It saddened us deeply at Let’s Visit to hear of the sudden death of Charles Lambie, the owner and saviour of Canterbury’s Westgate Towers and former city jail in Pound Lane. Charles died suddenly at his home in London last Saturday, aged only 47.
“An inspiration” is just one way to describe Charles. Having had the pleasure of meeting him and chatting for some time about the history of Canterbury and in particular the towers, we would describe him as a true gentleman, which is a rare find in today’s climate. You only needed to talk to him to see how passionate he was about history and geography, being a trustee of Canterbury Archaeological Trust at the time of his death.
Charles had saved Westgate Towers after the council declared that it could no longer afford to keep the building open. Already owning the city jail, Charles had big plans for the building, and had opened a new cafe in addition to making the museum a success with plans for a unique hotel in the future.
He had a love for Canterbury, the city he moved to in order to study geography, graduating from the Kent University in the 80’s. He also owned a beautiful home in the Cathedral city- a 17th century former mill house in Westgate gardens which, with his background in property and estate management, he meticulously renovated and put up for sale recently, stating he had many more projects he wanted to pursue in the future. He was a very positive influence and well respected figure in the community and not only is his death a huge loss to his family and all who knew him, but also the community of Canterbury and beyond. Tributes are pouring in, in the run up to his funeral which is due to take place on the 7th February.
Due to Charles’s death, the Westgate Towers and Old City Cafe will be closed until further notice. However the team is working to ensure that both the Museum and the Cafe will be able to reopen as soon as possible so that his legacy may continue.
Our thoughts go out to his wife Georgie and all his family and friends.