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©PraxisDesign 2012

©PraxisDesign 2012

Rochester returns to its Victorian glory during the weekend of Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June, as the annual Dickens Festival lights up the streets with colourful costumed characters, street theatre, music and dancing. Held every year since 1978, the event celebrates Medway’s many associations with the great author, who drew many of his characters and settings for his novels from the years he lived in the area. More

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Residents of all ages are being urged to use a new health watchdog to get more involved in how health services are run in Medway. Healthwatch Medway, set up as part of national government NHS reforms, has been set the task of championing the views of local people using the NHS and social care services. A new website – http://www.healthwatchmedway.co.uk – set for launch this summer, will provide residents with more information on the services it provides, how to get in touch and what it is doing to represent their views. More

The Maize Maze returns to Penshurst Place this year – opening on Saturday 20th July. After great customer feedback for the Maize Maze last year, Penshurst Place will be replanting the attraction for their visitors to enjoy over the school summer holidays. The new shape this year will have a medieval theme and will be revealed nearer the time via Facebook and Twitter. There will also be a mini maze for smaller children and on
Sundays you can also join in a Fool’s errand with storytelling entertainment from Aardvark
Productions down at the Maze – from 2pm. Weather permitting – please check website for
details.

The maze will be free to visit for full paying garden ticket holders and Penshurst Place
season ticket holders. For voucher and other ticket and card holders there will be a small
additional charge of £2 per adult, £1 per child per visit.

A true celebration of the ancient woodlands of Canterbury and Swale!

Canterbury Academy: 10am – 4pm.

WoodlandFestival2010_0094An extravaganza of outdoor activities plus an indoor conference to round off the week-long Blean Woodland Festival organised by Kent Wildlife Trust as part of the five-year long Heritage Lottery Funded Blean Project.

Featuring: family activities, local food and drink, Morris dancing, live music, wild art, clay modelling, ‘Have a go’ archery, face painting, woodcraft, willow weaving, rag rug making, falconry display, and a series of talks. TV presenter, Kaddy Lee Preston, will make a guest appearance.

For the very latest developments on the Festival programme, please contact: The Blean Project Office, Mayton Oast, Mayton Lane, Broad Oak, CT2 0QW; telephone 01227 719506 or email info@kentwildlife.org.uk. Alternatively, go to http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk for updates.

*With the support of Canterbury City Council, Swale Borough Council, RSPB, Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership, Kent Bat Group, The Crab & Winkle Line Trust and The Woodland Trust.

Don’t forget the Dickens Festival this weekend and it looks like the weather will hold too.Dickens 276

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Places are still available for entries in two football tournaments taking place next weekend (Saturday 1 June and Sunday, 2 June) as part of Medway’s Festival of Sport.

Saturday is the Medway Masters 6-a-side tournament. This is open to teams or groups of all aged 35 and above, with a maximum squad size of 10 players. Sunday is a 6-a-side open women’s tournament for over 16s.

The entry fee for squads of up to 10 players is £20 per team. Teams do not need to be affiliated, so can be made up of groups of friends or former players.Both tournaments take place at Anchorians FC, Darland Avenue, Gillingham between 9am and 5pm.

To enter, call the Medway Sport team on 01634 338763 or email medwaysport@medway.gov.uk.
Entry forms can also be downloaded at http://www.medway.gov.uk/festivalofsport

The tournaments are being run in partnership with Anchorians FC, the Rochester and District Football League and the Kent FA.They form part of the Medway Festival of Sport 2013 – a programme of 50 events in 70 days involving some 12,000 people.

Overnight 22nd – 23rd June

Fort Amherst and the surrounding area has been inhabited for over 3000 years and the area in an around it includes a Saxon burial ground, a Roman mosaic and the original site of old Chatham which was demolished to make way for the fortifications of Fort Amherst. With so much history, the area has very high levels of paranormal activity. More

Picture1 For more than 12 years this hugely popular and up-lifting show has been delighting audiences all over the United Kingdom with a wonderful mix of music and memories.

In a gloriously happy show, Terry Bradford & Sussie Arvesen take you on a joyous and unforgettable musical journey. A feast of non-stop nostalgia featuring over 65 songs that you know and love.

A terrific show for all the family which always receives a fantastic reaction – be sure not to miss it this year! You’ll be singing all the way home.

The brasserie at the Woodville will be serving authentic pie and mash on the day for £4.25, available to pre book or to takeaway. This has been provided by the Pie Shop Bexleyheath one of the few authentic pie and mash shops still open in the south east. Owner Tony Stanford has even served his Pie and Mash to none other than David Beckham, who’s photo is displayed in pride of place.

