Friends of old Folkestone cemetery
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News and Updates

This page will be updated with brief News Updates to keep you informed of what we are doing over the old Cemetery.
“People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors” Edmund Burke. 

News+Updates 2017

11th November Today we attended Armistice Day at the Machine Gun Memorial. It was attended be Veterans with Mayor Roger West and Chairman David Owen laying poppy wreathes for Folkestone and Shepway. It was noticeable that the cemetery looked tidy and cared for and many people commented on it.  18th August Work continues with our small working groups, supported by SDC’s groundsmen, and if you visit you will see how much better the cemetery looks. Les Kibble CWGC Regional Supervisor  South East will visit the cemetery again in a few days to discuss with Jan Holben a project to make information about CWG’s and other significant graves more easily available using technology. 23rd July If you can get your hands on the July issue of Go Folkestone’s newsletter do get hold of it, along with lots of articles about Volunteer groups it also includes a lovely article written by Hugh Barker our Secretary which promotes our lovely cemetery and our FOFC group. Thank you Hugh. And whilst I am talking about writing -  a book you would find very interesting is ‘A Glint In The Sky’ by local historian Martin Easdown with Thomas Genth. The book is all about the great Folkestone Air Raid and associated events and lists the many victims of the Air Raid.  31st May On 25th May a service to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gotha bombing (also known as the Folkestone air raid) was held and a Plaque was unveiled in the Garden of Remembrance. Many relatives of the victims travelled from across the country and beyond to attend. To make this event happen significant research over 3 years was done by Margaret Care assisted by Martin Easdowne (author of A Glint In The Sky) and working with FTC and SDC this event was well attended and very successful. You can see pictures of the event taken by local man Christopher J B Gannon HERE  28th February Jan and Richard popped over the cemetery this afternoon to say hello to Giles Barnard SDC’s community safety officer who was working with a group of Challenger young people. They were doing great work - and there were lots of big piles of cuttings everywhere. Thank you Giles Barnard and Thank you Challenger Team Leaders and young people. 14th February Confirmation has been received that a Ward Funding request submitted to Cllr Rory Love has been successful. This will be put towards safety clothing and equipment and literature. Thank you Cllr Rory Love for your support. 16th January A Ward Grant application was submitted to Cllr Clive Goddard and he kindly supported it. Today I took delivery of a variety of new tools including a strimmer/bush trimmer and a variety of cutting tools. Thank you Cllr Clive Johnson for your support. 13th January Work over the cemetery continues on this cold wintry Saturday. The group are making a huge difference but there is still plenty to do. The Rotary Club has donated lots of purple crocus bulbs and these were planted around the Cross of Sacrifice in the grassy area. It is quite late to plant these bulbs so there might not be much of a show this year, but hopefully there will be a lovely display next spring. 6th January 6th January FOFC Secretary Margaret Care had put an application into the Postal Lottery Fund to provide funding for work on the Gotha Garden and other associated work in the cemetery. Final paperwork was sent in to meet the 12th January deadline - Fingers crossed now that it will be successful. Further funding opportunities and sponsorship will be explored this year for significant items (Gotha/nature interpretation panels, CWG/military interpretation panels, seats for the Gotha garden, reinstate major pathways) . Update 14/02: Sadly due to postal difficulties we missed the deadline for this funding bid. Next deadline is August - we will try again. 
27th January 2019 We have gotten off to a good start although the January weather has been changeable. Yesterday was a comfortable 9 deg, today a more blustery chilly 4 deg.  Our small volunteer group continue to clear scrubby shrubs away uncovering groups of headstones that havent seen the light of day in years. Our Council colleagues are doing great work too cutting away dead wood from the old trees and clearing the perimiter of scrubby growth. Steve, our Council representative, who works with us on Saturday morning is also getting stuck in too - making a great team. It is also very pleasing to see a couple of benches have been placed, one near the main gate and one near a childrens section - and the one older bench that has been there for years has also been refurbished. Thank you Cllr Ann Berry for supporting our work and thank you F&HDC for your support too. It makes the world of difference.  10th November It poured down this morning but there was a lovely Remembrance Service at the Machine Gun Corp memorial where Dignitaries and Veterans laid poppy wreaths. After the service I prevailed on two dignitaries; Mayor of Folkestone Ann Berry and Chairman of F&HDC David Owen to unveil our new WW1 Interpretation Panel which they did with good garce and smiles despite the heavy rain.    8th November Its been a fantastic year - and we have been blessed with lots of sunshine. Our volunteers continue with their good work. And we are now getting ready for a very special weekend - Remembrance Day weekend. This year because Remembrance Day services across the UK will be held Sunday 11th November - the service at the Machine Gun Corp memorial is scheduled for Saturday 10th November. After the service our Volunteers have organised a WW1 recipe cake and biscuit tasing, plus you can make a small poppy posy to place on one of our CWG’s. If you are an Air Raid family you can make a small posy to place on your family grave also. As well as these lovely activities we are very proud to say that due to a successful funding bid to F&HDC and with financial support from the Air Raid Families group we will also be unveiling the WW1 Interpretation Panel to be sited close to the main entrance.    9th May Its hard to believe the weather was so cold only weeks ago, and now it lovely spring weather. Regardless of weather our core group turn up and get on with the cemetery work. The main path is now cleared of all grass from front to back and looks twice as wide as it did. Great work from Carole, Karl and Hugh. I continue to receive requests from distant relatives to find family graves and most times we can do this. Sometimes these requests are from researchers - one such request was for Catherine Crowe and one was for John James Wilson, both significant , Catherine an author and John an artist. And finally, we have submitted a funding application to F&H District Council for WW1 funding. We should know if we are successful at the end of May, fingers crossed (YES WE WERE SUCCESSFUL)  23rd March The weather continues to be very cold and snowy or wet. But our little group continues working - slowly slowly but always with visible improvements. F&H (was SDC) groundsmen have been pruning deadwood off some of the big trees too. We are now working on fundraising for two history walk and talks later this year.  11th February We have had lots of rain this last few weeks - but yesterday was a good one and our small group were on a mission. Hugh continued working meticulously to clear ivy from a handsome Celtic Cross (it will take many visits but he will not give up), Carole and Karl were also on a mission to put a headstone for Mary and Abraham Huntley back where it belonged. Pat our newest member was busy cutting back scrubby bushes to uncover another headstone that was previously hidden and Richard and I did a litter pick swoop across the cemetery, collecting two sacks of plastic bottles and other rubbish. We noticed that the Shepway groundsmen had also been cutting back lots of deadwood from trees (thank you gentlemen). So all in all a good mornings work.  4th January I will start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year from the FOFC committee. Now the bank holidays are done we will be back to normal working over the cemetery from Saturday 6th Jan (weather permitting). I will also add this update just received from Margaret Care (context the Folkestone air raid memorial) - Margaret wrote “Following my email re dilemma where to be on Remembrance Sunday - the decision re Christmas was a bit easier as for the first Christmas since I have been doing the visits, all of the victims are remembered in one place - the Christchurch Memorial Garden, so on Christmas Eve Clemmie and I took a Christmas garland to the Plaque.   We did visit Tontine Street and the Arch and did walk round the Cemetery in the week leading up to Christmas - but just left the one tribute on the place where they are all listed together”.
The ‘Friends’ are a volunteer group formed to protect, preserve and promote interest in this lovely old Victorian cemetery.