The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons, Sandgate

Sandgate Parish Council has announced plans to light their Esplanade Beacon for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on the evening of Thursday, June 2, 2022.

Jubilee Beacons

The Beacon is one of thousands being lit in the UK and the Commonwealth, and forms part of the official programme announced by Buckingham Palace for the Jubilee Weekend.

The Beacon will be lit at Sandgate Esplanade, and it will be one of over 2,022 lit by charities, communities and faith groups all over the UK.

In addition, beacons will be lit in all 54 Commonwealth capitals and the Principal Beacon lighting will take place in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday evening. This will take the form of a lighting installation with The Queen’s Green Canopy ’Tree of Trees’ sculpture and projections onto the front of Buckingham Palace. This innovative new way of taking part in the beacon lighting will reflect the Royal Family’s long history championing environmental causes.

Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Pageantmaster of The Queen’s Jubilee Platinum Beacons said:

“Building on a long tradition of lighting beacons to mark significant royal celebrations, thousands of beacons will be lit across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. They will enable local communities to join together to pay tribute to Her Majesty as part of the official programme of events.

“For the first time, town criers, pipers, buglers and choirs from the UK and the Commonwealth will come together to join in the celebrations in their own individual and special way. It is wonderful to see the range of support for beacon lighting, which will highlight both the diversity and unity of the nation and the Commonwealth. The Queen has lit up our lives for 70 years through her dedicated service and commitment. We would like to light up the nation and the Commonwealth in her honour.”

Tim Prater, Chairman of Sandgate Parish Council, said:

“We are proud to be part of this momentous celebration on the occasion of The Queen’s 70th year and Platinum Jubilee.

“Our ceremony on 2nd June will be by the Sir John Moore Memorial, on Sandgate Esplanade. All are welcome to attend.

“At 9.35 John Ditton will play Diu Regnare, a unique tune specially written for the occasion by Piper Major, Stuart Liddell, the world’s leading piper.

“And at 9.40 Adam Sellors will officially announce the lighting of the beacons with a specially written bugle call, entitled “Majesty”.

“Finally, at 9.45, we will light the Sandgate beacon. Nationwide thousands of beacons will be lit by communities, charities and different groups throughout the regions of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.

“There will then be events across the area through the rest of the weekend, including an afternoon party in the Golden Valley in front of the Golden Arrow from noon-5pm on Friday 3rd June.

“Finally, there will be a street and beach party along Granville Parade from 2-5pm on Sunday 5th June. Nothing complicated, just bring along friends and family and something to eat and drink, and we’ll celebrate the country’s first Platinum Jubilee together.”

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons and Associated Activities have been conceived and organised by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek and his dedicated team.

For more information please contact Gaye Thomas on or call 01303 248563.

Posted by Tim Prater in News
Sandgate’s Newest Feature: The Imperial Cannon

Sandgate’s Newest Feature: The Imperial Cannon

This afternoon, Sandgate Parish Council were delighted to welcome Sandgate’s newest feature, the Imperial Cannon, to its new permanent home by the Sir John Moore Memorial.

The “Imperial” cannon is a 1790 / 1800 cannon that has for many years been resident at the Hythe Imperial.

Little is known about the history of this particular cannon. However, due to the position of the cannon and size, it may have been part of Fort Twiss rather than on a Martello Tower. Martello Tower cannons were set on platforms rather than a carriage and larger in size (24 or 32 pounders).

The cannon is likely to have been made around 1790: the markings are difficult to decipher. There is no coats of arms, arrow or other marking apart from on the trunnion and base ring.

The cannon is constructed of iron and oak. The barrel / muzzle, wheels and axles are constructed of iron and the carriage / base, of oak.

Sandgate Parish Council Chairman Tim Prater said:

“The Imperial cannon would have been exactly the sort of cannon used by Sir John Moore as he martialled the defence of the coast from Dover to Dungeness against Napoleon’s armies from 1803 onwards.

It therefore feels fitting to place the cannon, kindly donated by the Hythe Imperial, to sit alongside the Sir John Moore Memorial on Sandgate Esplanade. It will remain on permanent, public display: please do go and have a look.

