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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

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A top team of education experts will run Chatham Grammar School for Boys after Ofsted today (Tuesday September 10) announced the academy has been put into special measures – despite 95 per cent of pupils gaining five or more A* to C grade at GCSEs this year, including English and Mathematics.

Denise Shepherd, the Executive Principal of The Rochester Grammar School Trust, has become interim Executive Principal of Chatham Grammar School for Boys. Stuart Gardner, the Principal at The Rochester Grammar School, becomes interim Principal.

The Rochester Grammar School, is one of the highest achieving in the country, and was ranked second nationally for GCSE results in 2012. The Rochester Grammar School is also a National Support School and a National Teaching School with a successful track record of supporting other secondary schools both in Medway and in other local authorities. Read More

ORIGINAL 244a Fiona

For the first time ever at any event, Salute to the ‘40s has three of the leading 1940’s female performers together on one stage. With two Main Stages, two dancehalls, dance workshops, street performers and music across the site the weekend at The Historic Dockyard is going to be full of entertaining vintage delight! Keep Calm and Carry On to Salute to the ‘40s on 21st and 22nd September at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. Read More

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 deputycurator@re-museum.co.uk
http://www.bromptonhistory.org.uk

SpitfireChatham Historic Dockyard Trust is delighted to announce that The Spirit of Kent Spitfire from Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar will be making appearances at Salute to the ‘40s on 21st and 22nd September at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. Read More

hay wainThe life and times of two of Britain’s most famous artists will be revealed in a talk at Chatham Library, Chatham Community Hub next week. (Sept 5)

‘The Essential English Landscape’ highlights the importance of Turner and Constable in the history of the country’s art.

Martin Heard is one of Kent’s most popular speakers on art and brings to life the role of both painters.

J.M.W (John Mallord William) Turner went to the Royal Academy at the age of 14 and held his first exhibition there at the age of 15. He quickly became one of England’s foremost Romantic artists and almost single handedly established the country’s reputation for landscape and maritime art . He is known throughout the world for his links to Kent and for the influence the county had on his art.

John Constable was a contemporary and rival of Turner’s but during his lifetime did not achieve the same popularity in England, although his work was much in demand in France. However after his death his landcapes achieved wider acclaim at home.

The talk takes place at Chatham Library, Chatham Community Hub on Thursday September 5th at 7.30pm. Entry is free but booking is essential. Places can be reserved by ringing 01634 337799

Medway Council has pledged to continue the very important improvements it is bringing in to its services that look after children in care. The council has vowed to do this after Ofsted inspectors graded Medway’s Looked After Children Services as inadequate. Read More

Whoops of joy filled the school hall at St John Fisher Catholic School today (Thursday, 22 August), as students ripped open their GCSE exam results. Around 3,000 students received their GCSE results at schools across Medway earlier today. Read More

Dockyard (354) RedCross Girl in BlueChatham Historic Dockyard Trust is excited to announce a record year for Vintage Fashion enthusiasts at this year’s Salute to the ‘40s event on 21st and 22nd September at The Historic Dockyard Chatham. A record number of re-enactors and the best in 1940s’ traders, to help you get a truly authentic look, are booked to attend. Come and join them! More

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

mural 2For the past fortnight dozens of volunteers have been hard at work transforming part of Chatham town centre into a work of art – with the finished work set to be revealed this weekend. More

The world’s largest travel website, TripAdvisor, has once again recognised the high standards found at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, following the maritime heritage attraction’s exceptional traveller reviews. The TripAdvisor ‘Certificate of Excellence’ awards businesses that consistently earn top rankings from the website’s large community of reviewers and cites “with a high rating, The Historic Dockyard Chatham has earned a place amongst the very best”.

Mr Bill Ferris OBE in front of the fantastic No1 Smithery

Mr Bill Ferris OBE in front of the fantastic No1 Smithery

Bill Ferris OBE, Chief Executive of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust said; “Third party review is the most important validation of any visitor attraction. The consistently positive comments lodged on TripAdvisor are a real testament to our continuous programme of investment here and illustrate that we have a team of incredibly dedicated people who add that extra sparkle and will go that extra mile for our visitors. These actions make the real difference to all those visitors who come to this amazing place. We are very grateful to receive comments such as ‘‘Theresa, the guide in The Victorian Ropery was excellent and added so much value to the tour with her sharp wit and repartee’; ‘Irene, our guide, was terrific. We were a large group but she coped with this extremely well, with special attention for the children. Irene, you were great fun and certainly gave the impression you enjoy your job’; ‘The highlight for us was Hearts of Oak, a digital visit to the dockyards in the company of “projected” guides. Very atmospheric and technically very high quality. A great addition to the attractions here.”

Mr Ferris continued; “We are having a terrific visitor season with numbers well above our best ever to date, so we hope that even more visitors will leave as satisfied in the future! ”

Road safety st john fisherMore than 200 pupils at St John Fisher RC School have been working on their road safety understanding and abilities. The Year 7 and 8 pupils have been working with Medway Council’s Road Safety Team and Kent Police PCSO Rowan Cornwall on a number of activities and discussions. For many students, starting secondary school provides the first opportunity to independently travel to school. More

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

A public exhibition will next week launch two months of consultation on proposals aimed at ensuring Rochester Airport continues to fly. The two day event takes place 10.30am to 8pm Monday (22 July) and Tuesday (23 July), at the Innovation Centre, Maidstone Road, Chatham.
Residents and businesses will be able to see the latest draft of proposals that could create up to 1,000 jobs plus improved facilities that would increase the airport heritage tourism potential. More

Castle Concerts - Under SiegeTalented young people from Medway will perform at Rochester Castle gardens in Under Siege on Sunday, 21 July from 1pm to 3.30pm.

The free event is part of Medway’s Festival of Music and gives some of the area’s most gifted young performers the chance to showcase their talents on the Castle Concerts stage.

This year the Under Siege performers will follow in the footsteps of Status Quo, The Wanted, Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet, ABC and Go West as well as The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

All the acts will be able to perform on the same full-sized stage, with professional equipment and the support of an experienced crew. More

A talk about the Korean War will take place at Chatham Library next week. Korea 1950-1953: The Forgotten War – You Must Be Joking! Is on Thursday, 18 July 7.30pm at Chatham Library. Retired Brigadier Brian Parritt CBE will give the talk. This month (July) marks the 60th Anniversary of the signing of a cease-fire in the Korean War.

In this war more British serviceman became casualties than the total number of casualties since 1953, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brigadier Brian Parritt fought in the war as a young Gunner Subaltern, was wounded and commended for bravery. As a qualified Chinese interpreter and later a senior military intelligence officer, his talk will cover both his personal experiences in the war and an analysis of the causes and implications of the war. Free but booking essential by calling 01634 337799.

Keep children entertained this summer holiday with some creative fun and activities thanks to Medway Council Arts Team.

Heatwave summer activities programme is designed for children aged eight to 16. More

RichardIII-blogpostTwo Medway pupils will be treading the boards this summer with a professional theatre company. Kent-based Changeling Theatre Company open-air tour of Richard III comes to Rochester Castle on 10 July and Upnor on 31 July and 1 August.

Ashley Stevens and Jacob Clarke are playing the princes in the tower at the Rochester and Upnor performances after successfully auditioning earlier this year. Ashley, who turns 16 next month, lives in Lordswood and has just completed his GCSEs, including drama. He is looking forward to performing in Medway with all the cast. He said: “I’m not sure acting is something I want to pursue because at the moment I need to concentrate on my A’ Levels studies – including drama. I’m really grateful to Changeling Theatre Company for giving me this opportunity. 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

A5 EOD Amber

©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

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

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

Discover another side to Robin Hood at an author talk later this month (May).

Best-selling author Angus Donald will be at Chatham Library at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 28 May to talk about his series of books The Outlaw Chronicles.

Angus writes about Robin Hood but not the way you know him. The books focus on the dark side of the legendary hero. The novels depict a world that is a far cry from the Kevin Costner or Russell Crowe film portrayals.

Paperback copies of Angus’ newly released book, Warlord, will be available to purchase on the night and Angus will be happy to sign them after the talk.
To book a place on this free talk phone 01634 337799.

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.

JEDWARDWatch out… Planet Jedward is coming to Medway. Jed-mad fans have been snapping up the tickets for Jedward’s show at The Central Theatre on Friday, 27 September. More than 100 tickets were sold in the first few hours of the show being announced yesterday (Thursday, 9 May) with the box office inundated with calls from fans. And the Irish songsters certainly have a global following with tickets being bought for the Chatham show by fans in the Netherlands and Bosnia, and as far away as Russia and Australia.

Jedward followers have also taken to Twitter too, excitedly commenting on the hair-raising duo’s forthcoming tour and Medway date. The pair, who represented the Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 and 2012, first found fame on the X Factor in 2009, where they finished in sixth place. Since then they have gone on to release nine singles, three albums, appear on Celebrity Big Brother and their own reality TV shows.

Tickets are priced at £25 and are available from the box office on 01634 338388 or at http://www.medwayticketslive.co.uk

A free Pregnancy Information evening will be held at All Saints Sure Start Children’s Centre, Chatham on Thursday, 16 May.

The event is for women in all stages of pregnancy, as well as their partners and family. Anyone who would like advice and information can attend any time between 6pm and 8pm.
There will be information from midwives and health visitors as well as organisations including Breastfeeding Peer Supporters and NCT. There will also be advice about healthy eating in pregnancy, cloth nappies and slings, osteopathy for mother and baby, hypnobirthing, homeopathy, oral health and more.

Entry is free and there will be a chance to enter a free prize draw. Refreshments will also be available from the café.

For more information contact the Children’s Centre on 338833

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

NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group held its first governing body meeting in public this week, and emphasised that its agenda is all about quality and improving outcomes for people.

The clinically led organisation is responsible for deciding how and where an annual budget of £315million is spent on hospital, community and mental health services for the 283,000 people in the Medway area. More

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