Tree Planting To Mark Appreciation of Queens Service

At a recent Cabinet meeting, Folkestone & Hythe District Council members agreed to show appreciation for Her Majesty’s 70 years’ service by planting an avenue of trees as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy which is a unique tree-planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

To mark this significant event 12 commemorative London Planes will be planted at Cheriton Recreation Ground with a plaque marking the dedication placed opposite the existing Golden Jubilee plaque at the park entrance (the recreation ground was dedicated to the Queen’s Golden Jubilee).

Every year, 10 trees will be available for the public to apply to have planted in council-owned parks and open spaces. These are: Folkestone’s Radnor Park, Cheriton Recreation Ground, Morehall Recreation Ground, the western end of Lower Leas Coastal Park, and Hawkinge Cemetery Green Burial Plot.

The location of the trees will be chosen on a year-by-year basis from these places. The trees will be mainly native broad-leaved and deciduous and a list of species for people to choose from will be available.

Cllr Lesley Whybrow, Cabinet member for the Environment, welcomed the tree-planting campaign, saying it was a “great opportunity to take part in a nationwide tree-planting campaign to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year.”

The Sandgate Community Gardeners are already moving forward with tree planting plans and a team led by them planted 12 fruit trees in Fremantle Park as part of Sandgates contribution to the Queen’s Green Canopy project for the 2022 Platinum Jubilee with another 12 fruit trees newly planted in Sandgate Park too – both orchards will be dedicated in June 2022.

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Featuring The Old Fire Station

This season’s must-have fashion accessory or simply a very nice bag to keep or give to friends and family is now available from The Village Shop or the Old Fire Station both on Sandgate High Street. A huge thank you to Euan Williamson who gave us permission to use his beautiful painting which captures the character of this iconic Sandgate landmark which of course is home to the Sandgate Society. 

I am sure you’ll be pleased to know that we decided to buck the trend and not put the price up and so the bag is still an extremely reasonable £3. A big thank you to Sandgate Printers who generously helped us make that possible. All profits will go towards local community projects supported by the Sandgate Society so please support your society in what has been another year where we have had to either cancel or scale down fundraising events.

If you would like one and can not get into Sandgate to buy one (or two or three) we can either do a drop off if you live locally or arrange postage. Postage costs will depend on how many bags you will order but it will be the cheapest way we can do it.

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Sandgate Racer Wins British Superbike Championship

Continuing with an amazing season, a stunning result for twenty-year-old Jack Nixon in the British Superbikes, in the Superstock 600 class at Brands Hatch on 20th October.

Jack was competing alongside riders from across the globe and 6 manufacturers, for the championship title across 11 events, 33 races.

Sandgate mum, Sharon Nixon says she is bursting with pride over her son’s achievement. .

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Sandgate Community Gardeners Saving Those Spare Plants

Have you ever wondered what happens to the town’s bedding plants when the season is finished?  We certainly have, and made some enquiries with Folkestone and Hythe horticultural department that carry out all the summer and winter floral displays all around the area from the parks to the street planters.

Most of the plants are annuals, which means after their display, they are literally exhausted and finished, fit only to be composted.  Some of the plants are perennials and can survive all year and come back to flower once again.  These were the plants we were interested in, as there were quite a few of them from dahlias to verbenas, gazanias and salvias. 

It seems that most of the plants are removed from the beds and reused which is good news.  We were concerned that these plants might also end up on the compost heap and were keen to rescue them if that were indeed the case, and put them to good use in some of the areas we are looking after. 

However, having removed all the plants the council decided that they did indeed have a few too many perennials left and offered them to us.  Always keen to save valuable resources, we jumped at the opportunity and liberated several plants which we shared with the Incredible Edible team. 

Many thanks to the Folkestone and Hythe Council for thinking of us for these spare plants, and you never know, after planting out the winter bedding, there might be the possibility of a leftover plant or two – you never know! 

