Cu­ri­ous tales of ghosts and aban­doned vil­lages

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Kentish Express Ashford & District - - What’s On -

The Cu­rios­ity Club – a new se­ries of talks and lec­tures – takes its bow at Rev­e­la­tion St Mary’s in Ash­ford town cen­tre next week.

The evening at St Mary’s Church next Wed­nes­day from 8pm (doors open at 7.30pm) will see two talks – both with a slightly spooky feel.

The first is Ghost Vil­lages and Aban­doned Set­tle­ments by Sony-award win­ning pre­sen­ter Dr David Bramwell.

He will de­tail how the UK has lost over 3,000 set­tle­ments in the last mil­len­nia, though most are only foot­notes in his­tory.

This talk ex­plores those that we can still visit or see in­clud­ing drowned vil­lages, those lost to the plague or those com­man­deered by the MOD. One even comes with a mu­si­cal ac­com­pa­ni­ment cour­tesy of the band, Grass­cut.

The lec­ture cul­mi­nates with the ex­plo­ration of one set­tle­ment that should be aban­doned but isn’t – Sealand, which, in 1967, be­came an in­de­pen­dent prin­ci­pal­ity with its own flag, cur­rency and pi­rat­i­cal an­tics.

As a per­former he has toured sev­eral solo shows and won awards for ‘Best Com­edy’ and ‘Out­stand­ing Theatre’ at the Brighton Fringe Fes­ti­val.

Dr Bramwell’s talk will be fol­lowed by Creepy Kent with Neil Arnold.

This is de­scribed as a dark, hu­mor­ous and at­mo­spheric look at the stranger side of the Gar­den of Eng­land.

Full-time folk­lorist, author and mon­ster-hunter Neil Arnold ex­plores the leg­ends of some of Kent’s most ghost-in­fested places, in­clud­ing Pluck­ley, Blue Bell Hill and his­toric Rochester.

But are the leg­ends all they are cracked up to be? With tales of head­less horse­men, phan­tom hitch­hik­ers, Dick­en­sian spir­its, fes­tive phan­toms and camp­fire sto­ries, Neil brings a large pinch of salt to his talks, ex­plain­ing why we need ghost sto­ries, whether you be­lieve in them or not.

Be pre­pared to be en­ter­tained … but maybe not fright­ened!

Neil Arnold has spent 30 years in­ves­ti­gat­ing re­ports of non­na­tive an­i­mals re­sid­ing in the British coun­try­side.

Tick­ets priced £8 or £10 will be avail­able on the door. Six miles – start­ing at 4pm from Lap­wing Drive, Lower Hal­stow: White Cliffs Ram­blers.

Four miles – start­ing at 2pm from El­ham church: Col­lyer’s Com­pan­ions.

5.5 miles – start­ing at 7.30am from Kearsney Abbey: White Cliffs Ram­blers.

22 miles – El­ham Val­ley Way (part of El­ham Walk­ing Fes­ti­val), start­ing at 8.30am from Hythe li­brary, lunch stop at El­ham, go­ing to Can­ter­bury with bus back: Long Dis­tance Walk­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

4-mile cir­cu­lar walk across fields to the North Downs Way, start­ing from Wye rail­way sta­tion at 10am. Dogs on a short lead al­lowed.

Five miles – start­ing at 2pm from St Mar­garet’s car park: White Cliffs Coun­try­side Part­ner­ship.

3.5 miles – start­ing at 10.30am from Recul­ver car park: Dover & Thanet Rights of Way So­ci­ety.

Six miles – start­ing at 10am from Kearsney Abbey: White Cliffs Ram­blers.

11 miles – start­ing at 10am from the lower car park at Chil­ham, car park: East Kent Ram­bling Club.

16.2 miles – start­ing at 10am from East Cliff Pav­il­ion, Folke­stone: White Cliffs Ram­blers.

4.5-5 miles – start­ing at 10.30am from the lower car park at Chil­ham: East Kent Ram­bling Club. 4-5 miles – start­ing at 10.30am from Whit­stable Gor­rell Tank: East Kent Ram­bling Club. 10-11 miles – start­ing at West Wood car park, Rhodes Min­nis, lunch stop at Lyminge: East Kent Ram­bling Club.

12 miles – start­ing at 10am from Perry Wood, near Chil­ham, pub stop: White Cliffs Ram­blers.

Sony-award win­ning pre­sen­ter David Bramwell

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