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Vandals' second attack on Folkestone's Leas Lift

By Sean Axtell

Vandals continue to desecrate a historic abandoned lift, just one week after anarchist symbols and scrawls appeared on the building.

Last week, delinquents attacked the Leas Lift on Folkestone sea front with spray cans, causing heartbreak among residents.

Destruction continues to haunt the Grade II listed building as green and turquoise graffiti ‘tags’ were emblazoned across it last night.

Courtesy Terry Begent
Courtesy Terry Begent

Terry Begent, chairman of the Leas Lift Community Interest Community (CIC), which once ran the lift, said: “I predicted this would happen after the original graffiti turned up, I’m not going to get upset about it.

“It was inevitable. Once the graffiti vandal’s first tag is left untouched, others will follow in quick succession.

“This is what happens when buildings are left closed down.”

Courtesy Terry Begent
Courtesy Terry Begent

For the first time residents will meet to form a committee in an attempt to get the water lift up and running again.

It was shut in January owed to an ‘unsafe’ brake, costing £80,000 to replace.

Toni Love, 43, who grew up in Folkestone, teamed up with daughter Phebe, 15, and friend James Wo to help raise the cash.

Courtesy Terry Begent
Courtesy Terry Begent

The ex-Folkestone School for Girls student, said: “Coming from Folkestone originally, it was and still is part of my heritage and I love going on it, although I was scared of it as a kid.

“I was frustrated about people moaning about it getting vandalised, so I thought I’d do it myself, then James came along and we formed the Friends of Folkestone Water Lift Facebook page.”

The public meeting will take place at the Grand, in the Leas, on Saturday August 12 from 2pm.

Courtesy Terry Begent
Courtesy Terry Begent

It comes afterhuge anarchist symbols and the words ‘Smash the Police State’ appeared on the building.

Additionally Shepway District Council and the Radnor Estate have not applied for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to carry out the work.

Mr Begent said he believes the Grade II listed building would be better protected if it was occupied, adding the cost of keeping it closed must “cost a fortune.”

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