The great thing about gardening is that nature is the master of recycling, and nothing is wasted.  Plants give their all by flowering or providing fruit/vegetables, and even when finished make the best compost, and the cycle continues. 

Not trying to give you the heebie jeebies with the pic of worms – but they are just the best for recyling.

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Sandgate Society Christmas Party – Coming Soon!

Dear Sandgate Society Members, 

We are very pleased to be able to tell you that we are going ahead with the Christmas Party this year. Many people have now been triple jabbed plus had their Flu jabs and the feedback from members has been a very strong ‘please do something for Christmas’.

As you know we were unable to use SAGA this year so we are back at the Chichester Hall, which will be lovely but does mean less tickets will be available (so book fast!). Please see attached documents for more information about this fun, festive evening. Bookings will be taken from Wednesday 1st November and bookings details will be sent out next week. 

Bookings are being taken from 1st November for this very popular event – more information about the Christmas Party will be published soon – meanwhile, if you want to know more about this event please do contact Sandgate Society directly.

Best wishes

The Events Team

More about the Sandgate Society HERE

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Folkestone Rowing Club Did Us Proud at CARA

Following a very successful day at the Herne Bay regatta towards the end of August – when the Junior Men and Master’s 50 crews secured the CARA Championship – Folkestone Rowing Club were again prepared and ready to give it their all when they competed in the South Coast Rowing Championship 2021 the weekend of 18th and 19th September.

The 64th South Coast Championship, postponed in 2020 due to Covid, this year was hosted by the Hants & Dorset ARA – and took place from the Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, Southampton.

The Folkestone Rowing Club crews line up included: Men’s junior championship: Lodi, Dan, Tom and Finn, coxed by Vanessa, Master’s 40 open and 50s championship: Mark, Steve, Matt and Tony, coxed by Vanessa. The Novice ladies open: Zoë, Hattie, Becky and Maddie and Junior ladies open: Eddi, Jo, Finn and Holly – and all crew members were raring to go.

The course is 1880m but could be shortened to suit conditions if necessary – on the day it wasn’t necessary, the course for the Junior Racing is 910m.

The crews and distinctive yellow boats arrived in Shoreham, with help from Tony of the Dover Rowing Club, bright and early ready for the challenges ahead – and they had a fantastic weekend.

The Masters Crew came in 3rd in the 50’s race and then went on to have an amazing win in the 40’s race. The Junior mens team also did incredibly well with a brilliant win over the Shoreham team proving they are also CARA champions. All rowing club teams, and supporters too, did us proud.

If you are interested in learning to row (competitively or just for fun) – or just want to be part of the social side of the club check out:

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Enbrook Estate Display At Sandgate Library

This fascinating display about Enbrook Estate, now at Sandgate Library, traces the history of the Enbrook Estate from a private residence and grounds in the 1800s to a Star & Garter Home, Police Training College, and now SAGA office and Enbrook Park and home of the Community Garden.

You can browse and search the large collection of digitised documents and photos that the Sandate Society archive team have by visiting their website: Archive (

Sandgate Library opening times: Sandgate Library – Sandgate Parish Council (

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Jill Is Hanging Up Her Teapot

We would like to say a very big THANK YOU to Jill Partridge who has organised her last Vintage Tea Room during the Sea Festival.

Jill has always worked tirelessly in corralling volunteers, accepting lots of mouth-watering homemade cakes and ensuring the event runs smoothly with lots of satisfied customers.

It is time for Jill to be able to enjoy the Sea Festival, and we hope we see her as a customer of the Sandgate Society next year.

Jill doesn’t get to relax though – there is still the Archives to organise!  Look out for the new display in the Library next week.

