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Madge Family Album

About this collection

  • Created by St Margaret's History Society

In 2013 the archive acquired a book of photographs of the village which had been collected by and featured members of the Madge family who ran the village shop and Post Office in the centre of the village for many years. It also contains some excellent views of the village and village life from 1880 onwards.


Joseph Beavis Madge (1868-1941) who came from Pinhoe in Devon, was the most senior member of the family and opened a shop in what is now Arcadia Cottage in the High Street in the 1880's, called the Cliffe Arcade, with his wife Selina (1860-1937). JB Madge first appears in the 1891 village census as a young man of 29 named as an Ironmonger and Draper with two shop assistants.


Selina came from Enfield in Middlesex and they named their house 'Enfelde' after her place of birth. They had one child, Karl (1895-1979) All are buried in the village churchyard.


Later, JB Madge opened the shop which still survives today on the corner of Well Lane and the High Street. He sold all sorts of goods and services.From 1899 he ran the Post Office from this site but also a Circulating Library where people could borrow books for small charge. He also sold newspapers,stationery,drapery,china,glass and toys. He commissoned a large range of postcards showing views of the village which are still collected today.


The family lived in' Enfelde', Well Lane, next to the shop.


Both JB Madge and his son Karl were important members of the local community. JB Madge was a mainstay of the village sports days which he helped organise and was also an enthusiastic founder member of the Bowls Club. Karl took over the shop when his father died and served as a Parish Councillor for 27 years. He was also a member of the Dover Rural District Council and was its Chairman for 12 Years. During the Second World War he served as a Special Policeman.


Karl married Dora, who had been born at nearby Solton Manor. They had four children, Keith,Phillip, Gladys and Judith. At the time of Dora's death in 1977 they lived at Eden Roc in the Droveway. Dora was also involved in village life being in the ARP during the war and she was also in the WI, worked for the church and the Children's Clinic, the Horticultural Society and the Choral Society. In 1978 Karl married Joan Brain.


When Karl died, two years after his first wife, he was living in Erin cottages, Well Lane

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