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chdtbeatlesIt’s Full Steam Ahead to The Historic Dockyard Chatham this Easter, as thousands plan to travel to one of the South East’s biggest and best events – The Medway Festival of Steam and Transport. Visitors to the Festival on Easter Sunday and Monday, 20th and 21st April, are in for a real treat this year as one of the South East’s favourite events gets bigger and better still!

The Medway Festival of Steam and Transport is back this year with an injection of even more music to complement the classic and vintage vehicles across the 80 acre site. Visitors will be treated to a variety of music on two main stages located within a historical setting.

The Victorian Warship HMS GANNET, No. 3 Slip and No. 1 Smithery will encapsulate the Folk and Blues Stage, surrounded by vehicles dating from 1901 to 1930 and Steam Traction Engines, where visitors will be entertained with lively and toe tapping folk and blues music.

Acts performing to the crowds include: Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs an ‘off the rails’ skiffle band, well known on the Glastonbury Festival scene, with their quirky and comedic act playing music with wash boards, soap boxes, banjos and guitars and CoCo and the Butterfields, provide something a little different. A five piece band with a unique fusion of folk, pop and hip hop or ‘Fip Fok’ they are not to be missed! Funke and the Two Tone Baby a talented multi-instrumentalist will entertain with his mechanical alt-blues music; Kentish band The Flowing play alternative and folk songs with a range of instruments; and performances from Larkspur with their mix of lively traditional and modern folk music, will ensure that visitors will not be disappointed.

The River Medway sets the scene for a second stage, backed by the beautiful Commissioner’s House. This Sixties and Rockabilly Stage will be flanked by vehicles from the 1960’s, hot rods, trucks and American vehicles and this area will have an American Diner feel to it where visitors can rock ‘n’ roll the weekend away!

Acts on this stage include: Scarlett Rae and the Cherry Reds who perform a fusion of blues, rockabilly and jazz; Like…The Beatles bringing visitors the most accurate and fun Beatles tribute act in the UK, take a trip down memory lane; making a welcome return Thee Waltons, a playful act with a unique blend of hillbilly rock ‘n’ roll; The Kick-Backs are a six piece rock, funk and soul band with sing-a-long covers; The Scalextrics are a new-wave punk rock band with hits from the ‘60s, ’70s and ‘80s; and performances from Leroy and the Rockets with impressive credits in the music industry, be entertained with a mix of rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and blues.

With such an impressive festival line up set to come to the Medway Towns, visitors are being encouraged to buy their discounted tickets in advance to avoid the queues, to enjoy their music filled Easter weekend at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. For more information and tickets, go to


Scandal in the Holy City: Prostitution in Victorian Brompton

These lectures are proving to be very popular, and have included talks on ‘Pubs of Old Brompton’, and the stories and history of Chatham Convict Prison. For the next talk, Brian Joyce, author of ‘The Chatham Scandal’ will take a look at the scandalous past of Brompton during the Victorian period. The talk is at 7pm on 28 November 2013 at the Royal Engineers Museum. Tickets cost £2 payable on the door. You are advised to book in advance.

For bookings please call 01634 822261 or email

Full details of this and future events are on, or call 01634 822261

Statue of General Gordon (Ron Strutt) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Statue of General Gordon (Ron Strutt) / CC BY-SA 2.0

24th October, 7pm, Royal Engineers Museum

General ‘Chinese’ Gordon was one of the most famous figures of Victorian society and has been immortalised books, paintings and most notably the 1966 film ‘Khartoum’ where he was played by Charlton Heston. Read More

chatham-watersFollowing detailed planning approval being given last night (Wedneday, 12 September 2013) for the first phase of the Chatham Waters development at Chatham Docks, Gillingham, Medway Council Leader Rodney Chambers said:

“Chatham Waters is a key development for Medway and we are pleased that the first phase can now go ahead. This marks the beginning of a new era for the docklands at Gillingham, which promises to bring thousands of local jobs and economic prosperity to the area. Read More

The Corps of the Royal Engineers will exercise their right to parade through historic Rochester this month to remember sappers who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world.

The short march, which follows a service at Rochester Cathedral, starts just after 12.30pm on Sunday, 15 September at the Guildhall end of the High Street. The parade will pass the war memorial before continuing on to Blue Boar Lane. The parade has become an annual tradition with the Corps of the Royal Engineers using the right to march through the High Street bestowed on them after being granted honorary freedom of the borough.

For more on events taking place in Medway this autumn visit

A gallery talk by Pam Wood on the stories and history of Chatham Convict Prison
7pm on Thursday, 26 September 2013 at Chatham Dockyard ‘Steam, Steel and Submarines’ gallery.

