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Folkestone Harbour

Folkestone Harbour is the main harbour of the town of Folkestone in Kent, England.

In 1541, King Henry was about to wage a war against the French. A plan was made to use Folkestone as a port of embarkation to supplies and troops. He sent a Master Tuk and Master Captain of Sandgate to look for a site for the new harbour. Plans were made but never implemented. On 2 May 1542, the King came to Folkestone but then headed to Dover on 6 May. The Folkestone Harbour plan was abandoned.[1]

In 1703, a bad storm swept away one of the fishing boats on the shingle beach and damaged many other boats. Also several houses had their foundations undermined as the beach was carried away. An engineer from Romney Marsh advised the local fisherman that the construction of 3 timber/stone jetties would protect the cliff (below the parish church). The work cost the fishermen £600. But in a storm in 1724, the three jetties were demolished and damage costing up to £1,100 was done.[2]

In 1790, Edward Hasted noted, 8-10 'luggerboats' (used for herring and mackerel fishing), plus 30 smaller fishing boats (catching plaice, sole, whiting, skate, and others) employed up to 200-300 men and boys. This fish was then taken up to the London markets.[3][4]

It remained a small fishing community with a seafront that was continually battered by storms and the encroaching shingle made it hard to land boats. And the loss of life, boats and damage to fisherman's housing was a constant threat.[4]

In 1804,

  • [1] Dover and Folkestone Locals (forum)

External links

  1. ^ Bishop, C. H. (1982). Folkestone The Story of the Town (Revised Edition). Ashford, Kent: Headley Brothers Ltd. p. 47.  
  2. ^ Bishop, C. H. (1982). Folkestone The Story of the Town (Revised Edition). Ashford, Kent: Headley Brothers Ltd. p. 79.  
  3. ^ Hasted, Edward (1800). "Parishes". The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 8 (Institute of Historical Research) 10: 152–188. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Taylor, Alan F. (2002). Folkestone Past and Present. Somerset: Breedon Books. p. 32.  
  5. ^ White, H.P. White F. (1961). Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: Greater London, Volume 1. Somerset:  
  6. ^ Diaries of George Turnbull (Chief Engineer, East Indian Railway Company) held at the Centre of South Asian Studies at Cambridge University, England
  7. ^ Page 68 of George Turnbull, C.E. 437-page memoirs published privately 1893, scanned copy held in the British Library, London on compact disk since 2007
  8. ^
  9. ^ Welcome. The Remembrance Line (2013-06-27). Retrieved on 2013-07-17.



However, there is an alternative plan being developed by the Remembrance Line Association[9] which is based on retaining the harbour railway and its station as a major heritage/tourist operation and 'Leaving for War' museum given the significance of the Folkestone Harbour Branch in both World Wars which is important to the Allied and Commonwealth nations. The harbour railway station, now unused, is gradually succumbing to nature.

In 2006, Folkestone Harbour Company commissioned Foster Associates to produce a masterplan for Folkestone which was published in April 2006. The plans describe the rebuilding of the harbour as a marina, a "Green Wave" along the sea front linking countryside west and east of the town, new housing, shops, a performance area and small university campus. The plans take in the land that was previously the Rotunda Amusement Park. Progress in developing the area has been inhibited by the recession and by new guidelines governing flood protection. A new approach to the seafront is being developed by Terry Farrell and Partners, and the former fairground site is being considered for temporary recreational use whilst planning takes place.[8]

In 2001, all ferry services stopped. During this ferry service time, the fishing industry was going through various changes and by 2002, only 10 boats (with 30 men) were employed in the fishing industry.[4]

In 1960, the services were very popular and were carrying over 800,000 passengers, 438cars and 276 lorries or commercial vehicles. In 1971-2, a Roll-on/roll-off ramp was built for two new ships, Hengist and Horsa. By 1972, the Folkestone to Boulogne, Calais and Ostend services were carrying up to 1,266,783 passengers, 913,160 cars, 5,633 commercial vehicles and 31,594 freight vehicles (lorries and trucks).[4]

In 1945, cargo services returned to the harbour and ferries went to Calais and Belgium. On 1 August 1946, the 'SS Auto Carrier' started carrying cars to Boulogne. July 1947 the Folkestone-Boulogne service resumed after a winter break. Over 67,000 passengers had used the service.[4]

During World War II, the port closed to civilian boat usage and 44,000 personnel used the port during the Dunkirk Evacuation. Using up to 80 trains heading to London.[4]

In the 1920s, the sail ships had been replaced by steam ships, who were using the outer harbour. The inner harbour had then started being used by smaller private craft.[4]

During World War I, the harbour became a huge embarkation point for British troops heading to France aand the Western Front. It was recorded that 10,463,834 military mailbags were handled. The harbour also handled 120,000 war refugees.[4]

In 1860, the quay was built and a new fish market was opened on 2 August 1862. During the 18th century, the harbour was importing coal, timber and ice, being unloaded in the inner harbour. Chalk (for lime burning) was being exported. Many of the ships in this export/import trade were registered in Folkestone.[4]

In 1849, the harbour was used by up to 49,000 passengers.[4] The harbour is served by the Folkestone Harbour railway station, opened since 1849 although it (and the branch line) is under consultation to be closed down.

. Boulogne Dredging the harbour, and the construction of a rail route down to it, began almost immediately, and the town soon became the SER’s principal packet station for the Continental traffic to [7][6]

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