Blencowe Families’ Association Newsletter Vol. 23 No. 3 August 2008

Following the Census Trail

In the 1851 census return my wife’s G-G-Grandfather; William Blencowe was recorded as being an Inn Keeper at the Ship Inn (A Coaching Inn) in Sandgate near Folkestone in Kent.

My wife, Shirley’s Grandmother was a Blencowe from Brighton and she married a Keating also from Brighton.

For a few years now we have visited cemeteries in Northern France and Belgium to pay our respects to our Keating and Currell relatives who did not return from the Great War. This has necessitated an overnight stay near to Dover in order to catch the 6am ferry.

Last year we decided that it would be nice if the Ship Inn still existed to stay there overnight, but no trace of it could be found on the many ‘Hotel and Inn’ websites. So it was back to the usual hotel.

A couple of months ago, while sketching out the next visit I found that the original Ship Inn had been renamed the Royal Norfolk Hotel around about 1856 and it was pulled down in 1902 and rebuilt.

So a visit had to be made to Sandgate to visit the hotel.

We decided that at the same time we would visit as many of the addresses in the various censuses for both Blencowe and Keating as possible. We photographed the houses where the ancestors lived if they were still standing. 

We stayed at the Royal Norfolk Hotel and the present owner was interested in the reason for our visit and made us truly welcome. We were joined for the day in Sandgate by my wife’s cousin John Blencowe and his wife Tina from Brighton.

John and Tina returned to Brighton in the evening and we settled down in a very comfortable room overlooking the Castle and the Bay.

The next day we started visiting the various addresses, the first two being near Eastbourne in Sussex. Due to the distance from Sandgate it was lunchtime by the time the first 2 addresses were visited both of which were in a picturesque village.

The afternoon saw us crawling around Brighton looking for the various locations. We were unable to visit them all as we ran out of time and at 5 pm we decided to start the 200 mile journey home.

Another visit is planned for August to try to locate the remaining locations and we will meet up with John and Tina again.

Ron Currell

Currell Ship Inn Ship Inn circa 1850

Royal Norfolf Hotel Royal Norfolk Hotel circa 1890
Dark grey building on left

Currell Blencowe Ron Currell, Tina and John Blencowe and Shirley Currell

updated: 31 October 2008