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It took just twenty seconds Picture: Carol Clarke

The Daily Telegraph reported ‘Dozens of people turned out to watch the collapse of three cooling towers and chimney, which have been a fixture of the east Kent skyline for the last 50 years.’ Which shows they weren’t there! More like ten thousand people watched the quickest show for years. Having stood for over fifty years, the towers were gone in twenty seconds. At 9.03 am on Sunday 14th March they were there. At 9..03 20 secs they weren’t. With remarkable efficiency, a local Ramsgate firm, Downfast Demolition demolished the three towers and the chimney on time with the road closed for only thirty minutes either side of the blasting. Picture: Mandy Quy-Verlander

£750m green energy park planned for site The new operators are Richborough A Ltd and development managers BFL Management Ltd, who aim to bring the site back into use as a £750 million green energy park. Up to 100 full-time jobs will be created by the proposed park, which will be able to generate power to more than one million homes when fully operational. Gary Lever, development director for BFL Management Ltd said: “The demolition of the cooling towers and chimney represents an important landmark in this project which will allow the site to be brought back into productive use for the first time in nearly 15 years.”BFL Management Ltd is very excited to be developing a master plan that will see this major Brownfield site brought back into use as a green energy park.”Our plans will combine the best in waste processing, recycling and green energy production technology.” Up to £750million will be invested in the project and we hope that once operational the site could provide between 60 and 100 full-time jobs with an additional 500 jobs during the construction phase.”When fully operational, the park could provide up to 1,400MW of power, including the output from the National Grid interconnector and Thanet Offshore wind farm, which is sufficient to power over one million homes.”

Manston for Brunswick Road dangers sale highlighted In a surprise to local people, especially with the consultation on extra hours of business being debated, Manston’s New Zealand owners Infratil have announced plans to sell Manston Airport and Glasgow’s Prestwick Airport. John Grant, the vice president of Official Airline Guide, said he thought Manston would “struggle for a very long time” unless the infrastructure surrounding the airport and transport links were improved. Business in the meantime continues. Sir Roger Gale MP has been reported saying that there are several enterprises interested in Manston. Recently, Manston Airport received permission to operate as a fully licensed Equine Border Inspection Post for the importation of horses into the EU from non EU states. It can accommodate up to 10 horses at any one time. The airport hopes to play a key role in transporting horses for equestrian events at the Olympic Games, and has offered its services to officials. Charlie Buchanan, chief executive at Manston, said it’s an exciting time. He added: “There are equine events in the Olympics and so we have this open in time to satisfy some of that need.”The investment is further evidence of our determination to make the airport a commercial success.” Allan McQuarrie, group manager for freight development at Manston said: “We have offered the facility to the Olympic Committee as we believe Manston ticks all the boxes with no slot restrictions and no congestion in the air or on the ground.”Manston Airport is working together with locally based Quex Park Livery to ensure that experienced staff assist with the horses.

We’ve all had that anxious moment driving to Birchington and you get past Quex to find a car or bus shooting out of Brunswick Road This is a notorious blind spot which most local people approach carefully, but if you are not from the area, you may not be expecting the exiting traffic on a blind corner. A BLIND corner could cost a life, say Birchington villagers as they launch a call for action. Neighbours living in Brunswick Road believe it is only a matter of time before someone is killed at the junction between their street and Park Lane. The dilemma is the same as for the traffic volumes in Acol. Statistics show no-one has been killed at the locations, so the conclusion seems to be that someone in Acol or Brunswick Road has to die before Kent Traffic do something about the problems. The issue was raised at a meeting of Birchington Parish Council on Monday by Brian Young, who has lived in the area

for more than 40 years. He said: “Every time I drive round that corner I take my life in my own hands. People coming from the Acol direction cannot see the junction and someone could be killed. I almost lost my life on two occasions.” Mr. Young added that though only one accident had been recorded at the corner in the last three years, minor accidents and near-misses have been frequent. Parish councillor Bill Furness said the issue of the junction, which has been raised several times with Kent County Council (KCC) over the years, should be highlighted again. “The county council has failed to take any action. Local people are very upset with the danger this corner presents and want something done about it. Birchington district councillor John Worrow is also backing the campaign to raise awareness about the corner, which sits on a 30mph stretch of road.” The corner has never been regarded as a high priority by the county council largely because of the absence of accidents statistics.

Who was the ‘Grey Lady of Cleve Court? purchased ‘a lovely house in Acol, near Minster-in-Thanet’. This was Cleve Court, which stood on King William’s Mount and was a building whose original and additions spanned Tudor, Elizabethan and Georgian times. Soon

were exiled, for Josias could hardly indulge himself with his family nearby. Eventually, his incarcerated wife fell into a deep depression and died. There were some ghostly occurrences - high heels tapping their way along the corridors at night, and drawers opening and shutting

after they moved in, an elderly neighbour revealed to Lady Carson that there had been some frightening incidents in the house. Naturally, Lady Carson wanted to know what she meant. ’A tyrant had locked up his wife so he could be free to enjoy himself, drinking and consorting with loose women. (at the Crown?) This man, Josiah Fuller Farrer, had inherited Cleve Court in 1762 while still extremely young and irresponsible. Along with it came a sum of £100,000. ( Which would be a staggering £143,000,000 today). Naturally, this was distressing for his wife, who had wanted nothing more than to care for a loving husband and a child. In reality, she and her son

of their own accord. One day five-year-old Edward, whose bedroom was in the Elizabethan part of the building, told his mother he didn’t like the lady who walked about outside his door at night. When Lady Carson questioned her son, he said he didn’t know what she looked like, because she always walked away from him. Then Edward’s cousin, Patricia, spent some time at the house and slept in one of the Elizabethan bedrooms. She, too, told her Aunt about the lady, who she said stoops by her bed, but never spoke. Then, Patricia pointed and said the lady was over in the corner and asked her Aunt if she could see her. Lady

