D Day 2014

A weekend visit to Oare – just outside of Faversham – in order to breathe in fresh air in our little garden which, like everywhere, is labour-intensive!  However, a timely visit to St. Peter’s Church which has a spectacular sloping graveyard which also contains one or two old chums.

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Alan Beckett, who lived in Faversham but worked with consulting engineers in Victoria, has been remembered in a memorial window overlooking the upper creek;  very beautiful and very pertinent to visit as D-Day looms yet again.  The window depicts a mulberry tree and a kite anchor which he invented and which in its simplicity played a significant role in securing the six miles of floating roadway which was so important in getting troops and materials ashore.

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Alan loved the Swale and the freedom of sailing.  I once stumbled on his boating base in the depth of the surrounding marshland pasture, filled in secrecy with all the gear sailors used to need.  His yacht I believe was of fero concrete construction and anchored well away from other moorings and quite some distance from anywhere.

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“Alan Beckett was an eminent civil engineer who had a major role in the design and construction of the Mulberry harbours in WW2.  He was an expert of port and harbour design and, after the war, was responsible for the development of many ports throughout the world”.  His firm is still active – the Tate Britain pier at Millbank is a fitting monument too!!  Lest we forget…


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2 responses to “D Day 2014”

  1. Peter Greaves says :

    Very interesting. But why a Mulberry tree? During WWII the Admiralty took over Kingswood School in Bath, the school being evacuated to Uppingham, where I spent a year before the school returned to Bath. Mulberry Harbour was conceived in the school, and when the Admiralty left they gave to the school some of the original Mulberry Harbour drawings and plans. It was said that much of the work was done in a room high up in the tower, from the window of which one could see a large magnificent mulberry tree on the front lawn below…

    • claireselman says :

      Hi Peter,

      I’m researching Bath’s connection to Mulberry Harbours and I’d be very interested to find out more about what you’ve mentioned in your response above. My email address is selmanc@curo-group.co.uk if you would like to get in touch.


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