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Walmer Parish Council asked by charity Royal Marines Heritage Trails to bridge gap in funds needed for reprints of Royal Marines book RM Deal: A pictorial History by Andrew Lane

A plan to get a picture book about the Royal Marines reprinted has led to a call for short term financial backing.

Bill Butler of Royal Marines Heritage Trails has requested that Walmer Parish Council temporarily underwrites his project for 300 reprints of Andrew Lane's book, RM Deal: A pictorial History.

The front cover of the book Royal Marines Deal: a pictorial History shows The Staff Band of the Royal Marines School of Music on Jubilee Way in South Barracks
The front cover of the book Royal Marines Deal: a pictorial History shows The Staff Band of the Royal Marines School of Music on Jubilee Way in South Barracks

In an email to parish clerk Kirsty Holroyd, Mr Butler said the "short term practical support" is to bridge the deficit of moneys already raised from advance orders and what's needed to secure the print run.

It will allow him to meet the printers' deadline of Friday, January 31. He will continue to advance sell the books and sell surplus copies once it's printed to repay any loan the council may give.

In his email, dated January 6, Mr Butler does not give the figure needed and he told Kent Online it changes daily where he is taking pre-orders at the Sgt's Mess Pantomime, currently running in the Astor Theatre in Deal until Saturday, January 18.

He is expected to attend Wednesday's parish meeting where he will update councillors on the final figure needed before they make their decision.

In the meantime, he said: "Panto audiences are being very supportive."

Bill Butler of Royal Marines Heritage Trails
Bill Butler of Royal Marines Heritage Trails

By Monday he anticipated that 60-80 further orders were needed at a cost of £30 each.

The Royal Marines School of Music was based in Walmer barracks until 1996 when the corps moved to Portsmouth.

The book, originally published in 2000, celebrates the close bond the corps has with Deal.

The 2020 rerun will mark the 75th Anniversary of the Royal Marines being awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Deal in 1945.

Its 160 pages include 200 pictures that illustrate the history of the depots in Deal and Walmer from 1861 up to the closure of the barracks.

The Royal Marine North Barrack at Deal. Picture provided by Colin Varrall
The Royal Marine North Barrack at Deal. Picture provided by Colin Varrall

Photographs show scenes from Royal visits, parades and general day-to-day life across the three barracks from Victorian times onwards.

Wednesday's meeting is at 8 The Strand, Walmer and is open to the public.

To reserve a copy of the book, priced at £30, go to the Royal Marines Heritage Trail website, at rmht.uk, to download the order form. Forms are available at the East Kent Mercury office, 13 Queen Street, Deal.

Purchasers have the option of being included in the Subscribers Edition.

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