Alan F. Taylor was born and brought up in Folkestone, and he has lived there for most of his life. After 22 years at sea as a ships' carpenter, he has concentrated on the study of local history and on the history of Folkestone in particular, and he is the author or coauthor of several books on the subject. He is the current chairman and a long-standing member of the Folkestone and District Local History Society.
The above books may or may not be still available through the above listed bookshops, as some are now out of print.
Images of England
ISBN 1 85983 296 2 Price New & Used from 6.65 plus shipping
New & used from 4 plus shipping
ISBN-10: 0752433059
ISBN-13: 978-0752433059
ISBN:  978 1 4456 7604 3
Alan's latest book is so new it hasn't even reached some of the stores yet, but if you can't wait, and you live in Folkestone, you can get your copy directly from him at 52 St. Michael's Street, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 1LP, but please call first 01303 252567 or mobile 07307474227  e-mail: or pop into the Fishing Museum at the Harbour.  This way, you can get your copy signed!  (Note - due to the virus, the Fishing Museum is currently closed)  Alan is also willing to mail your copy, so please contact for shipping cost, and payment must be received in full before shipping.

If you live too far away to do this, it will soon be available at the following stores:

16 Sandgate Road, Folkestone, CT20 1DP Ph: 01303 258888  e-mail:

57-59 Sandgate Road, Folkestone, CT20 1TU  Ph: 01303 241116  e-mail:

149 Sandgate Road, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2DA Ph: 01303 253016  e-mail:

AMBERLEY PUBLISHING  The Hill, Merrywalks, Stroud, GL5 4EP  Ph: 01453 847800  e-mail:

AMAZON.CO.UK  Online only store.  (They are offering a Kindle edition for 12)

Publication date September 15, 2020.  Price 14.99 or 13.99 if you order directly from the author.

During the nineteenth century Folkestone changed from being a small fishing village to a fashionable resort and busy cross-Channel port. The town expanded dramatically and by the turn of the century large hotels were being built to accommodate the wealthy, and a theatre, bathing establishment and pleasure pier were all built.

Fashionable Folkestone came to an end with the advent of the First World War, when it experienced a huge influx of refugees and its harbour became a prime military embarkation point. After this war Folkestone realised that if it was to survive as a holiday resort, it would have to attract working-class families not just the wealthy. Later, the building of the M20 and the Channel Tunnel all meant that Folkestone underwent further major changes and now, at the start of a new millennium, Folkestone is equipped with a high-speed rail link to London with travel times of less than an hour, and with the philanthropic investment of Roger de Haan, it is undergoing another change of guise as the town seeks to reinvent itself as a hub for arts and high culture.

In this fascinating collection of images, most of which have not been published before, local author and historian Alan F. Taylor illustrates the proud history of this seaside town. Folkestone From Old Photographs provides something for everyone, be they long-time residents or first-time visitors.
Folkestone Through Time is a unique insight into the illustrious history of this part of the country. Reproduced in full colour, this is an exciting examination of Folkestone, the famous streets and the famous faces, and what they meant to the people of Folkestone throughout the 19th and into the 20th Century. Looking beyond the exquisite exterior of these well-kept photos, readers can see the historical context in which they are set, and through the author's factual captions for every picture and carefully-selected choice of images, the reader can achieve a reliable view of the town's history. Readers are invited to follow a timeline of events and watch the changing face of the town, as Alan Taylor guides us through the town's streets. There is something for everyone here, whether they have lived in the area all their lives, or whether they are just visiting this fabulous town. It also shows how photography has continually evolved to keep up with an ever-changing society.
ISBN:  9781848683594
New & Used from 6.34 plus shipping
Folkestone Past and Present gives a vivid insight into the dramatic changes that have taken place in the town in the recent past.  The book recalls houses and public buildings, shops, business and pubs that have vanished or been altered almost beyond recognition.  It takes the reader on a tour that shows the town during the era of early photography, in the late nineteenth century, and compares it with the familiar Folkestone of the present day.  Folkestone was a product of the Victorian age, but many of the characteristic buildings and developments of the period have vanished altogether.  Changes in work and in ways of life hae affected every corner of the town, and Alan Taylor's revealing visual survey records these changes and remembers how much has been lost.  His book will be fascinating reading for everyone who is interested in Folkestone's history.

The Folkestone of the mid-Victorian period is remembered.  This was the 'superior' resort created by the Earl of Radnor and made possible by the coming of the railway, and the period was perhaps the defining moment in the town's development.  Since then, the process of change has been continuous and rapid - fishermen's houses were demolished and districts were rebuilt in the 1930's, the harbour and the foreshore were repeatedly redeveloped, and the lower end of the town was grievously damaged by enemy action during World War Two.  More recently, in the 1950's and 1960's, hotels and churches have been demolished or put to other uses, and networks of streets have been removed to make space for bypasses, office blocks and a multistorey carpark.  The author has combined a remarkable selection of historic photographs with modern views of the same scenes in order to record the transformation.
Looking at the past of Folkestone through the use of pictures and informative captions.
This fascinating compilation of over 220 pictures of bygone Folkestone has been drawn entirely from the author's own extensive collection. It encompasses nearly a century and a half of the town's history, starting with a chapter dedicated to watercolours of the town painted by the artist Joshua Marsh in the 1820s. At the other end of the time scale, the effects of the Second World War and subsequent new developments are also fully chronicled.

As befits a maritime town, all aspects of Folkestone's relationship with the sea are comprehensively covered. Fishing, pleasure-boating, beach activities and maritime ceremonies such as the Blessing of the Sea are all mentioned here. The transport section includes images from both the horse-drawn and motorized eras, and finally there is a chapter on ceremonies and celebrations, from victory parades to Coronations and Jubilees.

Not only will this book awaken nostalgic memories in those who knew Folkestone as it used to be, but it will also be of great interest to newcomers to the area who wish to learn about the town's history.
            Images of England

New & used from 23 pence plus shipping

ISBN-10: 0752411802
ISBN-13: 978-0752411804
The Kent coastal town of Folkestone lies at the foot of the North Downs, with France visible across the Strait of Dover. The town developed around the harbour built in the nineteenth century, both as a resort and a port for cross-Channel ferries. Hotels, theatres and a pier were built in this era to attract fashionable visitors, but in the twentieth century a wider range of incomers settled in the town. Folkestone was at the front line in two world wars and today its links with London and Continental Europe, via the M20 motorway, fast rail links and the Channel Tunnel, have seen further massive changes in the town.

Lost Folkestone presents a portrait of a town from Victorian times to recent decades that has radically changed or disappeared today, showing not only the industries and buildings that have gone but also the people and street scenes, many popular places of entertainment and much more. This fascinating photographic history of lost Folkestone will appeal to all those who live in the town or know it well, as well as those who remember it from previous decades.
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
ISBN: 9781445695433
Number of pages: 96
Weight: 302 g
Dimensions: 234 x 165 mm