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BROOK PUMPThe Old Brook Pumping Station in Solomons Road, Chatham has been completely refurbished.

The station has undergone extensive structural repairs, after a structural survery reveals subsidence was causing the front porch to lean forward and large cracks to appear in the walls. The survey revealed the combination of inadequate foundations and poor soil was the cause. The front porch has now been underpinned. Work during the six-year project included temporary support for the building, new foundations with reinforced concrete, plus replacement doors and ceiling, new signage, landscaping and decorative mouldings. More

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Photo Credit & Copyright Simon Kelsey

Photo Credit & Copyright Simon Kelsey

Where can you build sandcastles, see knights do battle, attend a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and meet St George and his dragon, all in one day?

Thousands of visitors are expected to go along and do just that at this year’s English Festival, which takes place on Saturday 20 April at Riverside Country Park, Gillingham. Held annually on the closest Saturday to St George’s Day, the free family day out celebrates the iconic and ironic traditions of England. More

Kent’s leading wildlife charity is calling upon the horse riding fraternity to support its cross country ride this spring to raise vital funding towards the conservation of local wildlife.

The third Kent Wildlife Trust Charity Ride, supported by Barclays Bank and Lillicos Country Stores, will be held on Sunday 14th April. More

Paul Chowdhry is coming to Gravesend for a Comedy and Curry night on 11 April.

Known for his dry observational humour, Paul Chowdhry beat the likes of Michael McIntyre and Ross Noble to become Funniest Stand Up at the Loaded Lafta 2013 awards earlier this year.

The Comedy and Curry Show at The Woodville is at 8pm on Thursday 11 April. Tickets start from £11 and are available from The Woodville box office on 01474 337774 or http://www.woodville.co.uk

Cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to join The Mayor of Medway on an 18-mile bike ride this month.

Cllr Vaughn Hewett and the A Better Medway health improvement team are taking part in the Active Medway Cycle Groups ride on Sunday, 21 April. The route will go along the wonderful Heron Trail on the Hoo Peninsula – 18 miles of pretty countryside, mainly on cycle paths or low traffic roads. Trained ride leaders will also be on hand to assist cyclists along the route. More

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Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales
The Central Theatre, Chatham
Sunday, 7 April at 3pm

For a non-chocolate treat this Easter take the children to the theatre.
Award-winning children’s author Julia Donaldson’s fantastically funny stories – Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales – are bought to life at The Central Theatre, Chatham on Sunday, 7 April at 3pm.

Under the sea, on the farm, and in the jungle, these popular stories have been woven together with music and colourful puppets. Aimed at children aged three and upwards, the show is part of the Sundays are for Kids programme at Medway’s two theatres.
An absolute treat for children this Easter holiday – one not to miss.

Tickets, priced at £12, are available from the box office on 01634 338338 or online at http://www.medwayticketslive.co.uk

Girls Aloud Style Workshop
Monday, 8 April, 10am – 3.30pm at The Brook Theatre
A must for all Girls Aloud fans!
To celebrate Girls Aloud’s 2013 arena tour join professional dancer Jay will put wannabe pop stars through their dance paces.
Fun and laughter is guaranteed. Learn a new routine and have the opportunity to perform it to family and friends at the end of the day.

Justin Timberlake Style Workshop
Tuesday, 9 April, 10am – 3.30pm at The Brook Theatre
With a wealth of international hits and music videos under his belt this Justin Timberlake dance style workshop will give wannabe dancers the opportunity to learn the moves to one of his popular tunes.
Learn routines with professional dancer Jay and perform a showcase for family and friends at the end of the day.

Places on each workshop are £14 or book the two workshops together for £24.00, saving £4. Phone the Box Office on 01634 338338 for a booking form.

A look ahead to April at The Central Theatre and The Brook Theatre, Chatham.

Tiddler and other terrific tales
Sunday, 7 April 3pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £12
Julia Donaldson’s most popular books are bought to life on the stage.

Joe Brown in concert
Friday, 12 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £26
If you haven’t seen Joe’s talent already, here’s your chance.

Feast of Fiddles
Sunday, 14 April 7.30pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £16.50
Celebrating its 20th year, some of the UK’s finest fiddlers bring their own style together.

Comedy Club
Monday, 15 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £10
An evening with some of the best stand-up on the UK circuit.