“In deference to its past, we’ve positioned it between Sir John’s Memorial and the sea. It also points at France as it would always have done!

“We’re delighted that the cannon is in place before the lighting of the nearby beacon for the Jubilee on 2nd June. Huge thanks to the Hythe Imperial for their donation of the cannon. Thanks also to Harmers and Sons for moving it for us: no easy task.”

The Sir John Moore Memorial was erected in 1909 marking the centenary of his death. There is now an annual commemoration of his life held at the memorial each January led by the Shorncliffe Trust.

Posted by Tim Prater in News
Kent Connect to Support

Kent Connect to Support

The new Kent Connect to Support website will help people find accessible, easy to navigate, interactive information and advice on care and support, for them, a relative or a friend.  It can help people to look after themselves, stay independent and connect with their local community. 

The website contains useful information to help people find out:

  • what sort of support they may need and what’s available near them;
  • whether they are eligible for funding to help pay for adult social care;
  • what happens when they, a friend, or relative leaves hospital;
  • how to buy equipment to help around the home;
  • what type of support care homes can offer.

It also contains a simple information finder tool if someone is unsure where to look for information and advice regarding care and support.

Visit Kent Connect to Support here

Visit the information finder tool here

Posted by Tim Prater in News
Sandgate Parish Meeting 2022: Chairman’s Overview

Sandgate Parish Meeting 2022: Chairman’s Overview

Firstly, many thanks for coming to our first “in person” Parish Meeting since, unbelievably, 2019. For those that I haven’t met in person before, I’m Tim Prater, and I’ve had the honour of being the Chair of Sandgate Parish Council since May 2020. This is therefore my first Town Meeting in the Chair: please be gentle with me.

So much as happened since then its impossible in a few minutes to cover everything that has happened within the Parish, even at the speed I talk. I’d like to focus therefore on news and events from the last year, celebrating some of those achievements, and a look forward at some of the things that are planned for the coming year. Even so, this will take a while!

Sandgate Beach Seaside Award

As you will know, Sandgate beach has had the distinction of holding the Seaside Award for the quality of the beach and services available for 8 consecutive years from 2013 to 2021 – an unbroken run of 8 years. The awards for 2022 were announced last week, and as they say, all good things must come to an end.

However, I’m delighted to say, not that run, not in Sandgate, and not this year. We’re received the award for the ninth year running.

That’s thanks to the efforts of the Beach Management Committee led by Councillor Nabin Siwa who make the application, and the hard work of all those that clean, improve and make our beach a great place to be, including David and Claire at the Boat House. In 2022, this award is one of only 128 nationally, and only 21 in the South East Region. It’s a real achievement, and not one held by either Folkestone or Hythe for example, and a huge credit to Sunny Sandgate.

To ensure we keep making sure the seafront is the best possible place to be, the Parish will be having the Boathouse on Granville Parade redecorated externally over the course of the next few months, and the toilets steam cleaned within an inch of their lives. We’re proud to have brought free public toilets back to Sandgate some years ago after the District tried charging, and know they are a massively appreciated asset for beach users and visitors alike.

Library Refurbishment and KALC Award

Another big project over the coming year will be refurbishment in this library which will aim to make getting in and out easier, make the toilet public and accessible to all, improve storage and space use, and allow us to offer an even better service to an even larger group of people. The works now planned have been made possible through a District Council High Street Fund Award of almost £15,000, and Section 106 funding from the development at Shorncliffe. There will therefore be a variety of works starting soon, which although I’m sure will cause some short term disruption will lead us to having a library we are even more proud of for the future.

On the subject of our pride in the library, this remains the only community led library in Kent. Sandgate Parish actively take the lead on running and staffing the library working in agreement with Kent County Council. I couldn’t be more proud of the service they have delivered to our village and residents through not only normal times, but especially during the Covid period when Sandgate was one of the first libraries to reopen in Kent and were trying to offer whatever service we could under regulations at the time, from collection only services to deliveries and more. But its not just me that is hugely proud and grateful to our clerks, staff, volunteers and Library Committee that made, and continue to make this happen. I’m proud to present the 2022 KALC Community Award to Sandgate’s Library Volunteers, Staff and Committee.

