You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘chatham’ tag.

skier
Chatham’s Charlotte Evans made Medway proud as she, alongside Kelly Gallagher, won gold at the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi.

It was the first gold medal to be won by a British team in skiing at either the Winter Olympic or Paralymic Games.

Now, the Mayor of Medway Josie Iles hopes to congratulate Charlotte on her success with an invitation to afternoon tea.

She said: “This is such a great acheivement. Not only have Charlotte and Kelly won gold medals, they are the first to do it in this sport.

“I am immensely proud, as I am sure the rest of Medway is and would be delighted to invite Charlotte for a celebratory afternoon tea in the Mayor’s Parlour when she returns from Sochi.”
Charlotte and Kelly, who is visually impaired, took part in the Super-G total skiing event and their winning time was one minute, 28.72 seconds

Burlesque63Red
Flushed with success, now entering its fourth fabulous year, the world’s original touring burlesque spectacular is about to hit town.

Officially Britain’s biggest burlesque extravaganza – a quarter of a million people have now seen this show – An Evening of Burlesque is responsible for exposing the cream of the West End of London’s thriving burlesque scene to the world. Not only has the ever-so-cheeky production revealed the secrets of the art of burlesque to delighted audiences across the UK, it has also thrilled theatregoers at the swishest venues throughout Europe as well.
From Milan to Zurich, St Petersburg to Minsk, Leipzig to Verona, Dresden to Riga, Padova to Dessau the reaction has been the same – absolutely incredible, says show producer Michael Taylor.

“Nothing is lost in translation,” says Michael. “An Evening of Burlesque’s content – sparkling glamour, physical humour and a dynamic score – are appreciated in any language.”
An Evening of Burlesque features corsets, killer heels and stockings aplenty – and that’s just the theatregoers who come to see the show!

“For a spectacle that sparkles from its elaborately-decorated headdresses to its immaculately varnished toes,” says Michael, “it might not come as a complete surprise that audiences are predominantly female. Also, we’re pleased to report that, with a prize for the best-dressed member of the audience, theatregoers revel in dressing up for the occasion.”
The show itself sparkles with couture costumes recalling the golden eras of burlesque. An Evening of Burlesque claims to be the most glamorous show on tour.

For over-18s only, it boasts that its success is built on a combination of sultry vocals, breathtaking choreography, mischief, magic, frivolity and fun.

“It’s all tease, no sleaze,” says Michael. “The show combines musical and theatrical parody, cutting-edge variety, magic, comedy and dance with the art of striptease.”

Michael says he is proud to be bringing variety back to the theatre, claiming An Evening of Burlesque is the slickest, wickedly wittiest, most delightfully choreographed cabaret spectacular of the year.

“Dress up and come to the cabaret,” he says.

DRESS TO IMPRESS – PRIZE FOR THE MOST GLAMOROUS MEMBER OF THE AUDIENCE

Sparkling with couture costumes, featuring killer heels and stockings aplenty. . . no, we’re not talking about the burlesque all-star performers appearing in Britain’s hottest new theatre show sensation An Evening of Burlesque.

That’s a description of audiences for the glamorous production. Its combination of song, dance, mischief, magic, music, frivolity and fun has proved an unqualified hit with the ladies.

“Throughout the UK,” says show producer Michael Taylor, “at every venue, the fairer sex make up the majority of our audiences. “And the ladies just love dressing for the occasion.”

So much so, the production now offers a “burlesque-tastic” surprise prize for the best-dressed member of the audience on the night. The prize will be awarded by the show’s production manager, their decision being final.

“The show is an opportunity,” says Mike, “to forget about all your troubles for an evening and enjoy the thrills and spills of modern-day burlesque.

“Theatregoers completely immerse themselves in the evening’s entertainment.”
Michael says, as performers look out from the stage the auditorium is aglitter with the most dazzling outfits.

“As a consequence, the atmosphere at theatres is absolutely electric,” he says.

