‘Dungie’ for Sale – Follow Up

It must be the 'silly season' or a slow news week what with all the media interest in the forthcoming sale of the Estate.   National and local newspapers, television and radio stations all wanting to report the impending sale of the U.K.'s 'only desert'.   (The Met Office have stated they have never officially acknowleged the fact).

This web site has received many emails from all over the country expressing  concerns that somehow a new owner may not preserve Dungeness as it is.   Concerns are unfounded as, due to the many U.K. and European protections already in force here,  nothing will and cannot change.    What is here today will be here in one hundred years time – unless we are flooded out in the meantime (which is a highly unlikely scenario).

The £1.5 million price tag is only the starting point for 'offers over' and the final selling price  is expected to be many millions more.   It would not be surprising if EDF step into the breach and snap it up – as they have a vested interest in the area (the Nuclear Power station) and  the beach extraction required for its flood protection.

Strutt & Parker, the selling agents (contact Will Whittaker on 020 7318 5166  … if you are interested in making an offer)  have confirmed there has been an astronomical amount of interest but as always 95% are simply 'the curious'.   I understand neither Madonna or Paul McCartney have made an offer – yet.!   Watch this space.

In the meantime the Daily Mail are to present a small feature on the area and those who live here.  I did provide a couple of dwellers who agreed to take part and I am sure my conversation with the paper was recorded (as if a news paper would actually record without ones knowledge – quite unthinkable and possibly quite slanderous to suggest that sort of thing goes on) and thus I expect to see some quotes from myself.

BBC Newsnight turned up last night and failing to find any intelligent beings wishing to appear on TV ended up on my doorstep in a last ditch attempt to record at least something.   Thought it was being transmitted tonight (Thursday 13th) but may well have been last night..


No doubt more to follow.

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Call for comments and five words for the Fifth Continent



Consultation work on an exciting new project for Romney Marsh kickstarted at Romney Marsh Visitor Centre last weekend as part of the 18th and 19th July Open Days held at the site.


Kent Wildlife Trust and a wide range of partners are keen to gather the public’s thoughts over this coming Summer and Autumn on the ‘Fifth Continent Landscape Partnership Scheme,’ a Heritage Lottery Funded project which will be submitted in October 2016!


Ewa Prokop, Fifth Continent Project Officer, said  ‘We hope to develop lots of projects that involve the community as part of the Fifth Continent Scheme.  We are gathering together people’s opinions and ideas by running some ‘drop-in’ sessions in St. Mary’s Bay, New Romney, Lydd, Dungeness and Sevenoaks and by talking directly to local community groups, farmers and schools.


At the Kent Wildlife Trust website, there is also opportunity to fill out an online questionnaire.  We are also asking people to choose 'Five Words For The Fifth Continent' and let us know what they are!  These can be five, individual nouns, verbs, adverbs or adjectives that people feel epitomize the Romney Marsh area or express how they feel about the landscape.  These can be submitted on our Fifth Continent Facebook page or by  emailing me at ewa.prokop@kentwildlife.org.uk.


 It will be interesting reading and contribute to a montage in the Landscape Conservation Action Plan that is to be submitted as part of our bid.’


There are fifteen separate strands to the Fifth Continent Scheme which include such things as surveys and restoration of special habitats;  historical research of built and archaeological heritage; promotion of local medieval churches; initiation of a ‘New Lookers’ community policing project;  capturing of oral histories of local communities; encouragement of sustainable tourism; running of heritage and arts activities; instigating traineeship and apprenticeship programmes.


More information about the Scheme can be found at www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk



o            Saturday 8th August All Saints Church Summer Fayre, Lydd

            Sunday 9th August Rye Fete

o            Friday 14th August Lydd Library, Lydd

o            Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th August Sevenoaks Fair, Jeffery             Harrison Visitor Centre, Sevenoaks

            17th August Mosaic Day at Dymchurch

            19th August Venetian Fair

o            Tuesday 25th August New Romney Library, New Romney

o            Friday 28th August Romney Marsh Visitor Centre, St. Mary’s Bay

o            Thursday 10th September Romney Marsh Visitor Centre, St.             Mary’s Bay

o            Saturday 19th September Lydd Library, Lydd

o            Saturday 3rd October New Romney Library, New Romney

o            Sunday 4th October Dungeness RSPB Visitor Centre, Dungeness

            Saturday 10th October Hythe Farmers Market

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The Trustees of Dungeness have, 'reluctantly', decided to sell the 468 acre site – with offers over £1.5 million considered.

Britains only offical desert Dungeness is home to 100 families plus an abundance of widlife and vast collection of plants,

To offset the cost there is an estimated annual income of £130,000.00 mainly derived from EDF, for beach extraction and filming rights.

