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Oliver Twist Concert Poster (3)

Oliver Twist Cine Concert

A French school choir will perform two concerts in the Britannia Theatre, Dickens World in Chatham on Tuesday the 4th March. They will accompany a French version of the Frank Lloyd 1922 silent black and white film Oliver Twist, re-mastered by Lobster Films and with English sub titles. The choir is from Nevers near Bourges in central France. Their Choir Master Cyril Lohbrunner wrote the music and his wife the lyrics. The organisers would be particularly delighted for local schools to attend.

Members of the Rochester & Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) will read from Charles Dickens Oliver Twist (in English) before each program. The Dickens Fellowship is one of the sponsors of the concert.

Performances are at 2pm in the afternoon and 7.30pm in the evening and tickets from the theatre in advance or on the door cost £4 per person.

For tickets or more information on events, please use the following contact information:

http://www.britanniatheatrechatham.co.uk

Box Office telephone Number – 0844 858 6656
Bookings/general enquiries: bookings@dickensworld.co.uk
Events Information: events@dickensworld.co.uk

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Fagin Fagin

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) is on Thursday the 20th of February 2014 at 7.15 for a 7.30 start. The meeting is in the Education Room of Dickens’ World in Chatham and includes a talk: Dickens and Medway: the years in Kent as seen through the Guildhall collection by Jeremy Clarke. The February meeting is always known as the Charles Dickens birthday meeting and suitable celebrations are planned. A short reading will also be given by an R&CDF member. Non-members are welcome to attend for a small fee. For details of the R&CDF, or for non-members to attend, contact the Hon. Secretary, Mr Steve Martin, on 01474 834164.

Jeremy Clarke
Dr Jeremy Clark is Education Officer in the Guildhall Museum, High Street, Rochester. He provides a learning programme based on the museum’s collections and buildings. Jeremy gained a PhD from the University of Kent in 2007 and has been in museum education for over 19 years.

Picture1On Friday (13th December) Gad’s Hill School, Higham held a poignant official unveiling of its Kindergarten, The Jennie Marsh Wing, coinciding with the School’s annual cross country run.

The multi-million pound wing, named in memory of the former Head of Gad’s Kindergarten and Junior School, Jennie Marsh, who passed away in 2009, was opened by the Headmaster David Craggs, pupils and staff past and present and Jennie’s husband and daughters.

Mrs Marsh, who joined the Headmaster in campaigning for pupils to vacate the historic and increasingly fragile 18th century house of Gad’s Hill Place – which the School has used for teaching since the 1920s – died in May 2009, aged 58, after a short battle with cancer, leaving behind her daughters Sallie and Alison and her husband of 37 years, Malcolm, who also taught at the school.

(Photo left to right, back row: Former pupils join Gad’s Hill School Headmaster David Craggs, Alison Marsh, Malcolm Marsh (centre) Alison Marsh, Head of Gad’s Kindergarten and Junior School Fiona McPherson, with current pupils.)

Jennie travelled a long, varied and eventful journey from Zimbabwe, where she was born and raised, to Kent where she settled nearby in Wouldham. She devoted the remaining nine years of her life to the children and community at Gad’s.

During the unveiling ceremony, Headmaster of the school for three to sixteen-year-olds, Mr David Craggs said: “In September 2000 Jennie joined Gad’s as a temporary class teacher. It was soon apparent that she was not only a first rate teacher, but someone who possessed a huge amount of experience and had the qualities required to help drive Gad’s forward over the next few years. Within six months Jennie had become Head of Juniors and Kindergarten and helped to form the school it is today.”

He added: “She was loved by all students and staff, and there are many who feel that she had a profound impact on their lives.”

It was no coincidence that the unveiling ceremony was held on the same day as the School’s annual cross country run as the entire Marsh family – Jennie included – are keen runners.

It was in fact Malcolm, Jennie’s husband, who, alongside the Headmaster, came up with the concept of the run some ten years previously. As a special request, Malcolm – who travelled all the way from his home in South Africa for the special ceremony – Sallie and Alison Marsh were asked to run round the school field with the Kindergarten children, as Jennie would have done while teaching at Gad’s. Malcolm later presented awards to the winners of the Kindergarten, Junior and Senior School race winners.

Headmaster, Mr David Craggs, who took part in the race alongside a number of other staff, said: “While running about in the wet and cold is not to everyone’s taste, making sure our youngsters are fit and healthy is just as important as ensuring they can read and write and perform math’s to a decent level, a belief both Jennie, myself and Malcolm shared.

“Malcolm was especially pleased that so many years on, our pupils still brave the elements in a lesson that that teaches youngsters about the importance of teamwork by encouraging them to run the cross country on behalf of their school house – something his wife believed in. It’s a fantastically fun – although muddy! – outlet for all and we thank the Marsh family for joining us.”

Fagin

Fagin

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) is on Thursday the 17th of October 7.00 for a 7.15 start. An extraordinary AGM followed by a talk by Dean Caston titled “The Victoria Palace Theatre” The meeting is in the Education Room of Dickens World in Chatham. Non Members are welcome for a small fee. For details of the R&CDF or for non-members to attend contact the Hon. Secretary Mr Steve Martin on 01474 834164. For Dickens World – http://www.dickensworld.co.uk

Dean Caston – The Victoria Palace Theatre

The current Victoria Palace theater opened in 1911 so most of the talk covers the period 1911 to date. However, Dean will also talk about the history of the theater from 1832 – 1866 when it was a Music Hall.