“We would like to reward the most glamorously-dressed person with a prize they’ll treasure forever.”

ENTERTAINERS, 200 LONDON ROAD, HADLEIGH, BENFLEET, ESSEX, SS7 2PD
Tel: 01702 427100 switchboard, 01702 427102 direct easytheatres.com

Hazelwood_School_Year_7_PS084 The inventive and award winning Learning Team at The Historic Dockyard Chatham has created two new Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities for Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils – “Missile Mission” and “Depth Charge Destroyers” – thanks to the generous sponsorship of BAE Systems, Electronic Systems, Rochester.

Pupils from Hazelwood School on the Kent / Surrey border were the first to trial one of the two innovative sessions, “Depth Charge Destroyers”. Inspired by The Historic Dockyard’s Second World Destroyer, HMS Cavalier, teams of students competed to construct and test a model destroyer complete with propulsion systems. They then devised a simple release mechanism to deliver a depth charge and the team whose ship survived the challenge of the tow tank wind and wave machine and hit the target won!

Michael Tierney, BAE Systems, Electronic Systems, Rochester Site Executive Lead, commented, “We are proud to be supporting these STEM programmes for children within the Kent and Medway area. It is wonderful to see children experiencing and solving STEM-related problems as well as exploring the possibility of careers in these fields.”

Rebecca Brough, Learning Manager at The Historic Dockyard Chatham said; “We are always looking for new and pioneering ways to engage the thousands of students who visit us here every year and take part in our education programmes. Our partnership with BAE Systems has enabled us to develop these extended 90 minute sessions, offering even better value for money to schools. The sessions are designed to develop pupils’ teamwork and communication skills while extending their technical knowledge of STEM subjects.”

Disabled residents in Medway are being encouraged to join a new forum and have their say in council decisions affecting the disabled community.

Carers and people with disabilities have the opportunity to join the Medway Disabled Residents’ Forum on Thursday, 6 March at the Pentagon Centre in Chatham from 10.30am.

The group is set to encourage the disabled population to speak out on issues that affect quality of life, access and welfare of disabled residents.

The concept of the forum was agreed unanimously at Full Council at the end of 2012, and has received cross-party support with Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Service Cllr David Brake, the Leader of the council’s Labour Group, Cllr Vince Maple and Cllr Geoff Juby, the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group all backing the idea.

Chairman of the Medway Residents’ Forum Ryan Gallagher said: “Disabled people in Medway really need a way of speaking out about issues that have an impact on them. This forum will do just that, but we need lots of people to get on board if we are going to have an impact.

I would encourage anyone affected by disability to join us at the Pentagon Centre on Thursday.”

The event will run from 10.30am to 2.30pm and will be an opportunity to find out more about the forum.

There will also be a chance to find out about some of the services available to disabled people in Medway.

pancakes article On Tuesday 4 March the second Annual Pancake Races will be held on New Road, Gravesend. Local businesses will be racing against each other whilst flipping their pancakes. Races start at 12.15pm.

Last year’s winner was Lizzie from the Kent messenger. A council spokesperson said: “Last year was flipping crazy, there was a great buzz in the town with shrieks of laughter as the businesses raced against each other. We are looking forward to crowning a new champion this year.”

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

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 www.thedockyard.co.uk/steamandtransport
chdtbutterfields

cyclogocolour2Youngsters with dreams of tearing up the track represented Great Britain at one of the largest motorcross beach races in Europe.

Young bike enthusiasts from Medway competed in the Endurole du Touquest in France on 8 and 9 February – their first ever endurance race lasting a gruelling one and a half hours.

Riders Patrick O’Neil, 16, from Strood and Jordan Chapman, 15, from Chattenden came in 37th and 93rd place out of 150 riders.

The talented teens were supported by a trio of mechanics, Jack Staples, 18, from Chatham and Stuart Galloway, 18 and Charlie Knight, 16, from Gillingham, who managed the pit stop and kept the bikes in top condition.

