What a fantastic write up in the Go Folkestone magazine this month, it’s things like this that make it all worth while.

Our photography competition for the front cover of our next book which should be out in August closes on the 1st May. Please send your pics of beach huts to the email address above. We don’t appear to have any photos yet with any huts with doors open, let’s have a last minute rush of intriguing different photos of our beach huts. The best one will be on our front cover for the anthology by Write By The Sea. The competition is open to all Folkestone residents.

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The lovely Carol

My name is Carol Grimes.  I have been singing for my supper since the late 1960s, therefore I have more T Shirts than one woman could possibly need.  I began as a Busker and fell in love with singing.  Working as a Singer Songwriter, Performance Poet, and in later years as a Workshop facilitator, Voice Movement Therapist and Musical Director.  In the late 1990s I founded the Sing for Joy Choirs, for people with Neurological, MS and other conditions working with them for many years.  I recorded my own music in the UK, USA, Sweden, The Isle of Jura, Romney Marsh and Poland and collaborated with several other artists over the years.  In the 1970s I became an activist.  At first, in my local community in North Kensington, at the time area of severe deprivation, being the first Musician to step up for Rock against Racism and Sexism.  I sang for Reclaim the night, the striking Miners, Troops out and the Brunswick Women, I was angry, seeing injustice, poverty and cruelty all around me, nicknamed Benefit Bertha by some of my friends.  

Performing in the UK and Internationally with my own Music and other Contemporary composers such as the composer Orlando Gough, who directed The Shout, a 16-piece Choir/ Theatre company who specialised in large site-specific events.  I toured with that company for 12 years, including performing at the Albert Hall at The Proms as a soloist – Blimey!  In 1998 I trained as a Voice Movement Therapist, worked for The Princes Trust and many other projects, mainly with young people.  From 1993 I ran Singing workshops at The City Literary institute in London, Lewisham College on the Dance course and travelled around the UK and internationally, South Africa, Canada the USA and beyond!  Subsequently, I am now, not too fond of Airports.  Writing has been a long-time passion and I have had several articles published around my work with young people and local communities and the Choirs in London, alongside my poetry and songs then in 2017 my life book, The Singers Tale. I love the writing as much as I love the Music.  For more information, click on my Blog.  Thank you.




The Write by the Sea writing group are currently producing their summer anthology on the theme of beach huts. We can’t give too much away about the book at the moment but we are now seeking entries from local photographers. We would like one image for the front cover and various other beach/coast images to be used within the book. So let your imagination run wild, we can’t wait to receive your entry!The cover image will be in colour and hopefully, the internal ones will be too, although this will ultimately depend on final printing costs. Your submission should be of good resolution and may need to be resized/cropped to fit the book. All chosen entries will be credited within the book and will be offered the opportunity to buy the anthology at cost price. It is intended that profits from the sale will be returned to Write by the Sea for future projects and possibly some monies donated to charity dependant on its success.Please note, if your image is chosen, we will require your agreement for us to use your image in the book/as part of the promotion of it. Also, if your submission features a person you must have their consent for us to use it.

The deadline for submissions is 1st May 2021

Please send your entries to:

Good Luck!

Post photograph courtesy of Caroline Boorman



It is with great happiness that I can tell you that our first book called GHOSTS BY THE SEA is available now on Amazon here.  I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone from the group for their support and help in making this happen for us all.

Many of our members have contributed to this book in different ways so it really is a combined effort from everyone. All the stories are set in Folkestone in many iconic buildings, you can even follow a map around the different places as you read about them.

I will be on Academy fm tomorrow at 11 o’clock you can listen here.  We will be running a competition so listen in and you might win a copy of the book.

You can also buy copies from The Hideaway when they open, which hopefully will be the 17th December if we leave tier 3.  Other places selling the books will be listed on our social media pages when they receive the books for sale.  Please support the many writers that have given their time to write such magnificent stories about our town.

Let us hope that we will be able to meet up again in the New Year, Merry Christmas everyone.









I hope you are all getting on ok with your ghostly stories as the deadline is looming up very quickly.

15th NOVEMBER 2020

The setting has to be in Folkestone and can be any genre as long at it has a ghostly touch of some sort. This will be the first anthology from Write By The Sea with many members contributing in some way, either by a story, poem, prowse, illustration, photograph or even a script.