Best wishes

Sal – Chair

To find out more about the Sandgate Society – check out:

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Sandgate Parish Council Email Newsletter

Dear All

From September 6th, events and activities will begin again in Sandgate Library.
                                                                  ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS IN SANDGATE LIBRARY
MONDAY                                                    Baby Rhyme Time        10.15-10.45
SECOND MONDAY OF THE MONTH        Book club         –           11.00-12.00
MONDAY                                                     Scrabble            –           1.30 – 3.30
SECOND & FOURTH TUESDAY                Knit and Knatter            10.00 – 12.00
THURSDAY                                                 Talk time            –           2.00 – 3.00
FRIDAY                                     Baby Rhyme Time          Session 1 – 10.15 – 10.45
                                                                                           Session 2 –  11.00 – 11.30

All events must be booked in advance via the library email or phone number 01303 248 563,  only during library opening hours and the numbers of participants will be strictly limited to 10*.
*Baby Rhyme Time – 1 carer & 1 or 2 babies / toddlers would be considered as 1 participant.

Kind regards and thanks

Parish Clerk to Sandgate Parish Council
01303 248563

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Vintage Tea Room – Can You Help?

The Old Fire Station will be open on Sunday 29th August during the Sandgate Sea and Food Festival – everybody is welcome to pop in and say hello to our volunteer helpers whilst it is open, and perhaps enjoy a lovely cup of tea or coffee and slice of home made cake.

If you would like to get more fully involved and can spare an hour on Sunday 29 August any time between 1145 and 1615 you would be very welcome to help us with the teas and coffees at the Old Fire Station?

We are looking at serving our teas and coffees downstairs and need 10 willing volunteers to give between half and a whole hour to help serve whilst other volunteers are serving lots of cake!

It’s a great cause – please can you spare the time?

If you would like to help please do contact the Events Team at:

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Sandgate Society Summer Party

This year the Sandgate Society decided to hold their very popular summer party – after the many months of taking great care with Covid restrictions the announcement was very welcome by members.

To err on the side of caution – this year the summer party was held outside on the grounds of Enbrook Park. The weather although being hit and miss over July and August – on this occasion it was perfect – and members sat outside in the perfectly manicured gardens of Enbrook Park, enjoying the friendship and sunshine.

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Sea Festival Arts & Crafts Fair

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SAGA – Abandoning Sandgate?

Sandgate residents living close to Enbrook Park, the home of SAGA, have received planning notice about the potential change of use to residential for the conversion of the main SAGA building into 31 x1 bed flats and 31 x2 bed flats. Local people were initially confused about what was happening because a similar planning notice has been published about change of use to residential for the SAGA building in Middleburg Square to allow for conversion into 53 x2 bed and 33 x1 bed flats – however the confusion was cleared up when it became clear that both SAGA buildings are subject to planning notices.

As with many places of employment throughout the Covid months – the SAGA building in Enbrook Park has been almost empty for months. Alarmed at what this could mean local people took to social media to raise concerns – asking the question “is SAGA leaving the centre of Sandgate – and what does this mean for the future of the lovely Enbrook park and the community garden?”.

The Sandgate Society – a local amenity group, responding to members concerns about the future of Enbrook park, were on to this news very quickly and contacted SAGA to find out what was happening, especially given signs of work already taking place to the main building. The following response from Euan Sutherland, the CEO of Saga, was promptly received and circulated to society members:

“Due to legislative changes which took effect on 1st August, any commercial property applications to residential would lose their automatic approval. To protect their asset in Sandgate they have applied for residential use now, although they have no plans at the moment to move from Enbrook”.

In line with many other businesses, SAGA have delayed return to the office for many employees until the end of August due to the increased number of workers affected by the ‘pingdemic’.

Meanwhile, work is already being undertaken to refurbish the offices with the removal of two old air conditioning units to allow for two new air conditioning units as part of the refurbishment. Some floors have already been stripped out to allow for this work, with expected completion by November.

The other question being raised is about parking restrictions in and around Enbrook park. CPZ restrictions were implemented on many roads in the vicinity of Enbrook park to mitigate potential over-parking by SAGA employees. With a future where many employees will be working from home at least part of the working week, it is assumed the number of employees actually based in Enbrook Park at any one time will be significantly reduced. Local people think this gives an ideal opportunity for the CPZ restrictions to be reviewed, with some perhaps being removed.