The boys were able to take part in such a prestigious race as part of Cyber Youth Connect (CYC) Youth Project, lead by Medway Council and funded by Interreg.

The project works in conjunction with partners in France promoting English and French unity, and gives young people oppotunities to develop their skills and talents.

Not only did the youngsters have a great time on their racing trip, it also provided them with a platform to put their newly learnt skills from the CYC programme into practice.

Patrick said: “I’ve learnt different techniques, the way to move around the bike in the sand and how to perform and different ways to ride the bike. Because there are no sand tracks over here that’s why everyone goes to Dunkirk – it’s so hard and different out there.

“Without CYC I would have never had the opportunity to do this so I am so grateful to everyone involved in making this happen.”

Jordan never thought he would have an opportunity to take part in such an event. He said: “Motor cross is something that I really enjoy doing, it’s been in my head ever since my dad bought me my first bike with I was two and a half.

“I have really enjoyed this experience and to get the chance to represent Medway in this race is something I could never have dreamt of.”

Since being selected for the race in August last year, the team prepared for the big event with Dover based motocross project MXCP, riding 125cc Suzuki bikes.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “It is wonderful that teenagers from Medway were able to take part in a big competition like this abroad, alongside other young people engaged in similar programmes to CYC.

“The CYC Youth Project can offer up some great opportunities to our young people.”

Youngsters who would like to get involved with the CYC project can still do so as a variety of courses will be running until March 2015.

CYC gives 11 to 19-year-olds an opportunity to gain skills and experience in music, cookery, motorbike mechanics and safe riding, as well as media including filming and photography.

To find out more and sign up visit www.medway.gov.uk/cyc or call 01634 332286

Part of Chatham High Street will shortly be closed to traffic and pedestrians as a safety precaution, following the collapse of part of the old bank chambers building, next to the Theatre Royal, last night.

The road will be closed from the Rendezvous Chinese Restaurant to Manor Road this afternoon (Friday 14 February), and could remain closed for several days. Please re-post or re-tweet if you can!

rochdickensOn Friday 7th February – Charles Dickens’ 202nd birthday – members of the Rochester & Chatham Dickens Fellowship attended the first local evening screening of the film “The Invisible Woman”. The film is currently being shown at the Odeon Cinema in Dickens World Leisure Complex, Chatham. The film is based on the book by Claire Tomalin telling the life story of Ellen (Nelly) Turnan. The controversy from a Dickensian scholar’s point of view is a tantalising question: did Charles Dickens have a platonic relationship with the young actress or a love affair? There is also controversy over his separation from his wife, the mother of his ten children – and indeed whether Ellen Turnan had a child by Charles Dickens (or even more than one!). I am sure that Dickens scholars will continue arguing over this for years to come.

Whatever the truth about Ellen Turnan and Charles Dickens, members enjoyed the film and found it well acted and produced. There is local interest in the film: Chatham and Rochester get a mention and part of the story relates to Gad’s Hill Place in Higham. A lesser-known fact is that Ellen (Nelly) Turnan was born on March 3rd 1839 in Maidstone Road, Rochester and baptised later that month in St Nicholas’ Church.

Police all over Kent are increasing the number of Public Surgeries and Community engagement events they run. Please find below a list of these events around Medwaylink_Kent_Police_logo_-_Two_line_colour (1)

Surgeries being held by PCSO CORNWALL

Luton Library, Nelson Terrace, Chatham Thursday 6th February 1000 – 1130 hours

Luton Library, Nelson Terrace, Chatham. Thursday 6th March 1000 – 1130 hours

Surgeries being held by PCSO DAVISON

Medway Maritime Hospital, Windmill Road, Gillingham. February 19th 1000 – 1100 hours.

