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McCarthy and Stone retirement complex at Charlton Green, Dover, to be called Elkington House

A housing complex will be named after the boss of a company that was just across the road.

The block of retirement homes, at Charlton Green, Dover, will be called Elkington House.

Artist's impression of the futeure Elkington House. Picture: Dover District Council
Artist's impression of the futeure Elkington House. Picture: Dover District Council
Vivian Elkington. Photograph of a framed portrait courtesy of Ken Green
Vivian Elkington. Photograph of a framed portrait courtesy of Ken Green

This is after Vivian Elkington who was in charge of Dover Engineering Works, on the opposite side of Maison Dieu Road.

The idea came from local historian Paul Wells and it led him to winning a naming competition by developers McCarthy and Stone.

Mr Wells, 44, of Deal, got a £200 prize in the What's in a Name contest, being presented with it at the construction site.

Mr Wells, creator and administrator of the Dover History Pages on Facebook, said: "Vivian Elkington ran Dover Engineering Works for many years and built it up from a small business.

"The ironwork he produced from the site is known all over the world."

Competition winner Paul Wells with site manager Simon Davies at the future Elkington House. Picture: McCarthy and Stone
Competition winner Paul Wells with site manager Simon Davies at the future Elkington House. Picture: McCarthy and Stone

Julie Ward, McCarthy and Stone national sales director, said: "We received some brilliant suggestions from the local community.

"We appreciate that our responsibility is not only to increase the provision of purpose-built age-exclusive properties, but also to create a positive legacy in the communities in which we build."

"This is why we wanted to give them the opportunity to put their stamp on our new development.”

The complex is on the site of the former Royal Mail sorting office.

There are 70 one and two bedroomed extra care apartments and are in a scheme run by the developers called Retirement Living Plus.

The Royal Mail building at Charlton Green in 2004. Picture by Terry Scott.
The Royal Mail building at Charlton Green in 2004. Picture by Terry Scott.

The homes, for those aged over 70, will be available to buy off-plan from next autumn. But prospective purchasers should register their interest now to receive updates.

They will go on sale next winter and the first residents are expected to move in, in spring 2021.

Once complete,the complex will feature a communal lounge and a guest suite for visitors to stay in. There will also be an on-site bistro and gardens.

An estate manager will take care of the the day-to-day running of the development and there will be secure entry systems and 24-hour emergency call points.

Dover Engineering Works was founded in the 19th century and eventually vacated its Charlton Green site by 1988.

Dover Engineering Works in 1984. Picture from Howard Law
Dover Engineering Works in 1984. Picture from Howard Law

Its main entrance was in Bridge Street. Vivian Elkington, who lived from 1880 to 1963, turned around the company's fortunes after the First World War, creating a number of sites for it.

Elkington Gatic drainage covers are now known all over the world.

McCarthy andStone specialises in developing and managing retirement communities.

It has built and sold more than 56,000 properties across more than 1,200 retirement developments since 1977.

It explains that there is growing demand for retirement communities. There are currently 11.8 million people aged 65 or over, which is expected to riseto 17.3 million by 2037, a 47% increase.

For those aged 85 or over the increase will be larger, from 1.6 million to 3 million, or87.5% up.

McCarthy and Stone explains that one in four over-60s want retirement living.

But only about 162,000 units of specialist retirement housing for homeowners have been built so far.

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