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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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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Polish Pilots Memorial

It looks as though the MOD (Ministry of Defence) are willing to assist in getting the memorial re-established but it does look as though someone has been affecting local repairs – and we would like to know who it is –  so as not to step on any toes.   Is the person making the repairs the same person who erected the site in the first place?   Please contact us if it is you or if you know  the person concerned.

In the meantime it looks as though things are moving and we understand through contacts with the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee  that they would also like some input.   We also had pledges and donations towards the costs (these were refunded by PayPal due to lack of activity).  So overall still a lot of interest.

There is a meeting tomorrow to outline proposals on what way to go but in meantime if there is anyone out there with thoughts on the matter please make them known through the 'contact' page.

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Farewell to local entrepreneur

Last Thursday saw the funeral of local Terry Carroll who passed away on March 14th after a short illness.   Not a name known to many outside of the local community but his hand made fishing rods, under the brand name  Zziplex, are known throughout the world.

Starting their business from home at Dungeness in 1980 (moving later to a small industrial unit  in New Romney)  Terry and wife Barbara strove to produce the perfect fishing rod and their dedication to, not only their business but one another, lead to their eventual and deserved success.

Until recently every single rod produced by the factory was made by Terry himself, making him the biggest single influence on the casting and fishing scene in the U.K. His creations are much copied but never emulated and can be seen at every saltwater or casting venue.   He was also the U.K. casting champion several times during the sixties and seventies and it was this success that eventually lead to  making his own rods – and the rest is history as the saying goes.

A quite couple, Barbara and Terry  however supported local issues and back in the 'good old days' when there was a more involved local community Terry would be around for the annual Mayday Festival and Lifeboat fund raising.

A sad loss and condolences to Barbara but long may the name Zziplex continue in his memory.



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‘B’ Station Donation

'B' Station nuclear power plant has made a donation of £14,000.00 worth of 'EcoManagers' to be distributed by AgeUK throughout the shipway district.

The devises which monitor consumption of electricity in the home  also indicate how much appliances cost to run  and can also  control and switch off appliances from one central source.   I purchased a similar (but not as elaborate) item years ago – but alas no longer working and would look forward to comparing new technology from that of yesteryear.

At present the items have been provided to the Folkestone office of AgeUK and should be distributed through local offices including New Romney.

Martin Pearson, station director, at the 'B' Station has stated 'Energy efficiency is a high part of the educational work we do at  Dungeness 'B' and throughout EDF Energy'.


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