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

Readers next discovered Bond in Kent in Fleming’s seventh novel, GOLDFINGER (1959). James Bond is travelling down to Sandwich on the A2 to make contact with Auric Goldfinger at The Royal St. Marks Golf Club (a thinly disguised Royal St. Georges, even to point of using the club’s professional, Alfred Whiting as Bond’s caddy Alfred Blacking). During his journey down to Kent, Bond spies out Goldfinger’s factory, ‘Thanet Alloys’, in Reculver (on the north Kent coast), where Goldfinger also owns a house. The famous golf match between Bond and Goldfinger is described in great detail by Fleming (hole-for-hole he was describing the Royal St. Georges course). The Guildford Hotel once stood overlooking the Royal St. Georges course, where Fleming frequently stayed. Bond’s Kentish base in GOLDFINGER is The Channel Packet in Ramsgate (possibly based on a pub/hotel in Pegwell Bay).

The Guildford Hotel brochure

The Guildford Hotel brochure Front cover  Inside  Back cover  Tariff front  back

Courtesy of Peter Lowe

British United Air Ferries advert from the Goldfinger Premiere Brochure (1964) Lydd Airport
Lydd Airport Harold Sakata as Oddjob & Gert Frobe as Goldfinger in the 1964 film

ABOVE: (top left) British United Air Ferries advertisement from the Goldfinger premiere brochure [1964] (top right/bottom left) Two views of Lydd Airport (bottom  right) Harold Sakata as Oddjob and Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger (1964)

Reculver Towers GOLDFINGER

Aston Martin DBII - John Mclusky GOLDFNGER comic stripBond, in a battleship grey Aston Martin DBIII, seconded from the car pool of the Secret Service, then follows Auric Goldfinger in his Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost to Lydd Airport on the Romney Marsh. While Bond waits for the next flight (a Bristol freighter, the old car-carrying aircraft) he drives a few miles to a pub he knows in the next county in Rye, East Sussex, for lunch (most likely The Mermaid Inn). Fleming would often travel for golfing weekends and trips to Europe from Lydd Airport. Like Noël Coward, Fleming loved Kent and particularly Romney Marsh. Coward had a particular fondness of Dymchurch and Dungeness, for the peace of the little village of St. Mary-in-the-Marsh, where he wrote his early plays, and later, when his earnings substantially increased, he purchased Goldenhurst Farm at Aldington near Ashford, on the rising land just above the marsh. Goldenhurst and White Cliffs at St. Margaret’s at Cliffe were not too far apart, and due to the unique friendship between the two writers there was much toing and froing between the two houses. Coward was delighted to find he could happily visit White Cliffs unclouded by nostalgia, while Ian and Ann Fleming often took their guests to Goldenhurst for rather rowdy meals on Sunday evenings, when on occasion guests would include notable glitterati of the day: Somerset Maugham, Evelyn Waugh, Cyril Connolly, and Cecil Beaton.

Kent Map showing  GOLDFINGER locations Kent Map showing  GOLDFINGER locations
Kent Map showing  GOLDFINGER locations Kent Map showing  GOLDFINGER locations