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Dungeness Wallpaper?

Yes you can get Dungeness wallpaper and other quaint and quirky items from a company called Mini Moderns, based in London.

Although operating from the metropolis the two owners of the company, Keith  Stephenson  and  Mark Hampshire   have a home in Dungeness.   It is their shack (sorry bespoke railway carriage) that featured in the Channel 4 (More4) television series 'Homes by the Sea' recently.

Visit their website www.minimoderns.com'  for  an  extensive range  of  ethnically produced  home furnishings.

Their  'Home Page'  reads thus:-      Launched in 2006 by   designers,  Keith Stephenson and  Mark Hampshire,  Mini Moderns  is an  interiors brand  specialising  in applied  pattern across  a range  of products  including wallpapers,  fabrics, cushions,  rugs and ceramics.  The initial  collection was  snapped up  by Heal's  and our  brand continues  to go  from strength   to strength,  selling online  and via  selected    around the  world.

Our  design influences  range from  mid-century British  textiles to  vintage  toys,  from literature  to childhood  memories.   Travel  also influences  our work   and much  of our inspiration  comes from  holidays and  field trips,  both at  home   and abroad.

MADE IN THE UK BY NICE PEOPLE. At Mini Moderns we like to produce in the UK whenever possible. All our wallpapers, fabrics, cushions, tea towels and bags are made in the UK by people with whom we've developed long-standing relationships. Producing in the UK also helps to keep our carbon footprint down, by minimising the number of journeys a product makes before it gets to you.

Mini Moderns also works on a number of commissions, including recent collaborations with the Courtauld Gallery, Southbank Centre and the London Transport Museum Shop.

And if you do make enquiries to those 'Nice People' do mention you read about them on this website.   You never know they may make a donation!


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Polish War Memorial – Update

Thanks to David Wimble and his team at 'The Looker' (see links) the identity of the person responsible for the construction and upkeep of the little memorial at Dungeness (and as it transpires others on the 'Marsh') has been revealed.

'The Looker' printed a substantial article for me in a recent edition seeking information on the mystery person responsible. Someone knew someone who knew who it was and passed the message on. It transpired the gentleman who called me back was one Colin Clayton, whom I had met many years ago.

Not only did an interesting piece of background information emerge about Colin's involvement but references to a far greater pool of information surrounding the activities of the RAF on that day were revealed. 

Colin's interest started at the age of 12, when on holiday in Greatstone (2 miles down the road) in 1950. On a summers morning there was an exceptionally low tide and in the distance (and those who know the area between Greatstone and Dymchurch will know how far out low tide reaches) was the outline of what turned out to be an American B24 Liberator bomber. The discovery affected Colin quite deeply and his feelings remained with him until he moved to the area many years later when he embarked on his personal crusade to find out more. His research uncovered a story of heroism and tragedy surrounding the B24. (This is another story in itself which was first highlighted in a magazine called 'The Countryman' published in November 2011 – with the article being written by Paul Trodd.) All he efforts culminated in the erection of a very tasteful memorial in the car park at Greatstone. However his efforts were thwarted by the local council who ordered its removal stating the council had changed its policy on floral tributes being laid at the site of fatal accidents. Yes quite right if we are talking about car accident deaths but to refuse a permannet reminder to those who sacrificed their lives to keep us free is another matter and one would have thought a little more consideration would have been given in this case. (Further info is available on Peter Faulkner's website www. greatstonehistory.net)

Colin's researches into the fate of the B24 eventually lead to the Spitfire incident and the memorial that used to be here at Dungeness. He stumbled across an article, ' Dungeness Spitfire' by Andy Saunders which appeared in a magazine called 'After the Battle' in (1986) and this provided a great deal of information on the crash site and much more besides.  (Andy Saunders is a prolific writer and recognised authority of all things WW2 related and an experienced and respected journalist and television and radio contributor. Find him on Amazon!)

Back to the memorial – which was first photographed by one Jack Stratfull (an Army Signaller) in 1944. As the whole area was under military control it was likely this original memorial site was created by the 'Signallers' on duty at the time although some local gossip has it the pupils of local school (200 metres away) had something to do with it. A photograph taken by the same Jack Stratfull in 1986 shows the demolished site.  Had hoped to reproduce the article and photos but permission refused.

It was this article that moved Colin Clayton to erect his own memorial which, to this day he has continued to care for, including of course the rebuilding of the one destroyed in the gales on Boxing Day 2014. What a lovely man!

