2016 Embankment Clear-up

Thank you to everyone who helped at our clear-up of the Crab and Winkle embankment between Clare Road and Station Road in Whitstable on Saturday 27th Feb. Lots of local residents helped at the clear-up and helped with posting flyers.  Thankyou also to Transition Town Whitstable for advertising the event and to Canterbury City Council for providing equipment and removal of the rubbish.

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Railway Embankment Clear-up

The Crab and Winkle Line Trust are organising a clear-up of the old railway embankment between Clare Road and Station Road on Saturday 27th February between 10am and 2pm. When you arrive please see a member of the trust and sign in so that you are briefed and insured.

We have chosen the 27th of February as it is before the main bird nesting season.

Any time you can spare to help will be highly appreciated. School age children are very welcome but must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.

The council are providing us with gloves, litter pickers and sacks and will pick up any rubbish we collect.

Please wear suitable clothing and footwear. If you have a high-vis vest/jacket and work gloves, please bring them with you as we only have a limited number available.

We have recently surveyed the site and have asked Serco to remove some fly-tipped material. Please do let us know if you see anyone dumping more rubbish.

For more information email matt@crabandwinkle.org

Christmas Drinks

Please join us on Wednesday 9th December from 7pm onwards at the Peter Cushing in Whitstable.  It will be an informal gathering, open to all.  Please do come along and chat about the line, its history, present or future uses, any ideas you may have or perhaps you would like to find out more about the trust.

Planning Update

Last night Canterbury City Council Planning Committee removed a condition on the Crab and Winkle Line Trust’s successful planning application (CC/15/01614/VAR) to extend the Crab and Winkle Way path from the railway to the harbour in Whitstable. The condition had meant that the Trust could not start work on a path until the bridge over Teynham Road had been completed.

The Committee heard residents’ concerns that the path might be built to the edge of the bridge abutments, leaving a high drop to the road beneath. The Trust has no intention of doing anything so irresponsible. We will not build any paths along the route that are inaccessible until the bridges over Teynham Road and the railway are planned and funded.

The Committee heard how the Trust intends to re-submit a new planning application for the bridges next year, given that our earlier successful application has now lapsed. The new planning application will take advantage of new developments in low-level lighting and screening. All existing plans to plant thousands of new shrubs and trees along the route will stay in place.

After debate and legal advice, and while recognising residents’ concerns, the Committee agreed that the Trust ought to be allowed to get on with our project to extend the popular footpath and cycle path. They commended the quality of our planning documents and agreed that the Crab and Winkle Way was an asset to the town. The lifting of the planning condition means that the Trust can now take action, where appropriate, to improve local links along the route so that they become safer and more usable.

If you would like any more information, would like to help, or have some thoughts on the project, then we would be very glad to hear from you.  Please email us at mail@crabandwinkle.org

Please Join us for Party On The Path

Sunday 13th September 11am to 4pm.

Winding Pond, Clowes Wood.

Party on the Path is a joint birthday party to celebrate 185 years since the Crab and Winkle line was opened and 20 years of the National Cycle Network.

Come and join us on Sunday 13th September in the middle of the Crab and Winkle Way at the Clowes Wood winding pond for a day full of fantastic activities for all ages.

Delicious food stalls, local beer and cider, Dr Bike, nature trail, sound safari, smoothie bike, Fred Flintstone bike building and more…

The main activities will be from 11am to 4pm with The Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Councillor Sally Waters, cutting the free birthday cake at around 1pm.

Make your own way there or join one of our 10am cycle rides from Canterbury and Whitstable, or the Heritage Open Day walk from Canterbury University.

The event is being organised by Sustrans, The Crab and Winkle Line Trust, Spokes East Kent, The Freewheel Pub Graveney, Abbot’s Mill Project and Discovery Catering.

For more information about the event, bike rides and walk contact asia.wieloch@sustrans.org.uk



The Beverley Farm Footpath Arch by John Burden

LOCATED at Beverley Meadow, Canterbury.

The Beverley Farm Footpath Arch was built between 1825 and 1830 during the construction of the Canterbury to Whitstable Railway to provide safe access for cattle and pedestrians from the Beverley Dairy Farm underneath the actual railway line embankment which passed through the Beverley Dairy Farm.  The black and white  Beverley Farm House still stands nearby today.

The Arch was initially known as Hanover Arch being close to Hanover Road now known as Roper Road.

The Arch was intact with portals until the early 1970′s when the embankment was re-graded on the western side to allow the parallel footpath to be widened.  The embankment towards the West Station was removed when the Hanover Place housing development was built in 1966.  The Arch was backfilled with rubble from the portals and remained in that state for many years!