Fancy winning a place at The writing academy, then this competition is the one you should enter. You can find all the details on line also in the writing magazine competition booklet.

Here are some other competitions that some of you may be interested in. Pop along to the next meeting on the 3rd September if you have any questions. We will be sharing our ghostly tales that we are writing for our first published anthology. So far we have the five tales that we used for our Advent calender and I have had one other sent to myself.

Remember we need photos and illustrations as well plus a couple of poems.

See you on the 3rd at The Hideaway, where food and drink will be available all evening.






Late Spring 2002 didn’t make any impression, though Summer was almost on the doorstep. Breezy, changeable, not especially warm, typical English weather. To properly wake up, I walked in to my garden and looked around. In every corner of that green, I could see plenty of work and duties; too much for two pairs of hands.

As newly arrived Senior Citizens to Folkestone, we adore our house and garden and our plan for renovation and change of design was endless! After my breakfast, when I started to enhance a flower border I could feel a pricking pain in my spine. Took several minutes to get relief with the help of deep breathing and slowly walked to the chair. Sadly looked on the number of tools which I had prepared. I knew that my husband would be surprised at what still needed to be done. As a spiteful act, the sun appeared and with it I got a new idea. Walk for health! While tidying up the tools in the garden shed, there looking at me was my best friend – my purple bicycle. No, no, today not, my friend… but I couldn’t break away from it!

Later on, walking gently by our road, leading my bicycle, I created a new plan. Remembering a saying of my Physio Teacher at High School, Active Rest is The Best, I decided to obey him!
Aiming in the direction of the Leas, crossing Sandgate Road, I noticed two cyclists – seniors enjoying easy, of gentle speed, riding down to Sandgate. Great! With silent thanks for this gentle hint, I followed them, full of joy. Without any effort, after a few minutes got the end of Sandgate. I slipped to the coastal path for a stop, to decide on the next part of my journey. Sat on the beach and with amazement, adored the turquoise sea and the tranquillity of the seaside, only several walkers passed by.

Although only the first time at that spot I recognized that I had to turn left to get home. Taking the coastal path, just after Sandgate Castle, I could see a male-cyclist who has stopped for a chat with friends.
”Excuse me Sir!” I addressed him, ”Could you help me? I don’t know this area and need to take an easy way to get to Folkestone!”

”I could! Maybe a few ways!” Answered that chap with cheeky smile. ”The road you probably don’t like, but after about hundred metres, by that coastal way, you can find three paths to the Leas, but only one is easy! Or down to the Harbour. It would be best for you!” With a glimpse he recognized, he was speaking with a senior.

With thanks I waved at him and within a few minutes I passed the first exit with stairs. That is a bad one! I deduced. Next one smooth exit near the Mermaid restaurant, was closed for building work. I could learn from one worker that I should continue to the Harbour or go back to the previous exit, where there is the zig-zag path with several steps only.

After a few minutes I found it, but it was again the one, I had seen before! Grabbed my bike and managed those forty steps to get to the Parking on the Lower Sandgate Road. I stopped, breathing with relief and looked around. In front of me I could see stairs again, on the right a small road to the Harbour or left to Sandgate. No way!? After a short hesitation, I took my bike again under my arm and with that idea, proceeded onwards and upwards, hoping, that I could see a landing. Soon I started puffing and had to have a rest.
”Wow, that is training for Tour de France?” Mid aged couple, descending stairs, were wondering and watching me with a light smile.
”Not at all, that’s a mistake only!”, I answered and continued. After several steps , I finally could see a landing! What a relief! Stopping for breath, I noticed a beautiful view – the

water of the English Channel! At that moment I was approached by a group of walkers. ”Do you really go in the right direction? The easier way is to go down, not up!” They were joking and laughing.
”I know, but I want to try the next way, for a change, what will happen?” I answered and moved on.

Then I could spot the roof of the Grand and Metropole on the Leas. It was as a dose of energising drink!
The last part of 140 stairs I made so easily, I couldn’t believe it. Standing with amazement and adoring the Panorama of Folkestone’s Victorian pride. The flower bed in front of the Hotel, as a colourful lace, always to attract everybody who passed by. At this moment I had the feeling of being twice amazed, with my achievement and …

”Hello my Neighbour!” The senior lady, of about my age, who I knew from our street, pushing a baby buggy with a grandchild. Waving and smiling at me.
”Oh, you are sporty!” She added as a compliment.
”Thank you, I do cycling occasionally only, but I like it!”, still visibly out of breath.
”Just fancy, what I saw last week?!” With widened yes, Lady: ” Three lads, with racing bikes, suddenly appeared just at this spot, where we are standing now. Sweat dripping from their faces, puffing and from their speech I knew, they had climbed by these steps from Lower Sandgate Road!” Turning her head in disbelief. ”Maybe, they have climbed from the coastal path, with another 40 steps?! This is hazardous, isn’t it? In my opinion they are mad!?” Waiting for my response.

”I agree … there are enough areas to choose for that sport!” I answered with a little stammering.

”I am glad, you use the advantage that lovely Leas! That is really a gorgeous area! Mainly for relaxation!”
With smiley face and bye, she left.

Only now, I come to realize, why I am here? Where did I leave my backache?


Jana is a new member of the writing group so it is a pleasure to have her story on our site, including Jana’s photographs which go so well.

When Jana was recoverring from an illness she did some mosaic work which I would like to show you. I think it is wonderful.


A very talented lady who will be a lovely addition to our group.

Please send any of your work that you would like to see on our site to myself, Karen at




The Hideaway – Thursday 30th July 2020


After welcoming everyone, discussing the social distancing and leaving all names plus numbers as per the recommendations from the government, then the drinks were bought with some eating as well, we then got underway.  It was great to see you all after such a long time.

It was a good turnout for our first meeting since this awful pandemic started with twelve of us meeting and apologies from Debby, Matthew, Carol, Mary and John.

Tony decided that the Zoom would not work as needed someone to ‘man’ it.  Facebook messenger was suggested but think that would have the same problem.  Mark suggested that we film it and then put it on the website.  I will talk to Hannah as she may have a suggestion.

Debby asked me to mention the Hythe Festival 25th to 27th September, Facebook page here.  They are thinking a book marquee for workshops, readings and selling your books.  I will update when I hear more but keep the dates free if you can.

Author events – These may be people we know or our own members giving a talk.  I will chat to Charlie Gallagher as he could do a local talk.  Also, our member Paul who writes children’s books offered to do one, I thought this would be good as not had a children’s author visit us.  I had Andy Markwell booked to do a talk about photography for book covers in November so hopefully, that will still go ahead.

Roll-up banner – Tony met up with Roger to ask about the progress so it is still in hand and going ahead, we must remind him in a couple of weeks and see how it is progressing.

Our Anthology – Andy did some calculations so we are looking at the 5 advent calender stories, which may need a polish off by the writers.  Then another 15 stories of about 1,500 to 5,000, I am thinking 2,000 is an average word count.  It would be good to have a couple of poems and some illustrations or photos to mix it all up.  Should we have a children’s section at the back with a story and poem in there for our young readers?  The theme has always been ghostly set in Folkestone but you can mix that up into romance, comedy or anything, as you are all great writers.  I can ask Andy Markwell to assist us in the cover photo.  We will aim for Halloween, Christmas or Easter lol

Sharing of work – It was great to hear what everyone has been up to on their writing journeys and listening to the poems and stories we all shared.

The Wellbeing Centre – I have had to stop the storytime sessions here but if any of you would like to do something similar then please contact Sheree on Facebook messenger.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) – This will be for the month of November, I think we should all try to be involved with this, more so if we do have another lockdown as we can make a messenger group or WhatsApp group to keep everyone updated about what and how much they have written.  We can support and encourage each other.

Future meetings

Meetings held at The Hideaway, 16 Bouverie Rd West,

Folkestone CT20 2SZ  at 6.30 pm

3rd September – Ghostly writing to share and brainstorm

8th OctoberGroup meeting plus ghostly writing & sharing work

12th NovemberGroup meeting & sharing work

19th NovemberAndy Markwell, photography for book covers

10th DecemberGroup meeting & Christmas meal/buffet

7th January Group meeting

Contact: Karen 07967532899 or email:

See you all on the 3rd September at 6.30pm        New members always welcome

I have attached a poster of dates so if any of you can share that it would be good as I am not putting out posters in town myself.