Community Engagement/Surgery held by PCSO KING

Morrison’s Car Park, Princes Avenue, Chatham. February 3rd 1000 – 1100 hours

March 3rd 1000 – 1100
April 7th 1000 – 1100
May 5th 1000 – 1100
June 2nd 1000 – 1100
July 7th 1000 – 1100
Aug 4th 1000 – 1100
Sept 1st 1000 – 1100
Oct 6th 1000 – 1100
Nov 3rd 1000 – 1100
Dec 1st 1000 – 1100

Community Engagement/Surgery held by PCSO KING

Walderslade Village Library, Walderslade Chatham

Feb 4th 0900 – 1000
March 4th 0900 – 1000
April 1st 0900 – 1000
May 6th 0900 – 1000
June 3rd 0900 – 1000
July 1st 0900 – 1000
Aug 5th 0900 – 1000
Sept 2nd 0900 – 1000
Oct 7th 0900 – 1000
Nov 4th 0900 – 1000
Dec 2nd 0900 – 1000

Surgeries being held by PCSO BROOKS

Wigmore Library, Fairview Avenue, Wigmore.

Thursday 27th February 1100 – 1200
Thursday 27th March 1100 – 1200
Thursday 24th April 1100 – 1200

Surgeries being held by PCSO McCANN

ABC Project, Mercury Close, Rochester.

Thursday 13th Feb 1000 – 1100
Thursday 13th March 1000 – 1100
Thursday 10th April 1000 – 1100
Thursday 15th May 1000 – 1100
Thursday 5th June 1000 – 1100
Thursday 10th July 1000 – 1100

Surgeries held by PCSO COLTHORPE

The Rochester Hub, Rochester High Street.

Thursday 13th Feb 1000 – 1100
Thursday 13th March 1000 – 1100
Thursday 10th April 1000 – 1100
Thursday 8th May 1000 – 1100
Thursday 5th June 1000 – 1100
Thursday 3rd July 1000 – 1100

Surgeries being held by PCSO McCANN and PCSO COLTHORPE

St Peters Church, Delce Road, Rochester

Tuesday 4th February 1000 – 1100
Tuesday 11th March 1000 – 1100
Tuesday 8th April 1000 – 1100
Tuesday 13th May 1000 – 1100
Tuesday 3rd June 1000 – 1100
Tueday 8th July 1000 – 1100

Surgeries being held by PCSO McCANN

St Justus Church, The Fairway, Rochester.

Wednesday 19th Feb 1000 – 1100
Wednesday 12th March 1000 – 1100
Wednesday 9th April 1000 – 1100
Wednesday 14th May 1000 – 1100
Wednesday 11th June 1000 – 1100
Wednesday 30th July 1000 – 1100

Surgeries being held by PCSO McCANN

The Holiday Inn, Maidstone Road, Chatham

Thurs 13th Feb 1200 – 1300
Thurs 13th March 1200 – 1300
Thurs 17th April 1100 – 1200
Thurs 22nd May 1100 – 1200
Thurs 19th June 1100 – 1200
Thurs 31st July 1100 – 1200

Surgeries being held by PCSO CLARE

Memorial Hall Car Park, Holly Road, Wainscott
Feb 14th 1600 – 1700

Outside Parkside Car Park, Cliffe Woods.
14th Feb 1730 – 1830

St Helens Church Car Park, Cliffe
14th Feb 1900 – 2000

medway-logoThe February half-term holiday is approaching and there are plenty of fun activities on offer in Medway to keep the children entertained.

Fans of pop boyband One Direction will jump at the chance to learn a great dance routine to some of their greatest hits.

Those aged between eight and 16 – who fancy following in the footsteps of their favourite band members – can put on their dancing shoes and take part in a special workshop at The Brook Theatre in Chatham.

The workshop on Tuesday, 18 February is with professional dancer Jay Saunders who will teach the young people a choreographed routine and a variety of dance skills.

There will even be a final performance for family and friends where children can showcase the moves they have learnt at the end of the day.

