Four Folkestone triennials have drawn thousands of visitors to the once-deprived town, bringing a creative energy and new food and music venues

Forget donkeys – in Folkestone’s early 20th century heyday, holidaymakers rode llamas along the beach. The town had the royal seal of approval: the Grand hotel was a favourite bolthole of the Prince of Wales and his mistress Alice Keppel. It also had the glamour of an international rail port, with boat trains for Boulogne arriving at the harbour. Where the rich led, the rest followed, as did funfairs, boating lakes, amusement arcades and all the trappings of the British seaside.

A century later, Folkestone was a different place. Mass tourism had moved to Spain and farther afield; the arrival of the Channel tunnel had closed the port. There were high rates of unemployment and teen pregnancy, and little to keep young people in the town, never mind attract visitors.

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Source: Gaurdian

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