Here we will showcase documents, papers and photos which cover the history of the two villages. All content gratefully received.
Once articles have gone from here they will be archived and may be posted again at various times.
Please use this link to see a report about the Fallen of Shepherdswell. Although it refers to St Andrew's as St Anthony's in a couple of places, it is still quite interesting. I have included it only as a link as it is quite a long document and will take a little while to open.
I have had an email on 25 January 2014 from Reg Kirby about one of the entries in this document. He says:
"I thought you might like to know a bit about my late uncle Reginald Frederick Kirby. his headstone photo is on p22 of your memorial list.
He was in the army and was indeed only 21 when he died having contracted pneumonia whilst at Dunkirk, a great shame, as he was my father's only brother.
His parents were John Frederick Kirby and Elizabeth Alice Kirby nee Jermy and they lived at the time at Mount Firs (Golgotha) where my grandfather had a poultry farm. This is directly over the railway spur to the coal mines. They only moved to Ramsgate after the war, in about 1951-2 to my parents property."
Coldred Chronicle 1996
Another large document with lots of history of Coldred. Click the link to see it.
Coldred Village Appraisal 2002
We have received a document that dates from 2002 and recounts a lot of the history of Coldred. It is a large document so please click on the link below to read it.
Coldred Village Appraisal
Below is a picture of villagers on a day trip to Wannock Gardens. I shall let Terry Deal explain:
This photo was probably taken in 1950 and all the people are residents of Shepherdswell. The Hampshire’s (of Eythorne Garage) ran trips to the seaside frequently and this was an outing to the long vanished Wannock Gardens near Eastbourne. Reg and Lily Deal lived at 10 Whittington Terrace, Coxhill.
At this time, George and Constance Woodgate ran a fish and chip shop two doors down in Whittington Terrace. Constance lost both her sons in WW2 and her first husband in WW1. One of her sons was adopted but he grew up in Shepherdswell and is commemorated on the war memorial – Alfred Oakden, killed on HMS Juno 1941, age just 18.
We hope you can name some of the other people in the photo!
(Photo and information sent by Ron Roper and Terry Deal, grandsons of Reg and Lily.)
Many thanks to you two gentlemen – now, can anyone shed light on who the people in the photo might be, and any background info?
Terry Deal has some new information from Caroline Watt, an ex-Shepherdswell resident who now lives in Louisiana. She has been able to identify some more of the people in the photo and an updated version is below.
That leaves a few still to be identified. Any ideas, anyone?
Cyril Godsmark has noticed that Miss Maxim was wrongly identified – the photo is now correct.
Cyril Godsmark has made another correction, and Richard Hampshire has provided another name and a correction. Only two names still to be found!
Our clerk has provided us with a potted history of the Knees.
Click here to read
Here is a photo of the Shepherdswell Firemen of 1943. Does anyone have any information on any of these chaps?
R. SCRATCHER, E. HEWISH, A. WELLS, W. FLOWER, J. PHILPOTT, E. PRIOR, E. HOGBEN
C. HAMMOND, E. MILLS, E. DORMAN, W. ADAMS, G. HOGBEN, W. BROWN, W. HUDSON
C. HEWISH, A. MILLER
The signature seems to say
I have had a note from Wendy Hansell about the above photo. She says:
"I have no idea who the men are but the photo was taken at my house, Upton House Mill Lane. The garage of number 2 Mill Lane is next door and this used to be the fire station."
Any other information known by anyone?
28.02.10 – I have had the following note from Terry Deal:
"The two you have noted as Heunil are in fact the Hewish brothers. Clarence Hewish cross legged at the front was still alive and living there in about 2003 – saw him when I visited my aunt in Shep, would be nearly 90 now. "
31.03.14 – the Parsh clerk took a call about this photo from a person unknown and they gave more detail of the names of the firemen. I would still like to clear up the name which appears to be a signature.
I have had a note from Mr Godsmark concerning the photo above. If anyone can identify the "unknown" or what year this might be I will be grateful.
"The photo was taken at Coldred Court to celebrate Harvest Festival (see sheaf in fireplace) year unknown.
Personnel (from left) Unknown, Mrs Clark, Helen Mummery, Les Wooldridge, Mr Clark, Peter Mummery & children, Mrs Manley, Amelia & Ken Williamson, Joan & Norman Durbidge, Jessica Wooldridge, Frank & Cath Smith, Frank & Ruth Mummery, Chris & Eileen Fox, with Mr Chapman and Ian MacDonald at the front table."