The Auditorium at The Woodville, Gravesend.
Thursday 6 June 2.30pm
Tickets £12.50 and £10.50
Box Office 01474 337774

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TOMCC 120 Organised by the Medway Branch of the Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club are again Having their Classic British Bike Event at Higham Memorial Hall in School Lane. There will be Trophies, Trade Exhibits and the chance for a Laguna Triumph Demo Rides. So make sure that you have both parts of your driving licence with you along with a utility bill for ID. There will be a cafe in the hall supplying teas, coffee, dogs and burgers. There are sure to be some great examples of British motorcycling, motorcycles and it’s history. If you would like to know more you can contact one of the following;

Medway Bob 01634 363052, Maidstone Bill 01622 812043, Gravesham Keith 01474 824150

Saturday 22nd June
• Private readings-£15 for 1/2hr
• Tarot reader-£15 for 1/2hr
• Reflexology
• Aromatherapy
• Various stalls, jewellery, cards and more

We have organised this event to raise money for Stoke community preschool.
Psychic fair will run from 12-5pm with NO entrance fee, followed by an Evening of clairvoyance with Norman Oaks and Guest medium at 7pm, entrance fee of £5 to pay on the door, tea/coffee available 50p with a free cake.
If you wish to hold a stall at the event or would like more information please contact:
Victoria Ells 01634 271448

Peninsula Times says: If you can, please pop along to this event, money raised will help to provide essential equipment for the Community Pre-School children. We owe it to all our children to give them a good start on their school career and Community Pre-Schools do invaluable work to get all of our children on the road to high achievement.

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DBL100km

DBL100mileDoctors and paramedics at Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance are appealing for cyclists to join them in the life-saving charity’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge next month.

The 100-mile or 100km bike ride will start and finish at the Surrey and Sussex helicopter base at Redhill Aerodrome on June 23rd.

Both routes take in all counties covered by the two helicopters and the 100-mile route will pass through Marden – the home of Kent Air Ambulance.

Among the riders will be Team KSSAAT (Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust) including crew members and a former patient.

Critical care paramedic Stu Plumbley said: “This is an exciting year to be involved with the Air Ambulance with the launch of our blood transfusion service in February and night flying later this year.

“However, to enable us to provide a 24-hour service we need an extra £1million which is why fundraising events such as the Double 100 are even more vital.

Last year’s Double 100 was held at the former Air Ambulance base at Dunsfold but the routes have been changed following the relocation of one of the charity’s helicopters to Redhill in preparation for the launch of night flying.

This year’s event has kindly been sponsored by Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, Asda, Warburtons and Wellbeing People. More

Gravesend town centre has once again entered the regional South and South East in Bloom competition which sees town centres and villages battle it out each year.

The competition, sponsored by Southern Water, is part of the largest horticultural campaign in Europe. It encourages communities to create town centre floral features, permanent planting, wildflower meadows, planting for nature, fruit and vegetable, gardening and much more. More

Leading children’s charity Action for Children is calling on cyclists of all ages and abilities from across Kent to take part in a sponsored bike ride at the world-famous Brands Hatch Race Circuit on the evening of Friday 13 September 2013.

Those taking part will face the challenge of completing as many 1.2 mile laps of the circuits within two hours as possible – while enjoying exclusive access to the world-famous racetrack and raising much-needed funds for vulnerable children and young people. More

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12.05.23 oil lampThe French Hospital has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Huguenot Heritage Centre in Rochester, Kent. The project aims to display the rich material heritage of the Huguenots, a group of some 100,000 French Protestants who fled from religious persecution predominantly from France during the 16th and 17th centuries. More

Gravesham Borough Council has launched a new video magazine programme on its You Tube channel to complement its coverage of community events. The programme, called The Studio, went live this week.

The St George’s day coverage (a 30-minute “as live” video of the event) has already had around 2,000 views on You Tube and via Facebook.

The Studio is set in an imaginary penthouse on the top of the Civic Centre with commanding views over the River Thames and the Gurdwara rooftop. In reality it is “green-screened” using video and photographic techniques. There are also on-location interviews conducted by local entertainer Dan Snelgrove.

The May edition features items on the Heritage Quarter Regulatory Board vote, the £5m grant to improve recycling, an interview with the outgoing mayor Cllr Lyn Milner on her momentous Olympic and Jubilee year, an interview with Simon Annand the photographer of the Half exhibition in the Blake Gallery and a chat with Woodville manager Neil Chandler on the theatre’s 45th anniversary.

Neil reveals that some film showings in the Paul Greengrass Cinema will mark the anniversary by reverting to 1970s prices for tickets.

The new channel, which has links to its archive channel with older material, is at http://www.youtube.com/graveshamtv

Other new items there include the Pride in Gravesham awards, the scouts’ St George’s service and the opening of the new Petanque pistes at Istead Rise.

The council’s communications manager Graham Cole said: “This year we are concentrating on trying to make Connecting with the Community a reality in as many ways as we can. The advent of new smart phones and smart TVs has meant people can get information direct to their home and at pretty high quality.

“We are trying to use social media in interesting ways and the experiment with the new news magazine programme is just one of them. The big difference today is that these new channels don’t cost any money but attract relatively large audiences. The future will lead to production of local news and entertainment – sometimes with live streaming on the internet.

