28 February 2008
Some Dungeness nostalgia from A. Young, Newchurch:
I thought you may be interested in my family's hand in the development of Dungeness beach. My family are from Ashford and have, for generations, been railway workers. As a young boy in the late 50's/early 60's, we would often visit the guards van near the furthest end of carriages where my grand father had placed it. At night, the bell on the large wooden buoy opposite would clang away and during the day, my father would worry about my mother swimming! It was amazing to me to see the lightening storms crossing the channel and to watch the flickering of the gas lamp whilst my parents quietly talked at night. I remember the power station being built, it was like a moonscape before nuclear power! I also remember a huge noise during construction and a large tank falling from the building killing an unlucky construction worker. I now live on the Marsh and visit Dungeness as often as possible. Oh…if only we still had that cottage! What changes would my parents see now, would they believe that film and media folk hold this railwayman's playground in high esteem!
My mother hated it, yet we all enjoyed many happy times there. My father told me that the best fishing was after the war whilst the rolls of barbed wire, which looked fantastic when struck by lightening, were still laying on the beach. Would he have believed that there are, in fact, not more "fish in the sea"! And the weird paint testing stations……..what has become of them. Many changes in a relatively short time……but a wonderful piece of living history ……I love the place!