Tag Archives: Dover

The Grand Army and the Orange Army


There is a hint of France on the horizon in this picture!

Speeding along the Channel Coast – yes speeding – I fancied I could see the monument to Napoleon’s Grand Army on the ridge of hills behind Ambleteuse. That fine, hot summer two centuries ago did not raise a wind to get the men, horses, artillery, supplies and camp followers across to Kent, so back to barracks they had to go. Enterprising oarsmen from ports like Broadstairs and Dover are said to have taken tourists across to see the enemy ships; from a safe distance of course. No doubt the fishermen used the tides and currents to help speed them back and forth.

The Orange Army of engineering workers worked in all seasons to reinstate the track between Folkestone and Dover and enable us to speed along this afternoon. Well done them!

Read about the work here.




What chance to keep Kent tidy?

snowdropsrubbish   violetsrubbish

I read in the Dover Times that the district is suffering from an overdose of litter. These two pictures do little justice to the mess at two local railway stations where snowdrops and violets are blooming among the beer cans and cigarette packets. At least the latter will be less visible when plain packaging is introduced!

To add insult to injury, Dover Council has to pay the Highways Agency to clear the rubbish from the Trunk Road – £1000 a time. CraZy!

To add insult to injury, Network rail sent men to cut back trees and bushes last week, but left the litter.

Roman remains

The train from London and Ashford always edges slowly along the sea wall towards the tunnels and Dover Priory Station. Unless the weather is really atrocious the traveller can look up to the East and see the Roman lighthouse, the Pharos, rooted to the Castle cliff-top with the Garrison Church beside it – a church built in part from Roman bricks.

Today, between the downside track and the sea there was a foam of pink and white valerian, Centranthus Ruber, a plant said to have been introduced by the Romans. Mrs Turnstone loves it for the garden, but it is just as happy between bricks on the wall on in that crack between the asphalt and the garden wall, or springing up among the ballast on the railway.

As I cycled to eat my lunch on the beach, I passed the Roman painted house. It’s about time I called in again.