Parade’s End author in Folkestone!

Ford Madox Ford, author of the popular TV series, Parade’s End went to school in Folkestone. He attended Praetorius House in Coolinge Lane and met there, among others, his future wife, Elsie Martindale. In his book, Between St Dennis and St George, Ford recalled his days at the school and walking along The Leas.

The building still exists, and is still a School, occupied by The Folkestone School for Girls. It is likely that, some years later, when Ford became a soldier in the First World War, he would have returned to Folkestone for the sea crossing to France and the Western Front.

Launch of Memorial Arch Project

As part of our aim to restore the Road of Remembrance as a fitting tribute to the men and women who took that route to the Western Front, we have unveiled our plans for a Memorial Arch at the top of the Road. The launch took place at The Grand on 13 July and we were pleased to welcome 150 guests, including our patron, Admiral the Lord Boyce, KG, GCB, OBE, DL, Lord Warden and Admiral of the Cinque Ports. Other guests included many civic leaders, schools and supporters. Our Chariman, Damian Collins, MP, opened the event and, as well as a fascinating presentation on the Arch, we also launched a new feature on our website: the 3D films and features which can be found at the top right hand side of the Home page.

Here are some images of the proposed arch:








To find out more about the Arch, go to the Projects page, and click on Renovating the Road of Remembrance, or simply click  here.

And do spend some time looking at the 3D features. Don’t worry, if you don’t have 3D glasses, you can opt to play the films in 2D!

As always, we would be delighted to receive feedback; simply post a comment, or email [email protected]

Below are some photos of the launch event.






Pay us a visit in 2012


 – You will get a warm welcome and a chance to wander round our new Museum

We would be delighted to see you at our ‘GHQ’  at the Visitor’s Centre down at Folkestone Harbour. The area is vibrant with pubs, restaurants, art galleries, sea food stalls, the picturesque Harbour and plenty of parking. We have information about local attractions but, of course, pride of place is given to our Step Short displays.  You will also be able to see plans of our projects. If you are making a special journey please drop us an email first so that we can make sure the Museum will be open.








Update from Ann Berry

Step Short committees have been working extremely hard to bring together a permanent memorial in time for the 100th Anniversary of WW1 on 4th August 2014. We are looking into various activities to make 2014 a year of Remembrance, contemplation and education.


Talks have been held with the Radnor Estate, Shepway District Council and Folkestone Town Council regarding a permanent memorial, near the top of the Road of Remembrance, for which Philip Gearing, spatial designer of Foster Gearing, has come up with a design, which we hope to make public shortly. Other projects are a permanent visitor centre and an exhibition of various aspects of the war, including a film, currently being worked on thanks to the Folkestone Camera Club, which will be held in the Folkestone Library Sassoon room during 2014.


The Beeping Bush Company has produced a 3D film, which includes many aspects of Folkestone’s Commemorative services over the past year such as Canada Day, Armistice, and Step Short’s Annual March, which will take place again this year on Sunday 5th August. Thanks to Shepway District Council we have been able to use the old visitor centre in Tram Road car park, both as information for visitors and the Step Short project headquarters.


Last month four of us visited the Imperial War Museum to meet with the head of projects, who gave us several useful contacts. Step Short are now on their list of projects for the forthcoming centenary. Recently we paid for a road closure of the Road of Remembrance to enable Shepway District Council to cut back all the shrubbery, dead trees and wood so that in two years’ time it would have had a chance to re-grow and look it’s absolute best. We are also working on enhancing it with rosemary, poppies and other flowers.


On 10 April we met Dr Andrew Murrison MP, who has been nominated by the Government to co-ordinate the Governments plans for the National Commemoration of WW1 Projects through 2014 to the armistice four years later. Our meeting started at the Grand and, as we walked down the Leas, local historian Eamonn Rooney pointed out places of interest. Then it was on down the Road of Remembrance to the harbour where approximately 120,000 Belgian refugees landed during that time. We also had 40,000 Canadians and a Chinese work force here. We then went into the Step short visitor centre/office to look at the small exhibition of WW1 artefacts we had set up there.  He was fascinated with a game “Stop the War” devised by Adrian Lockwood, Capital Projects Consultant, which we had taken to the Folkestone Academy for the Pupils to play and learn more about WW1. It is our intention to take the game out to other schools.


We hope Dr Murrison was suitably impressed with our project, and found it significant enough to be included in the Government’s National Commemorative Plans for the Centenary.  Watch this space!


Why not get involved? To offer your help or suggestions email : [email protected]

To become a Member or just to make a donation to our Charity go to our Shop page.

In Conversation With…IWM

As a partner of the Imperial War Museum in its Great War Centenary Programme, an outline of our plans at Step Short has been posted on the IWM website. Adrian Lockwood has explained our plan to build a Memorial Arch near the top of the Road of Remembrance. This is just one of the projects being developed to mark the role played by Folkestone in the war. To read more click here.

Frontline Folkestone – Free Illustrated Talk 24th May

This FREE talk will take place at Folkestone History Resource Centre, Grace Hill on 24th May, 1800hrs – 1930hrs. The speaker will be Michael George, a member of Step Short. We will examine some of the major events affecting the town during WW1, especially the Great Air Raid of May 1917.

The event is free, but Booking is essential. Contact [email protected] or phone 07872937485.

Celebrate the Jubilee in Style, and support Step Short

Click the heading or go to the News tab to read about this once-in-a-lifetime chance. Travel on the historic Kent & East Sussex Railway. Friday 1st June 7.00pm. Help to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. Wine and Dine in style. The organisers have generously agreed to support Step Short. Go to our News page and click the link to read full details. See you there!

Click HERE