The Friends of Dover Castle

The Friends of Dover Castle

The Friends of Dover Castle

Q2 News

I have been working hard behind the scenes to make the Friends more fit for purpose and to have a higher profile and be more influential.  English Heritage have gone through quite a lot of significant changes nonphilanthropye moreso than becoming a self sustaining charity in their own right. This means that Government provided funds will cease over a period of time from whence they must be able to run themselves without government financial aid.   This will mean projects needing to source grants from organisations such as The National Lottery.   Dover Castle is the second most visited English Heritage property, behind Stone Henge, and features highly within the Master Plan.  English Heritage are working hard with partners and stakeholders to address the issue of car parking as ideally, there would be no parking on site.

As an association set up to support and promote the Castle, we can play a more important role especially within fundraising inotiatives and also to perhaps offer enhanced visitor experiences within Dover Castle.

Over the next year I am hoping we will be able to achieve these goals:-

  • Have our own room situated within Contsables Tower which we can use as a base where we can meet, hold talks, film shows, develop a members library - basically to set up home.
  • Organise and run tours of Constables Tower - this will enhance the visitor experience as the Castle do not have staff to run these on a regular basis and do not have plans to run any themselves.  I am hoping we can train members to deliver such tours - naturally we will be guided by Castle managers and staff but I think this is a great opportunity for us to be of real benefit to the Castle - all part of our Constables Tower project.
  • Gain free access to other local English Heritage properties - I have already had this agreed in principle by Neil McCollum the Director.  Members will be able to access Walmer Castle, Deal Castle, St Augustine's and Richborough Castle free during part of the winter months - full details yet to be finalised.
  • Mote's Bulwark - I would like to get to a position we could open this up during Heritage Weekends in September.  This is reliant on Dover Castle negotiations with the adjacent landowners as agreements will be needed to use other landowners land to access the English Heritage parts.
  • Hold a succesful Exhibition - launched at our AGM in April and sustained well into the summer season so we will be able to open Constables to visitors - to see the Exhibition and also perhaps enjoy a tour.
  •  Run a series of members special tours during the year.
  •  Encourage volunteers at the Castle to become members of the friends
  •  Encourage more people from village communities, ethnic minorities and young people to join the Friends.

Best regards,