The workshop takes place from 10am to 3.30pm and costs £14 for each participant.

Children can also get creative and learn some magic with a professional circus company at the Balloon Art and Magic Tricks workshop.

On Monday, 17 February, tutor Mighty Mike of Dizzy O’ Dare Presents will teach those aged between eight and 14 how to make amazing balloon models and perform marvellous magic tricks.

The session will begin with fun warm up games and demonstrations, followed by activities where the children will work in small groups with one-to-one help from the workshop assistants.

Each child will take home some new skills as well as their very own pack of playing cards to try their tricks on family and friends.

The workshop takes place from 10am until noon at The Brook Theatre in Chatham and costs £7.
On another date at the same theatre, youngsters interested in arts and crafts can get messy designing ceramics and printing pictures with artist Friday Caswell.

Using special tile-cutting tools, rollers and inks – those who attend the workshop on Friday 21 February, will get to make unique printed pictures as well as paint designs on mugs, plates and tiles.

Caswell will showcase some examples of her work and talk about the different techniques and equipment the group will be using throughout the day. She will then help the children with their ideas and creation of their artwork.

The workshop runs from 10am to 3.30pm for eight to 14-year-olds of all abilities and costs £14.

All materials – including the china items – are supplied and included in the price of the workshop. Children are asked to wear old clothes and an apron if they have one.

If you would like to book a place for any of these events or find out more information contact 01634 338338 or visit www.enjoymedway.co.uk

Archeological remains of the NAMUR, the ship beneath the floorChatham Historic Dockyard Trust has received funding of £150,000 from DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement fund, in support of “Building the Future” – an element of its Command of the Oceans project, shortly due for commencement.

Within the Command of the Oceans project, The Trust faces the challenge of retelling the dockyard’s age of sail story and ensuring that the Namur, the highly significant archaeological ship’s timbers find, becomes a central element of that story. Thanks to this funding, “Building the Future” will allow the Trust to renew interpretation of the ship’s timbers as the centre piece of new age of sail galleries and improving the environmental conditions within the Wheelwrights’ Shop – benefiting visitors, the archaeological find itself and improving energy efficiency. The project will also see the creation of a new, more visible visitor entrance to The Historic Dockyard which will act as an arrival point to the wider Chatham Dockyard & its Defences site incorporating a free to enter initial interpretation and orientation ‘Discovery Zone’ in the Wheelwrights’ Shop with easy access and modern visitor facilities.

Bill Ferris OBE, Chief Executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust said; “The announcement of this award effectively completes the major element of our fundraising campaign for what is arguably the most significant single project undertaken by The Trust in pursuit of its own educational charitable purposes since the ‘Wooden Walls’ gallery opened in the late 1980s. Funding from the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund 2011-15 will allow work to commence on the wider Command of the Oceans project later in 2014 and we are extremely grateful to the DCMS/Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund for their continued support of The Historic Dockyard Chatham.”

Figures released today show schools in Medway are narrowing the achievement gap between disadvantaged pupils and other pupils.

Performance at Key Stage 4 shows that in Medway, there has been an increase in the percentage of disadvantaged pupils gaining 5+ GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and mathematics, up 1.8 percent to 38.8%.

That closes the gap from 30% in 2012 to 28.5% in 2013.

cllobrien.jpgIn 2013, the overall Medway figure for the percentage of pupils achieving 5+GCSEs at grades A*- C (including English and Mathematics) has been maintained at 61%. That means Medway is above the national figure of 60.6%. Lead Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Medway Council, Councillor Mike O’Brien, said: “We have much to celebrate in Medway schools with further evidence of a continuing improvement.

“Figures only show part of the picture and don’t always reflect the hard work being done by teachers and pupils but today we can congratulate all those involved for showing Medway schools are really going places.

“That’s not to say we will take these figures for granted and the hard work will continue.
“But this is fantastic news and I would like to say well done to all our young people who have worked so hard to achieve this with their dedicated and hard-working staff.”

