While the initial goal of Step Short was to restore the Road of Remembrance down which the soldiers marched on their way to the harbour, the long-term ambition was to create a visitors’ centre in that part of Folkestone.
The centre would serve as a permanent reminder of the bravery of the men who left these shores for the trenches almost a century ago. It clearly takes a great deal of negotiation, planning and fundraising to turn such a dream into reality.
Originally it was thought that the centre, probably housed in an existing building converted for the purpose, could hold the Harbour Canteen visitors’ books and the banners of veterans’ organisations that will inevitably fold as their members age and are finally no longer with us.
Another idea was for the centre to house a modern book of remembrance holding the names of those who have died in conflicts since the Second World War and whose names are not included on the existing war memorial.
The interim Visitors' Centre on the Tram Road car park near Folkestone Harbour has enjoyed great success since 2011. Our volunteer army of staff (a very big 'thank-you' to them) have enabled many people to pop in and find out more about our projects. The centre features materials from the 2014 centenary commemorations as well as war-time artefacts and audio-visual displays. Visitors can gain a real insight into life in Folkestone during WWI.