Thank you to everyone, and this certificate will be proudly, and rightly on display in the library soon.


In early June, the country will be celebrating the Jubilee and Sandgate will be playing our part. I should also mention that there are a host of activities including parties on The Leas in both Folkestone and Hythe too, and maybe a few street parties locally I don’t have details of.

Our starting event in Sandgate will be the lighting of the Sandgate Beacon by the Sir John Moore Memorial at 9.45pm on Thursday June 2nd. We have a piper and bugle player beforehand, and, if my secret plan comes off, some special guests.

The beacon has been painted and ready to go, there are new information panels in the area courtesy of the Sandgate Society, with help from me in artworking and arranging production, and from the Shorncliffe Trust in fact checking the information. And in the next couple of weeks we will be enhancing that area with a new permanent feature: the “Imperial” cannon. That’s a 1790 / 1800 cannon that has for many years been resident at the Hythe Imperial, and would have been EXACTLY the sort of cannon used by Sir John Moore as he martialled the defence of the coast from Dover to Dungeness. We thought that was a fitting addition to the area, and will be in place for the 2nd June, transport willing!

On the afternoon Friday 3rd there will be a party in the Golden Valley car park in front of the Golden Arrow, with plenty of families to enjoy.

Queen’s Green Canopy

A key focus of the Jubilee celebrations nationally has been the planting of the Queens Green Canopy – a huge tree planting exercise across the country. The Parish Council have been delighted to work with the Sandgate Community Garden team led by Leonie Wootton, and have plated two new orchards in Sandgate over the last few months; 12 fruit trees in both Sandgate Park and Fremantle Park. We’ll be dedicating those areas as formal “Green Canopy” orchards over the weekend by erecting plaques marking them as official sites.

Granville Parade Beach Party

And in the afternoon of Sunday 5th June there will be a street and beach party along Granville Parade, with the Sandgate society organising some tables and seating along the front for those that want it, but all more than welcome to come along, join us there or on the beach, have a beach picnic or maybe a drink or two from our great local businesses and enjoy the music from the Rowing Club balcony.

For safety reasons, we’ve applied for a road closure of Granville Parade for the afternoon: with lots of people moving around it seems much the safest way. However there is free parking from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th by the Saga building, for which we thank them, and any resident is more than welcome to park there, all day, for free. Leaflets will be through doors soon to confirm the details to residents.

We hope everyone has a great day, and one we’ll remember for years to come.

St Paul’s Church

This year also marks an important event for Sandgate. The first “Sandgate Chapel” was built by the Earl of Darnley and consecrated on May 28th, 1822. Although that building was demolished in 1848 to make way for the present church which was completed in 1849, we are therefore days away from marking 200 years of a place of worship on that site. St Paul’s have a varied programme to celebrate, including the beautiful knitted “wall of flowers” in place at the foot of the steps leading to the Church now, to an evening with Terry Waite on 9th June, to the 200th anniversary service at the church on Sunday 12th June.

Sandgate Sea and Food Festival 2022

And later this year, again for the first time since 2019 we will see the return of the 2 day Sandgate Sea and Food Festival, with a fireworks display from Granville Parade on Saturday 27th August, and the full seafront market, bands and entertainment during the day on Sunday 28th August. Watch this space for more information.

Sandgate Park Vandalism

On a few non-event subjects, over the last few years we’ve tried each summer to enhance the facilities at Sandgate Park by adding portaloo toilets for the use of park users during the summer. Sadly, in both 2020 and again this year the toilets have been vandalised. This year one of the toilets has been attacked, then repaired, then attacked again and broken so badly it is irreparable, causing what is effectively thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Oddly the group of people that did this didn’t notice that we had positioned the toilets under the CCTV installed there. We have recovered really good footage of the incidents, including identifiable images of those involved, which the Police will be using in their investigation of the criminal damage. We’re pleased the other toilet is still on site, and if left alone, will remain there and be serviced throughout the summer. We cannot, however, afford to replace the vandalised one this year.


Gaye and myself have both in the last year gained the Introduction to Local Council Administration (ILCA) qualification. This is often a first step to going on getting the much more involved Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) qualification. Gaye aiming to achieve CiLCA with the Council’s support in the next year.

