From Kent, With Love: Ian Fleming & James Bond -  The Kentish Connection
MOONRAKER


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MOONRAKER Pan paperback designed by Raymond Hawkey

‘Murder and suicide while of unsound mind…’
Although other Bond pundits have hypothesised that the ‘World Without Want’ public house that James Bond visits in Chapter Ten (Special Branch Agent) of MOONRAKER to investigate a double killing was based on the Swingate Inn [IMAGE #3 ABOVE], most probably because Ian Fleming would often dine there with his friend Noël Coward, the location is far likelier to have been the ‘Five Bells’ [IMAGE #4 ABOVE] on Front Street, particularly as the geographical description in Fleming’s novel almost certainly confirms this. Leaving Dover, Bond takes a short cut out of Canterbury by the Old Dover road on to the Deal road while fantasizing over a photograph about what his Special Branch contact Gala Brand will really be like in the flesh, ‘Distinguishing marks: Mole on upper curvature of right breast.’, reads her police dossier. He puts the statistics out of his mind as he comes to a turning to the right where a signpost directs him to Kingsdown and the lights of a small inn, the ‘World Without Want’.

Ian Fleming would later move his country residence to The Old Palace (1957-1959) at Bekesbourne near Canterbury, an 18th Century, eight-bedroom house, until finally moving out of the county to Sevenhampton Place (1959-1964), Highworth in Wiltshire. Between 1961 and 1964 Fleming also rented flats at Pegwell Bay and later in Sandwich, Kent. He did this while work was carried out on Sevenhampton Place and also as a base for his golfing weekends and committee work at The Royal St. Georges Golf Club at Sandwich.

The Old Palace, Bekesbourne Ian Fleming's residence from 1957-1959

ABOVE: The Old Palace, Bekesbourne near Canterbury ,  where Ian Fleming lived from 1957-1959.

RIGHT: MOONRAKER ON GRANVILLE ROAD
Inspired by Ian Fleming’s novel MOONRAKER, Keith Barker designed this property in Granville Road, St. Margaret’s Bay and named it after Fleming’s third 007 book. Built in 2005, the three-level detached property was then valued at £900,000.

MOONRAKER on Granville Road

In MOONRAKER (1955) part of the story takes place in and around St. Margaret’s Bay. The villainous Sir Hugo Drax has his rocket installation built into the cliffs at Kingsdown, about two miles along the coast towards Deal. While staying at Drax’s installation, Bond visits Dover one morning to place a call to London through the Scotland Yard switchboard via the local police, and afterwards stops by a modest restaurant, the Café Royal (actually The Royal Café in Bench Street, which no longer exists), for breakfast, where an Italian-Swiss mother and her son run an establishment that prepares superb fish and egg dishes.

Development on the site of the Granville Hotel

Later, when James Bond and Special Branch undercover policewoman Gala Brand go swimming together in the English Channel and later sunbathe under the White Cliffs, an attempt is made on their lives when an explosion causes part of the cliffs to tumble down towards them! They both survive the murderous attempt and call in at The Granville Hotel in St. Margaret’s Bay to clean up before returning to Drax’s installation at Kingsdown. The Granville has now been demolished, although the gardens remain and are now overlooked by a majestic private 31-apartment complex (opened in 1999). The Granville was often used by Fleming (and Noël Coward), who particularly enjoyed their Dover Sole and Welsh Rarebit dishes.


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