lady Rocksavage on December 27, 1919 and this was reported in the Folkestone Herald, of January 3,1920. It might, she suggests, warrant a mention in Memories sometime.

•Reader Ron Dutt, another old boy of Dover Road School, told me he was one of the lads who visited the old Ashford Railway Works with a school party, which included Dennis Stone, in 1947, and he remembered Sir Eustace Missenden very well.
“I have got a photograph of all us boys outside the works itself,” he told me in an e-mail message.

•Folkestone & District Local History Society’s next diary date is September 3, when the subject of the meeting is a talk about ‘Kent’s Secret Army’, by local history enthusiast and author David Collyer, of Deal. The Society meets at Holy Trinity Church hall, in Sandgate Road, at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. New members and visitors are welcome.

Dover Road builder wins contract for port station

"I QAQ LOCAL fishermen were reporting a X3Ui3bad season. Since April strong winds had prevented them fishing most days, according to one boatman, who complained it was the worst season for the 20 years he had worked from the beach. Dover Road builder Mr Grayling, who built the railway carriage works at Ashford, won the contract to pull down the old wooden railway station at the harbour and build a new one. "Lord George Sanger, the Greatest Showman of them all, is coming with his Gigantic Colosseum of 1,000 years ago and today, with the only Real Hippodrome in the World to Sandgate Hill, Folkestone, Friday, September 4, 1903," that was how this well-known circus advertised its show in the Herald a century ago. Other delights promised at the 'Colosseum - said to be 7,000 yards in circumference - included a 'realistic' production of an Indian wedding, a massive parade of North American animals, together with camels and elephants, a real Indian encampment, a prairie on fire, the seemingly inevitable battle: scene between cowboys and Indians, and a chariot race featuring 'real Indians.'
Flying golfer and partner win strange game of golf

'I QOQ RULES must have been "adjusted" for X7^0a curious game of golf played on an east Kent course which was recorded by the Herald. It involved Mr K Edgson Wright, a passenger flying in an aircraft lent by the Royal Cinque Ports Flying Club, and a partner, Mr P Cue, down on the course. The game was played over six holes and the 'airmen' beat the 'groundsmen,' Messrs W Meadmore and W Glover, who played in the conventional manner, after the two sides were level at the final hole. In the aircraft flown low over the course by Major I Clark, Mr Wright waited until the opponents reached the first green then dropped his ball on the green, this counting the same as the two strokes taken by the others to reach that point. Mr Cue then took over to 'pot' the ball. The first two holes were halved, then the airmen went ahead by one stroke. The next was halved but the groundsmen levelled at the fifth. At the final hole the airmen won by five strokes to their opponents' six. Sharp & Sons, dairy farmers of Folkestone, who had premises at 37 Sandgate Road, took first prize for their finely turned out dairy cart, at the Kent County Agricultural Show held in Folkestone in the summer of 1928. The pony cart featured in a photograph in the paper.

Heatwave Venetian Fete draws crowd of 30,000

•f qpq GREAT figures in the history of JL5/530 England came to life in an impressive pageant called 'Star of England' at Hythe cricket ground as a special feature of the town's cricket week. Hythe Venetian Fete, on the hottest night for 24 years attracted a crowd 30,000 strong and, late into the evening, many were still in their shirt sleeves. The event was enhanced for spectators by the professional commentary of BBC personality Michael Barsley. In pride of place at the head of the procession of floats were Mrs and Mrs William Curd, of Victoria Avenue, Hythe, on a traditional Darby and Joan float, depicting a couple living in peace and serenity, sat by the fireside of their humble home, complete with carpet! Billed as a 150,000 spectacle, under Europe's biggest 'Big Top,' the Chipperfields' circus came to Morehall, Folkestone, for three days in the third week of August. Roman chariot racing was one of the attractions, while advertising boasted of a procession of over 200 performing animals, with 16 Ceylonese elephants, 18 polar and black bears and 14 African lions.
Trouble shooter Tony Benn flies in to power station

•1 Q■70 SOME 1,000 valuable rainbow trout aL7 I Owere among fish lost as a result of polluted local waters, a serious blow to a new growth industry. Pressure was being applied to discover the cause and compensate fishery owners. One-time Herald editor David Wynne-Jones opened Cheriton primary school fete, held to raise more funds for a cover for the school's swimming pool. David was better known to many local children as 'Professor Bullseye' of the children's page in the Herald"s former mid-week paper the South Kent Gazette, Energy secretary Anthony Wedgewood-Benn was due to fly in on a fact-finding visit to Dungeness Power Station which was hit by industrial trouble. Mayor of Folkestone Cllr Ivy Allan tested her puff trying to play a euphonium in the mayor's parlour. It was part of a move to form a new Folkestone town brass band, with Frank Gale as bandmaster and the mayor backing the idea, The public library •taged an exhibition to mark a special anniversary, called William Harvey and 400 years of medicine, with emphasis on the growth of medicine in Kent. The event coincided with the 30th anniversary of the National Health Service.

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:-