Winter 2018 Update

I genuinely thought that by this point we would be knee deep in mud and up to our eyes in lime mortar. Alas, as many of you will know, barely anything has changed since I last wrote. This is why.

We, the trustees of the Charity which owns the site, decided some time ago to apply to a specific fund for our entire project budget. We met the south-east representatives of that fund, outlined the project and were then encouraged to proceed with an application.

Whilst acknowledging that this decision was taken more than a year ago, it’s also worth pointing out that the trustees are unpaid and are giving up their time to work on the funding application.

That application for a modest grant has taken a lot of time to assemble.

We have been delayed in finalising our finding application because we have been careful to select local tradesmen that a) believe in our vision for the site and b) are prepared to work within the requirements of the fund.

It’s true that we could have applied to different funds for smaller amounts however, this would actually have taken longer to complete.

I believe that we have a good chance of securing funding from this particular, though nothing is guaranteed of course.

The trustees and I are grateful for the messages of support that we have received. In particular, we are looking for someone to assist us with our application for Listed Building Consent – if that’s you, please get in touch.

Thanks for your patience, I’ll try harder to keep the updates coming more frequently.

More Archaeology in the Triangle

Trial pit and metal detector during the first archaeological dig. Credit: Ray Duff, April 2017

This weekend, 17th & 18th June, we welcome volunteers and members of the Folkestone Research & Archaeology Group (FRAG) to the Triangle for a second dig.

Depending on the weather, we will be on site between 10am-4pm on each day.

Please come along and join us!

Archaeology at the Triangle – June 17th & 18th

Over the Easter weekend, Triangle volunteers and members of the Folkestone Research and Archaeology Group (FRAG) descended on the Triangle. Their mission: to uncover any history hiding below the surface. The ‘finds’ across that weekend included interesting pottery and glass fragments as well as chunks of ironwork and builders rubble.

Volunteers on the day enjoyed washing the various finds before members of FRAG bagged them up and took them off site for further investigation.

Following the success of this event, we have been able to book FRAG for a return visit on Saturday June 17th and Sunday June 18th. Please join us if you are able!

On Sunday June 11th, we will need a small team to weed and tidy up the site – please let us know by email (, or by commenting below, if you are able to attend either event.

The picture accompanying this article is reproduced with kind permission of Ray Duff. You can read Ray’s excellent piece about the first dig here. Our thanks to Alan Joyce and David Paton, form Hythe Civic Society, for introducing us to FRAG.

Facebook events:
Gardening, 11th June:
Archaeology at the Triangle – June 17th & 18th:

Click this link to add both events to your calendar: triangle-events-june.ics

Clearing the Triangle

On two Sundays in December, a mixed bag of young and old, from near and far (relatively in both cases!) arrived at the Triangle to make a start on clearing it.

Overlying the woolly membrane and gravel layer was a mat of brambles and ivy, interspersed with the Umbelliferous weed, Alexanders. A mixture of tools and techniques attacked the growth, the most satisfying of which was a scrub cutter on steroids that zipped into the brambles with ease.

On the more subtle side of the work was the gentle disentangling of the ivy from the delicate stonework that makes up the listed Ragstone wall. Refreshed by teas and coffees, the workers have succeeded in clearing the vegetation and piling it up into several large heaps awaiting removal.

The way is now open to assessing the next steps, including deciding the general overall plan for the Triangle that has potential to be a green place of benefit to its neighbours, passersby, those who would like to enter and spend a while, and for a variety of wildlife and winged creatures.

2016 A Year In Review

This time a year ago, the end of our fundraising efforts was drawing closer and our efforts had seen us surpass the 80% marker. In the months that followed, we surpassed our total and our appeal fund stood at £28,000.

As our solicitors began the work to transfer the land, behind the scenes, Andy and I had started to piece together an application for lottery funding. We made contact with the lottery and submitted a project enquiry to them.

The biggest cost associated with the creation of the community garden will be repairing the boundary wall. The recent works to clear the undergrowth inside the Triangle has enabled us to obtain a better understanding of the condition inside of the boundary walls and it’s not looking good. Much of the wall inside has been invaded by ivy, brambles and ground elder. The result is a structure that is fragile and likely to collapse with any level of intervention.

The options available to us are being explored but it seems likely that sections of the wall will need to be taken down entirely and re-built.

Working with the previous owners before the sale was completed, we consulted with SDC on taking down a section of the wall on Windmill Street before it collapsed. The fragility on that section is as a result of a tree seeded close to the wall.

This presence of roots and stumps in close proximity to the wall is repeated in several other locations across the site. In those locations, the wall may need to be taken down temporarily to enable the tree roots and stumps to be completely removed.

The result of the enquiry to the lottery was that they would be keen for us to provide opportunities for volunteers to engage with the heritage of the site and become involved in the works to restore the walls. We support the concept of wall workshops where an expert would pass on skills to volunteers and we will explore how we enable this before finalising our grant application.

Another challenge for us going forward is the level of the ground within the Triangle: in places the level is perhaps at least a foot higher than the surrounding paths and roads.

At some point previously, the land was cleared and shingle laid out on a cloth membrane. The presence of the membrane might restrict our freedom to landscape the site and we may well need to remove it entirely – that’s about 43 cubic metres of material to be disposed of.

The charity that owns the Triangle was formed by Andy Maguire, Jill Stewart and me in August 2015. In 2016, Jill stood down and Jim Twist joined us. The resulting three trustees have a legal responsibility for the running of the charity. At some point in the project we will seek to increase the number of trustees to share that responsibility with a wider section of the community.

So what next? Immediately, you will not notice much happening on site but rest assured that in the background, we will be working hard to finalise an application for lottery funding that will, if awarded, enable the project to proceed further. We are still interested in receiving ideas for landscaping and general planting with the emphasis on native plants and the promotion of wildlife so do please get in touch.

The work of the trustees, donors, volunteers and supporters generally have paved the way in 2016 to the creation of a wonderful community space and I personally am so proud of everything we have achieved. I look forward to 2017 and am excited to see what a difference we can in the new year.