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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 – stevemartin54@hotmail.com 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.

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