Key facts and figures:
Medway Performance at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5

• The number of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 has increased by 2.3%, from 3168 in 2012 to 3242 in 2013.

• In 2013, the overall Medway figure for the percentage of pupils achieving 5+GCSEs at grades A*- C (including English and Mathematics) has been maintained at 61%.

• The number of pupils entered for all English Baccalaureate subjects increased by 68%.

• The percentage of Medway pupils achieving all English Baccalaureate subjects increased from 14.7% in 2012 to 18.6% this year. This represents an improvement of 3.9% and exceeds the 2012 national figure of 18.4%.

• Almost all Medway state funded schools saw an increase in the percentage of pupils achieving all English Baccalaureate subjects.

• Both of the Medway LA maintained secondary schools had successful results.

• The number of pupils at the Howard School at the end of Key Stage 4 increased from 219 in 2012 to 238 in 2013. In the past year, the Howard School maintained it performance level for the number of pupils achieving 5+GCSEs at grades A*- C (including English and Mathematics). Their figure of 62% was the same as last year, and exceeded both the corresponding Local Authority and national figure for 2012.

• The Howard School also saw a remarkable increase in the percentage of pupils achieving all English Baccalaureate subjects. Their performance improved from 1% in 2012 to 20% in 2013.

• In 2013, St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School increased the percentage of pupils achieving 5+GCSEs at grades A*- C (including English and Mathematics) to 47%, up one percentage point from the previous year. The percentage of pupils achieving all English Baccalaureate subjects also saw a notable increase from 2% in 2012 to 8% in 2013. The school also showed significant gains at Key Stage 5.

• Robert Napier is the most improved for 5+ GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and mathematics, with figures increasing from 31% in 2012 to 47% in 2013.

• Medway has reduced the achievement gap between disadvantaged pupils and all other pupils. There has been an increase in the percentage of disadvantaged pupils gaining 5+ GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and mathematics, up 1.8 percent to 38.8%, thereby closing the gap from 30% in 2012 to 28.5% in 2013.

• The percentage of Medway disadvantaged pupils achieving the English Baccalaureate has also increased by 1.6%

St Werburgh Court, Hoo St Werburgh Court, Hoo

A recent report, commissioned by the National Housing Federation, revealed that the gap between supply and demand in housing is widening. Nationally, England needs to build 240,000 homes a year just to meet the demand[1] yet house building decreased by 11% between 2009 and 2013[2]. In Medway, the demand for affordable homes is clear: rental prices are expected to rise by 38% by 2020[3].

mhs homes is on target to build more affordable homes across Medway in 2014 with developments at Amherst Hill, Brompton and the sites previously used as Rainham and Rochester police stations. The properties will be available for shared ownership and affordable rent. More homes are planned for Kent and Medway in 2015 and beyond.

Emma Riddington, Head of Development at mhs homes, says:

“At mhs homes, we recognise the need to support the local community and are developing properties to suit all individual circumstances. We are increasing our portfolio of both affordable and market rent properties and have started work on sites outside of Medway. In 2012/13 we built 140 new homes, and are on target to build another 260 new homes by the end of March 2015.”

[1] National Housing Federation, “Supply and demand/affordability”
[2] ibid
[3] National Housing Federation, statistics for Medway.

Earlier this month, mhs homes staff members spent three days volunteering with Medway Foodbank.

The volunteers worked at Medway Foodbank’s warehouse and main office in Medway City Estate, allocating goods to six local centres across the Medway area. This included organising goods in date order, packing up boxes of food to replenish the centres, and sorting the ‘Christmas corner’ which contained seasonal treats such as mince pies to help bring some extra Christmas cheer to Foodbank users. The volunteers sorted through donations received from Tesco shoppers, Medway churches, the general public and mhs homes staff.

