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Parachute faux pas

Contributed by editor on Nov 17, 2007 - 09:58 AM

Our thanks to Gazette reader Peter, who sent this to us for your delectation.

Pet pooch plunges from clifftop path

Contributed by editor on Nov 16, 2007 - 10:01 PM

A pet dog which disappeared over a cliff top led to a cliff top drama in Folkestone today (16 November).

Folkestone firefighters rushed to cliffs near the Battle of Britain Memorial at just before midday following a report of a dog which ran from its lady owner, and then fell from the footpath down a steep drop.

When the fire crew arrived they found the grey and black cocker spaniel named Tye, about 15 feet below the cliff top.

A firefighter was lowered down the cliff face to where the dog, tired and distressed, was stuck in brambles and in danger of falling further. He managed to grab hold of the animal and both were lifted back to safety.

Folkestone Flyer breaks world record

Contributed by editor on Nov 16, 2007 - 12:36 AM

A west country-based auctioneer has set a new world record for the sale of a model train set.

On Tuesday (28 October) auctioneers sold a boxed Southern Railways green liveried "Folkestone Flyer" electric passenger train set for £6,600.

The model was part of a collection of Hornby 'O' gauge model trains, Meccano, Dinky toys and railway and marine jig-saw puzzles that in total fetched £68,418 at Chilcotts' auctioneers Tiverton branch.

The collection belonged to Dr Clifford Patrick, a retired veterinary surgeon and medical doctor who died in 2003.

"This was a remarkable sale, reflecting the remarkable quality and diversity of the collection formed by the late Dr Patrick," said auctioneer Duncan Chilcott.

"The collection was one of the best I have had the privilege of selling. Dr Patrick had built his magnificent train set on specially constructed waist-high tables encircling a room in the attic of his home in Surrey, arranged so that he could control them on a huge oval of tracks from a central well. This really was a case of cash in the attic!


No Christmas tree for Folkestone this year

Contributed by editor on Nov 15, 2007 - 11:57 PM

A Christmas carnival featuring Father Christmas and his reindeer is to replace Folkestone's Christmas tree.

Organisers have claimed the 30ft conifer, donated by over-50s company Saga, looks messy after a couple of weeks because litter collects in the leaves and in the surrounding barrier.

They have also admitted to struggling to come up with the £800 maintenance costs.

Members of Town Centre Management are hoping the parade and the town centre lights switch-on, on Friday, November 23 at 5.30pm, will prove just as popular and keep the town's festive spirit alive.

The procession, which starts at 11am on Saturday, November 24, will have at least four real reindeer leading Santa's parade from the Leas Cliff Hall, through Sandgate High Street until it reaches the precinct area in front of the Debenhams store, the former site of the Christmas tree.

Shoppers will be able to meet Santa, stroke his reindeer and enjoy a temporary ice rink which will be set up for the weekend.

Barbara Witham, of Town Centre Management, said: "Christmas is the best time of year for so many people in Folkestone and this year will be no different despite losing the tree.

"November and December will be exciting months for the town with the new Bouverie Place shopping centre opening, the Christmas lights switch on and the Santa Parade.

"The tree will be missed but it gets so littered with rubbish in its leaves and the barriers which surround it."

Mrs Witham added that Santa's parade was a popular event last year and the attraction of reindeers will get shoppers feeling festive.

She said: "Children and adults will be able to meet Santa and pet his reindeer who will be in the town until 3pm on Saturday.

"Folkestone will really feel festive this year."

Village Warden news - 15 November 2007

Contributed by editor on Nov 15, 2007 - 11:47 PM

There is a Boot Fair in the Community Centre on Saturday 17th November between 10am and 2pm.

The former Farmers' Market, now renamed the Village Market has moved to Hawkinge Village Hall, 2pm-4pm every Wednesday. The last 2weeks since it has moved have been very good, with a more friendly community feel to it.