(From St. Andrew’s Magazine – November 1969)
ST. ANDREW’S MAGAZINE
GREETINGS and CONGRATULATIONS
SHEPHERDSWELL with COLDRED
on completion of
SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS OF PUBLIC SERVICE
The first meeting of Sibertswold Parish Council took place in our village School on 13th December, 1894, so, as the Council now meets monthly, the November 1969 meeting, to be held in St. Andrew’s Hall on Wednesday, 19th will complete seventy-five years of service—most of the time to the people of Shepherdswell, but for the last 6 ½ years, to the two villages of Shepherdswell and Coldred. We congratulate the Council on reaching this milestone; and we invite readers to pause and think how much it means in terms of individual service with no personal reward, except the satisfaction of doing something for the community, by very many people, some still in office; some still with us but no longer in office; some still remembered; and many, with the passage of time and because they were never known to present residents, not now remembered.
Parish Councils were constituted by the Local Government Act 1894, and themselves constituted a major break with very old-established tradition, a large part of the powers and duties allocated to them having for centuries before been exercised by the annual Vestry Meeting and the Churchwardens. Regrets there naturally were at the break; but the way was opened to local self-government in place of near autocracy.
1894-1898 William Jacob
1898-1912 William J. Smith, J.P.
1912-1928 Richard Higgs
1928-1937 Major T. Hibbard
1937-1940 Colonel H. W. Archer
1940-1943 Richard Higgs
1943-1947 Colonel C. M. Stephen
1947-1952 Edward L. Prior
1952-1962 H. Godfrey Higgs
1962-1965 Peter C. Dunkley
1965 to date Frank S. Mummery
1894-1918 John Jacob
1918-1928 Kingston Fox
1928-1937 E.A.J. Drake
1937-1942 L.C. Hogben
1942-1954 W. H. Fox
1954 (July-Sep.) E. J. Marshall
1954-1961 E. S. Kennett
1961-1965 A. R. Noakes
1965-1967 P. E. Philpott
1967 to date N. L. Durbidge
The Parish Council of Sibertswold (or Sibertswould, as it was spelt in the Council’s first records) continued up to 1963. On 1st April of that year, the hitherto separate parishes of Sibertswold and Coldred were combined as Shepherdswell with Coldred. Coldred, it was reported at the time, was far from happy about being “swallowed up” by its larger neighbour; but in the light of events one could wonder who swallowed whom, when our Chairman for the last four years and both our Rural District Councillors all come from Coldred Ward!
The first Council, in 1894, officially consisted of six members; but the Chairman, on election to his office, resigned his seat as a Councillor and another Councillor was elected in his place, thus making a Council of seven. The official number of Councillors was increased to seven in 1931, and to nine in 1955. When the parishes were amalgamated in 1963, the total was increased to the present twelve, nine for Shepherdswell Ward and three for Coldred Ward.
One of the first resolutions passed by Sibertswold Parish Council in 1894 viewed with alarm the continual and rapid increase in the rates, which it attributed to the defective system of management adopted by the County and District Councils; and the Council was firmly convinced that the maintenance of the main roads by the County Council was conducted in an extravagant and wasteful manner!
The table above suggests that our Council has been equally economical with Chairmen and Clerks, wearing out only nine of each in over seventy years. Readers will notice the long service of Mr. Richard Higgs—19years in two separate periods—and the first Clerk’s 24 years in office. Ill-informed critics of this lowest tier in the present local government hierarchy have claimed that parish councils are hampered by the low calibre of the average Clerk—so it is worth noting that our list includes a solicitor’s clerk, two Chartered Secretaries, and a holder of the Diploma in Public Administration, as well as others who have proved their capabilities in office.
KNOW YOUR COUNCIL BETTER
After each Councillor’s name and description, we give the date of his/her first becoming a member of this Council, and special responsibilities within the Council; and then a note of some of the other ways in which your Councillors also serve the community.
BLOOR, Arnold. Master butcher; 1965; Recreation Ground. Dover, Folkestone & Hythe Butchers’ Association; 18th Dover (Shepherdswell) Scout Group Committee.
CLARKE, Ronald Charles. Clerical Officer, British Rail; 1955; Parish representative to Kent Association of Parish Councils and Dover Area Committee of that Association. Shepherdswell British Legion (Vice-President); Shepherdswell Conservative Association (Chairman); Sandwich Town Cricket Club Committee.
DAVIS, Brian. Customs Officer; 1969. Shepherdswell Football Club (Chairman); Pavilion Committee (Hon. Secretary).
DEAL, Reginald Walter. Retired colliery worker; 1962; Burial Ground. Shepherdswell British Legion (Treasurer and Services Secretary; holder of the Gold Badge); Shepherdswell Labour Party (Chairman); Shepherdswell O.A.P. Association (Vice-Chairman).
HARVEY, Bernard. Colliery winding engineer; 1954-1958; 1962; Vice-Chairman; Standing Committee; Recreation Ground. Pavilion Committee (Chairman).
MANLEY, Mrs. Ethel. Housewife; 1963†. Dover Rural District Council (Chairman); Dover Rural District Old People’s Welfare Committee (Chairman): a Governor of Aylesham, Archer’s Court and Castlemount Schools; Friends of St. Augustine’s; W.R.V.S. Luncheon Club; Coldred Village Improvement Fund (Chairman); Coldred Parochial Church Council.
MORECROFT, Edward F. Ironmonger; 1963; Standing Committee; Parish representative to Dover Committee of Kent Association of Parish Councils. Dover Chamber of Commerce (Council, Retail Committee and i/c Christmas Lighting); Sandwich Sailing Club.
MUMMERY, Frank S. Farmer; 1963†; Chairman: Standing Committee. County Herbage Seeds Committee (NFU) (Chairman for Kent, Sussex and Surrey, member of London Committee); Kent Livestock Committee; East Kent Fat Stock Show Committee.
QUIRK, Mrs Irene Elsie. Housewife; 1968. A Manager, Sibertswold School; W.R.V.S. Luncheon Club; Women’s Institute; Sibertswold Parochial Church Council; Mother’s Union.
RITCHIE, Hugh. Farmer; 1967.
SMITH, Edward Thomas. Shoe-shop Manager; 1968; Burial Ground. Dover Chamber of Commerce; Dover 41 Club; Pavilion Committee (Hon. Treasurer); Sibertswold Players.
STONE, Albert D. A.M.I.M.E. Electrical Engineer; 1966. Association of Mining Electrical Engineers, Kent Branch; Special Constabulary (Sergeant); Shepherdswell British Legion (Standard Bearer, Committee); Shepherdswell Labour Party (Vice-Chairman and delegate); Shepherdswell Football Club (Hon. Secretary).
† Mrs. E. Manley and Mr. F. S. Mummery became members of Shepherdswell with Coldred Parish Council for Coldred Ward on the formation of that Council in 1963. Earlier dates relate to first membership of the former Sibertswold Parish Council. The other present representative of Coldred Ward is Councillor H. Ritchie.
WHAT OF THE FUTURE?
The statutory powers of parish councils have always been limited—many would say much too limited—but there is no limit to the importance that a purposeful council, with the interest and support of the inhabitants, can achieve in promoting the good of the parish. When powers are so limited, parish councils must rely much more on the nobler arts of achievement by persuasion and leadership; and it is their success in this which has caused it to be said that whereas county, borough and district councils are units of administration, parish councils are units of voluntary effort—they help, guide and encourage their people to help themselves. They are also valuable local ombudsmen, always able to apply a goad to the larger and more remote authorities, or to hear a parishioner who has a complaint and either take up the cudgels on his behalf or sometimes perhaps satisfy him that he has not really grounds for complaint.
Parish councils, too, have always been the only local authority able to be “at home” to their electors once a year, at the Annual Parish Meeting. It has been good to see that Shepherdswell with Coldred really does support its Annual Parish Meeting, for it is a most important occasion to the Parish Council—a time when they hope to find out what you really think, and to receive your suggestions, and brickbats if any!
They are in office to serve you, and it does help to be able, to check once a year that they are on the right course.
All this has been fully recognised by the Redcliffe-Maud Commission on Local Government Reform, whose Report is likely to be put into effect substantially as it stands within the next few years. Alone among present local authorities, parish councils will, it appears, continue with virtually unchanged functions; and we wish our Council well, and solicit your continued interest and support for it, as it goes forward to its century.