Kevin Jennings, Medway Foodbank Warehouse Manager said:

“We really appreciate the wonderful help we have received from mhs homes staff. It has been really busy in the warehouse and the extra help has been a real blessing. During the first weekend in December we had approximately 4.4 tonnes of food donated by generous Medway residents, for which we are extremely grateful.”

Joanna Blackwood, Housing Systems Co-ordinator said:

“At the time the warehouse seemed packed to the rafters but we were told that this was only because of the food drive. In fact the Foodbank manager said that if we came back after Christmas we would see a much depleted stock! It was great to see how generous the public had been, and especially that there were also some extra treats to provide some extra Christmas cheer.”

For more information about Medway Foodbank, or to give a donation please visit http://www.medway.foodbank.org.uk or call: 01634 757057

Irene Ropery CobblestonesAs darkness descends, The Historic Dockyard takes on an eerie atmosphere, providing the perfect backdrop for tales of history, mystery, murder and intrigue – mixed with a little adventure and romance. This year’s ghost walks and spooky tales take visitors around the darkened cobbled streets of the Ropery buildings and into the dimly lit Ropery itself – an eerie experience in the darkened ¼ mile rope walk.

Commencing at 8pm and lasting approximately 1½ hours these eerie evenings cost £12 per person and run on the following dates:
Friday 25th October
Friday 1st & 15th November
Friday 13th December

Places are limited! To avoid disappointment, pre-booking is essential. Call 01634 823845 / 823852 or email ghostwalks@chdt.org.uk

Minimum age is 16 years if accompanied by a full paying adult over the age of 21.

Snorkellers below the Minack (Rod Allday) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Snorkellers below the Minack (Rod Allday) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Registration has opened for Medway’s newest mass participation event – the Medway Big Splash.

The weekend-long event will showcase watersports, aquatics and water-based activity sessions, all culminating in the main event – a mass community swim challenge.

It takes place at Medway Park and Strood Sports Centres on 18 and 19 January 2014.

The swimming event builds on the success of the annual Medway Mile, which now attracts thousands of people of every age for a one-mile walk or run around Rochester. Read More

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.

World Mental Health Day on October 10 will be marked in Medway with special information stands to provide people with help and guidance. Read More

Last 48 hrs to table your questions.

NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body will be holding its monthly meeting in public next week.

The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) commissions health services in Medway. The meeting will take place at the CCG offices at 50 Pembroke Court, Chatham Maritime on Wednesday 2 October from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and will include a slot at the end when the public can ask questions or make comments on the work of the CCG.

Further meetings are scheduled for Wednesday 23 October and Wednesday 27 November. Questions should be tabled in advance by contacting Sharon Davies by email (Sharon.davies6@nhs.net), by phone (01634 335177) The agenda and papers are available online on the Friday before each meeting at http://www.medwayccg.nhs.uk.

Job fair 1More than 2,000 people attended the Medway Jobs and Apprenticeship Fair in the Pentagon Centre in Chatham which was organised by Medway Council and Jobcentre Plus.

Fifteen hundred job opportunities were advertised by employers from across Medway and the rest of Kent.

Visitors were able to complete and hand in job applications, and there was also advice from a range of agencies about training, apprenticeships and developing the skills to help people back into work or find a new career. Read More

ApprenticeshipA number of local businesses looking to recruit new staff will be setting up shop at the Pentagon Centre in Chatham this week for the Medway Jobs and Apprenticeship Fair 2013.

The event, organised by Medway Council and Job Centre Plus, takes place from 10am to 3pm on Thursday, 26 September on the first floor of the shopping mall.

It builds on a highly successful jobs fair held last year attended by more than 1,700 jobseekers resulting in 100 jobs being secured and many others helped to get their career ambitions on track.

A number of local employers from across Medway and the rest of Kent will have stands as well as employment support agencies, offering advice on training and skills to help people back into work or find a new career.

