Feb 2017 - John Polden's team have installed 4 new kissing gates. 2 have gone in at Little Foxholt and 2 at Pound Farm in Densole. Thanks as always to John's team for installing them and to local farmer Roger Bayly and KCC for funding the substantial cost and delivery of the gates.
On regular Tuesday mornings, when the weather is up for it, John Polden's working party meet up. KCC will have been in contact the night before to tell John where they are going and details of the work. Stiles are rarely fitted these days with a move towards longer lasting, easier to maintain gates and stiles. The team fit gates, kissing gates, steps, barriers, handrails, small bridges or wooden waymarker posts. You can usually see where they have been because they always attach a plate telling the walking public that White Cliffs volunteers have been in action. They rarely claim the cost of their travel, but when they do, it is Kent Area Ramblers that pay for it. Steve Brice says that he always looks forwards to Tuesdays and meeting up with the boys. The coffee and cake afterwards is a real incentive.
John's current team is Steve Brice, Kelvin Castle, Keith Playforth and Jerry Swallow. Past members have included Dave Munday, Rob Riddle and Ted Roche.
The first working parties were set up in 1997 by Brian Godden, Ted Roche, Dave Munday, Peter Carr and Richard Barton, covering Dover and Deal. A second team with Richard Blackford, Andrew Boultbee, Roy Crane and David Jones covered Shepway, but has since disbanded.
John Polden has been involved since 2004 and his team has installed at least 220 kissing gates during that time.