Some residents pointed out that they have resented paying the annual fee and see no benefit in keeping the CPZ outside their properties. With others stating that they have found the CPZ restrictions beneficial because it means they can park closer to where they live during summer months when it is almost impossible to park anywhere close by – and they feel it is worth paying the annual fee to keep the parking restrictions in place. In coming months the CPZ review is likely to be taken up by the parish council, working with FHDC and Kent Council.

As Sandgate Society chair Sal Kenwood commented “… I hope we are all reassured that SAGA have no immediate plans to leave Sandgate, and their application is intended at present to safeguard their options for the future”.

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We knew it all along :)

A coastal village in Kent has been revealed as the number one trending seaside destination on Airbnb.

Sandgate, which is nestled between Folkestone and Hythe, has beaten popular spots Margate and Whitstable as having seen the biggest rise in Brits searching for homes on the accommodation-booking platform.

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Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving

St Paul’s Church Sandgate

Saturday 24th July at 3pm

We would like to invite you to a special service on Saturday 24th July.

Visitors will be asked to write down the names of those who are no longer with us including the many who have died during the pandemic, and to give thanks to all who have worked tirelessly to keep our community safe. (Paper ‘leaves’ will be provided at the church). These will be read out during the service and after which they will be planted under the roots of a white cherry tree in the grounds of St Paul’s as an everlasting reminder.

All are most welcome

If you cannot attend but would like those people remembered please email:

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Folkestone Rowing Club Gets Great Results!

It was the first regatta of the season – Sunday 11th July, and Folkestone Rowing Club was ready for it – winning some hard-fought races against many clubs from along the coast.

Folkestone rowing club did well – with 1st places from the Junior Men’s 4, Junior Men’s Pair, Masters 40 and Masters 50, and 2nd places from the Novice Men’s 4, in addition to the Junior Aggregate and Coxswain of the day Vanessa Ware!

Congratulations were given to Worthing for being the first club to receive the new Hatley trophy which was recently donated by Pat Hadley.

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Sandgate Society Members Get Together

Dear Members

The current news looks promising so, fingers crossed, we will be re-opening the Old Fire Station at 1030 on Saturday 31st July.

We will be serving tea, coffee and fizz outside, so please come along to join us in celebrating our “back to normality”.

Watch this space for more events in 2021 – and the good news is:

It’s almost time to shake out the picnic rugs and dust off the thermos for the Sandgate Society Summer Get Together Picnic. This will take place in the grounds by St Paul’s Church Hall on Saturday 14th August from 1-4 pm and will be a great opportunity for us to meet together for the first time since March 2020!  Come and join us to chat and socialise with friends new and old.

Please bring your own picnic, and you are more than welcome to bring your own table, chairs, picnic rugs etc.  However, tables and chairs can be provided if booked with your tickets – please let us know at this time, as we are unable to access them on the day.

There is limited parking for up to 24 cars by the Church. Members of the Events Team will be there from midday if you would like to drop anything off beforehand.

Tickets are £5 per person to cover costs and include a welcome glass of bubbly. We are sorry but as space is limited, there will only be 60 tickets available and on this occasion are for members only. Next year we hope to be able to return to SAGA for our usual summer party when there will be more tickets available.

Booking opens and tickets will be issued on a first served basis from 1000 on  Wednesday 14th July.   Payment details will be sent out once your tickets have been reserved. To make it fair for everyone please do not email or ring before this date.

To book your tickets on 14th July, please:

1.     Email to include the number of tickets you require with the names of the people in your party.                                            OR

2.      Ring Gemma on 07984 694907.

If in the event that the picnic has to be cancelled due to bad weather, we will send out an email or ring by 10am on the morning of the 14th.   If this does happen and either we can’t rearrange the date or you can’t make the new date, we will arrange a refund.

We look forward to seeing many of you on the 14th August.

