You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2013.

Frindsbury Lawn Tennis Club have arranged for some professional tennis coaching to be available at the club grounds over the Easter to keep your young ones busy and active, getting their exercise, fresh air and having some fun. Please see the forms and poster below.

Easter Camp flyer final ZP

Easter app form


There will be a Gravesham Borough Council by-election in Painters Ash ward following the resignation of Cllr Colin Dennis due to ill health.

Cllr Dennis took the seat at elections in May 2011 when Labour won all three seats back from the Conservatives.

He is 68 and lives in Gainsborough Drive, Northfleet. Prior to becoming an elected member for Gravesham Borough Council, Cllr Dennis worked for Scott’s in Northfleet and is known by his friends as ‘Kermit’.

Cllr Dennis has one of the best meeting attendance records despite being ill for some time. He was a member of six main committees and a substitute member on two more.

Council leader Cllr John Burden said: “Colin will be missed especially by his constituents because he was an assiduous ward member and tireless worker in the community.”

The by-election will probably be set for 2 May to coincide with the Kent County Council elections.

P1000652Two super-slimming couples from Hoo St Werburgh have discovered a new zest for life after winning a weight loss competition.

Carol and Tom Shave and Jill and Malcolm Smith’s success has transformed their lives and seen them crowned Hoo St Werburgh Slimming World Couples of the Year 2013.

The couples, decided to join the Hoo St Werburgh Slimming World group after realising that their weight was putting their health at risk.
They say, “We didn’t suddenly wake up with a weight problem, like most people our weight crept up gradually. I think it’s easy for couples to become comfortable with one another, and meals out and nights in with a takeaway or a bottle of wine take the toll on the waistline over time. But we realised that our size had reached a point where it was making us unhappy and we knew it would affect our health.” More

Adder (c) Jason Steel

Adder (c) Jason Steel

Kent Wildlife Trust welcomes the recognition of Lodge Hill – earmarked as a 5,000 home development site – as a nationally important site for wildlife by Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment.

On 13th March Natural England, the Government’s advisor on the natural environment, notified Chattenden Woods and Lodge Hill on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

SSSIs comprise some of the country’s best wildlife sites, including our most spectacular, important and beautiful habitats, and Natural England has a duty to designate such areas under national legislation that protects them for future generations.

Chattenden Woods, a large area of ancient woodland and grassland, was originally designated as a SSSI in 1984 under the Wildlife & Countryside Act. More recently, investigations into the adjacent Lodge Hill site as part of proposals for a significant housing development, have highlighted that this area is also very important for the same reasons.

The site supports communities of bats (six species), lizards, grass snakes, adders, slow worms, newts, frogs, toads, badgers and rare insects such as the shrill carder-bee.

It has a significant breeding bird population, most notably nightingales, which were found to be widespread across the proposed development site, and the new SSSI supports at least 1.3% of the national population of this declining species. The new SSSI encompasses the old SSSI and the important areas of Lodge Hill. More

Mr Dominic Slingo aged 46 was committed to prison on Tuesday 5 March 2013 and sentenced to 41 days imprisonment for continued non-payment of Council tax totalling £4,471.35. More

The River Medway is “at the very heart” of the local area’s regeneration, council leader Cllr Rodney Chambers has said.

Cllr Chambers made his comments at the first Medway and Swale Boating Association Spring Conference, an event last Saturday exploring how the river can play a part in securing a buoyant future for Medway. He said Medway Council, and the local businesses that use the river, need to continue to work together to ensure the waterway is used to its full potential. Cllr Chambers added: “Where the river once physically divided us, it now brings our communities together and remains at the very heart of the new Medway that is emerging and of which we can all be proud. More

In regard to Natural England’s decision to notify Lodge Hill as an SSSI area, please see a statement from Medway Council below: More

Following the success of ‘Forget Me Knots’ and the ‘Potty Palms and Rope Trail’ in February, The Historic Dockyard Chatham will be running these popular family activities again during the Easter holidays from 29th March to 14th April. More

Medway Council’s Cabinet has today (Tuesday, 12 March) approved the setting up of a ground-breaking joint venture company to help it provide facilities management services across its property portfolio. The partnership between the council and the public-sector owned company Norse is the first of its kind in the South East and will both save money and create local jobs for local firms and apprenticeships. Medway Council operates from more than 140 buildings across Medway with a current value in the region of £1bn, which all need to be looked after. The council spends more than £7million per year on traditional facilities management such as cleaning, maintenance and catering and wanted to find a way of offering a better value for money service. More