Screen Classic: Brief Encounter
Monday, 15 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £7

Let’s Talk Bike
Tuesday, 16 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £15
TT Champions Ian Hutchinson and Nick Jefferies have won the Isle of Man TT eight times. In this unique show the riders give the inside track on what it’s like to race this exciting and dangerous circuit.

Jazz at The Brook – LD Frazier, New York Gospel singer
Tuesday, 16 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £11

The Girl with No Heart
Wednesday, 17 April 7.45pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £7
A delicate, provocative and haunting production bought to life with puppetry and music.

Folk at The Brook – John Kirkpatrick
Thursday, 18 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £10

Sean Lock
Thursday, 18 April 8pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £21
A hilarious new stand-up show from this popular entertainer.

Cabaret of Curiosities
Friday, 19 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £11

Equator presents South Indian Bharatnatyam Dance
Saturday, 20 April
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £12, concessions available
Dancers bring to life the changing spectacle of traditional Bharatnatyam.

Chas & Dave
Friday, 26 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £24

To book tickets to any of the shows, phone the box office on 01634 338338 or visit http://www.medwayticketslive.co.uk

The Medway Community Safety Partnership is continuing to hold community engagement meetings for residents in Medway.

Following on from the first of its kind in October, the next meeting is to be held at St Marks Church in Canterbury Street Gillingham on Tuesday, 16 April from 7pm. More

A female author known for her witty and rebellious writing style will be sharing her experiences to mark International Women’s Day.
Writer Scarlett Thomas, will be at Rochester Community Hub on Friday, 8 March to talk about her career, and she will also be available for book signings.
Scarlett has written such titles as Bright Young Things, Going Out, PopCo, and Our Tragic Universe.
The talk begins at 7.30pm and is free of charge.
This is one of many events which will be taking place around the world on 8 March to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) and to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
To book a place at the Scarlett Thomas talk, phone 01634 33744 or email rochester.library@medway.gov.uk

Tap into your inner creative writer at a workshop with a Medway-based award-winning writer. Poet Philip Kane will lead the workshop entitled – What if? – at Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre where he will help guide wannabe writers into the art of creating alternative histories and parallel worlds, using the archive’s resources along the way. The workshop is on Saturday, 9 February from 12noon to 3pm at Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, Clock Tower Building, Former Civic Centre site, Strood.
Workshops costs £5 but places are limited so booking is essential, phone 01634 332714. Please bring your own writing equipment.

Get fit, de-stress and have fun at one of the Active Life classes with Medway Community Learning.

Exercise to music
All Saints Church, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham
Mondays 7-8pm

Tai Chi
Medway Community Learning, Eastgate, Rochester
Tuesdays Noon-1pm

Pilates
St Thomas Church Hall, Rainham
Tuesdays 2.30-3.30pm

Exercise to music
Woodlands Arts Centre, Gillingham
Wednesdays 7-8pm

Classes run term-time only and each class costs £2.50. Please phone 01634 338400 to book a place.

Yoga classes start next month with Medway Community Learning. Yoga for all (progression) starts Tuesday, 5 February at 1.30pm. Yoga for all starts on Tuesday, 12 February at 7.30pm. Both classes are at Rochester Adult Education Centre. To book and for more details phone 01634 338400.

Three exciting workshops will keep children and young people entertained during the February school break. Magical puppets and storytelling with Sparkle and Dark Travelling Players is on Monday, 18 February from 10am to 3.30pm. Creative children can work with the creative company to produce their own puppets. One Direction dance workshop is on Wednesday, 20 February from 10am to 3.30pm. Dance Diva dance workshop is on Thursday, 21 February from 10am to 3.30pm. At these dance workshops young people will learn dance moves to some of their favourite songs, and perform the routine in front of friends and family in the showcase at 3.15pm on the same day. All three workshops take place at The Brook Theatre, Chatham. Workshops are priced at £14 and are suitable for eight to 16 year olds. For more details or to book a place, phone the box office on 01634 338338.

St Helen’s Church Christmas Tree Festival, Open Mondays to Saturdays from December 1st
until December 22nd 2012 11 a.m til 4 p.m

There are craft activities for the children and a mince pie and cup of tea so enjoy the space to rest, and come along and see over 60 Christmas trees decorated by the local community.