Qualification with CiLCA will make Gaye not just one of the most qualified librarians in the country, but give her that status as a Parish Clerk too, and give this Council the General Power of Competence. Despite sounding like the world’s worst superpower, that gives the Parish some additional freedoms to work to improve the Parish as we see fit.

On infrastructure changes

We hope you’ve noticed the new ramp from Castle Road Car Park giving step free access to the seafront, a project we’ve been asked for and sought for years, and which we were finally able to make possible using District Council Ward grant funding from Gary Fuller and myself and the long sought help of the District Council. Similarly, a new cycle ramp should be coming soon by the steps leading from Pelham Gardens to Coolinge Lane, making it much easier to push a bike either up or down!

The Wave Wall in front of Riviera Court is complete, and really lifts the look of the centre of the village. That’s a project initiated by a bid from the Sandgate Society, funded by a District Council grant, and made to happen through support from the Parish Council: a real team effort. And even over the last two days, Kent Highways have spent some hours relevelling the slabs around the war memorial to make for a rather smoother walking surface.

This spring’s beach works are also pretty much complete. This is vital work every 6 months to protect Sandgate by reprofiling the beach to create a shape that breaks waves before they arrive at the sea wall, rather than on the sea wall. The scheme is funded by the Environment Agency, managed and made to happen by the District Council, and designed to secure the beach and keep us dry.

Thank You

Finally, Sandgate is what it is due to the groups and volunteers that give so much to our community. In no particular order, I want to acknowledge and thank all those who do so, including:

…and recently those who are offering much needed support for our Ukrainian guests who have arrived, and are continuing to arrive, and need help, support and somewhere to meet.

That’s it, I promise. After this meeting and the subsequent Annual Parish Council meeting there will be a little reception for all present: please join us for a glass of wine and a few snacks.

Now I’ll hand over to Sal Kenward of the Sandgate Society who is going to update on the plan for the merger of the Sandgate Society and Sandgate Heritage Trust. Tthere will be an opportunity for any resident to ask a question on anything I’ve said, anything Sal says, or any other topic.

Thank you for coming this evening.

Posted by Tim Prater in News
St Paul’s Church: Coffee, Cake and Entertainment

St Paul’s Church: Coffee, Cake and Entertainment

In June St Paul’s Church Sandgate have two servings of a very entertaining programme both falling within the period of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the two hundredth anniversary of our Church.

The first is on Saturday 3rd June in St Paul’s Church between 10am and 12 noon with their four organists Richard Baulch, John Wright, John Hurd and Duncan Lord playing music on both piano and organ.

On Saturday 11th June at the same time we will be entertained by John Hurd playing the piano with Soprano Tammy File and Richard Baulch on the piano playing music from the shows.

The next performance will be held on Saturday 25th June with performers and programme TBA.

Posted by Tim Prater in News
Words and Music, a performance by Terry Waite CBE

Words and Music, a performance by Terry Waite CBE

“Words and Music”, a perfomance by Terry Waite CBE, will be presented on Thursday 9th June in St Paul’s Church Sandgate commencing at 7pm and forming part of the Church’s 200th anniversary celebrations.

Terry Waite will read selected passages from his book: Out of the Silence. The reading will be interspersed with music played and sung by the accomplished musician Vicky Yannoula. The words and music blend together to provide an unforgettable reflective evening.

“Good language, like good music, has the capacity to breathe harmony into the soul. In a world torn apart by conflict it is hoped that those attending will experience something of that harmony”. Terry Waite.

The event will finish at 9pm, with an interval.

This is a ticketed event. Tickets cost £15 and will be available at all Sunday morning St. Paul’s services and at the Benefice service at St. Paul’s Church on Sunday 29th May. Tickets will also be available to purchase online. The details can be found on the Trinity Benefice website, on the St. Paul’s Church page at

Posted by Tim Prater in News

St Paul’s Church Wall of Flowers

Since January, members of the congregation and Sandgate community have been knitting and crocheting flowers for an eye-catching display that will help promote the 200th anniversary of St Paul’s Church, celebrated with a week of events beginning on Sunday 5th June. 

