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Dame Vera Lynn's daughter supports plan to rename footpath to the White Cliffs of Dover


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A scheme to rename a path that leads to the White Cliffs of Dover after Dame Vera Lynn has won the support of the singer's daughter.

Cllr Graham Wanstall's proposal was already backed in principle by the district council leader Trevor Bartlett pending approval from the family of the forces sweetheart.

Dame Vera Lynn
Dame Vera Lynn

That arrived by letter last week and now it looks like the path from Athol Terrace could be named something fitting like Vera Lynn Way.

In what the Dover town councillor previously described as a "low cost project", the renaming would be the first meaningful tribute in the town since the singer's death in June 2020.

Cllr Wanstall aims for the street name plates to be installed and to unveil the route on the first anniversary of her death.

He also hopes it will be the fist step towards getting a permanent memorial to the Dame.

This would be either in the town to attract tourists, or on the very cliffs that she immortalised with her 1942 song (There'll be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover.

The path beyond Athol Terrace that will be called Vera Lynn Way. It stretches from behind Dover Eastern Docks, under Jubilee Way and up the steps to the National Trust land on the White Cliffs of Dover. Picture Google Maps
The path beyond Athol Terrace that will be called Vera Lynn Way. It stretches from behind Dover Eastern Docks, under Jubilee Way and up the steps to the National Trust land on the White Cliffs of Dover. Picture Google Maps

Any such statue, if agreed, would be project led by Dover District Council which has already had a pledge of financial support from Folkestone and Hythe District Council.

After sending a card to the dame's daughter Virginia Lewis-Jones, Cllr Wanstall received her typed reply this week.

He told KentOnline: "I'm delighted that she's very supportive and agrees with me that it's sensible to do it coincide with the anniversary of her death.

"She said she is very grateful of my proposal and thinks her mother would have been delighted with this.

"She concluded that she thinks the timing of the unveiling would be logical."

Cllr Graham Wanstall with the letter he received from Dame Vera Lynn's daughter
Cllr Graham Wanstall with the letter he received from Dame Vera Lynn's daughter

Dover District Council has also written to the family requesting their permission and the authority is awaiting a reply.

The leader of the council Cllr Trevor Bartlett supports the project and said: "Wheels are in motion for the asset side of things and I hope this can be unveiled on the first anniversary of Dame Vera Lynn's death in line with Cllr Wanstall's wishes."

A tribute to the singer already exists at Dover Portrait Bench which was sited on the seafront in 2013. She is one of three prominent Dover figures featured including James Bond novelist Ian Fleming and Olympic torch bearer Jamie Clarke.

The chosen path is part of the Saxon Shore Way and street plates will be attached to posts already in place.

It runs from Athol Terrace, behind Dover Eastern Docks, under Jubilee Way and up the steps to the National Trust's land on top of the White Cliffs.

A spokesman for Dover District Council said: "We are currently seeking the consents of relevant land owners prior to working through the necessary legal/administrative steps in this matter."

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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