The Crab & Winkle Line Trust had been concerned about the deteriorating state of the Arch which was owned by Canterbury City Council and in 2010 applied to English Heritage to give it consideration for listing.

On the 1st September that 2010, the Arch was given Grade 2 listing.

From that time, The Trust continued to press the City Council to ensure the future of the Arch and as the result of this, a joint partnership with the Council and The Trust was formed and on Monday 16th March 2015, a mechanical digger spent two days digging out earth, landscaping and removing all the rubble from inside and which was found to be in excellent condition as was the tarmac floor throughout. Canterbury City Council has commissioned metal gates for both ends of the Arch, one with an opening door and it’s hoped an information panel will be located close by.

John Burden in Beverly Arch taken by Terry Westgate

John Burden in Beverly Arch taken by Terry Westgate

Climate March Cycle Ride

On Sunday as part of the Global Climate March a group of protesters rode along the Crab and Winkle Way from Canterbury to Whitstable.

climate_rideAt the end of Invicta Way where we plan to extend the path over 2 new bridges right into the middle of town.  Giving a safe route between residential areas, schools and other amenities.

climare_ride2Stopping off for a rest and to collect more people at the winding pond.

climare_ride3Rolling down Invicta Way.

More Here: http://www.canterburytimes.co.uk/100-people-gather-Whitstable-beach-protest/story-22962323-detail/story.html


Penny Farthing Sculpture Makeover

Over the weekend some of the local Sustrans volunteer rangers re-painted the Penny Farthing sculpture at the end of Invicta Way (Part of the Crab and Winkle Way) in Whitstable.  The volunteers received lots of positive comments from neighbours and also from pedestrians and cyclists as they passed.  If you would like to find out more about what the volunteer rangers get up to then email matt@crabandwinkle.org.re_2014-09-2015.28.00 re_2014-09-2015.29.00 re_2014-09-2208.03.35

Heritage Open Day Walk

About 50 people came along to the Heritage Open Day Walk along the Crab and Winkle on Sunday.  It was amazing to see so many people and to share stories and the history of the line.Heritage Open Days

Crab and Winkle Carvings

By: Peter Clements

Ever since the Crab and Winkle way was opened to the public I’d had the idea of producing a woodcarving of some kind to put up at the entrance to the off-road section of the NCN 1 in Whitstable.


I had no idea whether such a thing would be allowed by the ‘powers that be’ and presumably I’d need to draft an initial proposal. The trouble was, I had so many ideas about what to include and the longer this went on, the more unlikely it seemed that I would actually get something completed on the scale I had in mind.

There were four connected themes that I felt were important to represent:

  • the original use of the Whitstable to Canterbury route as the world’s first passenger carrying railway
  • the change of transport mode to that of walkers and cyclists
  • the ‘Crab and Winkle’ nickname fondly used by locals of previous generations
  • a slightly tongue in cheek ‘seaside postcard’ element

While the original idea was to include all of these in a large scale single oak carving, I soon realised this would have been a too large an undertaking and I wondered if it would ever become a reality or remain just an idea. To actually get started, I thought the best thing to do would be to try a small section from part of a chestnut log obtained from nearby woods. The idea for the method of relief carving into the face of a round log came from a Canterbury woodcarver who had hollowed out a niche into tree stump in a park, with a figure crouched within it. This was very large scale, having been roughed out with a chainsaw then finished with carving tools so mine, to be produced in my shed, was to be far smaller in comparison.


After consultation with the Crab and Winkle Trust, it was agreed that the carving could be fixed to the stile provided it was not wider than the 15cm rail to which it would be attached. First I had to split the chestnut log into sections using metal wedges revealing the sweet smelling wet timber inside which was then flattened with an adze and a handplane. Next, an elliptical shape was into the bark with a smaller elliptical raised panel onto which the design was transferred using carbon paper. The design was in turn carved with gouges and chisels.

The completed carving was approved and then attached to the stile at South Street. It proved to be quite popular with the public so a second almost identical one followed shortly afterwards. The ‘cheeky seaside postcard’ idea came to be a reality about a year later using the same methods as above. I really liked the idea of a cyclist being pursued by an angry crab pinching the cyclist’s bottom! It seemed appropriate that the crab would appear to be chasing the cyclist away from the Whitstable seaside. From the other direction then, what about a cyclist being chased by Stevenson’s ‘Invicta’ locomotive? These themes are now represented in the second pair of carvings which are now in position at the other stile further inland at Blean.


I’m glad to have been able to contribute to this well- used and popular section of the NCN 1 on which I am a volunteer ranger. The carving project was really enjoyable and worthwhile and the first two carvings have weathered nicely and now blend in well and look as if they’ve always been there. I think the project has succeeded in combining old and new uses of the route with a humorous element that will be associated with the traditional coastal town.