The display is located on the wall beside the steps leading up to the church where so many have made the walk to services and other events before the road leading up to Saga was developed.

This colourful arrangement of over 1,000 flowers was unveiled on Sunday 1st May and has already caught the eye of many passers-by. Do pop down and take a look. We would like to thank everyone who has been involved. It really is a project by the community for the community.

For more information about any of the above events please contact Carrie Thomas, Deputy Churchwarden at:

St Paul’s Church Facebook page:

St Paul’s page on the Trinity Benefice, Folkestone website:

About St Paul’s Church, Sandgate

The first “Sandgate Episcopal Chapel” was built by the Earl of Darnley at his own expense on a plot of land from the adjoining parkland estate of Enbrook which he had purchased. It was consecrated on May 28th, 1822 and was a square building in Georgian Classical style with a cupola. It may be seen on prints of Sandgate made a few years later.

The small village of Sandgate developed rapidly when the railway reached Folkestone in 1843, and a larger church was needed. The earlier building was demolished in 1848 to make way for the present church which was completed in 1849.

The architect, S. S. Teulon, achieved distinction in designing Victorian churches and St. Paul’s is one of his earlier works. It had two-decker seating with galleries and could accommodate 890. The four cross-gables of polychrome brickwork with stone dressings dominate the front elevation. The omission of a spire was probably to keep down the cost.

Sandgate Church was a Chapel-of-Ease until 1888, when it became a parish church. Perhaps St. Paul was chosen as its patron in memory of his sea-voyages in the service of Christ. Inhabitants of Sandgate look out to sea daily at the passing ships and on more than one occasion helped shipwrecked sailors in Victorian times.

Posted by Tim Prater in News
Summer Beach Dog Ban restarts 1st May

Summer Beach Dog Ban restarts 1st May

Dog owners are being reminded of the seasonal restrictions restarting on nine of Folkestone & Hythe’s beaches from Sunday.

The district boasts 26 miles of sand and shingle beaches, so there are still plenty of choices for your four-legged friends along our coastline.

There is a beach dog ban on the following beaches between 1 May and 30 September each year to ensure everyone can enjoy the seaside, as well as maintain water quality:

  • Sunny Sands, Folkestone
  • Mermaid Beach, Folkestone (in front of the Lower Leas Coastal Park)
  • Between Sandgate Castle and BP service station, Sandgate/Seabrook
  • From Twiss Road to St Leonards Road, Hythe
  • Between Sycamore Gardens and Martello car park, Dymchurch
  • Between The Fairway and the river outfall, St Mary’s Bay
  • From the water tower at Madeira Road to Clark Road, Littlestone
  • Between The Jolly Fisherman car park and 17 The Parade, Greatstone
  • Between 114 The Parade and 172 The Parade, Greatstone

Stuart Peall, Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Regulatory Services, Waste and Building Control, said:

“These measures are common across the country and are there to ensure all residents and visitors can enjoy our coastline.

“We ask owners to respect these seasonal restrictions by using the other dog-walking areas our district is blessed with. Penalties of up to £1,000 can be issued to those who don’t follow these reasonable rules.

“I would also like to thank the majority of people who clear up after their dogs and ensure they are on leads where required – on The Leas in Folkestone for example.”

More information on the Summer Beach Dog Ban

Visit for more information about the beach dog ban or check local beach signage.

Dog poo contains high levels of harmful nitrates which can reduce the quality of our bathing water and harm local marine life.

Please join the thousands of dog owners who are already helping to keep our waters safe by bagging your dog waste, then binning it. Don’t forget you can place bagged dog waste in normal litter bins too.

Posted by Tim Prater in News

Sandgate Walking Tours 2022

Sandgate Parish Council are delighted that the Sandgate Walking Tours programme led by Tony Quarrington will be returning for its third year, and another 10 tours, in 2022.

The tours will run on Saturday mornings between 16th April and 14th September, departing at 11am from the Chichester Hall, 70 Sandgate High Street.

Pre-booking for the 2 hour tour is essential. Call Tony on 07738 624522 or email

The cost is £10 per person for a 2-3 hour tour, inclusive of hot or cold drink.

In 2020 and 2021 many dates were fully booked in advance: if you are interested in a specific date, early booking is advised!

