Kentish Express Ashford & District - - REMEMBER WHEN? -

GLO­RIA LEWIS looks at what was re­ported in the Ken­tish Ex­press 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago.

May 11, 1907

Let­ter Box at Gore Hill. In an­swer to a re­quest from the in­hab­i­tants of that part of the town, a wall let­ter box will be placed on Gore Hill shortly. Ex­cur­sion Ac­ci­dent. Four lo­cal ex­cur­sion­ists by the cheap train to Lon­don on Wed­nes­day had an un­pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence. When the train left Char­ing Cross on its re­turn there was a num­ber of pas­sen­gers, in­clud­ing Messrs. T. Small­field, W. Hearn­den R. Ros­siter and F. Ken­nett, of Ash­ford, in a car­riage by them­selves. Just be­fore the train reached the Spa Road sta­tion it ran into a light en­gine which had been stopped by sig­nal. The light en­gine was thrown off the line, block­ing two sets of rails, and mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble for the train to pro­ceed. The car­riage in which the afore­men­tioned were trav­el­ling, was, we are in­formed, also de­railed. Be­yond a few bruises and one or two of the pas­sen­gers be­ing badly shaken, no se­ri­ous in­juries are re­ported.

May 6, 1932

The South­ern Rail­way in­au­gu­rated a new night boat ser­vice from Folkestone to Dunkerque last Sun­day which will give those trav­el­ling from Lon­don to the Con­ti­nent a night’s rest on board and a con­ve­nient rail ser­vice by day to des­ti­na­tions on the other side of the Chan­nel. Two trains run in con­nec­tion with the boats, one from Char­ing Cross at 7.15pm, the other from Vic­to­ria at 11pm, and the Chan­nel cross­ing oc­cu­pies four and a quar­ter hours. If the weather is rough the time can be short­ened, so as to give pas­sen­gers less dis­com­fort.

While work­ing in a sand­pit near Pine­hurst, Sellindge, on Wed­nes­day, William Henry Ash­man, aged 30 years, a labourer, of Way­side Cot­tages, Brabourne, was buried be­neath about five tons of sand and was killed. Ash­man was dig­ging in the pit worked by Messrs. Aldrich and the top fell in. Mr. Ash­man, af­ter be­ing un­em­ployed for some length of time, only com­menced work the day be­fore the fa­tal­ity. He was a mar­ried man and leaves a widow and three young chil­dren.

May 10, 1957

Over 4,000 troops crowded the dunes and beaches at Cam­ber this week and re-en­acted the evac­u­a­tion scenes un­der mock at­tacks for the Eal­ing Stu­dios film Dunkirk. The scene could have been the real thing, ex­cept that most of the sol­diers are too young to re­mem­ber 1940. Derelict boats and Army ve­hi­cles were scat­tered over the beach and the troops worked to a back­ground of clouds of thick, black smoke and bomb­blasts. The only thing miss­ing was the em­barka­tion jetty, which played such an im­por­tant part in the op­er­a­tion and will now be built in the stu­dios. On Sun­day, at 8.25pm in the BBC Home Ser­vice, Wil­fred Pickles will make an ap­peal on be­half of the Calde­cott Com­mu­nity – a res­i­den­tial school near Ash­ford for chil­dren up­set as a re­sult of dif­fi­cult home con­di­tions.

May 7, 1982

Ash­ford’s County Ho­tel is to re­open this sum­mer with a prom­ise to re­store its for­mer glory. More than £100,000 will be spent on al­ter­ations to the premises which closed in 1980 af­ter heavy trad­ing losses. A new com­pany, Bux­hunt Ltd., is be­hind the en­ter­prise and is a part­ner­ship be­tween two Kent li­censees and their wives. Frank and Jen­nifer Stevens are rais­ing money for ser­vice­men in the Falk­lands. Frank, land­lord of the Che­quers Inn, Smar­den, served with the Royal Navy, in sub­marines, for nine years. He said: “It re­ally is at times like this we need to pull to­gether and do some­thing.” The idea of rais­ing money came from Jen­nifer. She said: “It is some­thing we must do. I have two sons both in the Royal Navy, but they have not been sent out to the Falk­lands yet. There is a lad from the vil­lage there now. “I thought of the idea one morn­ing and put a bot­tle out­side the pub, in the high street. Within one hour there was £12 in it.”

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