A letter from the Weald of Kent – The Property Chronicle
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A letter from the Weald of Kent On changing clocks, Folkestone and the future of agriculture

Golden Oldie

Summer's day at Folkestone Harbour Kent England


Dear Editor,

We have entered the season of early, dark nights. Some enjoy closing the curtains, lighting the fires and settling in for the evening: some pine for the longer days and more time outside in the light. Winter months support the former group but I do wonder why we wait so long to embrace our Summer Time. No need to wait until late March. We could gain so much by offering longer evenings. Gardens, sporting activities, fitness and recreation would benefit. Our hop stringer, working overtime putting up acres of string in preparation for the new growth of the plant that rises 14 feet in 4 months, always comments to me that we are denying ourselves more ‘light time’ by changing the clocks so late. New Zealand have moved the dates to the advantage of summer at both ends of the calendar. I suggested it to my local MP but as he is one of the infamous 15 Tories on the front page of the Telegraph recently, he has rather more on his mind at present.

With the hops harvested, the poles of the hop gardens here outside the back of my cottage look rather ominously like lined sentries or graves for the dead with their cross wires. Ideal resting spots for pigeons and magpies, rooks and crows, our overpopulated residents. Occasionally a little owl perches on a pole watching for insects and mice. A sparrowhawk has swooped into my garden taking away unsuspecting sparrows. The speed and power of the bird is extraordinary. It is a fine sight seeing the buzzards, now rather more common in the South East. The soaring flight is majestic, the plaintive calls piercing and the rooks or magpies and crows pestering and chasing them away from their territory is a sight to behold.

I visited Folkestone recently. It’s an exciting town full of promise. Now why wouldn’t a young family from London consider living by the sea with the healthy air, bracing walks, cheaper houses, safer environment, beautiful cliffs and countryside? The town is connected to London in under an hour via the high speed train line, the M20 is reasonably close, likewise Eurotunnel and hence Europe. The work on this historic old town, the Harbour Arm, the new townscape, artist and sport centres show the enterprising nature of the town council and the intention to make Folkestone a special place.

Golden Oldie The Farmer

About Nigel Wheeler

Nigel Wheeler

Nigel Wheeler was born into a hop and fruit growing Kentish family. He served as a schoolmaster in UK and New Zealand. He is a former magistrate and High Sheriff of Kent. He is an avid follower of sport, theatre and fine ale.

Articles by Nigel Wheeler

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