Folkestone Foghorn Autumn / Winter Issue 2022/23

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FOLKESTONE FOGHORN

Autumn/Winter

CREATIVE FOLKESTONE

Twenty key moments from its first 20 years

TERLINGHAM VINEYARD

All-natural winemaking at this family-run boutique wine biz

TAKE THE PLUNGE THE RESIDENT PLATFORM

The therapeutic effects of sea swimming, followed by a sauna

All about the latest community art project from Strange Cargo

2022/23 • Modern-day Seaside Stories FREE
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Editorial Editor

Simon Richmond

Acting editor-in-chief

John Murphy

Founder & Publisher Clare Freeman Co-founder & Advertising director Jen Brammer

Design director Lizzy Tweedale Publishing assistant

Esther Ellard Social Media

Manager Simon Richmond

Contributors

Writers

Lucy Atkins Georgina Baker Michele Brailsford Josie Carter Angela Conyers Rachel Doyle Sophie Hoffman Brigitte Orasinski Simon Richmond Cathy White Zeren Wilson

Photographers Pete Blach Steve Boyd Tiffany Cryer Igor Emmerich Simon Richmond Tim Smithens

Illustrators

Steve Boyd Jenny Davis

cover image

Jenny Davis @jennylouise.davis

Printers

Mortons Print Ltd, Morton Way, Boston Road Industrial Estate, Horncastle, LN9 6JR

♻ We print on recycled paper

Contact Website brightsidepublishing. com

Social Media

@folkestonefoghorn Advertising and distribution enquiries info@brightside publishing.com

Contents

5 The Scoop

7 Autumn/winter Hotlist

8 New in town

9 White Space – has Folkestone reached its creative peak?

Welcome to our autumn/winter issue

(p.11) celebrates this achievement by asking 20 people connected with the arts charity to share their favourite moments from those two decades.

10 Creative Folkestone – 20 people on 20 standout moments from the arts and regeneration charity’s 20 years

15 The joys of sea swimming – Michele Brailsford on the health benefits of a regular sea dip and Folkestone’s two new saunas

18 Conversations between creatives –Michel Faber and Ann Morgan talk about the influence of Folkestone on their work and current and past book projects

20 Shape of things to come – Angela Conyers previews this year’s Folkestone Book Festival

My first visit to Folkestone was in October 2014 for that year’s Triennial. The combination of public art, energy and friendliness I encountered here made me feel this could be the ideal place to make my home. Eight years on, I’m surer of this than ever – it’s a pleasure to live in a town that has so much going for it and so much future potential.

I also know that 20 years ago Folkestone’s prospects were far less rosy. 2002 was the year that the Creative Foundation – now Creative Folkestone – kicked off its mission to rescue the town from a spiral of decline. Whether you’re a born and bred Folkestonian or a more recent resident, I think we can all agree that Creative Folkestone has been a shining example of urban regeneration in action. Our cover story

Issue two Autumn/Winter 2022/23 October to April

But has Folkestone reached its creative peak? That’s the question Cathy White poses in her regular column (p.9) and it’s one that she has a typically creative answer for. Elsewhere in this issue creativity is on display in everything from the Book Festival (p.20) and the Resident Platform, the latest community arts project from Strange Cargo (p.24), to Lucy Atkin’s interview with Dear Pariah (p.30), a local singer-songwriter on the rise. Zeren Wilson also profiles Terlingham Vineyard (p.26), who are doing creative things at their natural winery, including making an awardwinning gin – I’ll drink to that.

This issue takes us into 2023. If you’re looking to make some new year’s resolutions, Cathy White has written a guide to Folkestone’s vegan and vegetarian restaurants, shops and services (p.28), while Michele Brailsford shares the health benefits of sea swimming (p.15). We’ll be taking a break until our spring issue in April 2023, so while it’s still a little early, I’ll take the opportunity to wish you all a very happy and healthy new year. I’d also like to thank everyone for the enthusiastic response and kind words about our launch edition – I hope you enjoy this edition as much, if not more.

regulator

21 Money-saving tips – Sophie Hoffman on ways to beat the cost of living crunch

22 The evolution of Origins Untold – Josie Carter on the evolution of the arts organisation that celebrates African and Caribbean-heritage people in Folkestone

24 The Resident Platform – Brigitte Orasinski previews Strange Cargo’s latest project at Folkestone West station

26 Terlingham Vineyard – Zeren Wilson meets the family running a boutique winery on the sea-facing slopes above Folkestone

28 Vegan Folkestone – Cathy White on vegan and vegetarian places to eat and shop in Folkestone, Sandgate and Hythe

30 Getting intimate with Dear Pariah – our music columnist meets the local singer-songwriter making waves with her emotionally raw vocals

31 Gig Guide – Lucy Atkins picks the season’s top music events

33 Asher Maze – Folkestone’s mysterious art sign creator speaks out

34 Shows to go to – what’s on at local galleries

36 Autumn/winter Wishlist – Rachel Doyle’s shopping picks with a Christmas gift focus

38 In memory of Craig – Georgina Baker dedicates one of her artworks to a departed friend

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2022

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Tickets now on sale CreativeFolkestone.org.uk @CreativeFstone Principal Partner Founding Funder Also Supported By Education Partner Fri 18 Sun 27 Nov 2022 Creative Folkestone Book Festival Featuring: Astrid Goldsmith Claudia Hammond Craig Brown Deborah Levy Gavin Esler Henry Marsh Juno Dawson Manjeet Mann Joseph Coelho & Nikita Gill Miriam Margolyes Monica Ali Raja Shehadeh William Shaw and more

Leas Lift restoration

Closed since 2016 because of health and safety issues, the historic Leas Lift – one of the oldest water-balanced funicular railway lifts in the UK – is inching closer to restoration and reopening. Having received £350,000 in development funding from the National Lottery, another £400,000 needs to be raised by May 2023. “If we reach this target, then we can apply for £3.5 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the delivery phase of the project,” says James Walker-Osborn, who is on the board of the Folkestone Leas Lift Company, set up to restore the 1885, Grade II listed structure.

The good news is that around 40% of the £400,000 target is already in the bag. In September the Folkestone Leas Lift Company launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise £70,000 from the public. Rewards for pledges include limited-edition prints and the chance to have your name engraved on a brass plaque attached to one of the lift’s new sleepers. “The goodwill from the community has been phenomenal,” says Luke Duffy, who has been working on the Lift Company’s appeals committee. A fund-raising comedy evening at the Leas Cliff Hall is planned for 2023, and money is also coming in from sales at the Leas Lift Café and the Leas Lift Lockout Escape Room on Sandgate Road.

Folkestone Documentary Festival

“It’s a chance to watch and discuss real stories from volcanoes to Bowie to BDSM,” says Charlie Phillips, one of the organisers of the Folkestone Documentary Festival which runs from 21 to 23 October. The festival opens with the brilliantly strange Fire of Love, about a pair of volcanologists who were also lovers. Included in the programme are Moonage Daydream, a kaleidoscopic new film about David Bowie; Sirens, about the Middle East’s first all-female heavy metal band; and Rebel Dread, about Don Letts, the legendary music producer, DJ and video-maker, a screening which is co-organised with Origins Untold and which will be followed by the festival’s communal meal.

“There’s also guest programming by Melanie Iredale, director of Birds Eye View, who has selected two films by or about women and non-binary people; and from Stone Club, a Cornish collective dedicated to connecting us all more closely with our shared experience of the land,” adds Phillips. Screenings and industry masterclasses will take place at the Quarterhouse and Silver Screen Cinema.

Walking With Ghosts

Between 11 and 14 November, along the old station platform at Folkestone Harbour Arm, an exciting new and immersive multimedia artwork will be premiered. Walking With Ghosts explores the legacy of war in Folkestone and how conflict in general has shaped both the town and those who live here. The project, which is a partnership with the Imperial War Museum’s 14-18 NOW Legacy scheme, is managed by Professors Helen Brooks and Mark Connelly, both of whom work at the University of Kent. It includes the artistic work of award-winning composer Thom Robson, projection artist Howard Griffin and filmmaker Ross Barnwell. Meanwhile at Fourth Wall Gallery on the Old High Street artist Billie Penfold of Thread and Word will be leading a programme of “walk-shops” combining poetry, rope-making and walking. Contributions gathered from Folkestonians, including quotes from their stories and anecdotes about past and current conflicts, have been built into the soundscape that will play continuously for 84 hours at the Harbour Arm. “Folkestone is absolutely pivotal to the legacy of war,” says Brooks. “It’s a port from where soldiers departed and where they came back to, and it’s still being impacted by the arrival of refugees from current conflicts.”

Folkestone StoryMap

Dotted around town, in locations such as the Leas Lift Café and at the top of the Zig Zag Path, are QR code plaques for the Folkestone StoryMap – a collection of fictional stories, written by people with a connection to Folkestone, anchored to landmarks within the town. Using the QR codes, you can listen to them in situ or online via their website which has a map displaying their exact locations, along with what3words tags. The winner of their 2022 competition to extend the StoryMap up to Radnor Cliff is Louise Peregrina with Time and Motion, about HG Wells.

Folkestone-born Peregrina’s debut novel Gramps and the Shield Bugs, which she began writing during the 2021 lockdown, was published in early October and is aimed at 10 to 13-year-olds. “It’s a heart-warming book about hope and the potential for change, trying to understand why people behave as they do, and the importance of taking the time to listen to each other,” says Peregrina, who asked local artist and blues singer Katie Bradley to illustrate the cover for her.

Living Advent Calendar

One of Folkestone’s most beloved annual performing arts festivals – the Living Advent Calendar (LAC) – is returning to doorways and spaces around town from 1 to 24 December. “Each night is a surprise as the audience doesn’t know what they are going to get,” says Sue Blakesley, a founding member of JimJam Arts, producers of the LAC. Along with fellow founder Sadie Hurley and assistant project manager Marin Karakaya, the JimJam team promise to be back bigger and better than ever – quite the challenge since past LAC events have ranged from the Saconni Quartet playing at the Fish Market, to an abseiling Gurkha dressed as Santa. “We’re also spreading the love around town,” says Blakesley, with a couple of this year’s locations being in Cherition. And, as in the past, all the 24 events are free, which makes it the ideal way for everyone to come together and celebrate the Christmas season.

folkestone foghorn 5THE SCOOP
folkestonedocumentaryfestival.co.uk @folkestonedocfest

Autumn Hotlist

Someone Waiting

OCTOBER

★ Folkestone Documentary Festival

Three days of true-life cinema from the around the world.

21 – 23 October

Silver Screen Folkestone and the Quarterhouse folkestonedocumentaryfestival. co.uk

Folkestone Art Society Masterclasses

Kamilla Sztyber on felting.

22 October, 1pm to 4pm Baptist Church, 135 Hill Road folkestoneartsociety.org.uk

@folkestoneartsociety @n.barratt.art

Last Friday

Shops and galleries open late for performances, exhibitions and DJs.

28 October, 5pm to 9pm

Along Tontine Street and the Old High Street

@lastfridaysfolk

NOVEMBER

Rhiannon Faith Company: Drowntown

Dance theatre piece that gives voice to the vulnerable and unheard devised by a socially conscious choreographer.

2 November, 7.30pm Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk

@creativefstone

National Theatre Live: The Seagull

Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) makes her West End debut in this 21st century retelling of Anton Chekhov’s tale of love and loneliness.

3 November, 7pm Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk

@creativefstone

Folkestone Comedy Club

Popular comedy night with added Syrian street food! Join their mailing list to get first dibs on tickets.

5 November, 8pm

Radnor Park Bowls Club folkestonecomedy.co.uk

@folkestonecomedyclub

FHODS present Emlyn William’s murder play.

10 – 12 November

Tower Theatre, North Rd towertheatrefolkestone.co.uk @tttfolkestone

★ Walking With Ghosts

Images of WWI soldiers marching will be projected along the Harbour Arm’s old train station platform as part of this 84-hour multimedia immersive artwork. There will also be events and workshops at the gallery Fourth Wall Folkestone.

11 – 14 November

Harbour Arm and Fourth Wall Folkestone, 48 Old High Street gatewayspartnership.org.uk fourthwallfolkestone.co.uk

★ The Shape of Things to Come: Folkestone Book Festival

Monica Ali discusses her new novel Love Marriage in the opening event of this year’s book festival. Over two weeks artists and thinkers explore the future, covering issues from food and the environment to technology and pandemics. 18 – 27 November Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk

@creativefstone

Folkestone Art Society Masterclasses

Stephen Thompson on abstracted landscapes using mixed media.

