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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39. The exclusive Fagg's bathing carriages were too expensive for most people's pockets and as undressing on the beach was strictly forbidden, the alternative was to use a bathing machine or tent. The bathing machine had been pioneered at Scarborough in the 1730s and Folkestone possessed two by 1787. However, due to the steep shingle beach, they were unsuited to Folkestone and were rarely used after 1900. Up until then the sexes had been strictly segregated for bathing, but following the construction from 1906 of a new promenade along the western half of the beach, a mixed bathing ground was established there. A large changing pavilion was erected and gaily-coloured tents lined the beach. This postcard from 1909 shows bathers using a pleasure boat landing stage to enter the sea from the main beach, where bathers were still segregated. The four gentlemen appear to be ensuring the sexes are kept well apart as the ladies are all in the foreground and the gentlemen in the background.

40. Despite being an attractive place in which to live and visit, Folkestone, like anywhere else, suffered its fair share of natural and man-made disasters, as shown on this 1908 postcard. The perils of early motoring are revealed for all to see as a car hangs precariously over the cliff on the Slope Road during the afternoon ofWednesday 6th May 1908. The vehicle, a Mercedes belonging to a Mr. Cohen of Park Lane, London, spluttered to a halt going up the hill and swerved back into the railings, which gave way. Fortunately the car graunded on its gearbox, which prevented it falling down the cliff, though its back end was left hanging over the edge. During the next couple of hours the stricken car became the centre of attention until it was finally pulled back onto the raad with the aid of rapes. An examination of the vehicle at the Pavilion Garage found it had sustained surprisingly little damage and Mr. Cohen was soon able to continue on his journey to London.

41. A Christmas card-type postcard scene of the parish church and West Terrace covered in snow during the harsh winter of 19081909. The Folkestone Herald rather delightfully set the scene by reporting: The earlier falls having cleared the air, the snow was of an unusual whiteness, and scenes in the town as the sun sparkled on the snow-clad world were strikingly beautiful. Folkestone for a few hours might have claimed also the title of 'Our Lady of the Snows'. However, it must not be forgotten the difficulties a heavy fall of snow can bring. Workers had to battle thraugh waisthigh drifts to get to work and raad traffic was paralysed, though local schoolchildren enjoyed having two days off school and no doubt put the snow to good use! Folkestone Corporation raunded up five hundred men and twenty-three horse and carts to dear the main raads and paths.

42. This dramatic postcard, used just a few days after the event, shows George Mence Stuith's oil and colour merchants shop well and truly ablaze during the afternoon of Monday 26thApril 1909. This 'Afrernoon of Cracking Entertainment' was conceived by a plumber carelessly leaving his blowpipe alight amongst the highly inflammable conteuts of the shop and befare long this exciting drama was in full swing. As the smoke from the conflagration poured into the sky a huge crowd gathered to watch the main act involving sixteen firemen hurling water onto the burning building from all directions. Shops in the constricted High Street were closed and boarded up, as it was feared rivers of oil aflame would run down the ancient thoroughfare. However, splendid wark by the firemen prevented the fire spreading in that direction, though adjoining properties in Bayle Street were damaged. Fartunately the only fatality proved to be the shop cat, which died from smoke inhalation.

43. The aftermath of the Great Flood of 29th October 1909 is captured on this postcard view by Polden & Hagben showing a wrecked wall of the North Board School (now Mundella) in Black Bull Raad. Fast flowing torrents of water fed by torrential rain had rushed down from the hillside above and swept through the school before cascading down the hill into the Foord Valley. The water gathered in a whirlpool at the junction of Black Bull Raad and Foord Raad outside the public baths, where, fed by the overflowing Pent Stream that had burst its banks, it reached a height of over eight feet. The nearby Red Cow public house was badly damaged as was Fowlcr's builders yard next door, yet na lives were lost in the flood and by next morning the water had largely gone. Unfortunately, this was not to be a one-off occurrenee and there have been several repeats since, most notably on 12th August 1996.

44. 'The Fall of the Ciant' is splendidly captured on this postcard by the local West End Photo Co. The incident taak place on Saturday, 4th March 1911 when a steamroller ran dangerously out of control down Sandgate Raad before crashing into the front of the East Kent Arms. Falkestone Corporation had hired the engine from their counterparts in Hythe to assist with road repairs in Church Street, but as it began to de sc end the lower half ofSandgate Raad the brute assumed a mind of its own and ran uncontrollably down the hill scattering everyone in its path. The runaway looked set to plunge headlong into the Town Hall until it swung round outside the pub, causing a wheel to come off and strike the outside of the building. Like same stricken monster the machine collapsed onto the pavement, breaking the back axle and dislodging the boiler, which was holed, allowing steam to escape with a great roar. Luckily na one was injured and later that day men from Messrs. Aveling & Porter of Rochester arrived to remave the engine.

45. [ust three months after the steam roller drama in Sandgate Road occurred this traction engine smash out at Stelling Minnis on 3rd June 191 1, this time sadly with fatal results. The engine, belonging to local firm Arnold & Son and with four men aboard, was pulling three trucks along Hatch Lane when the driver miscalculated the edge of the road, causing the vehicle to topple over a bank and overturn. The steersman, David Botting, was killed instantly, but the driver, Edward Bailey, was rescued by the two other men, Stephen Palmer and William Beer, and taken in a serious condition to the Royal Victoria Hospital. He held on to life for another week before unfortunately succumbing to blood poisoning.

46. The other si de of the Fashionable Folkestone coin was the poverty that lurked in the eastern areas of the town, and in 1913 the Town Council declared that many houses in the fishmarket and Dover Street/Fenchurch Street areas were unfit for human habitation. This photograph from 1894, however, shows a slum that had already been swept away, the notorious Narrows, offHarvey Street. In the fishmarket area, Radnor Street, East Street, The Stade and three alleys - Clouts, Dunns and Bates - were all scheduled for demolition, yet it was to be another twenty years before any action was carried out. Meanwhile the tremendous growth of Folkestone during the late Victorian and Edwardian periods (the population had jumped up to 33,502 by 191 1) led to the need for greater artisan housing and rows of solid unpretentious terraces sprung up in Foord and around the roads to Dover and Canterbury.

47. A splendid Edwardian photograph of a Fishermen's Band dressed in all kinds of interesting costumes, probably for same special occasion. A Fishermen's Fife and Drum Band was known to be in existence by 1856, but it was disbanded and not reformed untillater in the century. Sister Katherine, a nurse attached to the fishermen's church St. Peter's, encouraged this new band and allowed them to practice in her cottage on the Stade. Hopefully for the neighbours they did not have a big bass drum as seen in the photograph!

48. Another celebratory gathering in the fishing quarter, this time at the top of North Street. The exact reason of the festivity is unknown, though it is probably to do with the coronation of King George V in 1911 or a peace celebration in 1919 following the ending of the First World War. Same of the participants appear to be in fancy dress; notice the cowboy outfit, sailor suits and gentleman dressed as a teacher. North Street was originally known as New Island and most of its houses dated from the 18th century; unfortunately they were nearly all pulled down following the Second World War after suffering damage from enemy action. The only survivor was the Lifeboat Inn, seen in the background, which opened as a public house in 1861 and continues to function as such today.

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