The 2022 Sandgate Walking Tours programme offers a variety of weekend and mid-week tours:

  • Saturday 16th April
  • Saturday 21st May
  • Wednesday 25th May
  • Saturday 4th June
  • Wednesday 29th June
  • Saturday 16th July
  • Wednesday 3rd August
  • Saturday 20th August
  • Saturday 3rd September
  • Wednesday 14th September

Join Tony to stroll along Sandgate’s characterful High Street and stunning promenade. You’ll learn about its military, social and artistic history, and discover many fascinating buildings. Together, we explore the lives and achievements of its most celebrated individuals.

From Wilberforce to Wells, Moore to Remy-Martin: you’ll meet an array of characters dating back over 200 years. Learn more about the people that loved, lived and visited Sandgate, and the lasting imprint that each left on our village.


Posted by Tim Prater in News
Free Adult Training Courses

Free Adult Training Courses

There are currently a huge range of FREE adult training and learning courses available to Folkestone and Hythe residents.

Folkestone and Hythe and Kent County Council are a part of the Government funded UK Community Renewal Fund. As a part of this, FREE face-to-face and online learning courses are available to local residents.

You can see the huge range of FREE adult courses available both online and at venues across Kent below. Join in any of those courses from just 1 day per week.

Folkestone Free Adult Training Courses Brochure


Ashford Free Adult Training Courses Brochure


Canterbury Brochure


Sheppey Brochure


You can attend the free adult training courses of your choice at any venue, not just Folkestone.

You may also be able to get help with travel costs, childcare, or even a digital device.

The scheme is designed to help you find your way back into education. Support does not just include the courses, but can even help with housing and debt issues or even the opportunity to learn some key skills to further your education or start your own business.

There is no criteria need to take part in the fully funded taster courses. They have been set up to gain the core skills needed to carry on to further qualified education in the chosen courses.


In person (6 week, 1 day a week) taster courses across the four colleges include:

  • Beauty Treatments
  • Bricklaying
  • Construction
  • Criminology
  • Digital Users (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced)
  • Early Years
  • Electrical
  • Hairdressing
  • Health & Social Care
  • Media Makeup & Beauty
  • Nail Technician
  • Nail Treatments
  • Painting & Decorating
  • Plumbing
  • Politics
  • Psychology

EKC WorkHigher, Children & Families, Future Coders and EKC DigitalLearn offer online courses in:

  • Baby Massage
  • Budget Management
  • Building Relationships
  • Business Efficiency
  • CV Writing
  • Coaching & Mentoring
  • Coding Design Principles
  • Customer Conflict
  • Customer Service
  • Cyber Security
  • Data Management
  • Digital Users (Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced)
  • Employability
  • Introducing GDPR
  • Leadership Skills
  • Managing Change
  • Operational Plans
  • Parenting Course
  • Performance Management
  • Presentation Skills
  • Project Management
  • Recruitment Skills
  • Resource Management
  • SEO for Business
  • Sales Skills
  • Social Media for Business
  • Solihull Antenatal & Postnatal
  • Stress Management
  • Time Management
  • Working with Data

These are FREE adult training courses. You may also be able to get help with travel costs, childcare, or even a digital device.

Take the Next Step – FREE

To get involved, contact Chris McNamara or Alex Conyers – details below.

They will talk to you and work out what steps they can offer to move forward and get enrolled onto one of the free courses, and any other support they can offer.

Christopher McNamara
Community Development Officer
07593 101081

Alex Conyers
Community Development Officer
075931 01080

Alternatively contact Sandgate Parish Council and we can put you in touch.

The range of help and assistance they can look at to help you take steps back into education includes:

  • Guidance on how to get housing or accommodation.
  • Guidance on Debt or Money issues.
  • Advice on how to get in to further/higher education and the steps available.
  • Advice on careers and work prospects.
  • Emotional and wellbeing support.
  • Education learning support.
  • Childcare support to allow access to the courses.
  • For Families with financial restrictions or digitally poor there is a scheme in place to provide laptops and internet connectivity.
  • After care program in place for all adult students.
  • Full support network provided throughout the whole process.
Posted by Tim Prater in News