Two of Step Short’s projects featured on a recent local history tour of Folkestone organised by The Mayor, Councillor Martin Salmon.
The guided history ramble was led by local historian and Step Short director Eamonn Rooney on Tuesday 4 October 2016, and raised funds for the Mayor’s three nominated local charities: Folkestone Rainbow Centre, Folkestone Division Guides and For Young People (FYP Charity).
Ramblers walked from the Town Hall on Guildhall Street to various sites of historical interest in the town, including the Memorial Arch on the Leas and the Mole Cafe on the Harbour Arm. Here participants, including visiting mayors from the local area, enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea and slice of cake from our volunteers in WW1 period dress.
The event also included lunch at Blooms in the Creative Quarter. Tickets were available to the public with all proceeds going to the charities.
Locals and visitors alike can now discover Folkestone’s hidden history by following the newly-created town trail, launched on Friday 13 May 2016 by Folkestone Town Council, Step Short, Go Folkestone and Folkestone & District Local History Society.
Councillor Martin Salmon (the current Mayor of Folkestone), Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe MP and Chairman of Step Short), Step Short’s Vice Chairman Ann Berry and Richard Wallace (Chairman of Go Folkestone) introduced the series of seven history boards at the launch event held at Folkestone Town Hall last week.
With boards located at significant sites throughout the town telling Folkestone’s story, the trail stretches for more than two miles from the East Cliff down through the Harbour onto the Bayle and along the full length of the Leas.
The Town Trail is the culmination of years of hard work and collaboration between local groups Step Short, Go Folkestone and Folkestone & District Local History Society in partnership with Folkestone Town Council, Shepway District Council and Kent County Council. The initiative was conceived as a celebration of Folkestone’s rich but often unknown history.
Step Short’s Ann Berry said: “At last this amazing town trail has come to fruition after many meetings and much research by the groups involved.”
Step Short also previewed its new Geocaching Trail which launches in July. The digital treasure hunt will incorporate the Folkestone Town Trail, taking around two hours to complete. From the end of July, once all the trail clues have been solved participants can pick up a commemorative coin at Step Short’s Mole Cafe on the Harbour Arm. The cafe is open at weekends and bank holidays throughout the summer.
Look out for more details of the Geocaching Trail on the Step Short website soon.