There will be more news in and after our Go Folkestone September monthly meeting TONIGHT, 13th September at 6.45pm which is slightly different because Jim Martin, the leader of the District Council is coming and speaking informally to us. This is a great coup, and also demonstrates that we reach out to all political parties and those of no, or perhaps one should say, their own politics.
[The Opinions expressed are those of the author unless stated to be those of the Go Folkestone committee or organisation]
The local cause celebre of the De Haan Development at Folkestone Seafront will have more on it after the meeting. We have made several representations directly to the Folkestone developers, on the grounds that our members came up with, although (my fault) we were out of time for an official objection to Planning this time. However we believe that the overwhelming opposition by locals, including negative representations by GF, which is normally a friend to Sir Roger De Haan, about the Harbour Car Park phase, has reopened matters. We know that the developers are looking at the scheme again. However, they have outline permission for an enormous amount of development. We would like more sewage safeguards, more parking and access improvements and more respect to the surviving Harbour Railway Station as part of the whole. We would also like the 1864 vintage Princess Royal public house rebuilt in character perhaps as housing and are hoping to attend meetings with Savills the agents, and NFS, if finalised.
The meeting will mention Grace Hill Library in Folkestone which is currently closed. We support demonstrations against the closure by New Folkestone Society and others but are aware of the immense financial problems of KCC. The building might of course, by covering youth matters or dementia projects or being very central patch offices, help with some of these problems by covering more KCC functions. A recent reply to us indicated that heritage information would be available at the former Youth Centre in Grace Hill, which is nearby. This would be progress.
I attach a link to an essay that my partner pointed to via the non-political Unherd organisation. I think this unusual article, on that sad anniversary, is pretty accurate about modern Britain and probably the developed world. I hope that Go Folkestone stands for people that are prepared to show a sense of community and volunteer for things like the recycling Saturday morning that we may soon set up in town, Friday litter picks, sharing of interesting ideas in the magazine, informed and not politically motivated concern about new developments like the Seafront, watering stuff if the dry spell continues etc……………………….. You can moan or you can help.
Read Britain’s+last+grown-up – https://thecritic.co.uk/britains-last-grown-up/.
As far as volunteering is concerned, you can join the following manual and WhatsApp groups via email@example.com:
- a watering subgroup for the planters originally set up by Incredible Edible in Cheriton , for trees at Three Hills and anything else needing water, even a distressed street tree.
- an electrical recycling sub group which should hopefully be collecting and recycling small electricals (up to Hoover or hedge-clipper size) in the town centre – more detail soon.
- litter Picks – next one 29th September – more details after tomorrow.
- White Cliffs Countryside Partnership green volunteering. We hope to support the following days with shared cars if you prefer: Tuesday 19th Sept and 26th Sept 10am at Shorncliffe Military Cemetery for a gardening style task; Wednesday 27th 10am Folkestone Warren, grazing area gate for scrub clearance ; Sunday 24th Barrow and Pillbox work, meet at Castle Hill bollards. Contact us to explore car sharing.
We have had considerable success with the renovation of the 1887 vintage 2ft x 42 in x 2ft granite Victoria Pier Foundation Stone. Go Folkestone has had the Stone’s original Victorian inscription picked out again, from a start of near-invisibility, by Neil Scrivener Ltd. Tony Hill has led for Go Folkestone. We still need more money for the project. We have £210 in general donations, a potential £400 from another historically minded society, and a generous individual has guaranteed the balance of the Stone inscription costs , but would prefer to have their money still in the kitty for additional works such as possible planning permission costs. So everything you send to us, up to £300, will go on your bit of the final historic inscription: Give us a V (for Viscountess Folkestone) please Bob. Go Folkestone A/C 02359029 Sort Code 30 93 34.
We are talking to the owner, to Sir Roger De Haan, to Folkestone and Hythe District Council and to The Folkestone Estate. All the indications are that one way or another, Go Folkestone will soon get the Stone down to the seafront, near where the Pier originally should, and hopefully but more uncertainly, with some extra [expensive] history and context, such as granite seats, a big Triennial mural of seaside history placed on the rendered wall where the Pier originally was affixed, a Town Council heritage board etc.
Pictures of Foundation Stone: