Published: 09:45, 09 November 2017
As a former cabin crew member for Virgin Atlantic, Terry Crawford is no stranger to engaging with the public.
The mum-of-one, who lives in Western Road, Deal, has recently been appointed as community engagement officer for the Royal Marines Heritage Trails – Deal & Walmer.
The trail will link 24 parts of Deal and Walmer associated with the Royal Marines, who left the town in 1996 after being here for more than 300 years.
With just months left before its launch at Deal Castle at 3pm on Monday, April 23, the centenary of the Raid on Zeebrugge, Terry will be using her communication skills to promote it.
What will help her is that she grew up in Deal, went to Walmer Secondary School, and was born to a military family. Her father John Hale, who died last year, was a part of 42 Commando in Deal, and her two brothers went into the Australian military.
Not only that, she married Royal Marine Alastair Crawford of 40 Commando.
She said: “Having grown up in a Marine family, it’s exciting for me to have this chance to take it out and share it with other people.
“The trail has been two years in planning and now it’s time to take it out into the wider community. There’s so much heritage here and we want to safeguard that.
“We have a big community here and we want to keep it alive and thriving.”
Royal Marines from Deal were deployed during the raid on Zeebrugge – when the Royal Navy tried to block the Belgian port, which the Germans were
using as a base for U-boats
during the First World War.
The 2.5-mile trail starts at Deal Castle and will include the former East Barracks site of the Royal Marines School of Music, the former North and South Barracks in Canada Road, the Drill Field, now used by Deal and Betteshanger Rugby Club, the memorial outside Deal Parochial School, formerly a RM training ground for Royal Marines, Deal Memorial Bandstand on Walmer Green and the Garden of Remembrance off Canada Road – both created in memory of the 11 Royal Marines bandsmen killed in the 1989 bombing.
Also included is the former Royal Marines swimming baths (now the Cedars doctors’ surgery) in Marine Road.
It is a leading project to preserve the Marines’ legacy, with Major General Rob Magowan, the Royal Marines’ Commandant General, as its patron.
The project is a registered charity and has received grants from the MoD Covenant Fund – an armed forces local grant scheme – and the National lottery as well as donations from the Sergeants Mess Pantomime, Deal Town Council and Walmer Parish Council.
Terry has already created a strategy plan for the trustees including project manager Bill Butler.
The role will see her engage with both primary and secondary schools on a children’s curriculum project based on the heritage of the Royal Marines in the area.
She will also deliver presentations to interested groups as well as maintain social media sites and a blog which will launch in the coming weeks.
Before moving back to Deal 16 years ago, Terry spent 14 years serving passengers on long-haul flights, the shortest being to New York and the longest to Sydney.
She said: “I worked with so many different people from different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. It was so interesting. I really enjoyed working with the public which is what attracted me to this job.”
In her spare time, Terry is also a keen runner. She completed the Thames Path Challenge, an ultra marathon of 38 miles, last September in aid of military charity Rock 2 Recovery.
She hopes the trail attracts the attention of running groups, ramblers’ associations such as White Cliffs Ramblers who previewed the trail in August, families and tourists.
If you have a Royal Marines tale you'd like to tell or would like a presentation by Terry. Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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