England

Fight to save WW1 Kent stables taken to War Horse audiences

Stables at Shorncliffe camp
Image caption The now derelict stables were home to the original war horses of World War One

Audiences at the final performances of War Horse in London have been given leaflets from campaigners fighting to save World War One stables.

The stables on the Shorncliffe camp in Kent housed the original war horses before they were shipped across the English Channel to the Western Front.

The barracks are now being redeveloped for housing and campaigners are trying to save the stables from demolition.

Roger Joyce, of the Shorncliffe Trust, said he did not want the heritage lost.

Image caption The Shorncliffe Trust put campaign leaflets into the theatre programmes

"We know that countless thousands of Canadian troops, for instance, used these stables. They had veterinary stables up here and horse stables, and they trained the horses.

"The Canadians want to come back and see that story. If they're demolished there's nothing to show them," he said.

"They want to come back and see where their forebears came and where the horses were trained.

"We're very desperate. We get one chance. Once it's gone, it's gone. The heritage has gone."

Image caption The former barracks are being redeveloped for housing

The work by home-builder Taylor Wimpey is well under way, and in a statement it said its "conservation strategy" had been approved by Shepway District Council with some structures, such as a library and officers' mess, being preserved, but not the stables.

The stage show of War Horse, which tells the story of Joey taken from a farm to the World War One battlefields, ended its eight-year run at the New London theatre in London on Saturday night.

The Shorncliffe Trust said its leaflets were aimed at raising awareness and funds to save the stables.

Image caption War Horse has ended its eight-year run in London

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