“It really is a case of watch this space.”

There will be a special flag-raising ceremony and service to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation on Sunday 2 June at 12.30pm on Gravesend’s Community Square.

The Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Derek Sales will lead the celebration and the service will be conducted by his chaplain Rev Canon Chris Stone, Rector of Gravesend. More

Please click on the image to enlarge

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03 De Bello CanzioJoin Kent Wildlife Trust on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May for BIGBURY REVEALED!
(Bigbury Nature Reserve, Harbledown. 10am – 4pm) – FREE entry.

Step back in time and experience Bigbury Camp as it was in 54BC. Meet up with the local Cantii tribe as they face the Roman invasion. Discover the hidden side of the recently restored Iron Age Hill Fort – a Scheduled Ancient Monument, thought to be the site of Caesar’s first battle. More

choircharlieCharlie Landsborough, multi award-winning inspirational/country artist, heads out on tour this Autumn in support of his 29th album “Silhouette”. This time, however, the tour will be very different – it will be opened by a leading local choir.

Having previously been a teacher before embarking on his musical career, Charlie has always recognised the vital role of music and choirs in the community. More

Local people have given the thumbs up to their community health services.

More than 3,000 people (96% of respondents) in Medway and Swale completed a survey rating the quality of care they received from teams at Medway Community Healthcare as good or very good. More

More than 200 artists across 32 venues will be opening their doors this July as part of the Medway Open Studios & Arts Festival. Spread across Lower Higham, Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham, the annual Festival is the largest art trail of its kind in the area. More

Action with Communities in Rural Kent, a long established charity has teamed up with British Gas to offer eligible residents in the local area free insulation. This offer is worth up to £1,000 and includes the cost of materials and labour. Over 5 million homes in the UK have inadequate cavity wall insulation and over 7 million have little or no loft insulation! If yours is among them, you could be missing out on hundreds of pounds worth of savings on your energy bills every year. So why not take advantage? Insulation really is the best solution to start saving money on your energy bills. More

Kent Wildlife Trust is hosting an exciting series of family ‘Discovery Day’ events this May half-term at its Tyland Barn Visitor Centre, Sandling near Maidstone.

The Trust’s Community Education Officer, Mary Blackwell, said: “On Friday 31st May
from 10am – 12 noon and 1.30 – 3.30pm, our brand new Theatre of the Pond event will see trained actress and artist, Victoria Wainwright, helping intrepid budding performers to explore the wildlife in a pond before unleashing their creativity and creating a pond-life play! More

Swan by Jason SteelKent Wildlife Trust has launched its 6th annual Wildlife Photography Competition to encourage local residents to venture out this spring and summer to capture images of the natural assets of the ‘Garden of England’.

The four broad categories cover Fauna (mammals, insects, birds etc.), Flora (plants, trees, lichens, fungi etc.), Landscape, Coastline & People and Junior (aged 17 and under). Photographs can be taken at nature reserves, parks, schools, gardens, seaside etc., but must be in Kent. More

Fiona Stephens, Medway Community Healthcare

Fiona Stephens, Medway Community Healthcare

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has praised the care given to local people by the teams at Medway On Call Care (MedOCC), run by Medway Community Healthcare.

MedOCC provides urgent care for people in Medway 24/7 when their GP surgery is closed. Appointments are offered at Quayside, Chatham Maritime, as well as at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham. Doctors and specialist nurses also visit people at home if they are too unwell to travel to an appointment. More

This summer’s Castle Concerts series includes a fabulous 80s Night featuring Tony Hadley, ABC, and Go West on Friday, 19 July.

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 Band Aid and Live Aid. More

Hundreds of school children are preparing to emulate the likes of Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo in Medway’s version of the Champions League. Forty schools representing European teams from this season’s Champions League will do battle on Thursday, 23 May. More

BioBlitz at Darland Banks nature reserve tonight, Gillingham ME7 3ER, 5pm – 9pm. Join scientists, naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts to help us count as many species as possible in four hours.

You don’t need to be an expert to help, you could also have a go with a bat detector, find our about the reserve and meet our cattle and horses and find out what they do for wildlife.

Parking is at the end of Darland Avenue, follow signes from there to the recording hub to get involved. Please telephone Lee or Alison on 01622 662012 with any queries.

How-To-Catch-a-Star-190A charming show to kick start the Spring break comes to The Brook Theatre, Chatham as part of the Sundays are for Kids programme.
How to Catch a Star is on Sunday, 26 May at 11.30am and 2.30pm.
This is the story of a boy who loved stars very much. Every night he watched stars from his bedroom window and wished he had one of his own. One day he decided he would try to catch a star.
This beautiful show comes to life with an irresistible blend of music, puppetry and storytelling.
Tickets are priced at £6 for adults and £5 for children.
To book phone the box office on 01634 338338 or visit http://www.medwayticketslive.co.uk

A new pay-as-you-go fitness programme launches in Medway from Monday, 20 May, designed especially for beginners and those returning to exercise. More

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