19 November, 1pm to 4pm Baptist Church, 135 Hill Road folkestoneartsociety.org.uk @ folkestoneartsociety

Sara Pascoe: Success Story

How the host of The Great British Sewing Bee ruined Hugh Grant’s birthday and other comedic stories.

19 November, 7.30pm

Leas Cliff Hall atgtickets.com/venues/ leas-cliff-hall

Last Friday

Shops and galleries open late for performances, exhibitions and DJs.

25 November, 5pm to 9pm

Along Tontine Street and the Old High Street @lastfridaysfolk

Felicity Ward

A Comedy Mash presentation.

26 November, 8pm

Tower Theatre, North Rd towertheatrefolkestone.co.uk @tttfolkestone

DECEMBER

Living Advent Calendar Countdown to Christmas with JimJamArts as they transform Folkestone into a Living Advent Calendar, with surprise live performances at 24 doors around town.

1 – 24 December

Various locations facebook.com/ folkestonelivingadvent

Folkestone Comedy Club

Popular comedy night with added Syrian street food! Join their mailing list to get first dibs on tickets.

3 December, 8pm

Radnor Park Bowls Club folkestonecomedy.co.uk @folkestonecomedyclub

Punk and Plume

Royal Opera House Live: The Nutcracker Clara and her enchanted Nutcracker fight the Mouse King and visit the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince in the glittering Kingdom of Sweets in Tchaikovsky’s evergreen ballet.

8 December, 7.15pm Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk @creativefstone

Aladdin

Rub the lamp and make a wish – classic panto starring Emmerdale’s Nicole Faraday and the voice of Brian Blessed as the Genie.

9 – 31 December Leas Cliff Hall atgtickets.com/venues/leascliff-hall

Indefinite Articles:

The Magic Lamp

Internationally acclaimed puppet and object theatre company Indefinite Articles have devised an Iraqi telling of Aladdin and his genie-dwelling magic lamp.

15 – 23 December

Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk @creativefstone

Cinderella

FHODS annual pantomime production of the old fairy tale favourite stars Mike Nolan of the FIZZ.

16 – 29 December

Tower Theatre, North Rd towertheatrefolkestone.co.uk @tttfolkestone

Fab drag cabaret, hosted by Dita Garbo and featuring Alfie Ordinary, Yshee Black and Richard Energy.

3 December, 8pm

Tower Theatre, North Rd towertheatrefolkestone.co.uk @tttfolkestone IG: @punkandplume

Ian Dearden

As part of the Strangelove festival (strangelovefestival. com), co-organiser Terry Smith is hosting a talk by the sound designer who’s worked with the ENO. Look out also for pop-up screenings and talks throughout the season, plus the first of our open calls for artists’ video and sound works.

8 December, 10.30am

Contemporary Space, 69 Tontine St contemporaryspace.uk

★ Boxing Day Dip

JANUARY

Listen: Michel Faber

The Folkestone-based author discusses his upcoming nonfiction book on niche musical genres and artists.

12 January, 7pm

Contemporary Space, 69 Tontine St contemporaryspace.uk

National Theatre Live: The Crucible

Erin Doherty (The Crown) and Brendan Cowell (Yerma) star in a new version of Arthur Miller’s classic parable of witch-hunts.

26 January, 7pm

Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk @creativefstone

FEBRUARY

The Psychology of Serial Killers

Forensics expert Jennifer Rees uses case studies to illustrate her talk on multiple murderers.

1 February, 7.30pm

Leas Cliff Hall atgtickets.com/venues/ leas-cliff-hall

Jen Brister: The Optimist

Brister squeezes laughs out of her pandemic experiences and what it’s taught her about herself.

4 February, 7.30pm Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk @creativefstone

National Theatre Live: Othello

Filmed live at the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s classic about race, jealousy, love and murderous rage.

23 February, 7pm Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk @creativefstone

This annual headlong rush into the sea from Sunny Sands Beach is organised for charity by the Folkestone Lions.

Registration at the Mariner pub from 9.30am, fancy dress judging just before 10.30am and into the water at 11am.

26 December, 9.30am – 11.30am

Sunny Sands folkestonelions.org.uk

Lucy Porter: Wake-Up Call

The latest stand-up show from one of the panellists on Radio 4’s The News Quiz and The Now Show and BBC TV’s Would I Lie to You and QI.

24 Feb, 8pm Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk @creativefstone

MARCH

Chris McCausland: Speaky Blinder

Due to popular demand, the comic star of the Royal Variety Performance returns to Folkestone to perform for two nights.

2 & 3 March, 8pm

Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk @creativefstone

Take Up Space

The International Women’s Day Festival returns to the Quarterhouse.

8 – 12 March

Quarterhouse, Mill Bay creativefolkestone.org.uk facebook.com/ takeupspacefolkestone

Happy Box of Imps

There’s guaranteed laughs aplenty at this improv show of short-form scenes and silly games, which are completely unscripted and unplanned.

10 March, 7.30pm Tower Theatre, North Rd towertheatrefolkestone.co.uk @tttfolkestone

APRIL

★ FolkeFest

A celebration of contemporary folk culture that’s accessible, vibrant, dynamic and inclusive.

10 - 16 April

Various venues folkefestival.org

Our star picks

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©Simon Foot ©Simon Richmond

New in town

THE BRASSERIE MS

Having established his reputation as a chef at Claridge’s and local seafood restaurant Rocksalt, Mark Sergeant’s latest venture is this stylish brasserie that aims to serve up “comfortable elegance”. The menu takes its cues from French cuisine, and includes such traditional dishes as bouillabaisse, steamed seabass with mussels provençale and cherry tart bordelaise. To get a taste of what they offer, the best deal is their £29.50 prix fixe three-course lunch available Wednesday to Friday, while for those wanting to celebrate a special occasion there’s a five course “prestige” menu (£85 per person including the cheese course).

Leaside Court Clifton Gardens the-brasserie-ms.co.uk @thebrasseriems

FOSBERY STUDIO

In October this decorative lighting studio, which has been based off Tontine Street since 2017, opened a brand new showroom and workshop on Guildhall Street. On display are handmade brass lights, lampshades and a collection of carefully sourced accessories. Due to the showroom being a full-time design studio, viewings are by appointment only from Monday to Thursday, and can be made online or by scanning the QR code on the window. Fridays, they are open for walk-ins.

26 Guildhall Street fosberystudio.co.uk

CABRON

Ay, caramba! We’re thrilled about the opening this autumn of new Mexican tacqueria and cocktail bar Cabron, a collaboration between John Grantham and Alex Field of Bobbies Bakehouse and the Taco Shed, and the ace team at Space Bar & Kitchen. They’ll be offering a seasonally rotating selection of tacos made with corn which is house ground and cooked to order. “We have imported some pretty cool toys from Mexico in order to make this happen!” says Grantham. “The kitchen is open, so you’ll be able to watch the process and interact with the chefs. Our aim is the make Cabron as fun and sociable as possible.” Cocktails will have a strong emphasis on Mexican spirits, tequila and mezcal, of course, but also some excellent rum and whisky. They’ll also be an array of great beers and some super-interesting wines from Baja Mexico as well as Spain and California.

BARDEN ART SCHOOL

You may have seen some of Emily and Liam Barden’s oil and acrylic artworks earlier this year when they had their Wind Swept Spirit show at Touchbase Gallery. In August the couple set up Barden Art School in the basement beneath R&R Jewellery at the top of the Old High Street. “This is a completely new venture for us although something we have wanted to do for a long time,” says Emily. From November the school will continue running a drop in group (£10 per session) for abstract art on Wednesday evenings and will be offering six-week-long courses in abstract painting, oil painting and life drawing, all on Thursdays (£120-£150). The main tutor is Liam, a working artist who has previously taught art for Kent Adult Education. Emily, a qualified primary school teacher, is hoping to expand the school’s curriculum to include children’s sessions soon.

8 The Old High Street @bardenartschool

ATHLETICS TRACK, THREE HILLS SPORTS PARK

The new eight-lane competition athletics track at Three Hills Sports Park is due to open in the autumn/winter of 2022. The track will be home to Folkestone Running and Athletics Club (FR&AC) as well as being open to hire for local athletics clubs, schools and individual athletes. It’s a full athletics set-up including all track and field areas (with the field expected spring/summer 2023).

“FR&AC and Cheriton Road Sports Ground Trust would like to thank the Roger de Haan Charitable Trust for their support with the project,” said the park’s bookings and events manager Amy Bumstead.

Three Hills Sports Park Cheriton Road

threehillssportspark.co.uk @threehills

CHESTNUT TREE

Hot on the heels of their revival of the Park Inn Hotel, Chris and Yaya Brown have opened their new restaurant, Chestnut Tree. Craig Stewart, formerly running the kitchen at the Pullman, has come on board as chef. His menu features dishes such as ox and stout croquettes, courgette and red pepper fries, and pork belly. “We use all British suppliers,” says manager Emily MillerHastings, “and we offer tasty, affordable food in a nice environment, separate from the main pub.” Chestnut Tree has its own entrance on Broadmead Avenue.

Park Inn Hotel, 2 Radnor Park Road @chesthnuttree_restaurant

NEURON

Folkestone-based neuroscientist Dr Julia Jones has teamed up with Channel 4 presenter Steph McGovern and others to create Neuron, a health-focused centre that promotes smart wellness, also known as bio-hacking. But what exactly does that mean? “It’s all about doing things that directly target your evolutionary biological circuits to help them work as they were intended,” says Jones. Such hacks can include going sea swimming (see p.15 ) or taking cold showers, getting your gut health tested and/or your biological age measured, and enjoying drinks such as kombucha or kefir – both of which are available at Neuron’s live bacteria bar in 30 different concoctions. To sample the drinks and find out more about smart wellness, drop by Neuron on Wednesdays when it’s open to the public from 9am to 5pm.

23-25 Tontine Street neuronwellness.com

What began as an idea in 2017 discussed around a kitchen table between ambitious young baristas has, five years later, developed into the fully fledged coffee roasting and café business Fond Coffee. Having opened its first shop in Canterbury in 2020, Fond has now branched out to Folkestone, bringing back to life a Sandgate Road unit that has been empty and unloved for over a decade. Fond sources its coffee beans from some of the best global producers, guaranteeing that the farmers are treated and paid fairly. The beans are then roasted and packed the Kent roastery. Also on offer are sweet treats from Newcastle-based Cake Stories.

fond.coffee @fondcoffee

folkestone foghorn8 NEW IN TOWN
FOND COFFEE

whitespace

Has Folkestone reached its creative peak?

“Folkestone is an art school,” Bob and Roberta Smith declared during Folkestone’s 2017 Triennial. The Smiths wrapped their declaration around my favourite Martello Tower (Martello Tower No. 3, if you’re interested), they painted it on the wall at Folkestone Central Station and they hung a banner declaring it at the bottom of the Old High Street.

Like most art, the message within this particular message was lost on me – but no one can deny Folkestone’s bursting with creatives. The town is so saturated with arty types I’m fully expecting the postie to rock up to my front door one day wearing a self-crocheted uniform or to trip over people doing interpretative dance in Lidl’s car park while doing my weekly shop.

Has Folkestone reached its creative peak though?

That would be a hard “nope” from me. The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust may not have actually invented creatives, but it established Creative Folkestone 20 years ago and there are no signs of it diminishing yet.

When it comes to my own four walls, they’re awash with prints and paintings from local artists. I even have so many by one of my favourites, Hayley Restall, she’s probably more than once considered getting a restraining order on me.

But where are all these creatives establishing themselves? The Old High Street is home for most of them, but neighbouring Tontine Street, once famous for drug dealers and sex workers , is now home to a myriad of creatives with more moving in as I type. Even the brand new F51 skatepark at the top of Tontine Street has been doodled on by professional doodler, the imaginatively titled Mr Doodle.

(Don’t worry though, you can still get sex and drugs in Tontine Street, if that’s your thing. Or so I’ve been told, anyway.)

Is Folkestone only for arty farty professionals flogging their stuff, though? Definitely not. For the enthusiasts, there are plenty of activities to dive into. Take your pick from groups for crochet, knitting, sewing, writing, collage, photography, painting, singing, acting and improv – need I go on? (Actually, I do, as I’m

contractually obliged to write 500 words but I’ll leave my list of groups there as I’m sure you get the gist.)

