history of Elham and Folkestone

history of Elham and Folkestone

I don't know whether anyone can help. I am researching my family tree and am trying to investigate some history of Elham and Folkestone.

My grandfather was born in Elham in 1908, and his sister also in 1907. Their mother, my great grandmother came from North Wales. Her name was Ellen Owens and she apparently owned, or ran, or worked in a guest house in Elham. She moved there from London, where she had been 'in service'.

She met my great grandfather there when he and his band stayed at the guest house. He gave her their 2 children.

My great grandfather was a dutch musician, born in the Netherlands in 1868. He was a violinist, and came to this country, touring Britain with various bands, including his own, eventually.

His name was Willem de Lange Wendels, and I know that he was asked to play with Herr Wilhelm Morgann and his Hungarian Blue Band around 1904/1905. I suspect that he may have known, or played with Herr Moritz Wurm and his Blue Viennese band, and White Viennese band.

I do know that he played around the Folkestone area, possibly with his own band, Herr Willem Wendels Original (or Famous) Viennese Orchestra. This would have been in the period leading up to 1913. For a short time, possibly between 1911 and 1913, he played on the transatlantic liners.

I have various photos of him in bands, and on his own, including a photo of a band that I can't identify, but looks as if it was taken on the veranda of a building, possibly on the south coast. I also have a photo of my great grandmother, possibly about the time that she was working in the 'guest house'.

My grandfather's sister was scarred when she fell into the fireplace of the 'guest house' where they lived with their mother. I have just read of the huge fireplace in Abbots Fireside, Elham, a very old hotel / Inn/ guest house which would have been around when my great grandmother was in charge. Could this place, Abbots Fireside, have been where she worked, and where she met my great grandfather?

Do you know of a good way that I could follow this up?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jonathan Wendell jonathanwendell@btinternet.com

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