DOVER KENT ARCHIVES

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.

Published 13 November 2003

 

BELOW: Fishing Quay, Folkestone is the simple title of this charming postcard, inscribed by hand, which pictures a mass of fishing boats in the harbour viewed from the cobbled ramp up which fishermen pushed there carts laden with the latest catches of fish. The card, shown to me by a keen postcard collector and Memories reader, is dated on the reverse, September 8, 1908, although it has no stamp or forwarding address. Evidently it was sent to someone in an envelope, for it has the message “Just a card for your collection,” and the writer talks of the weather having been very poor for summer that year.
Strange funeral of a JP and land owner
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SURELY one of the most unusual funerals ever held in East Kent, took place at Brockhill Park, Saltwood, a century ago this year.

The deceased was William Tournay Tournay, to give him his full name, a JP who succeeded to his father’s Saltwood estate, which included farms at Beachborough, Folkestone, Pedlinge and Saltwood, in 1883.

His real name was William Tournay Allen, but he assumed the name as given above, on inheriting the property and seems to have lived a somewhat solitary life at times, from then on.

He was known to be a first class shot with revolver or rifle and was also skilled as a mechanic but, apart from himself, there appear to have lived at his father’s former village home only a caretaker and his wife, Mr and Mrs Mowll, and few villagers really knew much about him.

His home became known as the “haunted house” such was the privacy he was said to have chosen for himself.

Villagers spoke of seeing a huge stuffed polar bear, standing 9ft high, occupying one of the front rooms, while rugs and skins of every description were said to furnish the front portion of the house.

At a park in Dover, there used to be an archway made from the jawbones of a whale that he donated to the local council.

During his 20 years in charge at Brockhill Park, William Tournay bought an island in
the middle of a lake added to Brockhill House grounds, and there he chose to be buried when he died, on August 20, 1903.

Few knew much about his funeral plans but a Herald representative, who was there as an observer, told how a small company of policemen under command of Superintendent Hollands, formed a cordon around the property to keep out the public.

He noted there was no tolling of a chapel bell, no crowd of sympathisers to witness the sad event but, at 2.45pm villagers might have heard the sound of a vehicle crossing some wooden planks.

Temporary bridges had been built across the lake to the island by undertakers Messrs Gower, to “allow the procession to cross the various portions of the lake.”

Air of silence

One, from the ‘mainland’ to the pretty little island, was 31ft long by 12ft wide.

The Revd Prebendary A.L. Palmes, Vicar of Saltwood and the Revd H. Allen, cousin of the deceased, followed by undertaker Mr S. Gower junior, were at the head of a small funeral procession which wended its way round a beautiful natural walk in the parkland, towards the island.

Six men engaged by Mr Gower pushed an undertaker’s ‘truck’ bearing the coffin.

This was of plain oak, with massive brass fittings, without ornamentation other than a brass plate with the simple inscription; “William Tournay Tournay, born
February 1849; died August 20th, 1903; aged 54 years.”

The coffin was followed by two relatives of the deceased, and then about 30 old tenants of his farms.

There was no sound, other than the singing of birds, footsteps of the mourners and the grinding of the wheels of the bier.

As the undertaker’s men were about to lift the coffin from the bier on the island, the Vicar stopped them and led a special form of prayer for the consecration of the grave, before the burial took place.

“The ceremony over, the whole of the sad assemblage filed past the grave. There were no flowers. In scattered order the tenants returned to their homes to discuss the
event,” commented our reporter.

One old lady villager commented she was not surprised the Squire died in August: “His mother, father and brother all died in August, and I knew he would not live after this month,” she told our reporter.

The curious Herald writer, returning to the scene an hour later, was amazed to see a gang of workmen engaged in destroying the bridges built across to the island.

There were thought to be two claimants to the estate, reported the Herald. One was a retired naval officer named Allen, and the other, George Hinde Tournay, who for many years lived in Hythe. He could trace his ancestry back to 1485, and was a distant cousin of the Squire of Brock Hill.
 

