Opinion with F.J. Beerling: Beautiful Birchington

Beautiful Birchington

Faye Beerling is a fiction writer, mainly of children’s books which have been bought by agencies including NASA. She has received letters of thanks for copies of her books from former Australian Prime Minister Martin Turnball and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and has scooped official endorsement from the Ministry Of Defence.

Faye and husband Howard moved from Herne Bay to Birchington last year, during the pandemic.

There is something very appealing about the sound of bells ringing at All Saints Church on a Tuesday evening. And nothing remotely solemn about Solomon Joseph Solomon’s work of arts.

Solomon was an amazing artist – perhaps that is why his parents named him twice. Either way, he left his mark in the world of art and on British Tanks during WWI when Solomon pioneered new techniques in camouflage.

He has his own Wikipedia page and features on a Facebook page called Hidden History. Although details of his home life are no longer hidden, Solomon did live in Birchington, he owned White Cliffe Bungalow and his second studio (he had two) was a real-cliff hanger – literally! Or rather it is today, abandoned and teetering over the edge of a cliff, at the end of White Cliffe garden.

He made his home here, and so have I. Although I do not have my own Wikipedia page, I do feature on an ‘Everybody Wiki page.’ I can paint badly – by numbers which is nothing to write home about, but my writing is something to write home about; at least I hope it is!

I am an author of mostly children’s history-based books, they sell from Birchington to Boston in the USA, and even NASA has nabbed some!

Since moving to Birchington, my beautiful bungalow is a haven of happiness and harmony and paradise – birds of paradise in fact, as parakeets pack the trees, and branch out as they swoop across the sky winging their way to Westwood Cross.

Just off the roundabout is a square, Birchington Square, known as The Square. It dates back to 1240, and at 1300 I stop for lunch! Bad jokes aside, Birchington-on-Sea is in fact, a village – with a coastline! If that’s not confusing enough, the village is built beside four sandy bays. Minnis Bay, Grenham Bay and Beresford Gap and Epple Bay – and the Buddha Bay Balcony on Facebook has some great sunset shots for you to admire!

Minnis Bay huts Photo Dean Spinks

Minnis Bay was once the site of an iron-age settlement. Nowadays it’s mostly a site for any age settlements as they rock up during the summer months and settle down for the day, to soak up some sun, sea, and sand. Some settle overnight and camp out in their camper vans.

Birchington is also home to a twelve-bell church tower, nine churches, eight bars, at least four fish and chip shops and two dragons – The Royal Dragon and The New Dragon (Chinese take-away’s). It also has some Hidden Treasures – a shop full of them in fact.

The Railway Station was opened in 1863 and closes at 23:06 most evenings after the last train leaves. The Railways Hotel, which is now The Sea View Hotel pub, first opened in 1865, although with all the newer building blocking its view, the sea-view is now somewhat hampered.

Quex

Beautiful Birchington, with its timeless tales of smugglers, Buddha Bay Sunsets, quirky Quex Park with its collection of stuffed animals on display and charming church buildings. Bungalows galore, a blue flag award, a beach within reach, poop-free pavements, and pleasant people.

A place full of posh caravan parks, fields of gold in the summer and twinned with a town in France, whose name I cannot pronounce, is now my home. Our new home, our haven, our happy place, a place where my husband and I, and our beautiful bichon can grow old together and once lockdown is fully lifted, hope to meet, and make new friends and bring old friends here for a visit and to immerse themselves in the beauty of Birchington-on-Sea.

17 Comments

  1. Beerling is an unusual name, I knew a Beerling who was Paster of my church in Bromley in the 50’s, any relation?

    • Hi Dumpton, I am Faye’s Hubby, my Dad (Derek) was from Maidstone, and we have family all over including Australia, I do have a Family Tree, but can not see any one in Bromley, a lot of Beerling’s in Thanet, and a few in Surrey, but not related as far as I know, if you have his full name, I can check on the Tree, :)) Kevan.

      • Hey Kevan, there sure is alot of Beerlings in Thanet, my side desend from leonard Beerlings. 🙂

  2. Sorry Kevan, I can’t remember ever knowing the Paster’s first name, but he and his wife had a daughter named Jean Beerling, and two sons but I can’t remember their names either! Mr Beerling had a very successful building company, and we all pitched in and rebuilt the church hall around 1956/7. Jean would be in her late 70’s now like me, if she is still alive!

    • Just remembered Jean Beerling had two older brothers, one was called Keith, can’t remember the name of the older brother! They would be in their 80’s now though!

  3. Hi Gents, I must get my Family Tree out, and check the names you have given me, I did have an auntie Jean, her Hubby was Ray, but dont think they had children, I also had a Auntie Rita and Uncle George, again no children. But they are from Harold Victor and Nancy Beatrice Standen, If you would like a copy of what I have, your more than welcome to a copy, plus I have the Australian Family Tree as well. My Brother put all this together, Stephen was his name, sadly no longer with us, ;(

  4. Hey Kevan, would be intresting to see which side of the Beerling tree you come from. Ive lived in Thanet all my young life (30 years) :). Sorry about your brother. Leonard Beerling was one of the sons of the Famer(William) who him and his wife had about twenty children 😳

  5. So as we cant add our email address to these comments, if your on Facebook send a request, you will find me under K Howard Wolfie Beerling, or Message me on messenger, or I’m on linkedin Kevan (Wolfie) Howard Beerling, I will then send over Some of my Family Tree by email, I will start with the English ones 😁

    • William Beerling born 1823, lots of children of his with Mary Allen one of his daughters married Frank Gore of undertaker family.

      • Thanks Derek, by the way that was my Dads name 😄 we have quite a few William’s in tbe Beerling Tree, I going way back, I will get my Magnifier out and go through to see if I can find the one you mention 😉

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