Best wishes to you all

The Events Team

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Sandgate Safari; Sandgate Was Buzzing!

Sal Kenward – Sandgate Society

This is just some of the feedback we have received from our “Stratospheric” Sandgate Safari on Saturday! “Best community day ever”, “Met new neighbours for the first time”, “This HAS to be an annual event”, “Haven’t seen so many happy faces for a long, long time” and “Sandgate is BUZZING!”

The publicity generated by social media brought visitors from the Marsh, Ashford, Dover – and even a family who came from Brixton on the train (and how they got it all home we will never know, but they say they would like to come every year!).

This sale raised around £500 for the Society, as well as lot of money from other stallholders for charities such as the MS Society, British Heart Foundation to name but two.

There were 40 stalls in the end, mostly reporting at least a 75% sale of treasures. The pubs and coffee shops were queuing as happy shoppers refreshed themselves in-between bargain hunting, and we would especially like to thank The Providence Inne who were very helpful to us as our stall expanded and the throng of visitors spilled out over their forecourt!

We would like to give a massive thank you to Gemma Adams who organised this event from the start and even attempted to walk round all the stalls on the day (and bag herself a new bike at the same time!). Gemma and Guy Valentine-Guy set themselves a very high bar with the technical compilation of the interactive map as well as the physical one.

This event was the idea of our member Amanda Mason – thank you Amanda, inspired!

We would also like to thank the rest of the Events Team (Liz, Giles, Amanda and Vicki) for hours of sorting, pricing and cataloguing. Without this back up, the Event would not have been such an incredible success.

Three things to consider – firstly, we listen to our members, so if you have an idea for an event, please let us know. And secondly, if we hold it next year and you are on the outskirts of our village please let us know and we can ask permission from shops to allow you a High Street stall. And lastly, if you are thinking of throwing something out, think again as there is always next year!

Final thank you to all our members for supporting this inaugural event and we hope to see you at our next event, the summer picnic, details to be confirmed as soon as we can confirm a date. If you want to find out more about the Sandgate Society and what it does – check out:

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Date For Old Fire Station Return To Normal

The bunting is dusted off, the kettle descaled; the coffee pods ordered, the glasses polished and the fizz on ice.

We were ready to open on 3rd July, but in view of the postponement of Freedom Day, we now have to postpone our re-opening.

Unless the dates change, we are now inviting you to join is in a return to “normality” on Saturday 31st July at 1030-1230.

We will be in touch nearer the time; please adjust your diaries and we look forward to seeing you then.

Very best wishes

Sal Kenward – Sandgate Society

Old Fire Station, 51 Sandgate High Street, Sandgate, CT20 3AH

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Lilla, The Countess of Chichester & The Chichester Memorial Hall

Lilla, baptised Elizabeth Mary Bligh, was born in Stockholm, Sweden on 22nd March 1837. She died aged 47 on 7th December 1911 at Enbrook. Elizabeth was the daughter of Sir John Duncan Bligh and his first wife Elizabeth Mary Gisborne. Sadly, Lilla’s mother died on 22nd July 1837 aged 22 just four months after giving birth whilst living in Stockholm. Lilla’s father Sir John Duncan Bligh then tendered his resignation from his post at the Embassy to the Court of Stockholm.

On the 18th June 1861, aged 24, Lilla married Walter John Pelham (Lord Pelham and 4th Earl of Chichester) at St George’s Church, Hanover Square in London.

Lord Pelham held the office of Deputy Lieutenant of Sussex and in 1865 was elected to the House of Commons for Lewes as a Liberal MP. Their home in Sandgate was at Enbrook built on land owned by John Bligh, 4th Earl of Darnley, Lilla’s grandfather. His son, Sir John Duncan Bligh, inherited the house and land. He rebuilt the house in the 1850s and after his death in 1872 the property passed to Lilla, Countess of Chichester.

