Follow us on Facebook  @FHofDW

A House In Golden Street
The People Who Lived There

Part Three


Edward Richard Dodd

Edward Richard Dodd was born in Dover in 1857 his father, John,  was a Pilot in Dover. Although not a Pilot Edward was, by the time the 1881 census was taken, employed as a cook onboard  the  Pilot Cutter, Princess of London, on the coast just off Romney Marsh.  Interestingly he is also registered at  the same time at his home with his wife and children in Dover!   Sometime between 1885 & 1886 he and his family moved to Deal’s Beach Street where he set up as a Tobacconist and Confectioner but remained in the Piloting service as a Pilot Station MessengerDeal’s Pilot Station then stood on the beach standing between Silver Street and Golden Street. The electoral registers taken after 1893 records that Edward continued to live on Beach Street until his death in 1914.  

Our Golden street house was not the only property that Edward Dodd owned. He was, it seems, a canny investor who had built up a portfolio of at least a dozen houses right across Deal, including our house in Golden Street. 
He left his estate to his wife Sarah Ann who later moved to Gravesend and in 1918 she conveyed the estate to her son Lieutenant Charles Edward Dodd who at the time was based in Eccles, Lancaster with the Royal Engineers.  

 Who was living in our House? 

Unfortunately, the 1901 Census for Deal does not survive, so we do not know who was living in our house then but by 1911 William and Bertha Ballard were living there with their two children, Thomas and Margaret. However, neither child’s baptism records give Golden Street as their ‘abode.’ So it is unclear as to when they actually moved in. 
William George Ballard was a house painter by trade and was born in Clerkenwell, London. He appears to have moved from there, to Deal, with his widowed mother, Elizabeth, sometime before the 1901 census as neither of them appear, on that years census, anywhere else.  

He married Bertha Fanny Turner in Deal in February 1906 and a month later their first child Thomas was born. At that time they were living, with Elizabeth, at 5 Market Street which is where she lived until her death in 1920. 

Thomas was followed in March 1909 by Margaret; her baptism entry says that they were living in Middle Street then. By the time Albert was born, in April 1913, they had moved into our Golden Street House. James was born there in May 1915 when Britain had been at war with Germany for nine months.  

In December 1915 William enlisted in the Royal Engineers Inland Waterways Dock Company and in August 1918, was compulsorily transferred to the 3rd. East Surreys, by which time he was a Corporal. His service records seem to indicate that he did not serve in France.  

 In 1917 Bertha gave birth to a daughter who they named Olive Edith. However, in the army records for Baptism of serving soldiers she is incorrectly entered as Bertha. A letter was duly dispatched, and the error was corrected.   

William was demobilised on March 1 1919 returning home to Golden Street and his family. Five years later another son, their last child, was born who they named Philip.  

 A New Owner 

 On the 9th April 1923 Lewis Pevy purchased our Golden Street House, for £120, from Lieutenant Charles E Dodd who was then serving in Hong Kong. Charles had appointed Herbert George Brown of Deal, to act for him as his solicitor and, not being able to return home, documents were sent out to Hong Kong for him to sign in the presence of the Public Notary Denis Henry Blake.  

William and Bertha continued to lease our Golden Street House now owned by Lewis Pevy who was known as Jack. He was born in Ringwould and in 1909 he married Amelia Wells, a boatman’s daughter, in St. Andrew’s Church Deal. He was at the time a Carter for an Oil Company. They set up home in West Street and in 1913 they had their only child, Charles.
Lewis served in the Northamptonshire Regiment during WW1 returning home to Deal and his family.  

More about the Ballards 


In 1928 Thomas, their eldest son married Lillian Coe. At the outbreak of WW2 he was employed as a gas fitter and according to the 1939 register he was also a member of the St. John’s Ambulance Service and was then living in Union Street.  


His sister Margaret, married Stapleton Marsh, in 1933. Sadly her father, William,  was not to walk her down the aisle as he died the previous year and was buried on the 23 March 1932 in Hamilton Road Cemetery. In 1939 Margaret and Stapleton were living in College Road and Albert, Olive and Philip were still living with Bertha  in our Golden Street House.  


Poster in Public Domain

Albert, known as Bert, had followed his father into the painting trade, he was also a signwriter and the register tells us that he had joined the ARP as part of the full time rescue service.  

The Air Raid Precaution services were organised well before the start of War. In Deal on 21 July 1938, the whole of the local personnel were paraded on Walmer Green and addressed by the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. Albert as a member of the rescue service would have been involved in getting the dead and injured out of bombed premises. 

Further research into Bert shows that he attended the Dover School of Art in the 1930s where he took a Painters and Decorators Course. Then in 1942 he married Margaret D V Wilson. Interestingly in 1939 she was living with her grandmother in Dover where she was registered as a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Fire Service. The Auxiliary Fire Service was formed in 1938 followed by a huge recruitment drive to attract women, to replace the men who were signing up to join the army. We don’t know what role she played in the service but women were mainly employed as dispatch riders, drivers or worked in the control room. Some women did attend air raids and fought fires alongside the men. They seem to have been written out of history though, along with the twenty-five women of the WAFS who lost their lives during the war. 