Refuse 'destructor’ is given the go-ahead in Folkestone

* Q/"lO FOLKESTONE was aglow with excite-X^UOment, reported the Herald, the town council elections creating more interest than for many years. Three out of four sitting councillors easily held their seats, with particularly high votes for the future mayor, George Peden, who polled the highest number of votes ever recorded, to retain a North Ward seat. Retiring mayor Alderman Frederick Hall also received a convincing West Ward vote of confidence. Results were met with great rejoicing and there was also great satisfaction at the defeat of the other sitting councillor, John Jones, of the East Ward (taking in the port), whose views had made him unpopular. Pictures of seven successful councillors were printed in the paper. The Council finally approved 15,000 plans for buying a site and building a refuse destructor for the town, having obtained government approval for the scheme -subject to agreeing not to go ahead with plans to make and sell concrete paving slabs on the site. The Herald complimented the two-month old Folkestone Sea Angling Association upon its first angling festival, a successful event over three days, blessed with fine weather.

 
Anxious moments as fire crews fight garage blaze

"1 was drama near the town cen-

.L^S^Otre when firemen fought a serious fire at the extensive store rooms attached to the South Coast Motor Services bus garage in Bradstone Road - close to a large underground petrol storage tank. Long tongues of flame were already shooting into the air when the firemen arrived, but they soon had the blaze under control, cutting holes in the flat roof to aim their hoses down on the flames. A huge crowd gathered as huge clouds of smoke developed and police were forced to control traffic. Garage staff had hurriedly removed motor vehicles from the scene of the outbreak. The fire began in a workshop. MP Sir Philip Sassoon's epic flight to the Midale East and India was again in trouble, his Iris II flying boat having to put down a second time at Jask, a small British telegraph station just outside the Persian Gulf, with trouble in one of its engines after refuelling. Leaving the seaplane to await arrival of a new engine Sir Philip's party transferred to a Hinaidi 'land' machine to continue the flight to Basra. There was a photo of the MP having a dip in a swimming pool in Hinaidai, Bagdad. That photo was sent to the paper by Folkestonian L.A.C.R.W. Valentine, of the Hinaidai aircraft depot.
 
Team work saved elderly woman in fire-hit home

qcoTHE ARMY came to the rescue after a -Li?OOteam of Cambridge University graduates broke down at Newingreen after a 11,615 mile drive over some of the worst roads in the world. A half-shaft of their 30hp utility vehicle had to be repaired five times on the trip and finally gave up the ghost completely near Folkestone. The army stepped in to help after attempts in the trade to find a replacement failed. The graduates set off on June 29 and were on the last leg of their journey through 20 countries when the half-shaft failed again. Two anonymous workmen men simply left after assisting in the rescue of a Hythe woman of 81 who was trapped in a second floor bedroom of her burning home in Church Hill. Recently widowed, Mrs Elizabeth Atkins was brought out by builder and decorator Mr H.C. Thomas, who climbed up a ladder to rescue her and was assisted by Gordon Holman, an electrician. Mr Thomas was a leading fireman in the Second World War. Commander of the Danish Women's Air Force, Mrs Else Martensen-Larson visited Hawkinge airfield's WRAF training depot.
 
Touching scene in channel after swimmer’s death

A Q7QA FOLKESTONE soldier. Warrant I O Officer Tony Allen, a physical training instructor in the 1st Battalion The Worcester and Sherwood Foresters, helped direct the clean-up operation after Hurricane Greta hit British Honduras. His unit was part of a 1,900 strong British garrison in Belize protecting the colony from rebel forces in nearby Guatemala. After months of patient work and intensive effort by the diving section of Folkestone Yacht and Motorboat Club the diving craft "Five O One Diver" was launched by mobile crane at the harbour on the same day as the annual 'lift-out' of cruising yachts, being laid up for winter. The diving boat was a ship's lifeboat converted in a yard in North Street, opposite the club headquarters. Folkestone sank a few glasses, 25 years ago in memory of Channel swimmer Ted Temme, who died in Italy. Sam Rockett, local businessman and channel swimmer himself, was among a small group who joined Temme's son John, to scatter Ted's ashes in the Channel from Folkestone fishing boat FE20. In 1934 Temme became the first man to have swum the Channel in both directions and was presented with a gold cup by a national newspaper.

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