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History author Colin Varrall from Deal launches new book based on Richborough Port


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A history author from Deal will be selling signed copies of his latest book at a heritage event on Saturday.

Colin Varrall, known for his regular contributions to The Mercury Memories pages, has dedicated years of research to his latest work, titled Engineering Richborough.

Colin Varrall is launching his new self-published book titled Engineering Richborough
Colin Varrall is launching his new self-published book titled Engineering Richborough

The 178-page book features black and white and colour photographs, as well as maps and plans, highlighting the rich heritage of Richborough and Stonar.

It joins his collection of books, which includes From Rink to Regent, which retells the history of the much pictured Regent Cinema, in Marine Parade. His other local history subjects include Walmer lifeboats and the East Kent Railway.

He said: "This book has taken several years of research and concentrates on the history and development of Richborough Port.

"The Port was initially built as a site for military stores, which were supplied across the Channel to France and Belgium for the war effort during the First World War.

"By the start of 1918, a specially designed Cross Channel train ferry terminal had been built, allowing railway stock to travel from Britain to France and Belgium without the railway wagons even needing to be unloaded.

Engineering Richborough by Colin Varrall
Engineering Richborough by Colin Varrall

"This in turn sped up the process of transportation.

"Parts of the set are now occupied by Pfizer and the Discover Park near Sandwich."

Copies will be available at this year’s Sandwich old photograph display, held in the Meeting Room at Sandwich Guildhall from 10am until 4pm.

The event has been organised by Carole Philpott, founder of the Nostalgic Sandwich Facebook page, and will be the first display in two years, due to pandemic related postponements.

She said: "This year’s display will be featuring photographs from the 1960s, taken around Sandwich, with many from albums of local people, so it will be a real trip down memory lane.”

A pop-up cafe will offer hot and cold drinks, home baked cakes and savouries, helping to raise funds for printing costs.

Elvington and Eythorne Heritage Group will also be in attendance with information about the recent unveiling of the National Miners’ Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

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