That includes the council backed Employ Medway service, based in High Street. Chatham which offers courses and one-to-one support for people who have been unemployed for some time.

Jobcentre Plus will be on hand to provide information on how both employers and jobseekers can benefit from the Wage Incentive scheme, work trials and work experience. Read More

batsbroomsThings get spooky this Autumn Half Term at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, as visitors explore the eerie and ethereal through a range of exciting activities.

Running from 25 October through to 3 November, visitors can join in the Bats and Broomsticks activities, suitable for all the family. These include a brand new and very informative Bat Trail, the return of Megan the Witch with spell binding stories to enchant and – back by popular demand – families can challenge their creative skills by trying their hand at Pumpkin Carving or take the spooky mini Ghost Tours through the eerie Hearts of Oak gallery in the dark! Read More

Press5After last year’s success, The Russian State Ballet and Opera House is back with a new and vibrant Classical Ballet, The Nutcracker – a family orientated production with the Fairy Tale element and some added glitz from the beautiful costumes.

There will be no surprise to any that this production will be of the most delicate, intimate and powerful kind. This Company is known for its attention to details and, more particularly, for its dramatization in dance of the tragedy and beauty that this ballet is known for.

Join us for an unforgettable journey in the run-up to Christmas and be part of the magic as it unfolds. Read More

BROOK PUMPHand of Stabs, a quirky three-man band known for their improvised shows in unusual settings, will be performing a one-off gig at the Old Brook Pumping Station in Chatham on Saturday, 28 September.

The Royal Albert Hall may have fine acoustics and the O2 Greenwich a show-stopping all round view but neither has a belt driven Blackstone 14 inch Unchokeable Pump on hand to wow the audience.

The 84-year-old water pumping device at The Old Brook Pumping Station, off Solomons Road, Chatham will be getting a new lease of life but this time as a musical instrument. Read More

Regal Models 180913 001Regal Models 180913 008Regal Models 180913 012If you are you should get down to the new Regal Model Shop at The Old School House at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham this weekend. There is a huge trailer with a Scalextric circuit made up inside ready to for you to take part in events in the Scalextric World Cup. Come along and release the competitor in you. Combine it with a visit to the Salute the 40s event at the Historic dockyard and take a look round their extensive showroom while you are there.

Public consultation on a new document setting out how Medway’s potential World Heritage Site supports the area’s regeneration agenda goes live today (16 September, 2013).

The draft Chatham World Heritage Planning Policy document responds to government feedback on Medway’s bid to nominate Chatham Dockyard and its Defences as a World Heritage Site in 2014.

Chatham is one of just eleven sites on the government’s shortlist of potential World Heritage Sites. It is considered the world’s best-preserved example of a defended dockyard from the age of sail. Read More

DCMedway Council has been praised by the Prime Minister for some of the best results in Britain for helping families in a groundbreaking government scheme.

Under the project the council will help more than 500 families in a three year period.
The programme in Medway means council workers assist families with the underlying issues which can lead to truancy and anti social behaviour. The scheme also gives advice on developing skills and getting back into work.

The Prime Minister’s comments have been welcomed by Councillor Mike O’Brien, Medway Council’s lead porfolio holder for Children’s Services. Medway Council has worked with 180 families in the last twelve months and more assistance will be given to another 380 over the next two years of the project.

David Cameron praised Medway’s work in implementing the payment-by-results programme. The Prime Minister said: “I am determined that we help people to get on in life including those families where things may be going wrong. For some, that starts with attending school every day, staying out of trouble with the police and taking practical steps towards work, just as other families do. Every month, more and more of the most troubled families are getting help to deal with these issues head-on in Medway . That is good for those families, your community and our country as a whole.”

Cllr O’Brien said: “I am delighted the Prime Minister has recognised the excellent work being done to make Medway a great place to live and work for everyone. It is a tribute to the hard work being done by many council staff to help those in most need. Within three years we will have helped 560 families. ”

%d bloggers like this: