Folkestone School of Art was a fine place to be. I was there from 69-71, when it finally closed down. Gerald Norden a technically very gifted painter was the Principal. Died 2002 I think and was a friend of the late John Ward. David Koster who I believe is still alive, lives in Folkestone, a massively gifted printmaker and Founding member of the Society of Wildlife Artists. Also teaching at the time was Ray Terry, John Eveleigh, the late Ken Back and the late Corinne Roberts-Jones, who married whilst teaching at the Art School (daughter of the famous Sculptor Ivor Roberts Jones) The pottery dept was run by Peter Thomas and the Photography dept was run by John Fitzgerald who went on to be Head of Photography at Bournemouth College of Art, my landlord and a thoroughly decent bloke. He was assisted by the engaging Mr Joe O'Brien. The School of Art was directly opposite the Police Station-Gales Cafe and I think it was the Gun Tavern. Pink Fairies played there as did Hawkwind and the semi resident Electric Robin. My memory tells me that the door takings for the Hawkwind gig were indeed taken! David Lentern was the librarian and a mean jazz style drummer. Looking back it is fair to say that Art students were not exactly welcome due to alleged abuse of recreational drugs, notably LSD and Mescaline, these items were allegedly often hidden in the library for later and frequent use and abuse. The music scene was in retrospect wonderful with Tofts, The Sundowner, and the Leas Cliff Hall all headlining top name bands along with a band that were regulars at Tofts called the Perishers. I saw Hendrix appearing I think at the Sundowner, Tull, Quo, Canned Heat, John Mayall and Derek and the Dominos and hundreds more at Tofts. And too many bands to mention at the Leas Cliff Hall. Another favoured place was the Acropolis (Archies) down the old High Street, they served a mean Rhum ba-ba and had a great selection on the Juke Box. I find it difficult to visualise the area now as so much has gone, usually buried under tons of concrete!
This is part of my site The FG that I built in a frenzy of excitement when we first moved here sometime in '04. I'd been a regular visitor for a while before that but I am technically one of those Down From Londons you get now. This site was a lot more dynamic with a calendar of events and voting for favourite venues and things, and I hear it was a handy resource for others who were thinking of moving to the area. Now I've moved out of Folkestone again (though just a couple of miles) it doesn't get as much attention as it used to. Ironic really as Folkestone itself is now becoming the exciting place we knew it was just about to. I am not Gerald BTW, this comes from the name of a pretend newspaper in an episode of The Day Today or something, the Portsmouth Gerald, and how there is a local newspaper here called the Folkestone Herald. Puns like this are GRATE aren't they? Do contact me if you have anything to offer, email anythign @ this domain, or try @folkestone or @pauly on the twitter.