Be aware as the evenings are darker, earlier and to keep your homes and vehicles locked securely. Please as you are starting your Christmas shopping, do keep your presents out of sight and secure. A garage or shed is not ideal, due to previous year's they have been broken into and all presents stolen. Remember to leave a light on or use light timers when you are not home, just as a deterrent to opportunist thieves.

Finally beware of door step callers/ charity collectors at this time of year. Please do not open the door to people you do not know, especially at night and do not buy items over the doorstep, or sign up to anything, take any info and read it through properly. Remember to use your door chain and do not let strangers into your home.

If you would like to talk to me about any security concerns, or feel vulnerable or live alone, please get in touch or visit me at my drop-in surgery on a Wednesday at the Village market, 2.30pm - 4.00pm

Tanya Clark.
Hawkinge KCC
Tel: 07811271303

Golden days of steam return to Folkestone

Contributed by editor on Nov 14, 2007 - 11:41 PM

You will be able to breathe in the nostalgia when one of Britain's most famous steam locomotives returns to Folkestone next month.

"The Golden Arrow," will be arriving at the town's Harbour station on Saturday (1 December)

Battle of Britain class Pacific steam locomotive, No 34067, 'Tangmere,' bedecked in all the ‘Golden Arrow’ regalia, will steaming in at around midday at the soon-to-close Folkestone Harbour station and staying for around an hour .

The famous train will then make its way to Ashford, and head off to Canterbury for a two hour stop before continuing its journey to Ramsgate, Margate, Faversham and London.



Call to honour dead and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan

Contributed by editor on Nov 14, 2007 - 09:55 PM

The Prosser Perspective.... a weekly column from Dover and Deal MP Gwyn Prosser

15 November 2007


I’ve been pleased to take part in our Remembrance Day Services in Dover and Deal for the past twenty years – ever since I was first elected to the District Council in 1987 and for the last ten years, as the MP, I’ve mostly been able to stagger my attendances between Dover for their morning service at the Town Hall and Deal for their afternoon ceremony at the Victoria Hospital.

This year, Deal abandoned its tradition of having separate services and I attended their single combined Hospital ceremony in the morning. I welcome the change but if it continues I’ll have to roster my attendances between Dover one year and Deal the next which is regrettable.

Last week I found myself in another roster when my friends from the St Margaret’s Branch of the British Legion enlisted me to do join their Poppy Appeal Collection in Tesco’s. They’re a great bunch of people, they’ve got dozens of stories to tell and they all seem to share the same wicked sense of humour but there was a serious side to our meeting.

They lobbied me on the Legion’s ‘Honour the Covenant’ project and I was able to confirm that I supported their campaign and tell them that I’d already made written representations to the Minister.

The Covenant campaign seeks to address areas of concern for servicemen such as health, compensation, recognition and support for families. This week I’ve received a reply from the Minister for Defence which stretches to an incredible 13 pages.

The Minister acknowledges the huge debt of gratitude that we all owe to our Armed Services and our Veterans and accepts there’s more to do but points out some of the areas where redress is being made. Their last pay rise was the best in the public sector and uplifted the lowest paid private soldiers pay by over 9 percent. Then there’s the tax free Operational Allowance of £2,320 for a six month tour introduced last year and an improved operational welfare package for our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He lists a lot more recently provided benefits - too many to list here - and points out that the British Legion have acknowledged these improvements and the Chief of the General Staff has gone on record to confirm that in his view the military covenant is not broken.

Another of the Legion’s concerns is the apparent lack of public recognition for those who have served with such distinction – and for those who have sacrificed so much. In my view the Ministry of Defence shares in this deficiency and that’s why I am one of the MPs who this week launched the Parliamentary ‘Honour the Brave Campaign’ which is pressing the MoD to honour those who have died or been wounded in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We’ve tabled a motion which calls for the striking of a new medal to honour these brave men and women and I’m confident that we will achieve our goal.


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