But seeing as creatives don’t simply stop being creative when they reach retirement age, quietly disappearing as a new influx of hip young things move into the town, where do elderly creatives go to die?

Well. I had an idea, thank you for asking. A few weeks ago, a couple of musician friends of mine were chatting and ended up pondering whether there should be retirement homes for old punks. A place to jam and reminisce about sticking safety pins through their ears, sniffing glue and whatever else punks did back in the day.

What a good idea, I thought. And we just so happen to have a big empty building slap bang in the middle of town no longer being used for squirting virus-killing chemicals into the general public. That’s right – Debenhams, or FOLCA, as it’s now known. It wouldn’t even need a name-change as it already has the perfect name for a care home for creatives – Full Of Local Creatives Ageing. I’m putting my name down now.

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“The town is so saturated with arty types I’m fully expecting the postie to rock up to my front door one day wearing a self-crocheted uniform”
OPINION

20 YEARS,

20 20

PEOPLE, MOMENTS

In celebration of Creative Folkestone’s 20th birthday, we asked 20 people involved with the arts and culture charity to share their favourite moments from those two decades

Nick Ewbank Director of The Creative Foundation 2003-2010

“There was no big fuss at the start,” says Ewbank, who in 2003 together with Sir Roger De Haan established the Creative Foundation (rebranded Creative Folkestone in 2018). Ewbank had been hired by De Haan, then chairman of Saga, to be the director of the Metropole Arts Centre. Part of Ewbank’s pitch for the job had been to co-opt artists and creatives to help regenerate Folkestone, which back in the early years of the 21st century was a seaside community in crisis.

Ewbank’s standout moment of those early years was Derek Jarman’s Late Works exhibition at the Metropole in 2001. This predated the Creative Foundation’s set-up, but the exhibition was “radical, challenging, political and dangerous. It set out a statement of intent. People were excited because they could see for the first time that art in Folkestone could have the power to shake up the status quo and change things.”

Niamh Sullivan Visual arts producer and curator

“I started at the beginning, so I went from the Metropole Galleries office to 61 The Old High Street – a bakery with a leaky roof – and then to Church Street before the Glassworks and finally the Quarterhouse! That progression was so exciting. It was a period of early movement prior to the current direction of Creative Folkestone; we were working out what it could look like, what kind of changes needed to happen and who might want to be involved. Highlights for me were the build-up to open evenings and events where we welcomed the public into the properties we had taken on. It was important to share these spaces with locals and to engage with them on the changes they wanted to see. We also got to promote the spaces to other people and artists who liked the idea of what art was doing for Folkestone. Working on the early Triennials also felt incredible, as I was able to go back to my hometown as a graduate and actually get a job in my industry!”

Shane Record Artist and first tenant of the Creative Foundation

“I’d returned to Folkestone Christmas 2001 after three years living in Berlin. I bumped into Simon Mohr, an old friend who was working for the Creative Foundation. I told him I wanted to be an artist and he said that the Creative Foundation were looking for people like to me to become tenants of the buildings they were purchasing. My first flat was in the Wedge on Tontine Street – it’s a beautiful building now, but then it was derelict. That didn’t matter; I had a great time and it was exciting. A little while later I moved into a renovated flat at 48 Old High Street. The Creative Foundation let me hang my paintings in empty shop windows along the High Street. By 2004 my work was steadily selling and the following year I quit my job, moved my studio into a shop space and became a full-time artist. The rest is history.”

Alison Brooks Architect of Quarterhouse

“The tight urban site of the Quarterhouse was the first design challenge. For a multi-purpose theatre of 220 seats, it had to be the most efficient, compact theatre building in the UK. I worked very hard to create a sense of space and generosity for the building’s users. Large windows and high ceilings seen in the foyer and bar allow for the appreciation of the wider context of Tontine Street within the theatrical experience. The project also had a very tight budget, but we worked with local contractors and fabricators to get the most out of every opportunity.

“I was really happy with the scalloped cladding and lighting. It worked exactly as intended, as a dynamic façade inspired by scallop shells and a theatreland glow. The metal mesh flutes are solidly white and pristine during the day, then glowing, colourful and ephemeral at night. People still tell me it’s a fantastic venue that they love visiting, and the top floor is now Creative Folkestone’s home. I couldn’t really ask for a better result.”

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COMMUNITY

Brigitte Orasinski

Artistic director Strange Cargo

“When Strange Cargo made Other People’s Photographs in 2008, it occupied every street in Folkestone, Cheriton and Sandgate. So when curator Andrea Schlieker invited us to contribute a public artwork to the 2011 Folkestone Triennial, we suggested an alternative to adding another object to the townscape.

Everywhere Means Something to Someone, the people’s guidebook to Folkestone, was created to behave in the same way that a sculpture might, to enhance people’s experience of being in a location, but through shared personal stories, experiences and histories of everyday outside spaces. Local people’s reveries filled the resulting artwork, animating hundreds of unexpected places and becoming a local bestseller.”

Georgina Baker Model for the Folkestone Mermaid created for the 2011 Folkestone Triennial

“Cornelia Parker telephoned me while I was collecting my young daughter from school in 2010 to tell me that I had been selected to be the life model for the bronze cast now known as the Folkestone Mermaid

Talking to Cornelia over the phone, I immediately felt like I’d known her for years – she wanted a real woman, a free spirit, representing today’s stronger female. From the beginning, Cornelia included me in the artist’s process. The fullbody casting process took over three hours and Cornellia did her best to distract me from the inevitable discomfort. I will always be proud to have been selected by her as the model for this iconic art piece, and it’s hugely gratifying to see other people enjoying the artwork.

Adrian Lockwood Creative Quarter manager 2012-2019

“When I took over managing Creative Folkestone’s property portfolio in 2012, a third of the developed buildings were unoccupied and several others were derelict. Two years later occupancy was up to 95%. This triggered the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust’s agreeing to significant investment towards the derelict buildings. A National Lottery grant of £2.1 million for the Townscape Heritage Initiative enabled us to refurbish 23-27 Old High Street and 18-24 Old High Street, which is now Steep Street, one of the best coffee shops in Kent. In the process we enlivened and added social value to an area of town that had previously been empty and ratinfested.”

Geraldine D’Amico Curator of Folkestone Book Festival 2012-2018

“I have so many beautiful memories –asking me to choose one is like asking a mother who is her favourite child! The first thing that comes to mind was this warning I received when consulting people on my arrival, not to hope to draw audiences to that dangerous part of town in the evenings. How Folkestone has changed and what a pleasure it was to see the Old High Street becoming livelier and livelier, the opening of Steep Street where I would take so many writers, and happy audiences flocking in ever greater numbers to the events we organised. I loved taking authors around and showing them the town. Many came with negative stereotypes and left impressed. We touched on every subject, laughed, reflected, and I hope started discussions and helped discover new voices. I still miss the buzz.”

“My best moments came early on with the first of the three Triennials that I curated. The experience of Folkestone as the inspiration for an exhibition was fresh and quite challenging. The satisfaction of managing to achieve three of the artworks in particular still stays with me. Wind Lift by Marjetica Potrč and Ooze Architects was an awesome and soon much-loved addition to Folkestone’s railway viaduct. It exemplified the theme, Look Out, not only in relation to Folkestone’s history but also with a wary eye on the future and climate change.

Folkestone Digs by Michael Sailstorfer was memorable as it was entirely reliant on community participation. When friends in China told me it was all over social media there, I realised the power of this new form of land art – a perfect blend of belief, motivation and material fun. Then there was the moment Yoko Ono arrived for lunch with local artists to celebrate the realisation of Earth Peace and Sky Ladder. She was 81, and 50 years had gone by since her last visit to Folkestone; she didn’t have to come and meet us, but it was the cherry on the cake that she did.”

Sadie Hurley Co-founder of JimJam Arts, producers of the Living Advent Calendar

“I was one of the first group of students to study theatre at the University Centre based at the Glasshouse. That’s where I met Sue Blakesley. We put on a show, Grandmother’s Footsteps, at the Quarterhouse, which Sue wrote and I directed for our graduation project. In 2011, I founded JimJam Arts with Sue and Kelly Stockley. Four years later, we staged the first Living Advent Calendar festival. I thought we’d be lucky if we got four or five people showing up each night, but was amazed when we had to stage one of the first performances four times because there were so many people there. I love how the Living Advent Calendar brings such a mix of Folkestonians together. The surprise element also means people come to see things that they would never go to see if they knew about it in advance.”

Jyll Bradley Artist participating in 2014 and 2021 Triennials

“My Triennial 2014 artwork Green/ Light (for M.R.) takes the form of a hop garden, a familiar sight to anyone passing through rural Kent. Though emblematic of the county, a hop garden is a complex matrix of histories, peoples and places all brought together to create a structure of growth. The hop garden structure is a web of chestnut poles, grown and coppiced in Kent; steel wire forged in northern England and coconut coir brought from Sri Lanka through the UK’s colonial trade routes. The hops themselves were grown by generations of working Kentish people, but the harvest was dependent on the annual labour of hundreds of thousands of urban Londoners. It’s a huge history for such a spacious and permeable-looking thing. The invitation to create the work brought me back to the place where I was born, to create something where I was created. That is an extraordinary gift, and I couldn’t be more grateful to the Triennial for the opportunity. Artists make art, but art also makes us.”

Susanna Howard Co-founder of Normal? and founder and artistic director of Living Words

“During the festival’s conception in 2014, I asked, ‘What about Normal?’ and it was the question mark that excited everyone! It’s obvious today that there’s no such thing as normal, but lots of people weren’t thinking that then. The festival’s conversations draw on lived experience, science and art. This co-owned festival has always punched above its weight, with events on neuroscience, sleep, laughter, dementia, psychotherapy and wellbeing, to name a few. People share their experiences through art, writing, performance and comedy –we’ve hosted events from sleepovers to street wisdom walks, mindful macrame and hairdressing. We don’t know exactly how the next Normal? Festival will look; work is underway among the community to shape it. There are rumours of a theme of gossip, but that’s all we have to say!”

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Jen Thatcher Triennial public programmer and art critic

“The 2008 Triennial actually introduced me to the idea of moving to Folkestone, as the artworks led me to parts of the town that I didn’t know before! I got to work on the next Triennial as a project coordinator and ran a conference to get students involved with thinking about the artworks. The 2014 Triennial was the first to have a public programme and I wanted to be as creative as possible with how I shared the artworks with people. Building on the conference, I inaugurated the National Student Day as part of the programme, inviting hundreds of students to descend on the town and visit the artworks. It was so popular that we had to put on a second day. We hosted a panel for them to ask the curators questions and put on an afternoon tea for them all, which was eventful!”

Esbern P Myers

Neon after-school club attendee

Neon has been running after-school workshops and summer schools at the Quarterhouse since 2016. “My favourite thing about Neon is the people,” says Esbern. The club brings together children from different ages across local schools so it’s an opportunity to

make friends outside of the classroom.

Each week involves a different activity, blending video, music, arts, craft, special effects, poetry and dance, which culminate in a performance at the end of term. “I like trying new things that I haven’t come across before,” says the seven-year-old, with a highlight being “puppet making and rocket building”.

Jo Cowdry Head of curatorial, Creative Folkestone

“Few people knew of the existence of the mosque in Folkestone, or that it had been around for over two decades. For the 2017 Triennial, I worked with Simon Davenport, Hoy Cheong Wong and Shahed Saleem to install the artwork Minaret at the mosque. The work visually articulated the existence and pride of the community; for the first time in its history, it opened its doors to the public.

“For the 2021 Triennial, the artists organised a workshop to co-produce patterns that could be integrated into designs for the proposed new mosque building. The workshop started with a local nature walk, giving participants ideas for patterns that related to their personal and cultural histories and the local landscape. The artists continue to help the mosque with the design and planning process for their new building, as well as in building relationships within the community. This is an example of how art and artists can connect people and communities, educate, be fun and look backwards/sideways to look forwards.”

Adam Hynes

“I hadn’t attempted anything like it before – it’s not the kind of project you work on every other month! The curators came to me with a loose picture, just some guidelines on the colour and material. The challenge appealed to me – when I wasn’t working on it, I was laying in bed thinking about it.

“I was initially drawn to solving the technical challenge of it, but seeing people’s affection for the artwork when it went out into the public was really satisfying. That’s Creative Folketone’s medium – things in the landscape and what people think about them and how it makes them feel about a place. Over the years, whether it’s a talking point, or people take their kids up there to play there, or people sitting by it and musing themselves, it has brought home to me the idea of the artworks as a means of

“For me it has to be the opening party of the 2021 Folkestone Triennial and standing and watching the thousands of people on Tontine Street and in Payers Park who were listening to bands, dancing to DJs and talking to friends. It was the first week after Covid restrictions had been lifted and we couldn’t be sure in advance if we would be allowed to open the exhibition and have a party. The Triennial had already been delayed a year, the Quarterhouse closed for events and the Creative Quarter had weathered two full lockdowns. But there we all were, hungry to be together again, feeling fully alive and celebrating human creativity.”

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Rana Begum

Artist of No. 1054 Arpeggio, commissioned for the 2021 Triennial in partnership with Folkestone & Hythe District Council

“I was approached by the curator Lewis Biggs in 2019 to work with the beach huts that the local council were either restoring or replacing. I was unfamiliar with Folkestone and it was a lovely surprise to see how beautiful it is, with the park, the sea and all the artworks. It was quite a tough project as we started talking about covering

perhaps 15 to 20 beach huts, but the number kept growing and growing! The main challenge was how to bring all the huts together. My art is inspired by movement, signage, urban colour composition and geometry, so I used pattern and colour to create that flow between the huts. I’ve had many lovely messages about the artwork, including one from Maria Balshaw, director of the Tate, who says she really enjoys seeing the huts when she goes sea swimming in Folkestone.”

Nico Dunsbee Western Jerwood creative fellow/project manager

“Beacons in 2021 was my first project with Creative Folkestone as the Western Jerwood creative fellow. We worked with artist Alison Neighbour to tell the story of a quest for people to help reunite 200 ‘sea gooseberries’ from sites around town. We asked 13 locals to be sea gooseberry guardians, each with a link to different local networks, from schools to skating and the Scouts. We wanted to ask different communities about how they engage and connect with each other and do it their way.

“It was a new experience for most of the guardians and placed value on what they do anyway as movers, shakers and change-makers in their communities. They were all really keen on the project and made a lot of connections, too. The project culminated in a winter solstice gathering on Sunny Sands with a sound and light performance. Seeing the impact of community-created mythology was a highlight for me – particularly how attached lots of children were to the sea gooseberries they looked after!”

Randolph Matthews Composer, performer and curator of the Tune In Folkestone project, which premiered on 13 October at the Quarterhouse

“The composition transports the listener from the Warren’s calm murmuring meadows to the English Channel’s coasts. Using layered sounds supplied to me from Folkestone’s residents, I’ve developed a living archive that documents the town’s changing cadences, frequencies and melodic memory. I’ve created it to be dreamy, like a tour through Folkestone’s numerous historic backdrops from the past, present and future, letting nature’s call to be sensed from seagulls to breaking seas. I’m really pleased with the effect and hope that another artist can capture this sound landscape we call home every year.”

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TAKI NG THE SEA SWIMMING PLUN G E

As many in Folkestone are discovering – including our writer – there’s a lot going for the physical and mental health benefits of a regular sea dip

On the day my mother died, the sea at Mermaid Beach was full of white feathers. Either a seagull had died, perhaps from natural causes (or sewage), or it was a sign from Mum. She was finally happy again. I decided to believe the latter.

The last two years of her life had been blighted by dementia. Ida was prone to hallucinations with regular visits from Jeremy Kyle, a Donald Trump/Boris Johnson hybrid, and Harry Potter who stared in at her through the balcony window. The sea became a river set to dry up any day; and ants, attracted by the six spilt sugars in her tea, transformed into giant spiders that needed to be disposed of by a man with van whose name she couldn’t recall.

It wasn’t just the caring though; it was also relationships with siblings. They lived in London. It was down to me and

my family to be on call 24 hours a day, including the wee small hours when she set off her fall alarm by accident. My children and partner were wonderful with her. Why couldn’t I be like them?

When it all became overwhelming, I’d take myself to the Mermaid and slump behind a rock to grieve the person I loved who was dead but not dead. The intelligent, feisty lady had been replaced by an increasingly angry and abusive stranger. But as soon as I stepped into the sea, all the frustration, grief, resentment and feelings of failure disappeared until the next day. It was pure relief.

It’s well documented that sea swimming boosts your mental health. Immersing yourself in cold water tricks you into thinking of something else far more immediate: survival. Whether it’s midwinter, when grey skies turn teal into ditch water brown, or the summer when sunlight flecks the waves gold, something magical happens. It settles you. Perhaps it’s the feeling of being part of something much bigger that provides a sense of perspective about your own struggles.

After dementia took away her ability to swallow, Ida died in August 2020 and the sea was there again for me. Two weeks later I met Anka, a fellow swimmer who had just lost her father to dementia and who was to become one of my closest friends.

Anka, the founder of Clan of Xymox, a Dutch band who were pioneers of 1980s darkwave, had been swimming around the Kent coast for a couple of

years. “After coming off the ferry, just after my father died, I drove straight to the Mermaid for a swim. It’s something I always associate with letting go and rinsing away the emotional stress, and the sea connects me to my father who was in the merchant navy and loved the sea,” Anka says. “My mother was ill at the time too and the sea helped with the stress of dealing with her illness and eventual death this year.”

Learning to swim

This stress-busting ability also attracted Kirsty Hogben who took up sea swimming after a running injury in 2019. She challenged herself to complete 1,000 swims over two years and is now a sea swim coach after noticing demand for advice about sea swimming sky-rocketed during the pandemic.

“You can understand why it became so popular,” says Hogben. “It’s free and in the open air and it provides a community in terms of loneliness which affected a lot of people.”

As well as training to become a Safety Training Awards (STA) open sea swim coach, Hogben is now studying counselling to help swimmers with trauma, something she can relate to. “I was always very anxious, but now I’m far more resilient and calmer at dealing with stress,” she says. “Sea swimming gave me purpose. I haven’t found anything else like it. You feel alive and completely free in the sea. It’s like active meditation. Being in your mind and your

body at the same time is a rare thing with all the technology.”

Another stalwart of Folkestone’s sea swimming community is Danish filmmaker Pete Blach, who became hooked in 2017 after visiting a winter bathing exhibition in his hometown Copenhagen.

“There was an audio recording of a woman talking about how the whole world disappeared, so I thought I’d give it a try,” says Blach. “Usually I have the winter blues, but I noticed that first ►

HEALTH

year they’d completely gone. I was far more positive and upbeat.”

Blach set up Folkestone Swimmers Facebook page with four other regular swimmers and waxed lyrical about sea swimming’s health benefits to everyone he met. Two years later there were 200 members and not a dryrobe in sight. Post-Covid membership stands at 1,700, with regular meet-ups for full-moon swims and BBQs, and offshoots like Folkestone Queer Swim, an inclusive group who meet twice a month.

Over the last four years Blach has been investigating different locations to set up a sauna like the Danes have on their coast. This summer he and other sea swimmers crowdfunded over £24,000 to transform an unused room at Folkestone Rowing Club in Sandgate into an electric-fired community sauna. The money came from donations, a silent disco, “naming hooks” and a £9,000 grant from Kent County Council.

The 12-person sauna, open from October to April, will cost £75 a year via club membership and is expected to open by early November.

You wait ages for a sauna and then, like buses, another has arrived in the town in the form of the mobile Steampunk Sauna. Tattoo artist Tim Smithens, aka Prison Style, crowdfunded £6,500 after Folkestone photographer

George Cory showed him his book about saunas, Löyly Life

“We talked about how it would be great to have one in the town,” said Smithens. “I used a small inheritance from my nan, life savings and crowdfunding to convert a horsebox into the wood-fired mobile sauna.”

The six-person sauna, made from Canadian cedar with Aspen seats, is also a free-standing piece of artwork decorated with Prison Style’s trademark doodles. Smithens will donate monthly to charity One Tree Planted based on how much kiln-dried birch fuel is used.

The sauna made its debut at September’s SALT + EARTH: Festival of Landscape, Seascape & The Environment. Depending on planning permission, it will be located just before Mermaid Beach, where you can hire it for £60 per hour for six people, or £15 per person.

Kirsty Hogben Sea Swim Confidence: kirstyhogben.com

Folkestone’s Community Sauna: folkestoneseasauna@gmail.com

Steampunk Sauna: steampunksauna@hotmail.com

Folkestone Queer Swim: @folkestonequeerswim

folkestone foghorn16 HEALTH
Friday October 28th Charlie Bicknell and Louise Innes - cabaret with claws 7.30 start …tickets available to buy @£17.50 to book please visit our website Saturday 5th November Fireworks party at the lantern Christmas party bookings available - please email Please check socials for all events THE Lantern Inn 01304 852276 • info@lanterninn.co.uk • www.lanterninn.co.uk The Lantern Inn, The Street, Martin, Dover CT15 5JL @thelanterninn thelanterninn You can now BOOK ONLINE AT lanterninn.co.uk 17th Century Countryside Pub & Restaurant Locally sourced a la carte menu subject to catch & season, served in a relaxed & welcoming setting 10% DISCOUNT IN NOVEMBER & JANUARY Scan our QR code or visit WWW.THEBURLINGTONHOTEL.COM/CP for menus, packages and more information Christmas Parties L A S T F E W D A T E S A V A I L A B L E Catch us in the Creative Quarter at 43 Tontine Street, enjoy our beautiful courtyard garden on a sunny day and keep an eye out for local artwork for sale! Follow us on Instagram @thenookfolkestone and on Facebook @ The Nook Folkestone We are a cafe in Folkestone serving delicious, homemade brunch style food, cakes and locally roasted coffee.

Folkestone-based writers

Conversations Between Creatives

After 25 years living in rural isolation in the Scottish Highlands, Faber moved to Folkestone in 2016, the same year Morgan arrived in town – both were looking for an affordable home where they could have their own writing room. The Foghorn caught up with them at Steep Street, where they were already in deep conversation about Victoriana, Anne Frank and post-Communist Poland. Also at the table is Faber’s enigmatic companion, the Intrepid Blonde.

The award-winning author of Under the Skin, The Crimson Petal and the White and D (A Tale of Two Worlds), Faber is a writer who reinvents himself with each book. Morgan is best known for Reading the World: How I Read a Book From Every Country, has penned two novels and hosts the podcast The World in Folkestone produced by CT20.

Ann: Did you find that your writing changed when you moved here?

Michel: No, I can write in a concrete bunker or with a brick wall facing me outside. I wrote a Victorian novel in tiny little shoebox flats in Australia. But, my children’s book D (A Tale of Two Worlds) is set in Folkestone, except I call it Cawberon-Sands. That uses my environment, so that’s a new thing.

Ann: Being in Folkestone has influenced my writing. I wrote my second novel Crossing Over shortly after we moved here, and it explores an encounter, which at the time was almost speculative,

because it wasn’t really happening a lot back then, between someone who’d arrived on a small boat across the Channel and an old woman living on the coast. That’s much more of a reality now. I write both fiction and non-fiction –there’s a spine to my work, but it presents in different ways. A lot of that is about how we can never fully understand one another, but by interacting, we can perhaps arrive at a better understanding of ourselves. This incomprehension idea is something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about lately because my first book was based on this project I did to read a book from every country in the world in a year. It’s 10 years since that original quest and I’ve continued to do all sorts of things connected to it. I’m literary explorer in residence at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, which essentially means that I get to think of mad ideas and suggest them to the festival.

Michel: It’s a lovely job description.

Ann: The great thing about that is I can make it up and sort of decide what it means. I developed this incomprehension workshop designed to help readers explore literature outside their comfort

zone, from unfamiliar traditions.

Whoever you are and whatever you’re an expert in, you can’t be an expert in all world literature – it’s too vast. So there are going to be things that you don’t understand, references you don’t get, ways that stories work that you don’t connect with or can’t understand fully.

Learning to be comfortable with not knowing, and to see what it reveals, not only about the story, but also about your own biases, is a really interesting process.

Michel: That gulf of incomprehension … it’s completely universal. And if people really, really knew how badly they’re misunderstanding or how big the gulf is between them and the next person, I think it would blow their brains apart. A lot of my work is about that alienation. I write about all these aliens, people who don’t belong in the environment. In my novel Under the Skin there’s this woman

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Michel Faber and Ann Morgan talk about the joys of incomprehension, favourite books and music, and a certain Intrepid Blonde
WRITING

from another planet who’s trying to get the hang of humans. In The Book of Strange New Things, there’s a Christian minister from here going to another planet to minister to the spiritual needs of the indigenous population. And I’m Dutch, so I’m not Anglo, so there’s that gulf. And I’m probably ‘on the spectrum’ – the more I think about these issues, the more I think that’s highly likely. That sense of the other and how we classify the other, and how we deal with the otherness of others, it goes through all my work.

