There are few people who have been as devoted to the town of Dover as Jack Woolford and it is appropriate that he has been recognised for his contribution to our town and is to receive the status of Honorary Freeman of Dover.
I know that many members of the Society have worked on committees or on other activities with Jack. It was as a Planning Committee member that I first saw Jack at work for the many causes that he has championed. Immediately I could see a man who epitomised the saying the pen is mightier than the sword as he tirelessly corresponded with councils etc. pressing home the cause for which he was fighting.
Jack, was born in Hartlepool, gained a State Scholarship to Cambridge and graduated with First Class Honours in History. After spending six years in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War, he came to Kent and Dover, where he was an Adult Education Tutor in History for the Universities of Kent and Oxford until he retired.
He was passionate for Dover and became involved with many activities, in particular from 1964 as Chairman of the New Dover Group. In 1988 at the start of The Dover Society he became Chairman and remained so for ten years.
He achieved many successes a list which would be far too long for inclusion in this article, but the following are of significance: New Dover Group:
- Helped to preserve Kearsney Abbey from housing development.
- Initiated archaeological excavations in York Street, preserving the Roman remains of Dover for future generations.
- Pioneered the concept of the Riverside Walk.
- Forefront of the campaign for a Dover bypass (Jubilee Way )
- Dover History Exhibition in the Town Hall.
- Worked to promote higher standards of planning and safeguard buildings of quality within Dover.
- Successful appeal in 1990 to the Ombudsman condemning the action by the Home Office in breach of rules governing Listed Buildings (Western Heights ).
- Successful plea to Highways Agency to widen the road at junction of Crabble Hill.
- Attends Dover Town Council Planning Meetings. Where his wisdom and knowledge is accepted at planning application discussion.
- Supported fund raising for trees for Dover town centre.
- Jack has also been active with the Kent Federation of Amenity Societies where again he has championed Dover. At one time, he was chairman and at present, he is the Honorary Secretary.
I am sure the above shows what a committed man Jack is and many would have achieved greatness if they had only delivered half of what Jack has achieved and so from all at the Dover Society.
written by Pat Sherratt