Folkestone in old picture postcards

Folkestone in old picture postcards

:   Martin Easdown and Linda Sage
:   Kent
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3731-7
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Folkestone in old picture postcards'

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29. The surviving parts of old Folkestone close to the parish church also held an attraction for the visitor. The Bayle, taken from the Norman word 'bailey' meaning a castle yard, not only once housed a castle, but also a battery and St. Eanswythe's Priory. King Eadbald of Kent founded the priory in the year 630 for his devout 16-year-old daughter Eanswythe, who died ten years later and was subsequently canonised. The original building was destroyed by cliff erosion and later versions suffered at the hands of the Danes in 867 and Earl Godwin in 1 052 before a Benedictine Priory was established by the Lord of the Manor Nigel de M uneville in 1095. This survived until 1 535, when Henry VIII dissolved it and the stone was used to build Sandgate Castle. The British Lion pub, pictured in this c. 191 0 photograph, may have originally been known as the Priory Arms from 1460 and stands beside the priory site.There was also once a Norman castle in the area (possibly on the site of an earlier Roman fortification) and in 1560 a defensive battery was founded, which in 1862 became the principal station ofthe RoyalArtillery Coastal Brigade. However, it was closed in 1888, though the Battery Commanders House, complete with gunpowder store, still stands.

3 O. The narrow and distinctive (Old) High Street connects the Bayle and parish church to the fishmarket and harbour. Seen here on this postcard from about 1903, it contained a number of buildings dating back to at least the 17th century. Charles Dickens liked to stroll up and down the hilly byway during his 1855 stay in Falkestone and described it in a letter to Wilkie Collins: I went out after dinner to buy some nails and I stopped in the rain, about halfway down a steep, crooked street, like a crippled ladder, to look at a little coach makers house where there had just been a sale. Fortunately the High Street largely escaped bomb damage in the Second World War (unlike its 'twin' Dover Street, later rebuilt as Harbour Way) and looks much the same today as in this view. One of its most interesting shops is Rowlands Rock Shop where you can still see this most traditional of seaside confectionery being made.

3 1 . The bustling fishmarket held a particular fascination for the more cosmopolitan and daring visitor who tended to romantici se about the life of a fisherman. This postcard from 1906 shows a fairly busy scene on the Fishermen's Stade, erected by the SER in 1860, probably at the weekend, judging by the arnount of children there are about. Nets can be seen drying, while the large fish shed, erected in 1863 and one ofthree, is where the captured fish were sorted, gutted and sold. The tramlines led to the SER workshops, transferred to Dover in 1922. Around this time there were about fifty fishing boats operating from Falkestone, but declining fish stocks and EU regulations have shrunk this number to approximately ten now, employing thirty people.

Wreek of the ?? Good Intent ., Folkestene.


32. The life of a fisherman was aften anything but romantic however, as emphasised by this rare postcard from 1904. The sudden appearance of astrong south-westerly gale during the evening ofWednesday 5th October 1904 caught a number of fishing vessels off Falkestone unawares and they were soon batding through waves of immense proportions in their frantic bid to the reach the sanctuary of Falkestone Harbour. One of the vessels to find itself in peril was the Falkestone fishing smack 'Good Intent' (FE2 1), returning from fishing off Hythe with three members of the Saunders familyon board. The baat was still aflaat, but it was heading dangerously towards the treacherous rocks of Copt Point. The stricken crew fired distress flares, which were seen ashore by a large crowd gathered on the Stade, yet the launch of the Falkestone Lifeboat 'I.eslie' was delayed when it kept being swept back onto the beach by the huge waves. Eventually however, a successful rescue was duly carried out, though, as this postcard shows, the Good Intent was dashed upon the Copt Point rocks and was a totalloss.

33. Three years after the wreck of the Good Intent, the Dutch steamer Scheldestroom also foundered off Folkestone, as documented on this postcard by Polden & Hogben. The Scheldestroom had been making her way down the Channel on the stormy night of 8th December 1907 when she was hit on her starboard si de by the schooner Forfarshire. The impact of the colli sion knocked out the steamcr's eng in es and the captain ordered the ship's lifeboat to be lowered. He jumped into the craft first followed by twelve ofhis crew, but unfortunately it capsized and a desperate struggle for life ensued. Two of the crew were hauled back aboard the ship, while four managed to swim ashore at Folkestone, yet sadly the captain and six of his crew were drowned. The remainder of the crew left aboard the storm-battered Scheldestroom resolutely stayed put until they were eventually coaxed to board the Folkestone Lifeboat Leslie after an attempt to tow the vessel to Folkestone failed. A second attempt by two tugs was later successful. A sad fact of this tragic story is if all the crew had stayed aboard the stricken ship, no lives would have been lost.