Please enter through the main gate on Dock Road as opposed to the ‘Visitor Entrance’.
Parking available next to the gallery by the side of the river.
Tickets cost £2 payable on the door.

It is advised to book in advance as seating is limited in the gallery.

For bookings please call 01634 822261 or email

ww1pincushRoyal Engineers Museum: Meet the Experts Event Tuesday 13th August 10am – 4pm

On Tuesday 13th August, 10am – 4pm the Royal Engineers Museum will be opening their doors for ‘Meet the Experts’. The Museum curators and experts from the National Army Museum and Orders of Medals Research Society will be on hand on Tuesday 13th to help visitors identify their items, discuss them and provide tips on caring for the objects. More

There are lots to discover this summer holiday at The Guildhall Museum, Rochester and the Old Brook Pumping Station, Chatham. More

Summer fete poster 2013

More than a dozen sports will be on offer as Medway Park plays host to a free disability and Clubmark sports taster day.

Visitors to the centre on Thursday, 18 July will be able to try everything from archery and athletics to martial arts and wheelchair rugby league – just days after the completion of the wheelchair rugby league World Cup at Medway Park. More

Hundreds of runners have signed up for a new charity 10km race as part of the Medway Festival of Sport. The Medway 10km in aid of Cerebral Palsy Care Kent takes place on Sunday, 23 June in Gillingham. And it’s not too late to get your entry in. More

A new exhibition opened at Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre on Thursday, 6 June.

Gillingham and beyond is a free exhibition looking a Gillingham High Street, Brompton, Gads Hill and Rainham in the 1960s. The photographs are taken from the Gillingham Borough Engineers Department, many of the areas shown were demolished during the 1960s. Take a trip down memory lane and revisit the shops in Gillingham 1960s style.

Exhibition open during normal opening hours and runs from 6 June to 6 August 2013 at Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, Clock Tower Building, Strood. For more details visit:

A celebration of learning takes place at Eastgate Rochester on Saturday, 18 May as part of national Adult Learning Week (18-24 May).

Medway Community Learning is holding a free open day for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses between 12noon and 3pm at the Rochester Adult Education Centre.
The event will include information, demonstrations, displays of previous learners’ work, and activities for both adults and children.

There will be opportunity to speak with members of the adult learning team.
Free entry. Children welcome. Refreshments available.

Here is a little something for this weekend if you have some time. Two venues over the two days, including some great ideas for gifts from crafters from all over the area and a few from beyond.

craft fairs

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

Brompton Westbrook Primary School in Gillingham has been rated as outstanding for leadership and management by Ofsted inspectors.

The overall rating for the school is now good, following a previous Ofsted rating of satisfactory at its last inspection in December 2010. More

Thousands of people in the South East(1) are at risk of stroke because they fail to recognise the signs of a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA, also known as mini-stroke), according to the findings of a new poll(2) launched today on World Stroke Day (29 October 2012). More

Young people can learn the art of circus skills at a circus school, which starts later this month.

The Brook Circus School with Dizzy O’Dare Presents is aimed at eight to 16 year olds and runs for 10 weeks from Friday, 28 September to Friday, 7 December from 6.30pm to 8pm (no class during half term) at the Brook Theatre, Chatham.
Young people can learn skills from professional performers using equipment such as juggling balls, hula hoops, tightwire, unicycles and diabolo. More

Monday 27 August is the last bank holiday of this summer and NHS Kent and Medway is advising people on how to get healthcare if they need it.
No one wants to spend their precious free time waiting in Accident and Emergency – yet bank holidays every year see a surge of people attending A&E departments with minor illnesses and injuries. More

A Medway Council portfolio holder has been on a fact finding mission discovering the good work two local charities do helping vulnerable people.
Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Contact Cllr Mike O’Brien visited Emmaus Medway, to see the work it does to help people who are homeless and unemployed, and UK Resettlement to see the work it does with vulnerable young people.
Cllr O’Brien said: “I was impressed with the fantastic work that volunteers continue to carry out helping people who are less fortunate than others here in Medway.”
Emmaus Medway provides community accommodation for 24 people where residents can live and work, giving each other support and encouragement with the opportunity to refresh skills and learn new ones.
The charity also runs a social enterprise shop in Rochester High Street.
The shop receives donated furniture and household goods, and carries out repairs and safety testing before re-selling them.
Run by trustees and volunteers since October last year, the social enterprise is set to grow in 2012/13.
UK Resettlement works with vulnerable young people (at risk of offending) and adult ex-offenders in Kent and Medway.
Cllr O’Brien said: “To continue our drive to reduce re-offending rates in Medway it is essential that ex-offenders are able to obtain both accommodation and the means to get back into the workstream.
“UKResettlement works with Medway ex-offenders by finding accommodation and support in work placement to those who really want to turn their lives around and become useful members of society.
“UKResettlement would also welcome an effective partnership work with local businesses, voluntary organisations and statutory organisations to make a positive difference to the lives of our vulnerable people.”