Ann: Something that fascinates me about you is that you’re a writer who defies classification or categorization. You don’t fit neatly in any one box, which I’m really jealous of because, for a writer at my stage of career, there is a real demand to fit in a box.

Michel: I was really fortunate to get together with Canongate, my main publisher, because they were an indie and they defied the boxes themselves. The way fate worked out, they became quite a substantial publisher rather than going down the plughole, which is the fate of most brave new indie publishers. Also, I think it’s partly gendered, in the sense that our culture has a greater tendency to put females into boxes than males.

Ann: With my first novel Beside Myself, which was about identical twins who swap places in a childhood game and then get trapped in the wrong lives when one refuses to swap back, I was constantly asked, are you a twin,

because you couldn’t possibly have made that up. You must be just writing about yourself and your life. Actually, no, I’m not a twin. I did make it up. And there was always this sense of disappointment.

Michel: Yes. Whereas I suspect at a literary festival, the male author who had written that book would very soon be talking about the uncanny and doppelgangers.

Ann: You’re currently working on a book about music. What led you to that?

is a huge problem. I spend a lot of time thinking about what makes a book from somewhere? In the last 10 years, there’s been a lot more interest in translation in the UK. More things are coming through, which is great to see, but the problem is that because nationality is now being used as a marketing tool by lots of publishers, there is again the boxfilling thing. Much as you are examining with music, it’s that idea of who controls this notion of what’s in the club, what’s out of the club.

culture. We don’t have time to listen to or read everything that we produce. So why should we look further? It’s that resistance to looking further which is frustrating. Because when you do start to, you discover all these wonderful things. What should I listen to?

Michel: I would recommend Povera Patria by Franco Battiato, which is him singing in his heartbreakingly tender voice about the disgusting corruption of the Italian political system.

Ann: Lovely. In return I’d like to recommend the memoir An African in Greenland by Tété-Michel Kpomassie, a Toganese explorer who decided to run away to Greenland at the age of 14. He worked his way up through Africa in the 1950s and 60s, learning languages as he went, relying on the kindness of strangers, picking up on jobs on the way. Got a boat to Europe, got up through Europe to Denmark. Got a boat to Greenland, lived with the Inuit for two years and then wrote this extraordinary book about his journey and this wow experience. I love this book … it’s so joyful, so full of curiosity, so much about discovering the world and being open to possibility and exchange. [Referring to the Intrepid Blonde] We’ve been leaving someone out of the conversation for a while. Perhaps you could tell us a bit about her?

Michel: Again, it’s that alienation thing in that we assume that everyone is hearing what we’re hearing. But, in fact, we’re hearing differently, we’re processing differently. This whole notion that there’s good and bad music and that there’s authorities who tell us what’s good and bad. And the anxiety about being in the right gang. The nervousness about liking the wrong music. It’s all tribalism.

Ann: This question of tribalism and nationality, when it comes to writing,

Michel: One of the chapters in Listen, my music book, looks at culturally significant musical figures in various countries, and that in the Anglo world, they mean nothing. In Poland, you’ve got Czesław Niemen. In France, you’ve got Alain Bashung. In Italy, you’ve got Franco Battiato, who’s just amazing and did everything, and nobody here has any notion who he was.

Ann: Why don’t we know who these people are?

Michel: I think there’s an allergy in the Anglo world to having to make the effort to engage with another language. People in Europe are used to the fact that the country next door speaks a different language, and that if you like music, you might have to open your horizons to not understanding what the person’s singing about.

Ann: An argument I often encounter is that we’ve got enough in our own

Michel: I found her in 1994 in Glasgow at the Barras, a very proletarian, very old-school market. At the end each day, stallholders leave stuff behind and she was one of the things left behind. She didn’t have any clothes, just her undies. Since then she’s got herself various dresses and things, still a limited wardrobe.

Ann: She’s been very quiet.

Michel: She is very quiet. She is a mystery to me. She loves to look at things, but she doesn’t share her findings with me. However, I can tell if she’s uneasy and if she’s fascinated, and that’s probably enough. I think with human beings, language is quite a late add-on in evolutionary terms. We got by without it for an awfully long time. And I think it’s overrated. I know we’re both writers, but even so I think language is overrated and there’s a lot of nonverbal stuff going on and she’s very sensitive to all that.

folkestone foghorn 19WRITING
annmorgan.me ayearofreadingtheworld.com @the.intrepid.blonde
“There’s an allergy in the Anglo world to having to make the effort to engage with another language”

The shape of things to come

The Folkestone Book Festival dates back to 1980 when the Kent Literature Festival started in the Metropole Arts Centre on the Leas. As the Folkestone Book Festival, it came under the aegis of the new Creative Foundation (now Creative Folkestone) in 2002, operating from various venues until 2009 when it moved to the newly built Quarterhouse. Over the years, it has increased its scope and ambition, attracting growing audiences with both established and new writers.

Liam Browne and Sean Doran (founders of arts festival organisers DoranBrowne) were appointed as curators from the 2019 festival. New to Folkestone, they were impressed with the creative energy they saw in the town, the “very good feel of it”. After the Covid years, they are delighted to be returning to the Quarterhouse with a full programme of events before a live audience. “We kept the Festival going right through the pandemic with mainly online events,” explains Browne. “Now we feel it is important to get people together again to enjoy the communal experience.” Although some sessions will be offered online, the emphasis will be very much on live events.

Browne and Doran saw the need to give the Folkestone Book Festival a special focus that would distinguish it from others. “We were conscious that there are now so many UK book festivals, over 300,” says Browne, explaining their approach. “We felt we needed a focus that would attract national press and

media, not just a list of authors who may also be at other book festivals, we wanted something special about Folkestone.”

The curators draw on Wells’ fascination with the future to explore several different themes. Important to them also is the relationship to place, drawing on the history of the town and emphasising what is unique to Folkestone.

This year marks the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses In January 1923, 500 copies sent from France were seized by customs officers here in Folkestone and burned – all but one copy that escaped. For the duration of the festival the Folkestone Bookshop, newly opened in Tontine Street, will become Ulysses & Co: Banned Books, displaying 499 different titles that have, at some time, been banned in one or more countries. “We’ll have a short explanation for each one,” says CP Hunter of the Folkestone Bookshop. “Being so close to the Quarterhouse,

this will be an ideal place to come to browse and discuss between events.”

The opening day of the festival marks another centenary, that of the death of Marcel Proust on 18 November 1922. “Memory, taste and smell” and “how Proust can change your life” will be explored with food writer Claudia Roden and chef Jeremy Lee, while local chefs will offer the audience small plates of food.

With Creative Folkestone as custodians of Prospect Cottage, Derek Jarman’s former home in Dungeness, the opportunity has been taken to ask two writers, Deborah Levy and Juno Dawson, each to take up a short residency, and write a response to their stay.

On the second weekend the Festival will honour HG Wells by hosting the prestigious annual English Pen HG Wells Lecture. There will also be a London Review of Books panel discussion expressing solidarity

with Salman Rushdie and looking back at the events of 1988.

In addition to these special events planned for the festival, Browne picks out two events from the many on offer that have a personal resonance for him. The first is the historian Michael Wood, with the 40th anniversary edition of his book In Search of the Dark Ages just published; the second is the filmmaker and writer Hugh Brody, famed for his documentaries on the Inuits, with his new book, Landscapes of Silence

With this interesting and diverse programme, the Book Festival will truly provide a communal space where people can come together to hear a range of speakers, and to debate and discuss the issues that shape our present world and our future.

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The Folkestone Book Festival returns to the Quarterhouse in November and for the second year in a row takes its inspiration from the philosophy and spirit of Folkestone resident HG Wells
thefolkestonebookshop.co.uk

Free and lowcost Folkestone

Household budgets are tight as we all focus on the essentials this autumn and winter. Here’s a round-up of free or lower-cost ideas to keep yourself and your kids entertained in Folkestone and support local organisations and businesses.

Folkestone Silver Screen runs a film club on Thursday mornings. Members pay £4 to watch the screening, which includes tea, coffee and biscuits served for an hour before the start. folkestonecinema.com

On the topic of clubs, a book group is held at the Quarterhouse on the second Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm. The club is free to attend and typically reads books that can be sourced from local libraries. Folkestone Women’s Forum also hosts a book club on the last Wednesday of the month. The group hosts lots of other evening social events too – for a £2 entrance fee you can join them for a game night at Chaos Cards on 14 November and 12 December. Check out their website or Facebook group for more. folkestonewomensforum.wordpress. com

Love the outdoors? Drop in at the Locavore Community Garden at Martello Primary School to discover the latest on growing food in Folkestone. Visit on Monday and Wednesday afternoons to share your gardening nous or learn from the other volunteers. locavoregrowingproject.org

For more on Folkestone’s community food scene, visit the Community Fridge at Wood Avenue Library. The fridge is open to anyone looking to help tackle food waste and access healthy food. And you can borrow a book while you’re there! facebook.com/ Folkestonecommunityfridge

For more outdoor exploring, Kent Wildlife Trust runs free, family events around Folkestone. Upcoming events include rockpooling in the Lower Leas Coastal Park, from 9am on 29 October. kentwildlifetrust.org.uk

Need some motivation to get moving? Folkestone’s weekly Parkrun kicks off at 9am every Saturday morning and is free to all. Join lots of friendly runners for a 5km stretch along the sea on the Leas. Look out for runners just past the bandstand near the William Harvey statue. parkrun.org.uk/folkestone

After all that running, head down to Grace Hill Studio for a stretch at yoga or pilates. The studio offers a “pay what you can” option for certain classes to ensure access is open to everyone. gracehillstudios.com

Visit the community reading room at the Folkestone Bookshop, which will be opening soon on Tontine Street. thefolkestonebookshop.co.uk

The

Sunflower House is a busy activity hub in town. Visit them for free wellbeing walks, Friday coffee mornings and community theatre. They also host Folkestone Repairs Together on the second Sunday of every month from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Chat to them via the website or pop in to extend the life of something that needs fixing or swap your clothes with the community. sunflowerhouse.org.uk

Check if your child’s school is eligible for Shred Club, run in partnership with the Sports Trust. If so, you’ll get access to the F51 skate park for children aged five to 15 for £1 a month. They can skate the three skatepark floors from 4pm to 6pm Monday to Thursday during term time. f51.co.uk/shred+club

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Folkestone Bookshop RAD BOOKS FOR RAD FOLKE !

THE EVOLUTION OF ORIGINS UNTOLD

Poet and artist Josie Carter shares her reflections on the arts organisation’s history and future plans

Origins Untold, run by artist

Aida Silvestri and myself, celebrates the presence of African and Caribbeanheritage people in our local area through creative, cultural and communitybuilding events and projects. We were founded in 2015 by local artist and community activist Arik who, after moving from London to Folkestone, sought to create opportunities for local Black people to get to know each other and feel at home in our town.

creative work and points of view of Black residents of Folkestone for nearly seven years, contributing a greater sense of local Black history to our town and drawing together a vibrant and diverse community that includes both longtime Folkestonians and newer arrivals.

full humanity with his motto “Black Men Are Good”, a concept which had guided his work for decades. His sudden death mere days afterwards left us reeling as a community. In tribute to the memory of our friend, Origins Untold organised Black Men Are Good, an online festival and exhibition curated with the aims of examining how racism plays out against Black men in our local context, and exploring the implications of this for all of us.

Folkestone Fringe, refugee arts charities Art Refuge and Counterpoints Arts, and local organisations Napier Friends and Care4Calais – created an opportunity for people from across our community to come together over food, music and dancing.

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What started as a small celebration of Black History Month organised by a group of friends soon expanded to become a programme of performances, conversations, workshops, film screenings and social gatherings extending first throughout October, then throughout the year. We are proud to have been making space for the stories,

In 2020, in the midst of a raging pandemic which hit people of colour disproportionately hard, the murder of George Floyd by police in the US sparked global protest against racism and police brutality. Arik spoke in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in a protest outside the Town Hall on 4 June 2020, offering a reminder of Black men’s

e

Urged on by an overwhelmingly positive response, we have been working hard ever since to build on the foundations laid by Arik. This year we have focused on issues of migration, displacement and refuge, working particularly to develop relationships with the residents of Napier Barracks. Our weekend of Refugee Week celebrations in June – organised in partnership with Creative Folkestone,

e

In July we were invited to hold a stall at Folkestone Pride where we offered a tropical fruit tasting and made a community artwork exploring the theme of “belonging” as LGBTQ+ individuals and people of colour in Folkestone. And in September, as part of the SALT + EARTH Festival, we debuted Chalk, Grass, Land, a new artwork by myself and Ray Carter exploring the possibilities for Black and British embodiments on the chalk grassland of the Kent Downs.

