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Malcolm Stone

Two years ago I wrote on this subject and expressed my disappointment that, when staying in Hythe in Kent, I had made a visit to Folkestone to ride on their remaining cliff railway to find that it was operational at that time of year on Sundays only

This year I again visited Hmade a special effort to go to Folkestone on a Sunday. There was no doubt this time! I found quite a queue waiting at the lift and I was able to make a return trip. It is the only water-balanced lift left in this country. It seemed to require quite a lot of handling, because a pump is used to bring back the water to the top container so that the passenger compartment can be raised again.

My hotel in Hythe was on the seafront with extensive views of the coast and is close to the terminal station of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway so, of course, I had to visit the railway. On the way there I passed the Royal Military Canal – this was built for defensive purposes when there was a threat of invasion by Napoleon. I was surprised to find a group of photographers waiting there. They pointed out an Osprey, a huge bird, sitting at the top of a tree and explained that they were waiting for it to make a dive into the water to take a fish. Some showed me their pictures and later I saw a short account of this unusual event in ‘The Times’. No doubt local anglers were relieved when it decided to leave for the Southern Hemisphere!

The Cliff Lift at Folkestone
Photo: Malcom Stone

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