Memories of Shepherdswell
by Mr H Coppen (published by the Dover Express August 13th 1926)
The schools were built in 1852, and the new Church was built in 1862 and finished in 1863. The Railway was opened in 1860. We had workmen from different parts, and it was such a novelty to the people round here that they used to come down on Sunday and spend hours looking on at the work to see what progress had been made and after it had been opened people would stand for hours on the railway bridge for the opportunity of seeing a train come through.
As a boy I helped to make some of the Railway cuttings down here and we used to walk along the uncompleted railway while it was in progress, to ramble round the embankment out as far as West Court and the bridge beyond.
The Terrace was built in 1862 and The Grange somewhere about 1863.
Shepherdswell fair used to be held on Whit Wednesday each year! That died out about 1874 – it was held on the open space in front of the Bricklayers Arms. There used to be a little sports generally in the country fair years ago, there were Coconut shies, Rifle Gallery, turntable with dial hand which used to stop at a given figure for chocolates and nuts (you paid a penny) a barrel organ was there – it used to begin in the forenoon. The Fair people would arrive overnight, and the Fair would be in full swing all the evening up till 10 o’clock. The Fair had been in vogue for generations. The Fairs were also at other places – Eythorne, Frogham, Nonington, Waldershare and other villages. Each had their own special date. It was the one of the liveliest days of the year for there was not much going on in the way of amusements. Men used to play quoits or cricket and also goal running.
The postman would walk up from Dover with the letters and deliver them – there might perhaps be only a dozen. If anyone had a letter to go, they put it in the sash cord of the window and the postman would call for it. He used to have his dinner in the Bricklayers Arms and have a nap in the afternoon before returning back to Dover – later on this was discontinued about 1856. The Post Office was first at the grocers shop at the corner in1865 and it was there for more than 50 years before it was removed to where it is now.
The Railway was opened about 1860 and the Station was built about this time. There was a brick-yard just behind West Court pond. Bricks were made there for the railway bridges and tunnels; communication with the brick yard was by a line of rails running along the bottom of the garden of The Grange.
The church was taken down in 1861 – it was a very dark, plain little old fashioned church, which had been standing there for centuries, it dated back to about the 8th or 9th century – it was mid-Saxon 700 years old. Our list of vicars goes back to the 13th century. During the time the new church was being built the Sunday Service was held in the school. The school house was built in1874-75. There was nothing between the carpenter’s yard at the foot of the Church Hill and the White Hall and nothing between the White Hall and Eythorne. There were a few houses up Coxhill Lane. There used to be a grocers shop close by Wooldridge’s kept by a family by the name of Smith.
There were some hops grown in the area, chiefly where the Station now stands. The land where Upton Lodge stands was all open meadow and was part of the White Hall property. At that time the White Hall was a private residence, but after the Railway came through it was made into a Public House.
Work on the Railway was done by Irishmen, Scotchmen and Yorkshire men. The first engines were very small. Now and then people walked down through the tunnel because trains were not very frequent and not much attention was paid at the Railway Station.
The brick yard reached nearly up to Butter St. Farm. They used to make bricks in the valley and carry them up to the top of the hill and one of the brick kilns is now used as a cottage. About 40 years ago there was a brickfield near Upton Wood.
The hollow between Diamond Farm and Coxhill Farm may have once been a kind of little tile yard for making pan tiles. Some 4 or 5 hundred years ago walls were made of what was called wattle and daub. Sticks were nailed horizontally on upright timbers and the clay mixed to a mortar like consistency and plastered in. There is still a house made of this round beyond the school.
There used to be a pair of cottages of just the same pattern standing by the West Court pond and pulled down in 1889. This house is miscalled The Manor House; the real Manor House is Upton Court (the farm house). Only a few of the old houses are now standing; one where Mr. Clark now lives, also the two cottages next to the chapel, the Manor House and 3 or 4 houses round about it.
The Vicarage was taken down and the new one built in 1877.
At the back of Flint Cottages there used to be a lime kiln and they quarried the chalk from where the Chapel now stands, and took it over to the other side of the road where the lime kilns were. The Chapel was built 1870. Previous to the Chapel services were held at Rose Cottage, where Mr Colline’s now lives and the one next door to it, (originally one dwelling) was built as the Dower House to Place House (a Dower is intended as a residence for the widow in case of the husbands death).
The origin of the change from Sibertswold to Shepherdswell is unknown. There is a very old tablet which mentions Shepherdswell. It is an old slate tablet in the vestry to the memory of a lady who was the wife of John Merryweather of Place House who died nearly 300 years ago.