A children’s centre in Medway has been given an overall outstanding rating after its first Ofsted inspection. More

Holidaymakers are being warned by not to be misled over websites associated with travel insurance and visas. The warning comes from Medway Council’s Trading Standards Team. The EHIC – The European Health Insurance Card – will provide families with medical treatment throughout Europe and is available free through the NHS. More

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) is on Thursday the 21st of March 7.15 for a 7.30 start. The meeting is in the Education Room of Dickens World in Chatham and includes a talk by Odette Buchanan titled Mills and Broom, a history of wind and watermills around the Medway Towns. For details of the R&CDF or for non-members to attend contact the Hon. Secretary Mr Steve Martin on 01474 834164 – or John Knott 01634 862688.
For details of the venue –

This is a fairly short video showing the importance of the type of countryside we have here in Kent. And in Kent we are lucky enough to have a larger range of environment types than most other counties in the UK, from chalky grassland to marshland and mud flat, from light sandy soils to heavy clay, we have something of everything.

Please watch this video, some of the flowers would leave you believing that you were in the tropics

Two Brook Youth Theatre performers in a previous production.

Two Brook Youth Theatre performers in a previous production.

Wannabe young actors can learn the tricks of the trade and take the first step on the performing arts career ladder thanks to The Brook Youth Theatre. Run by Play on Words theatre company, place are now booking on the new 10-week summer term, which starts on Wednesday 17 April.

Aimed at 13-18 year olds, the workshops will give young people the opportunity to work with industry professionals, develop drama skills and introduce them to important theatrical practitioners, writers and styles of theatre.

The workshops will include improvisation, scripted drama, songs, movement, devising short theatrical pieces, as well as working towards performances at the Dickens Festival and a Young People’s Performing Arts Gala Evening on Saturday, 6 July. The group meets at The Brook Theatre, Chatham, from 17 April to 26 June, from 7-9pm. The course is £44 and places can be booked from 23 March through the theatres box office on 01634 338338. More

Free information sessions on the government’s changes to welfare will be available for Medway’s social housing tenants throughout March. Staff from Medway Council’s Welfare Reform Team will be on hand at various Medway locations to provide information and advice on the changes which will come into effect in the coming months. More

Around 2,800 children from schools across Medway will take part in a series of concerts to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Medway Music Association.

The Primary Choral and Instrumental Festival takes place from Monday, 11 to Friday, 15 March at The Central Theatre, Chatham.

A 200-strong Recorder Ensemble and the recently formed Medway Junior Youth Orchestra will open the festival with a performance on Monday night (11 March) at 7pm. More

If you can help out by attending or sponsoring either of the events below please print the ticket application form (if required).

5611 ED help for Heroes V1 A4 advert

5611ED application A4


Three men stopped during operations by Medway Council’s environmental enforcement officers to tackle metal theft have ended up in court for failing to produce the correct documents for transporting scrap metal. More

Two people will have to part with three hundred pounds each as a result of their decision to drop litter in Medway. More

booksInterested in art and creativity? Feeling a little stuck?

Come and mingle with like-minded individuals and share coffee and ideas. Open to everyone interested in creativity – if you’re a beginner or someone more advanced.

Activities planned include speed debating, Parashare – bring a paragraph to share from a favourite book or your own writing, and other writers’ games.

This event is part of the Other worlds, other voices Rochester Literary Festival.
Saturday, 23 March 10am to 12noon, Strood Library. Book your free place by phoning 01634 335890 or just turn up on the day.

Budding young people in Medway are being urged to step up to national road safety challenge. A national photography competition, called Footprints, run by Road Safety GB launches today (4 March) and encourages young people aged 11-18 years to snap away on the theme of pedestrian safety. The competition will run until Sunday, 21 April. More

Arundel Castle - Aerial image webArundel Castle’s expert gardeners, conservationists, maintenance team and managers have been working around the clock to prepare the Castle to open to the public for the 2013 season on Friday 29 March.

One of the largest inhabited and complete castles in England, Arundel Castle is situated in magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun in West Sussex. Major preparations have been underway during the Castle’s winter hiatus so that it is ready to impress visitors throughout the open season. More

Anim-Mates is a local animal rescue charity caring for many types of animal, click on the link to below to view their Spring News Letter:

Spring 2013 newsletter





DSC07604The monthly meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) took place on Thursday the 21st of February staring at 7.30. The Charles Dickens 201st Birthday meeting was in the Pre-Show Room of The Britannia Theatre Dickens World in Chatham and included a performance of Dr Marigold by Gerald Dickens. For details of the R&CDF contact the Hon. Secretary Steve Martin on 01474 834164 – or Chairman John Knott 01634 862688.