Olive in 1939 was a Librarian and in the following year she married Stuart Harlow, a Clerk to a Wine and Spirit merchant in Deal. We were lucky enough to make contact with one of her son’s and through him and some family documents, held by the Deal Museum, we were able to discover more about the Ballards and our Golden Street House. 


The Sketch – Wednesday 30 December 1953

James, or Jim, we are told, was a childhood friend of  Norman Wisdom. Norman had a troubled childhood and for a while was in a children’s home in Deal and attended a local school until he ran away when he was 11. So, it was a young Norman Wisdom who Jim Ballard befriended and invited home. Apparently Norman, on these visits, would beg Bertha for a jam sandwich and, acting the fool even then, he would fall off his chair. Far from making Bertha laugh though, he only succeeded in making her cross. 

Jim gained a Free Scholarship Place at Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Sandwich. A letter of recommendation written in 1931 by the Headmaster Rev. William Burton, when James was  in the fifth form, says he was “…neat and methodical, perfectly truthful, honest and obliging… and would give satisfaction to his employer…”  This recommendation must have helped him gain his three year apprenticeship with the Grocers Vye & Son.  

His sister, Margaret, witnessed his apprenticeship indenture papers stating that she was then a clerk.  

 Jim by 1939 had completed his three year apprenticeship and was living in Chatham, with the Furminger family, and was employed as a Grocer’s Assistant. A year later in April 1940 he enlisted in the Royal Artillery. The documents tell us that he served in both the African and Italian campaigns. His Soldier’s Service and Pay Book gave a description of him as being 5’9 ⅝ tall weighing 154 lbs with blue eyes and brown hair and from 1941 he wore dentures and from 1944 glasses.  

In February 1946 he was demobbed and he returned home to live with his mother, Bertha in our Golden Street House. Towards the end of the year, he married Joan Bushell, and they eventually settled in Northwall Road.  


Philip, the youngest child of William and Bertha, was in 1939, a Cycle Dealers Assistant. His nephew tells us he became an electrician and had a keen interest in amateur film making the front bedroom of our Golden Street House into a film studio. He remembers it at one time becoming the inside of a starship and another a part of a cathedral. 

Philip didn’t  marry, and what he did in the war years is also not known. He does however bring Our Golden Street House story to an end as on September 2 1947 Philip bought the house where he was born and brought up in, for the grand sum of £250.  

 The conveyance document shows that nothing really had changed externally since Peter Collard Atkins inherited the house and built the small ‘tenement’ at the rear of the property in 1815. 


We don’t know what the inside of the house looked like or what changes were made throughout those years but Philip’s nephew  has kindly given us a description of the layout of the house as he remembers it.  

 He says that from the street 

“… you entered through the front door into a passage that went straight to the back of the house. There were two downstairs rooms on the right, the living room and the front room for special occasions. There was a connecting door between the two rooms as well as doors into each room from the passage. The doors were half glazed and some of the panels were filled with bottle glass, (not the modern imitation, but the real thing).  

 At the end of the passage was a door to the back garden and to the left the entrance to the extension. This contained the kitchen, which is where his Grandmother, Bertha, lived with her ginger cat. Beyond the kitchen was the bathroom and beyond that the toilet, which could only be accessed from outside.  

In the corner of the living room was what looked like a cupboard door which actually led to the stairs. The stairs bent to the right as you went up and led to two bedrooms. The back bedroom looked onto the back garden and the front bedroom onto Golden street.  

The stairs went on to a top bedroom. The back garden was partly paved and at the bottom was a wild bit with some sort of building where Philip found a George III penny! The garden itself was not very big and was entirely surrounded by other garden walls and buildings…” 

Philip continued to live in our Golden Street House with Bertha, who died there in 1960, and was obviously visited by his family until his own death in January 1974.  

The story of our Golden Street House will obviously continue but the story told by the bundle of documents that we were kindly given to view ends with a final communication dated September 1974. It was  sent by  Dover District Council and stated that the house had become, under the Town and Country planning act of 1971,  a ‘Building of Architectural or Historic Interest.’ 


Golden Street


Sources and further reading:
The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent by Edward Hasted
Every Woman and her own House-keeper by By John Perkins
The Old Pubs of Deal and Walmer: (with Kingsdown and Mongeham) by Steve Glover and Michael Rogers
Sexton of St. George’s, Nathaniel Rammel, Burial Records
Defence of the Realm Indexes CD-Rom  Compiled by Jennier Killick
Deal 1803 Lieutenancy papers  CD-Rom  Compiled by Jennier Killick
Cinque Ports Pilots list  Deal Maritime & Local History Museum
Newspaper image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved.
With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive (
Deal Museum-
London Illustrated News
With thanks to ©Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans Picture Library
Ballard family photograph and Ballard family information kind given by a Ballard descendent.