In 1920, Sir Edward Carson

Carson could see nothing. Then, another young family member called Diana also reported seeing the lady. It is believed the ghost was of poor Mrs Fuller Farrer, who longed for family life and adored her own little son, and who died young in a house now full of children. So, whenever little ones stayed in the house, the mysterious Grey Lady appeared, standing by their beds. In 1949, the young wife of young Edward reported hearing the Grey Lady’s footsteps late one night when every else was in bed. As for Lady Carson, she didn’t see the Grey Lady till the latter part of 1949, when the ghost appeared to her. After letting the dog out to relieve itself, Lady Carson started to climb the stairs, then halted, alarmed. The Grey Lady, wearing her long, oldfashioned dress, her grey cape and a white ribbon in her hair, was descending the staircase towards them, but then she turned sideways into another part of the house. She left behind an icy chill that made Lady Carson shiver. By now Lady Carson really was scared, and she decided to tell her story to the newspapers, This account evoked a letter from a woman who had been a maid at the house some years previously when she was just fifteen, and she too claimed to have seen the Grey Lady, who’d waved at her as if to say ‘Get on with your work.’ As for the family, they grew accustomed to the ghost, who never did anyone any harm. There were still reports of her ghostly presence in the 1960s

Major Quex changes Acol Open Gardens 2012 If you are a keen gardener and would like to open your garden up to the public then why not take part in this year’s Acol Open Gardens weekend which is being organised by the Acol Horticultural Society on the 9th and 10th of June in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Birchington branch. To book your garden in or for more information, ring Norman Chidwick on 846364 or Bob Lawrence on 845546. Many of the gardens will have stalls selling books and bijoux objets d’art! Bob and Neil Lawrence will have a full display of their vintage gardening tools including some very rare mowers. Car Parking for the weekend will be at the Recreation Ground and visitors will be able to buy an admission ticket for entry to the gardens with the proceeds going to the RNLI. In April, Acol Horticultural Society will be having their 35th Spring Show in the village hall on the 7th with doors open at 2-30pm. If you would like to take part, there are sections for Daffodils, Pot plants, Home economics, Handicrafts, Photos, Floral art and Children’s classes. All the classes are open to members and non-members, If you would like to take part give Neil a phone call on 845546.

A staff reshuffle at the PowellCotton museum at Quex Park aims to increase visitor numbers. Investments have failed to cover the gap between income generated by visitors and operating costs. It has, according to Barry Humphreys, secretary to the board, left the museum with “recurring annual losses”. He described the situation as one that “cannot be sustained indefinitely”. A restructured museum team will be headed by a newly-created role of business director, expected to be in post by the summer, as mentioned in February’s Acol Newsletter. Former Curator Malcolm Harman and assistant curator Angela Gill have left, although Ms Gill is heading up a new project as a consultant. If plans are successful the PowellCotton museum will hopefully increase its visitor figures from its current 19,000 to 80,000, with people drawn from across the south of England not just Thanet and east Kent. Anthony Curwen, managing director of Quex Estates, said the plan is to offer more than the

average two-hour museum visit with what he says is “a whole day Quex experience” to be marketed by the new commercial arm. The museum conserves and displays the collections of the Powell-Cotton family brought together by Major Percival Horace Gordon PowellCotton in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mr Curwen believes the museum is a hidden gem among the nation’s treasures. He says it would not be out of place in a capital city because of “the exceptional” scientific nature of the animal specimens. “In certain areas we are on a par with the Natural History museum and some artefacts are better than those in the British Museum. But looking after that costs an awful lot of money. “There isn’t a museum in the country that is not dependent on government grants or bequests. “Anyone who has shares has seen the dividends decrease dramatically and it is hurting the museum. Coupled with this we have a building that is 100 years old and modern regulations take more staff. “All that adds up to about

£400,000 a year just to keep going. “The Powell-Cotton museum will not be allowed to fail.”

A plague on the village!

The Bubonic Plague of 1348 devastated England and hit Acol badly. So bad in fact that the villagers decided to burn down their houses to get rid of the

plague and relocate. The village was originally in the area at the top of Margate Hill, known now as Sparrow Castle Farm. It wiped out the majority of the residents, the young, the elderly and the poor were particularly vulnerable, It was an unusually sensible decision taken by the few survivors to burn down the village and re establish it a mile away to its present location. It is believed that the new village was given the name of Millbrough, then Ville in the Oaks and ultimately back to Acol.

Published by David Redfern, 2 Grosvenor Cottages, Acol CT7 0HX. 01843 845 363

Acol Newsletter  

Local news for the village of Acol in Kent

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