Gerald Dickens, the great great grandson of Charles Dickens, introduced his reading by telling the group some of the background to Dr Marigold and how much his great ancestor had liked performing it – particularly to American audiences. After the reading, Gerald answered questions from the audience and spent the next hour or so talking to members individually. In answer to one question, Gerald said that as far as he is aware, Dr Marigold is the only reading that Charles Dickens gave that did not come from one of his books. R&CDF are very lucky to have Gerald as our branch President.

Another highlight of the evening was a champagne toast to Charles Dickens birthday given by ex BBC News Reader and popular TV personality Jan Leeming. An excellent cake was baked and cut by Fellowship Committee Member Freda Mann. There was also a supply of champagne [ with orange juice for the nominated drivers amongst the group] provided by committee member David Hawes and the management of Dickens World in Chatham where the Fellowship hold their regular meetings. Many branch Members attended in Dickensian costume and the Chairman of the International Dickens Fellowship James Murray also attended and supported the celebrations.

Nearly 97 per cent of Medway’s primary aged children have been offered one of their preference places at secondary school, new figures show.

Families across Medway will shortly start receiving news of the school their child has been offered for September 2013 with letters being posted by first class on National Offer Day, Friday, 1 March. More

The Wanted: Like you didn't know that

The Wanted: Like you didn’t know that

Boy band heartthrobs The Wanted will perform at Rochester’s Castle Concerts on Thursday, 18 July.

Max, Nathan, Tom, Jay and Siva have become one of Britain’s biggest pop bands since they first performed here alongside the Saturdays in 2010, wowing the crowds with their ferociously infectious tunes, rock solid friendship and laddish charms,
Shortly after they played their début single All Time Low on the Castle Concerts stage, it went straight to number one on its first week of release, and was nominated for Best British Single at the Brit Awards. The band has now notched up four anthemic top five singles and two number ones, and been viewed more than 30 million times on YouTube views.

Now the boys are back in town to thank their legions of Medway fans for all the support, headlining their own show with hits including All Time Low and Glad You Came, plus tracks from their new album Third Strike. For more information about The Wanted visit

On Friday, 19 July it’s time to party with a fabulous 80s Night featuring Tony Hadley, ABC, and Go West.

Spandau Ballet; Tony Hadley

Spandau Ballet; Tony Hadley

As lead singer of New Romantic pioneers Spandau Ballet, Tony Hadley has earned the accolade of being one of pop music’s greatest vocalists, fronting countless smash hits including Gold, Only When You Leave, Lifeline and the epic Through The Barricades, as well as his prominent vocal contributions to the Band Aid and Live Aid.

Martin Fry of ABC

Martin Fry of ABC

More than thirty years since their iconic début album The Lexicon of Love, Martin Fry and ABC will be showcasing hit Tears are not Enough, Poison Arrow, The Look of Love and All of My Heart, while Go West’s Peter Cox and Richard Drummie will get the crowds rocking to their massive 80s hits including Call Me, Don’t Look Down and We Close Our Eyes. Brit Pop rockers The Fortunate will be the supporting act.

Tickets for both concerts will go on sale at 10am on Monday, 4 March.

Fans are already booking fast to see legendary rockers Status Quo who will kick off the Castle Concerts on Wednesday, 17 July. Tickets are also on sale for the ever popular Castle Proms on Saturday 20 July, when the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and special guests will perform a rousing selection of flag waving favourites including Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and the 1812 Overture, complete with a stunning fireworks display.

Tickets cost £35 for The Wanted, 80s Night and Status Quo and £30 for the Castle Proms.
Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe said: “The Castle Concerts are unique among music festivals in the south-east because of their intimate setting and amazing atmosphere as well as the calibre of performers who play here. It really is one of the few places you can really get close up to some of the best live performers around, and we’re very proud of this year’s line up which once again offers something for everyone. I hope everyone will book early and look forward to enjoying one of the real highlights of the summer in Medway”.

Tickets are available online at online at or in person at The Central and Brook Theatre Box or by phone on 01634 338338.

Please note that Castle Concerts tickets cannot currently be booked at the Visitor Information Centre.


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