There was Big Coxhill where the farm now stands and Little Coxhill, a little farm nearer to the village than the present dwelling. The old Coxhill farm house stood quite close to the road (the cellars of this are shown by a slight dip in one of the lawns near the front gate) but this was burnt down and the present house erected in about 1880.
There is a tale which alleges that the first Huguenot baby born on English soil was born in this old house, but this is also claimed of Place House.
Place House was a fine old mansion, the farmhouse of Botolph (pronounced Butter) Street Farm, which when over 300 years old was destroyed in a single night by fire December 1920 while Admiral Sir Ernest Rice, K.C.B. and Lady Rice were in residence. This fire happened to take place at the time of a great Miner’s strike, and everyone was getting short of coal, yet 9 tons in those cellars had to be all left to burn up.
The dwelling attached to the grocers shop at the foot of Church Hill is something like 400 years old. The shop was started by my mother about 1860 and was Coppin & Son’s until 1922 when Mr Coppin died and it was taken over by Messrs. Vye & Son.
Prior to 1860 there were two grocers shops in the village one of which was next to the Wheelwrights at Coxhill and the adjoining forge. The Forge was there many years before my time, also my Father’s.
The one postman named Beecham delivered letters in Lydden also Coldred and finished up at Shepherdswell, but letters had to be accompanied by a penny, as it was impossible to buy stamps in the village.
The Bricklayers Arms was built towards the 18th century (there is a date on a brick over the front door) and has always been a licensed house. ‘The Bell Inn’ is a very old house but has not been licensed for more than 50 years.
There used to be a parish well on the top of the hill with thatched roof common to the public, where Mrs Passmore used to live. We used to depend on wells for our water and there would be quite a throng at this well on summer evenings. Before the company’s mains came into the village about 1900 the wives used to draw water in the daytime and the men would get a good supply in the evening.
There are other wells in the village; Hazling Dane, Upton Court Farm, Vicarage, Bricklayers Arms, West Court Pond, West Court Lane, Grange, Diamond Farm, two at Coxhill Farm, West Court Farm and Upton Wood making a total of 13 or 14.
The village stocks used to stand down in the centre of the village. These were done away with in about 1820.
The butchers shop was built about 1865. It was a coal distributing centre. The coal was brought up from the Station and a man carried on a coal trade there and retailed it to the people. It was bought up by a Dover butcher and the premises enlarged. There were one or two tenants before Mr Amos came there in about 1880. Before this was built it was just a sloping grass bank to the angle of the road, and a finger post at the foot.
All along by the houses near the Station was a grass bank reaching down to the road, there was an old man who used to bring two cows and graze them there every day.
There was no baker. People used to bake their own bread, the bread that was baked by each villager was from flour that was ground from corn grown close by your own door and it was taken to the old mill, ground and taken away again. The cottagers used to do a lot of gleaning, thrashing it themselves, winnow it, and then take it to the mill before the coming of machine thrashers.
The old mill was built by Robert Potter who was the owner of Butter St. farm somewhere about 1720 and was used about 150 years. It was partly pulled down during the war when it was said to have been used by German spies in the 1914-18 war. It was one of the finest mills in the district.
The Font of the Church is marble. It was given by Mr Thomson. This gentleman’s family lived Shepherdswell for something like 500 years and were great benefactors to our Church. At the time it was being built they contributed very liberally to our building fund and they made a gift to our beautiful Font in memory of their ancestors who were buried there. It was exhibited in the Great Exhibition in London in 1862 -and Queen Victoria was so fascinated with it that she wanted to buy it for her Royal Chapel at Windsor but it was already sold to a member of the Thomson family for the
Church. It is made of Cornish Serpentine and comes from one of the Cornish marble quarries.
We used to make ourselves velocipedes, a four wheeled vehicle that you could sit inside as one does a tricycle and used to steer them by the front wheel or the hind wheel.
Before the Parish Council, the Rural District came into existence – the churchwardens had to do the governing. The farmers put stones on the roads when they could spare the time and horses at the expense of the Parish. Every farmer was responsible for one part of the road, for which they used to be a little bit of assessment; this was usually collected by one of the farmers themselves for 100 years. There was not much interest taken in anything of that kind, sometimes the roads were done properly but very seldom. The roads were dreadfully rough, and it was left to the ordinary cart and wagon to roll them in.