A Heritage Lottery Fund supported community project
Join the Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive and the Brompton History Research Group in celebrating the 200th anniversary the Royal Engineers in Brompton.

On Saturday 30th June 2012 a brand new exhibition opened at the Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive and a new history website was launched. More

A colourful and exciting exhibition celebrating the life and times of Charles Dickens has opened at the Guildhall Museum.
A World Made Real: Dickens and Victorian Life charts some of the key themes that occur in Charles Dickens’ novels including travel, entertainment, education, crime and poverty, food and drink, death and mourning. More

How to use leftovers, meal planning and food on a budget are just some of the top tips that visitors to a food safety roadshow can learn about.
Medway Council’s Food and Safety Team will be visiting six locations around Medway during National Food Safety week – 11 to 15 June. More

Spring break is fast approaching and Medway’s children’s centres are getting geared up for a fun filled holiday. From bonnet parades to Easter egg hunts, arts and crafts and a visit from the farm, there’s plenty to keep little ones entertained, rain or shine. There are 19 Sure Start Children’s Centres across Medway. To find out more about your nearest centre and what’s on offer there, visit or call 01634 335566.

Monday, 2 April:
10 to 11am: St James’ Children’s Centre starts the holiday off in traditional fashion with a favourite messy play session at the centre, High Street, Isle of Grain, 270341.

1 to 3.30pm: Easter arts and crafts at Brompton Children’s Centre, Brompton Westbrook Primary School, Kings Bastion, 844152.

1 to 3pm: Get active with an Easter themed sports day at Kingfisher Children’s Centre, Kingfisher Drive, Walderslade, 335850.

Tuesday, 3 April:
12.30 to 2pm: Under 1’s Easter play at All Saints Children’s Centre, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, 338833.

1 to 3pm: Tiny tots Easter play and crafts at Kingfisher Children’s Centre, Kingfisher Drive, Walderslade, 335850.

Wednesday, 4 April:
10 to 11.30am: Get dressed up and join in the Easter parade for children between 2 to 5 years old at Lordswood Children’s Centre, Lordswood Lane, 333670.

Thursday, 5 April:
11.30am to 2.30pm: Coo at the lambs, chickens and cute farm animals at Riverside Children’s Centre, St Edmunds Way, Rainham, when the mobile farm comes to visit.

(The farm will also visit Wayfield children’s centre, 10.30am to 1.30pm on Wednesday, 11 April and Saxon Way Children’s Centre, 10am to 12.30pm on Thursday, 12 April.)

1 to 2pm: Beady eyed toddlers are invited to this year’s Easter egg hunt at St James’ Children’s Centre, High Street, Isle of Grain, 270341.

Tuesday, 10 April:
1 to 3pm: Messy play at Oaklands Children’s Centre, Weedswood Road, Walderslade, 333820.

Wednesday, 11 April:
1.30 to 3.30pm: Head out on a bunny hunt with Temple Mill Children’s Centre at Broomhill Park, Strood.

Thursday, 12 April:
11am to 1pm: Get cooking at Bligh Children’s Centre fun with food session, at the centre, Bligh Way, Strood, 336220.

2 to 3pm: Easter egg hunt and activities at Miers Court Children’s Centre, Silverspot Close, Rainham, 236974.

Friday, 13 April:
10am to 12noon: Green fingered toddlers will be heading to the garden for a planting and growing session at St Helen’s Primary School, Church Street, Cliffe.

The snow may already seem a distant memory but there’s plenty in store at Medway’s Sure Start Centres this half term to keep children smiling. More

Come to St Mary’s Island Primary School Christmas Fair Saturday the 26th November 1-4pm. Lots of fun things to do for all the family including:- Have your photo taken with Father Christmas (and get a gift of course!) Get your finger prints mounted in a key ring by a real Policeman! Tombola, raffle and lots of other games to play. Craft stalls, decorating your own Christmas hat and biscuits. Refreshments will be on sale. We would love to see you. Everyone is welcome!

The Brompton Carnival is back for the third year and Brompton Children’s Centre will be getting into the festival spirit this Saturday, 2 July with some other wordly costumes. More


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