It is not just the landscape that can make a place impressive, but also the people who have lived there who fashion it with their culture and exploits. This list is by no means complete, but includes some of the names that have left their mark in the English town of Deal in Kent.
- The Roman Conqueror, Julius Caesar landed on the beach with his fleet of ships at Deal and Walmer in 55BC and the first historical appearance and description of Deal is described in his book.
- King Henry V111 left his mark by building and sometimes living in three Tudor castles during the 16th Century, two of which still remain on the coast. He built them as coastal forts to protect Britain from Spain and France and they are still popular tourist places today.
- Lord Nelson often frequented The Royal Hotel in the 18th Century, which still operates today as a busy hotel and restaurant overlooking the sea. He attended the funeral in Deal of his close friend Captain Edward Parker who was buried at St George’s Church. A street in the historic conservation area of Deal is named after Nelson.
- Charles Dickens visited Deal and wrote a favorable description of the boatmen and mentions it in chapter XLV of Bleak House.
- Diarist Samuel Pepys describes the town in 1660, after several visits as “pitiful.”
- Jane Austen mentions the town in chapter 8 of her book Persuasion, when she says that one of her characters was only ill when she went there as she was left without her husband when he was patrolling the North Sea.
- Norman Wisdom lived in Deal for a period in a children’s home, until at 11 years old he ran away, but
returned to become an errand boy in a grocers. Although he didn’t stay for long, he retained connections with the town throughout his life, especially keeping in contact with his sister-in-law who still lives there. Today a memorial is being erected in his honour.
- Several talented musicians live and have lived in Deal. The recent X-Factor contestor, 13 year old Kieran Gaffney lives in the town and goes to the local school, when he’s not pursuing his new-found success as an up-and-coming drummer.
- Another local talented drummer is Nick Harrington, a professional drumming tutor and performer in his rising Swing and Jive Band “Goosebumps.”
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