A new portrait bench has been installed on Dover seafront in preparation for the official unveiling at the Port of Dover Community Regatta this Saturday (27 July).  The portrait bench features three life-size steel figures of prominent local characters along with a simple bench.  It is designed so that people can sit or stand in the spaces between the figures to become part of the portrait.

The three characters on Dover’s portrait bench are:

Jamie Clark (22) who was born at Buckland Hospital with two holes in his heart, coeliac disease and severe communication difficulties. His determination and inspiration came to the fore when Jamie was selected from over 120,000 applicants as the town’s first torchbearer on 18 July 2012 as part of the Olympic Torch Relay.

Dame Vera Lynn DBE has been synonymous with Dover thanks to the wartime classic song, ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’; and her portrait figure is angled so that she is overlooking those very cliffs.   Dame Vera became known as the ‘Forces’ Sweetheart’ due to her popularity during World War II.

Ian Fleming the author of the James Bond series of spy novels has strong local connections with the Dover district.  He lived in St Margaret’s Bay and was Captain of the Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich.  Many of the James Bond novels and films feature locations in the district.  Ian Fleming was chosen via a public vote.

The Dover portrait bench is an art initiative from charity Sustrans, and sits alongside the new River Dour Greenway. The new walking and cycling route encourages people to make everyday journeys on foot or by bike through the green heart of the town.

The project has been supported by Kent County Council, Dover District Council, Dover Town Council, and the Dover Harbour Board.

David Young, Project Coordinator at Sustrans said: “We know that more people are likely to get around under their own steam when they find the environment around them attractive and interesting. Public artwork, such as this portrait bench, achieves just that. The characters selected by local people are going to inspire young people in the area to learn more about the district’s history, so we’re sure it’ll provide a focal point on the route.”

In a posting on Facebook, Jamie Clark said: “I am honoured and very proud to have been chosen to represent my home town in this way.”

The portrait bench will be officially unveiled by the Chairman of Dover District Council, Cllr Sue Nicholas, at the Port of Dover Community Regatta on Saturday, 27 July 2013 at 11am.  Jamie Clark will be attending along with his Olympic Torch.


Nineteen local families have ‘graduated’ from a pioneering new education initiative currently running in Dover District, proven to help children achieve more in schools and strengthen their relationships with their families.

Parents and carers, and their children aged three to eight who attend White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts in Dover have successfully completed an eight-week Families and Schools Together (FAST) programme.  The children and their families were presented with certificates and congratulated at an event held at the school on Thursday (18 July).

The FAST programme, backed by Save the Children and delivered locally by a range of partners including Dover District Council, supports families by working with parents and children in schools and has been endorsed by the United Nations.  This programme has been funded by Morrisons, as part of its Charity of the Year partnership.

FAST aims to provide a fun and relaxed space for families to experience a mixture of play and learning activities, hands on coaching and support for parents and carers. The initiative has high success rates in improving family relationships and links between home, school and the local community.

Sue Fotheringham, Head Teacher at White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts said: “We have worked with these families and have formed stronger bonds with them. The project has had a significant impact in raising the confidence of our parents resulting in an improvement in family life for them.”

Cllr Sue Chandler, DDC Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “We are grateful to Save the Children for working with Dover as the first non-metropolitan area to host the FAST programme, and to the children, families, and community partners who have shown such enthusiasm for the project.  We are proud to be partners in the delivery of the FAST project in Dover.”

Anna Kettley, Head of Programmes for South of England at Save the Children said: “The programme has been a great success at White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts. Parents have the biggest influence on their children’s learning and development and FAST gives families the opportunity to build on this. We believe that every child should have a fair chance to do the best they can at school and that every family should have access to proper support in their local area.”

Ovenden Plant Hire Public Exhibition







Ovenden Plant Hire Ltd is preparing a planning application for the regeneration and development of the former Tilmanstone Colliery Spoil Tip which they are intending to submit to Dover District Council towards the end of July 2013.

THey are holding a public exhibition to inform the community and key stakeholders on Thursday 18th July at the former Tilmanstone Colliery, off Pike Road, Eythorne CT15 4ND, between 3pm and 8pm. Representatives from Ovenden and its COnsultant Team will be on hand to answer queries.

More on this on the flyer here…

“Salvage Hunters” TV Series Looking for Locations in Kent


Representatives from the TV programme “Salvage Hunters” ( which is presented by Drew Pritchard ( have contacted the Kent Film Office to seek a location where he can purchase architectural antiques to sell on, or restore. Drew’s website gives a good indication of what he has purchased previously.

They are currently looking for Kent locations for Series 4. If you know of any locations that fit the brief below please contact Vik at Cineflix direct at: vikpatel@cineflix.xom or telephone 020 3179 0099 and ask for extension 2144.

Suitable locations will have the following:

1) NOT a shop or auction house

2) MUST have items willing to sell

3) could be warehouses, clearance companies, farms, stately homes, privately owned museums or schools, etc.

The quirkier the place and the more “stuff” the better!