For this year’s Origins Untold Festival, our annual October celebration of Black History Month, we are showcasing work by local African and Caribbean-heritage artists across three locations, with shows at Sassoon Gallery, Folkestone Library and Hythe Town Hall. These exhibitions, united by the theme of “presence”, feature artists Anita McKenzie, Rubiane Maia, Holly Oluwo, Claudius Fanusie, Dr Isha McKenzieMavinga and Rhiana Bonterre. We are also delighted to be working with Folkestone Documentary Festival for a second year, hosting a screening of Rebel Dread and a post-show panel, as well as the festival’s community meal, where Dr Legumes will serve up a vegan feast with a Caribbean twist.

For more information about our upcoming events – including an Artists’ Roundtable at The Folkestone Bookshop on 28 October – and our ongoing work, please follow us on Instagram or visit our website. And if you are interested in getting involved, contact us! We are always looking to connect with Black, African- and Caribbean-heritage people living in the local area, as well as allies, supporters and collaborators from all backgrounds. We hope you’ll join us as we continue to make community, change and history in Folkestone.

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Writer Josie Carter Images courtesy of Tiffany Cryer & Aida Silvestri
COMMUNITY
BARDEN ART SCHOOL NEW ART SCHOOL IN FOLKESTONE'S CREATIVE QUARTER C������ ���� �� ����������� ������ ��� ������ L��� �������� ��� ��������� �������� ��� ��� ������������ �������� �������� C����� ������� �� I�������� �� ��� �� ����� ���� �� ��������� ������������������������� ����������� ���������������� T�� ��������� � T�� O�� H��� S������ F���������� K���� CT�� �RL the Woodshed Gallery @thewoodshed_folkestone @clare_hamilton_design www.woodshed.gallery woodshed@piebiz.net tel 01303 240432 Bail Steps off The Old High Street The Bayle CT20 1AS Woodshed the studio & gallery FOLKESTONE Fridays & Saturdays 11am-4pm or by appointment AFFORDABLE ORIGINAL ART by Amanda Wood & Clare Hamilton Portfoliox RiseUp.CleanUp. 2023Theme:‘Rising’ Aged between 1 - 25? Living in Kent or Medway? Deadline for entries: March 31st 2023 Like to express yourself, have things to say and want to take action? This is your opportunity to get your art and ideas shown at Turner Contemporary and seen by thousands. To enter and find out more visit : turnercontemporary.org/portfolio Never miss an issue. Subscribe to the Folkestone Foghorn for only £15 per year. brightsidepublishing.com/shop/

action stations

Strange Cargo’s artistic director shares news of the participatory arts company’s latest project: The Resident Platform

Strange Cargo have been affecting the cultural life of Folkestone for over 27 years. We’re known to lots of different people, but not necessarily for the same reasons. Many folks will know us from the Charivari Day carnival and our lantern parades. The Cheriton Light Festival attracts thousands to roam the closed-to-traffic Cheriton High Street, which in the depths of winter is transformed for two nights with extraordinary light-based artworks.

Others have contributed to our people’s guidebook series; or our Other People’s Photographs project, with its images lifted from hundreds of family albums onto lamp posts across Folkestone, Cheriton and Sandgate. We’ve been doing our thing with the community for so long, almost everyone would have come across our work, or been involved in one way or another.

Since we installed Like the Back of My Hand, the 101 bronze handprints at Folkestone Central back in 2004, we’ve found ourselves occasionally gravitating towards railway settings. Our Folkestone Triennial artwork, The Luckiest Place on Earth, with its 3D printed statues of local people and Recycling point for Luck and Wishes at Cheriton Road railway bridge, is a more recent example.

Railway stations are such great places for comings and goings, and we all use them at one time or another. We often bump into people whose hands feature in the casts at Folkestone Central; each person born in a separate year of the 20th century, so inevitably the older hands are no longer with us, but their families will visit the station to touch their loved one’s hand. We hadn’t considered it becoming a memorial when we made it, but you often find artworks will take on a renewed purpose once embedded in a public space. This has happened to the illustration in Folkestone Central waiting

room, which was created for school workshops, but now has a new raison d’etre – to regale travellers with a bit of Folkestone’s history.

Post pandemic, we are excited about The Resident Platform. This is our new artist- in-residence programme and a way to share with other creative practitioners our approach to making art that involves local people. Artists are not generally taught in art school how to make space in their work for other people to contribute, but this approach is at the heart of everything we do. We have developed an uncomplicated way of working with communities that is mutually significant and we believe that other artists might like to see how we do it.

Every four months or so, a professional artist will come to visit us in Cheriton. They will absorb all sorts of details from the environment and get to meet groups

of local people where they will observe us creating a new sculpture with them. This will be cast into bronze by Andrew Baldwin, who also advises on the process and was incidentally the foundry that cast the 101 Hands. The resident artist will make a second sculpture inspired by their visit, and the two new artworks will sit together at Folkestone West, occupying the obsolete little plinths that in another life had supported the roof canopy.

Over the next three years the Resident Platform will grow into a series of 24 bronze sculptures at the station. On 27 October 2022 the first sculptures in this planned series were unveiled. Artist Charley Vines, whose accompanying exhibition Folly in Plum was shown at Strange Cargo’s Cheriton Gallery at the end of 2021, has created a sculpture entitled Grandma’s Table, inspired by personal memories of her grandmother,

but also the many flowers and vases Charley has noticed abound in Cheriton.

“Through working with Strange Cargo, I was able to experience and experiment with new ways of working. Mine is a largely solitary practice, so being able to collaborate with local people was a great opportunity,” says Vines. “There is a lot to be gained when an artist is welcomed into a community, and in turn welcomes people into their practice. It creates a platform upon which skills can be shared, barriers can dissolve, and exciting artworks can be produced.”

The partner sculpture to Vines’ work is The Pincushion, a glimpse of everyday Cheriton life which was devised and made with 20 Cheriton residents. Its many pins support small sculptures created as personal reflections on the town: the best conker tree; the view from someone’s lockdown window; Cheriton’s multi-cultural cuisine.

We have subsequently joined forces with two more artists, Kira Freije and Long Distance Press, and two more groups of Cheritonites, the Cheriton Library staff and Cheriton Road Cemetery Volunteers, who are our next sculpture-makers. Volunteer Carole Moody sent us a lovely message following the sculpture workshop to say, “The group asked me to tell you that we all had great fun and are really looking forward to seeing the finished piece.” Their piece, and that of artist Kira Freije, will be the second pair of works for the station plinths.

Charley Vines’ reflection on the project sums it up: “Strange Cargo do fantastic work and the Resident Platform is such an important project as it allows artists and communities to work together, learning from each other and sitting together equally.”

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COMMUNITY
The Pincushion by Cheritron Residents ©Brigitte Orasinski ©Simon Richmond
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AN ENGLISH CHANNEL WINERY

Sitting in the heart of the vineyard at Terlingham in Hawkinge with co-owner Jackie Wilks, looking out and over the vines, I can see the sparkle and shimmer of the English Channel – it’s the kind of stunning vista that makes winemakers around the world go dewy-eyed.

“The amazing warm weather we had this year was perfect for the grapes, they love a bit of sun! We were lucky that our sea breezes protected us from the worst of the heat that built up more inland as well,” Jackie tells me.

It’s almost hard to believe that you can be sitting in this spot within ten minutes of having stepped off the train at Folkestone Central.

Originally from South Africa, Graham and Lorna Wilks moved to the UK in 2007, with no prior wine-making or farming experience. They purchased Terlingham in 2011 with a vision for the project that would encompass a

low-intervention ethos, eschewing the use of artificial pesticides, fertilisers or herbicides. Graham swiftly enrolled at Plumpton Agricultural College, the top winemaking school in the UK, while Lorna’s experience running a landscaping business in South Africa was the perfect background for her love of tending the vines by hand during the growing season. In 2018 their three daughters, Ashleigh, Caroline and Jackie, joined the business, and are the driving force behind the wine tastings at the vineyard and an events business, Naturally Terlingham.

What sets Terlingham apart is that they farm their tiny four acres using organic methods. This involves cultivating and nurturing the natural ecosystem of growth between the vines, such as flowers and grasses, encouraging the natural predators – spiders, millipedes, centipedes and other insects – of potentially damaging vineyard pests,

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Images courtesy of Terlingham Vineyard
Terlingham Vineyard is a tiny winery in Folkestone with big ambitions: our food and wine writer discovers how they are making waves with grapes grown beside the sea

which may harm the vines.

It’s this methodology that enables them to avoid using synthetic pesticides, improving biodiversity, soil health, and general vineyard vigour – these “beneficial arthropods” are like a highway patrol protecting the vines.

“We feel very privileged to be able to farm in the way that we do, without the chemicals and as eco-friendly as we can,” says Jackie.

While the grapes are grown right where it all started, demand has certainly been outstripping supply, meaning that they will be looking to expand their production by working with fruit from other trusted growers, Jackie tells me. Another sign of their growing ambition is the fact they

now have the wines made at a nearby contract winemaking facility, Defined Wine in the village of Bridge, who also make wine for around thirty wineries.

Outsourcing the significant costs of having a suitable working winery that can cope with the day-to-day demands of making wine – everything from temperature control to bottling, labelling and distribution – means the family can concentrate on the first rule of good wine: you must have great quality grapes to make great wine. All that hard work in the vineyard and working to create the necessary environment for superb fruit to grow, is where it all begins.

The vision for the business has kicked on another level with many national press mentions – their sparkling white 2019 featuring on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen Live – and the launch of Terlingham Bacchus Dry Gin, made using locally sourced botanicals including rhubarb and nettle, and their own wine made from the Bacchus varietal, in a collaboration with Rebel Distillers. Forbes Magazine recently mentioned it in its list of “World’s Best 9 New Gins” – not bad going for a small family winery by the sea.

When we consider that coastal vineyards are sought after in the finest wine-growing regions around the world, from California and Stellenbosch in

South Africa, to sites in Margaret River in Australia, and in Sicily, Terlingham really does have a very special spot for growing fantastic fruit. Grapes enjoy the cooling influence of the sea breezes, helping to retain acidity and give them a rest from the warm days of the growing season as harvest approaches.

The end of September and beginning of October is the crunch time for vineyards in the UK, when the critical decisions of when to start picking begin, choosing the optimum time when the flavours and fruits sugars are “popping” yet enough acidity remains to retain freshness. It’s a yearly juggling act that is absolutely dependent on how the growing season has progressed.

“We were very happy with what we took off this year,” says Jackie. “We actually just finished our pick this weekend (30 September) with the warm weather meaning that we got to harvest about two weeks earlier than usual. It’s always a bit crazy in the lead up to harvest: we test the grapes every day so that we pick just at the right time, when the sugars and acids get to the perfect levels for the types of wine we are looking to make.”

I ask Jackie if any other wineries around the world are currently inspiring them. “At the moment, we’re really excited by some of the developments in natural, sustainable farming coming out of Spain,” she says. “There are over a thousand organic vineyards and wineries in Spain, and one of the most interesting is Menade.”

As a food writer I’m always thinking about food and wine combinations, and am keen to hear what the Wilks family enjoy eating with their wines. “Our wines are very versatile, particularly the sparkling wines as the high acidity and freshness are a great complement to a wide range of foods,” says Jackie. “Cheese is always a winner, and we would recommend some lovely creamy options such as a brie or goats’ cheese.”

“Our newest release is our 2021 chardonnay, a very lightly oaked, modern ‘Chablis-style’ Chardonnay. It pairs really well with seafood dishes based on shellfish like crab, lobster, shrimp and mussels. Being so close to the sea, we’ve always got a lot of lovely choice of fresh fish.”

As I gaze across the vines and see the sunshine dappling the vine leaves, a gentle breeze in the air and spot the flutter of a butterfly, it’s easy to imagine that owning a winery may well be living the dream, making all the hard work worth the effort.

