Then and now: how a chance find has given an historical boost to one Local Grants’ project

October 4, 2019

Skill Horizons have been busy exploring and documenting iconic landmarks, war tunnels, buildings and gun placements that were key to the War efforts, for their heritage trail, nestled on the White Cliffs of Dover, thanks to funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants programme.

A shared success

The project has brought together numerous groups – young and old – including White Cliffs Countryside, Service Children in State Schools, 1RGR and RAF Manston. The group says their success so far lies in a shared sense of ownership from the users, and the project is forming strong relationships between local military stations and Veteran groups, encouraging both sides to share their military experience with local residents, schools and history societies.

Tonnes of information and images have been collated so far – more than the group could ever have envisaged. They were also lucky to come across slides of the area dating back to 1945 at a boot sale!

Martin Hall sitting on a British MK17 moored contact mine on Deal Beach, Kent.  The same mine., now painted red, displayed at Debradley Wharf, Dover

A special find…

One of the favourite images among those taking part in the project is of a little boy, Martin Hall, sitting on a British MK17 moored contact mine, on Deal beach in Kent. The picture is thought to have been taken by his father. Amazingly, the very same mine, now painted red, is one of 55 now on display just below the trail created by the group, in the Debradley Wharf, Dover.

Launching soon

A brochure created by the group giving details of the trail has proven popular and has been added to as walks along the trail have taken place, based on users’ feedback. The group plans to launch the brochure at the end of their project as part of a community launch event this month.

Pete Evans, Outdoor Learning Consultant at Skill Horizons, said: “This has been the best project I have ever done! So many people coming forward to share information – it far exceeded our expectations!”

The trail, which takes in the South Foreland Battery, details a wealth of local history and teaches those taking part the significance of such sites. Users can access the trail electronically via GPS co-ordinates in the form of geocaching, picking up clues from boards placed along the way. A leaflet version of the trail is also available and education establishments will be offered curriculum packs.

We look forward to hearing more about this fascinating project!

To find out more about the project, visit

Apply for Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants funding

Could your group deliver a great project that brings the community together or helps improve the delivery of local services to Armed Forces communities?

Why not find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants programme, which offers grants of up to £20,000.