Dean Caston has been involved with the theater for over 35 years and serves on the committee for the Rainham Theatrical Society and the British Musical Society. He is currently appearing at the Criterion Music Hall in Sheerness and will be appearing soon in ‘Dick Whittington’ at the Hazlitt Theater, Maidstone. Dean is also a tour guide at Dickens World.

Guest Speaker Mrs Toni Mount – They dared to be Doctors

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) is on Thursday the 20th June, 7.15 for a 7.30 start. The meeting takes place in the Education Room at Dickens World in Chatham and includes a talk by Mrs Toni Mount – “They dared to be Doctors”. The talk looks at the incredible determination of three Victorian Ladies; James Barry, Elizabeth Blackwell and Elizabeth Garrett-Anderson who struggled in a man’s world to qualify and practice as Doctors. Non-Members are welcome at £2 per person payable on the door but advanced booking is essential. For details of the R&CDF or for non-members to attend contact the Hon. Secretary Mr Steve Martin on 01474 834164 – stevemartin54@hotmail.com or John Knott 01634 862688.
For details of the venue – http://www.dickensworld.co.uk

Toni Mount;
Toni is a history teacher and experienced speaker. She is a member of the Richard III Society and co-ordinator of their latest research project, The Ricardian Chronicle. She is also a library volunteer where she leads a Creative Writing group.
Toni earned her research MA from the University of Kent in 2009 through study of a medieval medical manuscript held at the Wellcome Library in London. Her BA (with First-class Honours) and a Diploma in European Humanities are from the Open University. Her Cert. Ed (in Post-Compulsory Education and Training) is from the University of Greenwich. Recently she completed a Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing with the Open University.

Information taken from her web site http://www.tonimount.co.uk

©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

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

Dickens 296

Dickens 407

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) is on Thursday the 16th of May, 7.15 for a 7.30 start. The meeting takes place in the Education Room at Dickens World in Chatham and includes a talk by Mr David Cufley titled “Ratcatchers – occupation, profession & Industry”.
Non-Members are welcome at £2 per person payable on the door but advanced booking is essential. For details of the R&CDF or for non-members to attend contact the Hon. Secretary Mr Steve Martin on 01474 834164 – stevemartin54@hotmail.com or John Knott 01634 862688.
For details of the venue – http://www.dickensworld.co.uk

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 – stevemartin54@hotmail.com or John Knott 01634 862688.
For details of the venue – http://www.dickensworld.co.uk

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship (R&CDF) is on Thursday the 17th of January 7.15 for a 7.30 start. The meeting is in the Education Room of Dickens World in Chatham includes a talk by author, walk guide and historian Mr Ian Porter. Non Members are welcome for a small fee. For details of the R&CDF or for non-members to attend contact the Hon. Secretary Mr Steve Martin on 01474 834164. More

gads carolsThe sleigh bells are ringing and the halls are decked – yes, it’s Christmas time. But with only fourteen days left to get the Christmas shopping done some of us may feel like yelling ‘Bah Humbug!’ More

DSCN2451 Draw SMIt was on Christmas Eve 1864 when Charles Fechter announced that he had a Christmas present for Dickens that was far too big for him to carry, and was now waiting for him at Higham Railway Station, fortunately transport was not a problem, as Dickens kept a four-wheel spring van in the van house behind the servant’s hall at Gad’s Hill. When the gift was finally collected, which took some considerable time, as the gift was contained in fifty-eight packing cases, which meant that a number of trips to and fro from the station were necessary; the packing cases which had travelled from Paris, were opened to reveal all the pieces required to build a genuine Swiss chalet. More

The next meeting of the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship is on Thursday the 16th of March 7.15 for a 7.30 start. The meeting is in the Education Room of Dickens World in Chatham include s a talk by Michael Eaton. Non Members are welcome for a small fee. For details of the R&CDF or non members to attend contact the Joint Hon. Secretary Mr Steve Martin 01474 834164

Staff, pupils and parents from Gad’s Hill are capping off a tremendously successful year in style, when terms such as ‘excellent’ and ‘outstanding’ were used to describe the Higham school in their latest inspection report. The glowing inspection results have come in the same year that Gad’s Hill was named as the country’s top independent by the BBC, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and in the Government’s School League Tables, as well as eighth best school overall when including state schools.

Inspectors who visited the school, which caters for boys and girls aged three to 16, last week (29th-30th November) said the quality of leadership and management at the school – which is led by Headmaster Mr David Craggs – is excellent. The assessors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) also said in their report that “the quality of teaching is good with some excellent features” and that pupils’ overall achievement was ‘good’. The inspection also found that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at the school provides good quality education and care, and the quality of its leadership – run by Head of Kindergarten and Junior School, Ms Fiona McPherson – is outstanding. More

Volunteers from the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship in Victorian costume will attend the RSPB Country Fair. More

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