1861 Census shows Lilla living at Enbrook with her father just before her marriage. This census lists five relatives staying at Enbrook and also eleven members of staff ie house-keeper, ladies maid x 2, upper housemaid, kitchen maid, dairy maid, housemaid, butler x 2, coachman and footman.

Information about the Countess of Chichester has been researched through several newspaper articles from which we can discover something of her kind character and good deeds which led ultimately to the Chichester Hall being built in her memory.

The following is from theThe Dover Express and East Kent News, Friday 15th December 1911. The obituary article in this newspaper reports on the death of the Countess of Chichester and tells us a little more about Lilla. She was often in Dover in connection with religious work and how she was held in great esteem in Sandgate with the poor having lost a true friend.  Lilla also had no family.

“The death occurred early on Friday morning last of Elizabeth Mary, Countess of Chichester, at her residence, Enbrook, Sandgate, Kent. The late Countess, who was often at Dover in connection with religious work was the widow of the fourth Earl of Chichester who died in 1902. Before her marriage, in 1861, she was Elizabeth Mary Bligh, only daughter of the late Hon. Sir John D Bligh, K.C.B., son of the fourth Earl of Darnley.  Lady Chichester had no family, and on the death of her husband, his brother, the late Earl succeeded,  He died in 1905, and was succeeded by Jocelyn Brudenell Pelham, the present peer. The Countess was greatly esteemed in the Sandgate district, and in her the poor have lost a true friend. A memorial service was held at Sandgate on Monday and the funeral took place at Stanmer on Tuesday.”

The Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser dated 16th December 1911 gives us more information about Lilla. The paper reports that “the death of Elizabeth Mary (known as Lilla) Countess of Chichester will be the cause of deep sorrow among a large section of the community in Folkestone and Sandgate, where she had, during her long widowhood’ taken a deep interest in what may be termed the higher life of the people. The various societies which have as their main objective the improvement of the lot of young women have lost by the death of the Countess one who was a tower of strength to them, not only by her sympathy but by her sound practical assistance. At the time when she was ill (only a few days ago) she was announced to take part in various functions having for their object the assistance of those who needed aid. Her last appearance in public was, we believe, on November 18th, when she distributed prizes to the pupils in the Girls’ County School, and gave a most encouraging address to the girls.

The memorial service was held at St Paul’s Church, Sandgate. The coffin, on which rested a number of beautiful wreaths, was taken from Enbrook to St Paul’s by members of the Sandgate Fire Brigade by the private entrance. The firemen, who were commanded by the Capt W H Jacob and Lieut J S Clark, wore their uniforms and helmets. Drawn up outside the church was the Sandgate detachment of the Red Cross Society and also the members of the St John Ambulance Brigade, both contingents being in uniform. The service was attended by a large and representative congregation. One floral wreath from members of the household ‘desired that this floral harp may express their deep attachment and respect for their beloved lady’. The coffin, after being removed from the church, was placed on the funeral car and taken to Shorncliffe Station, to be conveyed to Lewes by train, and thence to Stanmer, where the family mausoleum is situated.”

The Whitstable Times & Herne Bay Herald, dated 16th December 1911 informs us that the memorial service was held in Sandgate Church.  On 2nd March 1912 the same newspaper tells us about the estate left by Lilla. “The estate left by the late Right Hon, Elizabeth Mary Countess of Chichester of Enbrook, Sandgate, widow of the fourth Earl of Chichester, has been sworn at £31,613 gross. Testator left the residue of her estate to the Central Branch of the Y.W.C.A. Brighton, the Police Convalescent Home at Hove, the Girls’ Shelter, Buckingham Road Brighton, the Connaught Institute, Lewes Road, Brighton, and the C.M.S.” Y.W.C.A. is the Young Women’s Christian Association C.M.S. is the Church Missionary Society

The Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser dated 28th February tells us a little more details of Lady Chichester’s Will. Lilla bequeathed many personal items and monetary gifts to a long list of recipients. Some examples of bequeathed items are listed herewith: to Lady Dorothy Bligh, an opal and ruby pendant and twelve books: to Lady Kathleen Brownlow, a band bracelet with diamond buckle and sapphire and diamond ring: to Lady Alice Bligh, a pearl ring: to Lady Ruth Pelham, a group of Chelsea china: £6,000 to the Earl of Chichester: £10,000 to Miss Mary Louisa Pelham: £1,000 to her god daughter, Lilla Morris and so on. The residue of the estate divided between charitable institutions.