“It’s an amazing lifestyle,” says Jackie. “We’re so grateful to be able to be active and outdoors. One of the best parts is getting to meet so many lovely local folk through our wine tastings. We’ve made a lot of very good friends over the years, and we’ve had so much support from the wonderful Folkestone community.”

folkestone foghorn 27BUSINESS

There was a time when Folkestone was blessed with four totally vegan or vegetarian eateries. Only one remains, but this isn’t because there’s no longer a demand for vegan food

The fact is that, there’s so much demand, almost every restaurant and café in Folkestone now caters for lovers of vegetables, meaning vegans no longer have to limit themselves to dedicated vegan restaurants. Let me take you on a little vegan trail that begins at the top of Guildhall Street, proceeds along Rendezvous Street, then winds down The Old High Street, before ending up at the Harbour Arm.

Grab your forks and shopping bags and let’s go!

Betty’s Pye & Mash

25 Guildhall Street

If you’re looking for cheap vegan grub, look no further. A single soya mince pie, mash (made simply with potatoes and salt) and liquor (parsley sauce) at the time of writing costs a mere £5.95, which includes a mug of tea or coffee. Total bargain, innit? facebook.com/bettyspyeandmash

Bao Baron

19 Guildhall Street

A few doors down, you’ll find Bao Baron serving pillowy vegan bao buns even better than the ones you get in that Japanese chain restaurant. As an added bonus, unlike that chain restaurant, Bao Baron has normal tables, not dormitory seating, so you won’t risk a stranger’s elbow ending up in your ramen. thebaobaron.co.uk | @thebaobaron

Kent Food Hubs Vegan Vibes Market

Guildhall Street, every third Sunday of the month

Make sure you bring a big bag to this monthly market, as you’ll be filling it with delicious cakes and savoury items from The Vegan Habit; the best vegan sausage rolls you’ll ever eat from Made From Plants (don’t go home without buying Sarah’s potato-topped focaccia pizzas either); beautiful handmade soaps from Handmaidens Soap Company; along with a range of traders offering kimchi, kombucha, chocolate, and non-edibles such as vegan skincare products and candles (although they’ll smell so good you’ll want to eat them).

kentfoodhubs.co.uk

@kentfoodhubs_folkestone

VEGAN FOLKESTONE

Folkestone Food Market

Downstairs in Market Square, 19-21 Rendezvous Street

It’s still something of a secret that there’s a food market downstairs in Market Square providing amazing products for vegans. Along with bread, fruit and vegetables, you’ll find shelves crammed with pretty much everything you could want. If you’ve been looking for vegan hollandaise sauce, vegan bearnaise sauce or vegan “fish” sauce, Folkestone Food Market has it. In fact, they’ve got more vegan chutneys, condiments and ketchups than you’ll have space for in your kitchen. I defy you to leave without buying something.

landb-restaurants.co.uk/market-square | @folkestonefoodmarket

Marleys 26-30 The Old High Street

Whenever anyone asks for a recommendation of where to take a mixed party of vegans and non-vegans out to eat, Marleys always tops the list. And for good reason, too. Marleys put as much thought into their vegan offerings as they do to the rest of their menu –you’ll be spoilt for choice and won’t leave disappointed. marley’s folkestone.co.uk | @marleysfolkestone

Folkestone Wholefoods 43 The Old High Street

This is absolutely heaving with vegan goodies. If you’re after a sweet snack, you’re in luck with their range of vegan chocolate bars, such as the ever-popular Vego Bars and vegan walnut whips. If it’s savoury you want, you’ll find vegan cheese, tofu and Folkestone Baycon in their fridge, vegan pies in their freezer and vital wheat gluten on their shelves with which to make your own seitan.

A new addition to Folkestone: Wholefoods is their wellbeing corner where medical herbalist Lynda Jones offers a fully stocked Herbal Apothecary carrying tinctures, plant juices, distilled plant waters, essential oils, topical treatments and dried herbs. Lynda is happy to help advise on how best to use the herbs and whether you need more specialist, personal help. folkestone wholefoods.co.uk | @folkestone_wholefoods

Not For Humans

53 The Old High Street

Without wanting to start a debate about whether or not dogs should be vegan, I’m sure we all agree a treat is a treat. So, if you want to show your dog how much you love them with some yummy vegan treats, Debbie Convery has them in her wonderful pet boutique. You can buy your pooch a leather-free collar, bandana or jacket while you’re there too. notforhumans.co.uk | @notforhumans_petboutique

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FOOD

The Secret Salon 73-79 The Old High Street

At the bottom of the Old High Street, you’ll find Dizzy Hayter-Smith in her not-so-secret salon (there’s a big sign in the window telling you which doorbell to ring and everything) cutting, styling and dyeing hair every colour of the rainbow with cruelty-free, vegan products. @the.secret.salon.folkestone

Dr Legumes Harbour Arm

And last, but definitely not least, is Folkestone’s only surviving vegan restaurant. Situated in a green shipping container at Harbour Arm’s East Yard, Dr Legumes serves up top quality vegan nosh made from locally sourced produce. drlegumes.com | @drlegumes

A little further afield…

There’s no need for Folkestone’s neighbours in Sandgate and Hythe to make a pilgrimage down the coast for vegan fayre. Orchard Lane Coffee House (80 Sandgate High Street) sells a varied selection of vegan cakes, raw bakes and savoury snacks, while vegan and vegetarian cafe Root (53 High Street, Hythe) sources all its produce locally, seasonally and organic where possible. orchardlanecoffeehouse.co.uk | @orchardlanecoffeehouse roothythe.com | @roothythe

29 Traditional Pie, Mash and Liquor Jellied Eels Stewed Eels Sausage, Mash & Onion Gravy Vegan Pies available 07376 195233 25 Guildhall St, Folkestone CT20 1EB

Getting Intimate with Dear Pariah

with his spoken word/rap performances about slugs,” Hinchcliff recalls.

Hinchcliff has been performing under the Dear Pariah moniker since 2012, steadily gaining acclaim for her bare-all folk songs which deal, in part, with her lifelong battle with a disease that has scarred organs including her brain and lungs. Fans include industry stalwarts from BBC Radio 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne to Bella Union label owner Simon Raymonde (formerly of the Cocteau Twins), while Help Musicians UK granted her an Emerging Excellence Award to fund the making of her 2016 debut album Misc

“I’ve always loved music but I realised I wanted to be a songwriter when I was 13, after starting to write songs with my guitar (I’d started learning to play at 12). I was obsessed!” Hinchcliff remembers. “I then recorded my first song at 13 in a local studio and haven’t stopped making music since.” The latter is a statement that could ordinarily seem throwaway – except that Hinchcliff, her commitment to writing and recording, whatever the circumstances, truly has been tested. In 2019, she found herself “too sick to record music”, so instead released Bedroom Demos – a collection of live songs captured at home. With no studio polish to hide behind, the tracks show off her remarkable talent: titles like “God it hurts” and “Goodbye, dreams” contrast sparse guitars and soaring, soulful vocals that recall greats like Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny.

Listening to the songs, it’s clear why the cosy, living room atmosphere of Folklore felt like the perfect setting for a live residency. “I think that these intimate spaces, when audiences are quiet, can be the most magical performances you will see from artists,” Hinchcliff shares. As well as curating her favourite artists for each show (“I’m being very selective about who I ask to play, as I want the quality to be consistently high”), it’s also been a chance to get to grips with the “great challenge” of bringing something fresh to the same setting. “I’ve never had a residency before: it’s definitely been an interesting experience so far, having to make sure my set is very different to the last month for the regulars,” she notes.

Meet the musician responsible for some of Folkestone’s most magical – and chatter-free – gigs

Folkestone singer-songwriter Charlie Hinchcliff, aka Dear Pariah, is one of those rare artists whose voice is so hauntingly beautiful it stops you in your tracks – a reaction she’s more than happy to provoke in her live sets. “I felt there was a need for a night in Folkestone that was completely silent when performers were playing: for songwriters in similar styles to myself to be able to perform without contending with audience chatter,” she explains of her bi-monthly residency at Folklore.

Titled Dear Pariah & Friends, the residency came about in January 2021 when Folklore owner David Hamilton Boyd approached Hinchcliff about starting a night in the café-cocktail space. It’s since showcased “the most amazing artists”, including Pyx, Almahata, Katherine Abbott, Spike Zephaniah and Samuel Nicholson. “We’ve had some great moments: audience sing-along moments by myself and also Genevieve Dawson. Spike Zephaniah brought down the house

Up next on the cards for Dear Pariah is a new release which Hinchcliff reveals she’ll be working on in January 2023. She’s also currently preparing for “a big show at Omeara in London” supporting Jack White protégés Smoke Fairies. “I’m feeling the pressure, which I like!” she says. As for the future of Dear Pariah & Friends? She’s keen for the residency to stay true to its ethos, saying: “I just want it to remain how it is: a quiet night of really good quality music with a captivated audience. It’s already very special!”

The next edition of Dear Pariah & Friends takes place on Thursday 24 November at Folkore (see listings for more info). Visit linktr.ee/dearpariah for the latest Dear Pariah releases, show announcements and more

folkestone foghorn30 MUSIC

gig guide

From electronic wizards to alt-folk rising talent, local singer and journalist Lucy Atkins shares her pick of the best upcoming gigs around town

Daddy Long Legs

Don’t you just love it when a band’s press image tells you in precisely three seconds what to expect – and that it’s going to be a thrillingly raucous rock’n’roll adventure? That’s exactly what the moody black and white shot of New York four-piece Daddy Long Legs did for me. And latest single “Nightmare”, in all its wild harmonica blues, is as infectious as I’d hoped.

Sunday afternoon in Folkestone is about to get interesting…

23 October, the Chambers @thechambers1998

Melting Vinyl and Creative Folkestone presents: Plaid Electronic innovators Plaid are back with their 11th studio album Feorm Falorx: a release that marks nearly 30 years with British indie label Warp Records. It’s fair to say the duo, who count Björk among their collaborators, are as otherworldly as ever: the concept record is based around an infinite festival on the planet Falorx, where they’ve been “turned into light because of the planet’s atmosphere”. Strap in and prepare for an intergalactic experience.

10 November, Quarterhouse @creativefstone

WONKY with Pleistocene Megafauna, DJ Steve Goddard and DJ REV

If you’ve yet to experience local experimental electronic duo Pleistocene Megafauna, then trust me: you’re in for a mind-bending, heady treat. Made up of musicians Scott Wyllie and Matt Dear, both can be found in more traditional band setups usually – but in PM they’ve allowed themselves to get weird and wonky, with a blend of synths and samples that are improvised for each set. Don’t miss this extra special show, which sees them join forces with DJs Steve Goddard and REV in a four-way collab that’s guaranteed to go off.

11 November, the Chambers @thechambers1998

Riot Gulll at the Chambers

A brand new night that I’m really excited for – and not only because of the quite frankly genius wordplay on riot grrrl and Folkestone’s notorious winged residents. Yup, Riot Gulll is the female-fronted live music and club night you’ve been waiting for. The lineup is still top secret at the time of writing, but organiser Géraldine assures me it’s going to be unmissable. There’ll even be a fanzine available – designed, in true DIY style, via a community workshop at Fourth Wall Folkestone on 29 October that you should definitely attend.

18 November, the Chambers @thechambers1998 @riotgull

Dear Pariah & Friends

If this issue’s interview with Dear Pariah has got you intrigued, catch the singer-songwriter at Folklore for an unforgettable listening experience, served with a side of goosebumps (seriously: those vocals). For November’s date, south-east London-based musician Mock Deer joins the lineup, with Dear Pariah telling me: “He’s been called ‘incredible’ by Rough Trade and has a very Dylan-esque sound, which I love!” 24 November, Folklore @bar_folklore

Bayle Music presents Leo Popplewell and Michael Pandya Classical fans, put this in your diary for 2023: cellist Leo Popplewell is joined by renowned pianist Michael Pandya for a recital at St Eanswythe’s Church. Popplewell has graced stages from New York’s Carnegie Hall to London’s Southbank Centre – and as part of the Mithras Piano Trio, has been selected as BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists for 2021-23. Accompanied by Wigmore Hall International Song Competition award winner Pandya, this should be a Saturday afternoon well spent. 21 January, St Mary & Eanswythe Priory Church

@sainteanswythe

CLAIRE

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SUBVERSIVE STREET SIGNS

Over the last year, eagle-eyed Folkestonians will have clocked a few curious-looking signs around town. On closer inspection, these “public notices” reveal themselves to be the subversive, thoughtprovoking and witty works of an artist who goes by the name Asher Maze. We reached out to Asher to find out more, but they told us they would prefer – for the time being – to remain anonymous. However, they were prepared to answer our questions by email. This is what they shared with the Foghorn:

“We had family trips to Folkestone when I was growing up, to visit cousins, but I’ve only been living down here full time since 2021. It’s definitely inspiring me creatively and I’m certainly a Folkestone artist these days.