Previous posts have indicated that there was not only a great deal of interest in the site, with pledges of funds from individuals to create a more permanent memorial but that the local MOD had offered to erect and maintain a new site. To date things seem to be on the back burner and nothing has happened. Colin himself has stated he would not be upset at having his creation replaced and in fact would welcome a more permanent memorial but at the moment there is stalemate.

At a recent meeting of the Dungeness Residents Association there was unanimous agreement to allocate funds to help in any future memorial.

More to follow no doubt!

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All go at Lydd Airport

The new hanger is nearing completion. Air Sea rescue helicopter base established, Electric Aircraft making history and runway extension to start soon.

Completion of the new 2,100 square metre hanger draws nearer. Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive of Lydd Airport, says the £700 million investment was necessary to accommodate the already increasing traffic and that it shows their determination to meet the needs and expectations of the growing number of aviation businesses and customers who use Lydd Airport. The runway extension will start in a few months time and will be open for business in the summer of next year (2016). Aircraft with up to 200 seat capacity will be able to use the facilities and Mr Buchanan states confidently it will make Lydd a regional airport – although he does expect growth to be 'modest' in the initial years. As traffic builds up then new planned passenger terminal will be constructed. All very positive but even in this weeks 'local rag' the anti brigade supporters continue their 'whinge' that expansion shouldn't be going ahead as it 'will never make money'. Well surely that's up to the investors and unlike the critic, who probably sits on his fat backside doing nothing and contributing nothing to the local community. At least Mr Buchanan and backers are attempting to bring a bit of life back to the area.

The new 24 hour Search and Rescue service is now operating from Lydd airport. Bristow Helicopters, the leading provider of search and rescue in the UK is operating two Augusta Westland AW139 helicopters on behalf of H.M. Coastguard and will be covering the coast from the Isle of Wight all the way around to the Humber in Yorkshire. Bristow has been providing this service since 1971 and has conducted over 15000 missions , rescuing some 7000 souls. Operation from Lydd airport has created 30 new jobs.

Atlantic Bridge Aviation, parent company to the Lydd Airport airline Lyddair have announced a scheme offering a share in an executive aircraft. Aimed at companies who cannot afford their own aircrafts, for the sum of £25,000.00, a 12.5% share of a 4 seater Piper Chieftain is on offer. Not sure if PayPal is accepted but all enquiries to Lydd airport.

And on Friday next week (10th July) the first crossing of the Channel by an all electric aeroplane will take place from Lydd. Designated the 'E-Fan' and developed at a cost of nearly £15 million by Airbus it will be making its maiden flight to Calais. The two seater silent prototype is the first of a new generation of electrically driven aircraft and it should be in service by 2018. It was first seen at the Paris airshow in June. And a thought – what will protesters have to protest about if it doesn't make a noise? No debt they will find something. Personally I think the hissing noise of the engines could attract amorous geese – with disastrous results!!

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Polish Memorial – Update 3

Following an article we had published in the local ‘The Looker’ magazine (see links if you wish to read this article – and others) we have received a phone call from the person who has been, over the years, the creator and custodian of, not only the Dungeness memorial but others on the ‘Marsh’. For this individual, who prefers anonymity, it is his personal tribute to those who lost their lives in the area. We are to meet later and hope to have a more detailed report.
And a final ‘thank you’ to ‘The Looker’ for printing the article and of course to ‘Anon’ for doing what he has done.

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Dungeness B&W

We recently received an email from Nicolas Piergallini who writes ‘…… and I wanted to share some images I shot at Dungeness a few weekends ago. I am originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but currently living in London, and in my blog you can see some images of the places I’ve visited in the UK so far. Hope you like them.

Yes, particularly like B&W images as they always seem to be more atmospheric. Nicolas’s pics are reproduced on the following slide show – and no need to click!:-

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Brenzett Aero Museum

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Brenzett Aero Museum is some 5 miles from Dungeness and is located in former WW2 buildings on what was a 300 acre site developed as an advanced landing ground in September 1943.   The first aircraft to use the base were Spitfire IX’s of 122 Squadron.   Later they were joined by 129 Squadron and two Polish Squadrons – 306 and 315.

The museum, which is a registered charity, contains many artifacts of the era and is well worth a visit.   Run by volunteers all donations go to the upkeep.   And donations can be in the form of hardware – the last being an aircraft  machine gun with live ammo ‘up the spout’ and caught in the nets of a local fishing boat.


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Polish Memorial – update 2

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Polish Memorial 2-Edit.jpg

The above photos are of the recently resurrected memorial to the two Polish Spitfire pilots.   But who is responsible for going to all this trouble?   No one seems to know.  As previous posts have indicated there are a great number of people who are interested in making a contribution towards  the re-instatement of the original memorial and finding the creator of the recent and previous memorials is a must.

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