The Chichester Memorial Hall

The Chichester Hall was built as a lasting memorial to Lilla (Elizabeth) with funds raised through public subscriptions by residents who wished her to be remembered for all the support she had given to Sandgate over the years. The Folkestone Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser dated 20th December 1913 reports on the stone laying ceremony for the Chichester Hall.

“There was a large attendance, on Monday, at the memorial stone-laying of the working men’s club, which is being erected in the High Street, Sandgate, in memory of the late Lilla Countess of Chichester, whose interest in Sandgate and its residents will not be forgotten for many, many years.  Mr C H Master, Chairman of the Chichester Memorial Committee, presided over the proceedings and the ceremony was performed by Sir Squire Bancroft.”

Mr Master went on to say that “the Gough Home was first of all suggested, and it was almost purchased. They were just about to settle the purchase, when it was sold over their heads. He, however, did not regret that fact now. He thought the Gough Home would not have suited their purpose in every way, and it would not have been sufficiently good enough or capable of being used for the purpose. They then tackled the question of buying the site, and the imposing old ruins which stood there were bought for £400. The contract for the building was £1,200, and there would be some odds and ends which would cost about £200.

Towards the total they had got £800, and the consequence was that they wanted £600 more, and he appealed to everyone who had the interest of Sandgate at heart help that matter on, so that they could get the debt paid off…they wanted a big room, a place where they could have evening entertainments, and which could be used for a hundred other things……Mr Conquest, the architect , then stepped forward and presented to Sir Squire Bancroft a handsome silver trowel with ivory handle, as a memento of the occasion. The trowel bore the following inscription ‘Presented to Sir Squire Bancroft on the occasion of his laying the foundation stone of the Chichester Memorial Hall, Sandgate, December 15th, 1913.’ In Sir Squire Bancroft’s speech he “yielded to none in his sincere regard for all the acts of kindness shown to Sandgate by the late Lady of Enbrook. His wife and he enjoyed the privilege of Lady Chichester’s acquaintance and shared the true regret in her loss which they all felt. The Contractor was Otto Marx and the Architect C J Conquest. Copies of local papers will be placed in the cavity at the back of the memorial stone which was inscribed Chichester Memorial Hall. This stone was laid by Sir Squire Bancroft, 15th December, 1913.’”

NB The silver engraved trowel was the work of Messrs Oclee & Sons of Folkestone.

Mr Arnold H Ullyett (Hon. Sec. & Treasurer) advised in a letter dated 22nd  January 1914 that the committee received a generous offer from Mr Master and Mr Burke who promised to give jointly a cheque for £250, provided a similar sum of £250 is subscribed within 6 months.

The clock was relocated to the Chichester Memorial Hall but was originally installed on the J B Gough Soldiers Home at 56 – 60 Sandgate High Street.  It was renovated in 1981 again in 2009 and is due a further renovation this year.

The Dowager Countess of Guildford unlocked the entrance door to the Chichester Memorial Hall and declared the building officially open on 10 June 1914. The Chichester Hall has been at the centre of village life and events for over 100 years and the main hall is hired and used regularly by clubs, groups, meetings, music events and organisations on a regular basis including a Farmers’ Market. Sadly the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and which is continuing into 2021, has meant that the Chichester Hall was closed but is gradually reopening as lockdown restrictions are lifted by the Government.

It has been interesting to try and discover more about Lilla Countess of Chichester, however, if you have any documents or photographs that we can copy/add to the records in our archives please do contact us via website at:

Christine Bleach – Archive Team/2021

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