Meetings, News


Hi, first of all I hope you are keeping well and safe. A few things have been bubbling away in the background and I would like to share the Zoom meetings with you that Tony has undertaken to host for the group.  Thank you Tony.

I am struggling with this lockdown so not really up for much at all, in fact I keep thinking I should be writing about all this as it will eventually be history that our future generations will read about and learn, but the motivation and thoughts are just not there.

Here is the message from Tony about how to connect with us tonight.



Firstly, if you have not already done so, please make sure you have downloaded Zoom:

Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, conference, huddle, and training rooms, as well as executive offices and classrooms. Founded in 2011 …

The meeting ID is 788-8834-9662

The meeting Password is 132655

You may not have to use these figures.

I will open things up at 6.55pm.

I have now purchased a monthly subscription to Zoom, so there should be no issues about the meeting stopping suddenly.

That said, we can break again around 8pm in order that, those who wish to, can express their support for key workers.

I am planning now that we are joined each week by one or more local creatives to entertain us. This week, I am delighted to say that we have two popular artists for the price of one.

Some of you may know Helen Finn (Finn to her friends), owner of YoYo’s Street Food stall on the Old High Street. She is also a talented singer-songwriter, as well as fine interpreter of others’ work, and she will be singing and playing for us this evening.

In addition, I am so pleased that we will have Anthony White from Poets’ Corner reading his latest poem, “Isolation April 2020”.

With the 75th anniversary of VE Day on the following day, I invite attendees to read anything relating to the Second World War that is meaningful to them – poem, speech, personal reminiscence. Frank Butler and I are currently planning to read from the poets from that conflict.

It would also have been Robert Browning’s birthday, so if anyone wants to read from his work, they will be very welcome.

Ultimately, you are invited to read anything – a favourite poem, extract from fiction – or something you have written.

And if all else fails, I have another light Coronavirus inspired quiz for us to do!

Finally, if anyone would like to invite friends to join us, it would be great to see them too.

Look forward to seeing you this evening!

Tony Quarrington
(Owner, Tony’s Fabulous Folkestone: Voted Best Home Based Business in Folkestone 2019)
Telephone:     +44 1303 778543
Mobile:           +44 7738 624522
See you all later



Rather than cancel the scheduled “Evening with Shakespeare”, which was meant to be held at The Hideaway cafe, on the occasion of the 456th anniversary of his birth on 23rd April, it was converted into a meeting on the Zoom virtual meeting platform.

Hosted by Tony Quarrington, it proved an enjoyable couple of hours of readings from the Bard himself, reminiscences about how attendees first encountered Shakespeare at school or in the theatre, and a more general and inevitable discussion around how everyone was coping in the Coronavirus climate.

In addition to Tony, four other members of the writing group – John Leman Riley, Caroline Frances Boorman and Debby and Matthew Jones took part, along with Stuart and Valerie Sheach from the Quarterhouse Book Group (of which Tony, John and Caroline are also members), Trevor DeVooght from the Write Space writing group and Frank Butler, a friend of Tony’s from Dunton Green.

Whilst everyone was getting settled, Matthew conducted a short Shakespeare quiz which was won by Caroline, or John, or Tony, or probably all three – it didn’t really matter, but it was a lot of fun.

The following pieces from Shakespeare were read:

  • The tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow speech from Macbeth by John
  • Sonnet 18 (Shall I Compare Thee To a Summer’s Day) by Caroline
  • The St Crispin’s Day speech (We few, we happy few, we band of brothers) from Henry V by Trevor
  • Sonnet 116 (Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds) by Tony

Stuart and Valerie regaled us too with a pantomime (their word) version of Act 3, Scene 7 from King Lear, where Gloucester’s eye is plucked out by Cornwall.

Tony concluded the readings with Prospero’s Our Revels Now Are Ended speech from The Tempest, followed with a piece by the theatre critic, Bernard Levin, about the number of phrases we use today that we owe to Shakespeare (Frank had also mentioned this earlier).

It was agreed that the meeting had been a success and that it should become a regular feature, at least during the current lockdown and until “normality” is restored and we can meet again in person. Tony undertook to arrange a further meeting for the following Thursday (30th) and asked participants to suggest the format and subject matter.

Please contact Tony for the details of Thursdays Zoom chat.

Telephone:     +44 1303 778543
Mobile:           +44 7738 624522