“My April Fool’s Day viaduct signs [along the Foord Rd, with the giraffes] were up for months and one is still there. Like

other signs I alter, these signs had been damaged and sprayed with tags when I found them. I still don’t know what they were for as they were blank. The changes I made didn’t compromise or damage the signs, so I guess that’s why one is still going. I’d love to think the council workers found them amusing. Anything you do in a public place is very vulnerable. I’ve done work that I haven’t posted about because it didn’t last long enough.

“The Fishing Museum is a wonderful place, and I had this surreal, floating bowler hat idea based on the photos of old fisherman, like Alf Poole, who wore them. Maybe one blew off once, and now it’s flown back home. That sign links with ‘Sign of the Times’ around the corner. The quotation about the museum is genuinely from Creative Folkestone – I did my research.

“Folkestone is a very inspiring place, even people who don’t know much

about modern art are very open-minded. I think because of the great work that Creative Folkestone has been doing Folkestonians have seen how art can lift the town in tough times and can bring visitors from all over Europe with festivals like the Triennial. It’s a pity that one is only held every three years. It should be annual! My only reservation is that future art commissions should consider more local artists. Us artists down here could do with support and

opportunities too.

“In terms of the future, I‘m vexing lots of new ideas and more street art is coming – until the money runs out again. For the new art works in Folkestone I will just say, look out for rainbows, Mr Nobody, and something at the Folkestone sign on Harbour Arm in time for Halloween.

ashermaze.com @asher.maze

folkestone foghorn 33ART
Who is Asher Maze and what are they up to with their art sign project around town?

shows to go to

shows

FOLKESTONE ART GALLERY

69 The Old High Street Folkestoneart.com @fstoneart

Artist Open Call 28 October to 24 December

Head along to the town’s largest commercial gallery to check out this show made up of diverse artworks and other creative pieces all priced under £600 – perfect for Christmas gifts.

FOURTH WALL FOLKESTONE

48 The Old High Street fourthwallfolkestone.co.uk @FourthWallFolkestone

Open studio, non-traditional gallery and retail space run by Sarah Carpenter; keep an eye on her social media for upcoming talks, workshops and events connecting like-minded humans. Carpenter also runs Collage Club, a social event at the Beer Shop, 32 Rendezvous Street, held on the third Wednesday of the month.

Social Mapping: Wellbeing in Folkestone 20 to 29 October

Using collage as a research tool, you are invited to cocreate a map of the local area highlighting places that you feel are important for your wellbeing.

Walking with Ghosts 11 to 14 November

In conjunction with the live art commission by The Imperial War Museum and Gateways Partnership at The Harbour Arm, Fourth Wall Folkestone will be offering a curated program of workshops led by the artists Elspeth Penfold, supported by Sarah Carpenter and the local community.

Elspeth-Billie-Penfold.com

@elspeth_billie_penfold

Design and Art fair 24 November to 24 December

A carefully curated collection of beautiful and useful items with the perfect balance between form and function.

Focusing on mental well-being and creativity, we bring you things to designed to sooth, distract and bring joy. All items will be designed and made by creatives who live, work or have a strong connection with Folkestone.

THE STABLES 35-37 Tontine Street @the_stables_artgallery

Shows in their front window gallery change every couple of weeks.

BREWERY TAP 53 Tontine St

@thebrewerytapfolkestone

Origins Untold: Black History Month Exhibitions & Events 17 to 23 October

Ben Taylor, UCA Student Show 28 to 30 October

BA Fine Art, Exhibitions 1 to 20 November

Metamorphosis: a show including Vanessa Clark, Giles Mountain & Katrina Albrecht 22 to 27 November

Mum and Dad Records

December

to

Folkestone Pride, Exhibition

to

Auction

CONTEMPORARY SPACE

69 Tontine St contemporaryspace.uk

Terry Smith hosts occasional discussions, exhibitions and performances at his studio. Look out for his monthly Butterfly shows.

TOUCHBASE GALLERY

15 Tontine Street touchbasecare.org/ touchbase-gallery @touchbasegallery

Always something interesting showing at this gallery space run the arts charity.

folkestone foghorn34 ART
Check out the season’s
at these local galleries Indefinite Articles: The Magic Lamp Thu 15 - Fri 23 Dec, various times Book now at CreativeFolkestone.org.uk A very special show for Christmas 2022 by internationally acclaimed puppet and object theatre company Indefinite Articles for everyone age 5 to 105! £6 / £5 Child Children & Family
1
4
& Charity
8
11 December
Vanessa Clark
thegulbenkian.co.uk Michael Gira (SWANS) & Kristof Hahn When: Mon 21 Nov, 8pm Venue: Colyer-Fergusson Hall Tickets: £23 (£15 Student) Ramsgate Music Hall & Gulbenkian Arts Centre present thegulbenkian.co.uk Joanna MacGregor When: Fri 18 Nov, 7.30pm Venue: Colyer-Fergusson Hall Tickets: £25 (£15 Student) Image © Pal Hansen The Brighton Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble with thegulbenkian.co.uk Shirley Collins and the Lodestar Band When: Sat 12 Nov, 7.30pm Venue: Colyer-Fergusson Hall Tickets: £25 (£15 Student) thegulbenkian.co.uk An Evening with Cowboy Junkies When: Fri 25 Nov, 8pm Venue: Colyer-Fergusson Hall Tickets: £28 (£15 Student)

Knitted sweater vest, £18 Courting Lily Vintage, Facebook – CourtingLily

This beautiful vintage shop is so full of handselected treasures it’s hard to leave empty handed! There’s lots to choose from spanning over the decades and the selection of knitwear is perfect for the Christmas season. Expect to find some items with a unique story behind them!

Christmas hamper, £41.20

winter wishlist

County Fayre, Facebook – CountyFayre

It wouldn’t feel like Christmas without selecting a hamper for a loved one. County Fayre offer custom hampers containing locally sourced products from Kent. Personally select goodies from the shop to create your own (24 hours notice is needed to make this up) or select from the readily available hampers.

Another side of John Coltrane, £33 Vintage and Vinyl, Facebook – Vintage and Vinyl Vintage and Vinyl is under new ownership, with Steve managing the shop and his wife Laurie helping behind the scenes with admin support. Steve is a huge music and vinyl lover with an eclectic taste. Pop in to chat all things music and peruse the selection of records and new releases. I selected John Coltrane’s modal bop to get ready for dinner party season.

He’s Gone, Ethan Sheppard, £120

The Nook, Tontine Street, @_sheppardstudio_

Ethan Sheppard is a Folkestone-based artist and researcher of queer theories and ideologies. Their work explores themes of identity, values and value judgements. Prints and acrylic paintings are available at the Nook, Tontine Street. He’s Gone is a mesmerising piece with vivid colours and emotion. Prints are £7.50, other works range from £25-£10.

Flamingo chest, £55, Plant and vase, £30

Grace Interiors Folkestone

@graceinteriorsfolkestone, The Fern House

@thefernhouse_plantshop

The Fern House has recently joined forces with Grace Interiors, with a residency in the beautiful store. The selection of plants and pots complement the bespoke upcycled furniture designed by Grace. The flamingo chest pictured is made in découpage and l love the pink and green together.

Leto, framed, limited-edition print by Molly Jones, £200

Folkestone Art Gallery, @fstoneart Folkestone Art Gallery showcases local artists’ work. Molly Jones, founder of MOJO Studios, is an artist and illustrator based in Folkestone. She uses symbolic shapes and strong lines throughout her work, with current pieces exploring her journey through motherhood, intertwined with narratives of folklore and mythology.

Needlepoint: A Modern Stitch Directory: Over 100 creative stitches and techniques for tapestry embroidery, £17.99

Miss Gingers and The Makers Marks, @themakersmark

Beautiful craft book by another local creative, Emma Homent, owner of the Makers Marks. The book explores traditional craft in a fresh and contemporary way, with a desirable modern aesthetic for a new generation of needlepointers.

Dried flowers, £3 per bunch of 4 for £10 Genesis, Sandgate Road, genesisfolkestone.com

This charming shop has a lovely selection of dried flowers, colourful vintage vases and trinkets that are great options for Christmas. Genesis is owned by Rose and she can help you select a dried bouquet or you can choose your own to accompany a vase. Genesis will be closed during October in preparation for the November opening with a bigger selection of Christmas gifts and handmade Christmas cards.

A Different Perspective, The Nature of Being, Sophie Wyllie and Scott Wyllie, £10 Available at Foras, @sophiewyllieart

Folkestone-based artist Sophie Wyllie has collaborated with her music producer partner, Scott Wyllie on an inspirational journal exploring how to nurture creativity and create from an inspired point of view. The aspirational poetry takes you on a journey of self-discovery to reaffirm creative possibilities. You can also purchase Sophie’s artwork online.

folkestone foghorn36
SHOPPING SCENE

In memory of Craig

C

raig was a keen photographer. Having contacted me in 2020 via my Facebook page, we arranged to meet for a walk from the Warren to Samphire Hoe and back, taking photos and talking about our experiences. From that point on, we were there for each other – he would send me messages of support and I helped him in selecting photographs for his new business venture.

My photography was a way of creating. I had not done any drawing and painting for many years and had lost my confidence. But the positive response I received from posting my photographs on Facebook improved this and brought me pleasure.

When I was asked if my photographs were for sale, Craig said that he would show me how to add my signature to them. On the 16 July 2021, when we were due to meet, he messaged to say he was running late because he felt unwell. Still, we met for a coffee on the Old High Street and he showed me how to add a signature. We then hugged and said goodbye.

That was the last time I was to see Craig. Two days later he messaged to say that he was in an isolation room at the hospital, suffering from Covid-19.

I messaged Craig every day to cheer him up. His health deteriorated and he soon required an oxygen machine to help him breathe. On 1 August I received a message from him about a photograph that I had taken the day before of the Folkestone Mermaid being hit by a wave. The mist surrounded her, giving the impression that she was dancing.

“You got a signature on your photo!!! Superb stuff!!! Bloody superb photo too!!xx” wrote Craig.

I replied, “All down to you helping me!xx.”

Craig replied, “Naaaaaaa…all down to you being amazing!!!x.”

He was selfless to the last.

On 7 August, Craig messaged that he was going to be sedated, but that he would see me in a couple of weeks. I replied, “Sending all my strength, you were there when I needed someone to talk to and I am holding your hand now.”

On 29 August 2021, the machine keeping Craig alive was turned off. He was 51. I was devastated by his loss.

I continue taking photographs with him in mind. He would never have wanted me to give up. He did his best to help me build up my self-worth and wanted me to succeed, which is what inspired me to create this art piece.

Craig will always have a place in my heart, he was a beautiful soul and, like me, he is now a free spirit.

folkestone foghorn38 ESSAY
Dancing In The Mist Of A Wave was created in memory of Georgina Baker’s friend Craig Dorrell, who was there for her at a difficult time in her life
THE TOWER THEATRETH E TOW ER THEATRE For full details of all our forthcoming shows and to book ticke ts, please visit www.towertheatrefolkestone.co.uk or call the box office on 01303 223925 The Tower Theatre, North Road, Shorncliffe, Folkestone CT20 3HL Registered Charity 1180504 FOLKESTONE THE FOLKESTONE-HYTHE OPERATIC & DRAMATIC SOCIETY CIC Starring MIKE NOLAN from The Fizz Cinderella THE FAIRY GODMOTHER OF ALL PANTOMIMES 16 - 29 December Tickets from £ 10.50 THE NEW FOXTROT SERENADERS STRICTLY GERSHWIN A celebration of the best loved melodies of George and Ira Gershwin present Saturday 19 November 7.30pm Saturday 26 November 8pm Comedy Mash presents.. Felicity Ward Saturday 25 February 7.30pm Saturday 25 March 7.30pm THE FOLKESTONE-HYTHE OPERATIC & DRAMATIC SOCIETY CIC 27-29 OCTOBER 7.30pm
Multidisciplinary Architecture, Design and Fabrication | StudioS3.co.uk | S3_Folkestone
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