34. 'Fashionablc Folkestone', as it was termed, was at its height in 1907 when this multi-view postcard was produced showing some of the attractions the town had to offer. A visitor at the time enthused: 1 have visited all the watering places in the British 1sles and find none with a seafront surpassing Folkestone. lts noble residenees facing the sea with the lovely grass promenade of the Leas before them, the Madeira Walk so sheltered and the Lower Sandgate Road with its gardens and shrubbery ending in the magniticent beach with its rows of colourful bathing tents. Excellent bands, moming, aftemoon and evening, play on the Leas, the fashionable rendezvous of the town, while on wet momings you can sit in the Leas Shelter, a spacious concert hall in the face of the elitf, and while listening to the band discourse sweet music, you have the panorama of the English Channel.The Leas Pavilion dispenses a delightful aftemoon tea to the sounds of a ladies string orchestra and the Pleasure Gardens Theatre has over 18 acres of grounds and attractions. Then there is the Warren, that romantic spot of which Folkestonians are very proud and which they call 'LittIe Switzerland'.

35. Orchestral music was the soundtrack of Fashionable Folkestone and Herr Moritz Würm and his bands were a great favourite in the town between 1895 and 1914. Herr Würm, an accomplished violinist, was a native of Lemberg in Austria (now the Russian city of Lvov) and looks typically Germanic with his upturned moustache and medal-strewn uniform on this postcard by Lambert Weston. He was managed by the Keith Prowse organisation that arranged for him to appear at the more select resorts where orchestral music was likely to be more appreciated. As well as Folkestone, these included Eastbourne, Bexhill and erom er (for the opening of the pier in 1901). Between 1903 and 1906 Herr Würm and his Blue Viennese Band performed two concerts daily in the Victoria Pier Pavilion during ]uly and August, while his Red Viennese Band played under the awning on the pier head in the morning and in the pier gardens while afternoon teas were served. Amongst the other venues in the town where Herr Würm appeared was the Leas Bandstand; though for a period from 1905 Sunday concerts were banned in Folkestone altogether, as it was felt this day of worship should not be defaced by such frivolity. Street entertainers, such as hurdy-gurdy men, had already been banned from 1900 for not being in keeping with the tone ofthe resort. HerrWürm's musical repertoire was wide-ranging and included waltzes and quadrilles, marches and gallops, intermezzos and ballet music, varied with violin, trumpet and bassoon solos. However, at the outbreak of the First World War Würm left quickly for America, anticipating enemy 'aliens' would be interred.



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36. For those who found HerrWürm's orchestral musie perhaps a little stuffy, there was always the more down-to-earth variety act of song and comedy as performed by Cardow's Cadets, a long-time Folkestone favourite for over twenty years. Led by Charlie Cardow, the troupe can be seen on this vignette postcard from 1905 appearing at the Marine Gardens Bandstand. They could also be found on a wood en stage in the grounds of the Bathing Establishment, which became the Red Roof Chalet, where they were re si dent until at least the late 1920s. The sailor suits seen here were the troupe's usual garb, though they sometimes appeared in Pierrot costume. After the First World War, by when women were part of the act, they were usually turned out in smart suits and dresses. Cardow's Cadets could be found performing at other resorts, yet they were always at their most popular in Folkestone.

37. A Pierrot troupe (perhaps Cardow' s Cadets ) in Marine Gardens are captured on this postcard by the West End Photo Co. in 1907. A sign on the stage says seat prices range from I-3d, but most of the crowd were prepared to stand for free! The Pierrots tried to get round this by asking the best looking of the troupe to go amongst the crowd with a battle in order to get a few pennies off the ladies at least; this was known as 'bottling'. The appearance of Pierrots in Marine Gardens reveals that by the mid-Edwardian period Folkestone was becoming a resort with two faces. Exclusivity still reigned up on the Leas and in the West End (where Pierrots were definitely out of bounds ), yet the seafront was beginning to cater more to the middle and working classes. Pierrots had been introduced into England in 1891 and performed a mixture of song, comedy, mime and magie. Their distinctive clown-like costumes were very much a feature of the English seaside during the Edwardian periad, but they were to be supplanted by concert parties after the First World War.

38. A typical Edwardian beach scene with children playing in the sand at low tide is captured by Clark, alocal photograp her, in 1908. In the background can be seen the second version of Fagg's bathing carriages that we saw in photograph 19. These unique pair of structures (one each for men and women) ran along a railed track into the sea, thus overcoming the problems ofbeach gradient and eliminating the strain associated with the moving of the standard bathing carriages. They were patented by Walter Fagg, manager of the Bathing Establishment in 1887, and this improved design appeared two years later, with a further refinement being carried out in 1895. The carriages housed the changing compartments and a corridor led to a safety cage in the sea for non-swimmers, while diving boards were available for the more adventurous. At the end of the swim each compartment housed a wash basin and fresh towels to clean off the saline particles. These distinctly superior bathing machines remained popular with Folkestone's weH-to-do visitors for a number of years, but by 1910 mixed bathing was in full swing further west along the beach and patronage had seriously declined. By the time Mr. Fagg had passed away in 1914, the track had been removed and the carriages had been fixed onto the beach.

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