There is also a sealed auction of art work in aid of Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (Medway)

(excluding Saturday 15th and Thursday 20th December)

Another local business has opened up in Medway, and for cobbler Arnaud Gois, it’s the start of a dream come true. The 38 year old has accomplished a 10-year dream and set up his own cobblers based in Station Road, Rainham, with a little help from a Medway Council start up grant. Cobbler Elf was officially opened for business at the end of September by owner Arnaud, who has spent the last 15 years working for shoe repair company, Timpson. More

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of their very first hit, enjoy the authoritative Beatles live concert show when it comes to Chatham. More

Butchers in Cliffe with thanks to MALSC (Medway Archiives & Local Studies Centre

Shops of Medway are the subject of a new exhibition and talk at Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre.

These we have loved: Shops, stores and emporia of Medway is on from Monday, 19 November to Tuesday, 29 January.

This exhibition is reminiscence about local shops and stores, with photographs, advertisements and history of some of Medway’s best-loved stores. Featuring Leonards, Bates, Featherstones, the Lefevre stores and many others.

Window-shopping in Medway: Department stores remembered is the subject of a talk on Wednesday, 5 December at 2.30pm.

The exhibition and the talk are free. For more details and for opening times contact the archive centre on 01634 332714 or visit our website

Come and join the Fun on Friday 30th November at St Helens School, Cliffe from 3 pm – 5 pm. Get in the Christmas spirit and meet Father Christmas. Refreshments will be available, raffle and various stalls! We look forward to seeing you there for fun in the afternoon.

A recent unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found St Bartholomew’s Hospital, in Rochester, is meeting all essential standards of patient quality and safety.

The inspection on 10 September 2012 assessed how the hospital, which is run by Medway Community Healthcare, meets five standards – respecting and involving people; care and welfare of people; safeguarding people from abuse; supporting workers and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision. More

Things get spooky, sparkly, and wacky this Autumn at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, as visitors explore the eerie and infamous through a range of exciting family activities and a new temporary exhibition. More

Women who are at least six months pregnant in Medway are being urged to contact their GP practice about vaccination to protect their unborn baby against whooping cough. 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

There are many reasons why people take adult education courses with Medway Community Learning.
From helping to achieve that promotion at work, just for fun and to make new friends, or even starting up in business – an adult education course can change lives.
And this academic year more classes are being offered at Chatham Grammar School for Boys, Maidstone Road, Chatham.
The school will play host to a variety of exciting subjects from sugarcraft to sign along, jewellery to journalism and plenty of popular cookery courses including Asian, Turkish, and Christmas cooking, baking and family feasts. The exciting curriculum hopes to inspire a new generation of adult learners.
Cllr Howard Doe, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Learning a new skill can be very rewarding. It can open up the door to a new career, promotion or business, or it could be just for pleasure, to try something new, and make friends along the way.
“Medway Community Learning has a great variety of subjects on offer at locations throughout Medway. Lots of our courses are part-time so busy residents can fit them in around other commitments. If you’ve never tried adult education before, now’s your chance.”
The new course directory is available on the council’s website:

www.medway.gov.uk/adult-courses
Alternatively phone 01634 338400 for more details.

From Olympic themed sport challenges to beach parties, fancy dress and farm visits, there’s a whole summer of fun in store at Medway’s Sure Start children’s centres. With 19 centres across Medway, each offering activities for families with children up to five years old, there’s plenty of fun to be had, right on your doorstep. A full timetable of activities for children and young people during the school holidays can also be found online, along with contact details for all of Medway’s Sure Start centres. More

The who, what, why, where and when are detailed below

Watling Street, Strood, Sunday 15th July 11am-3pm, FREE FUN for all the Family
Lots of activities with Medway Greenspaces, Kent Wildlife Trust, Strood Youth Club,
St.Nicholas Music & Movement Group, Medway Dog Training Club demonstration and much more. Refreshments and Ice-creams, Portaloo on site. Dogs welcome on leads please.
Come and join in the FUN Info: 01634 718643

Another fantastic award that reflects the ‘Excellence’ of The Historic Dockyard Chatham. The world’s largest travel website, TripAdvisor, has 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”. More

JOIN THE WORLD’S BIGGEST COFFEE MORNING ON FRIDAY 28 SEPTEMBER

Make time for what matters in life by joining the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday 28 September and help raise more than £10m for Macmillan Cancer Support.

There couldn’t be an easier way to make a difference, simply gather together family, friends or colleagues, put the kettle on and tuck into some tasty treats.

In 2011 the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning smashed its fundraising target and raised a record-breaking £10million, which helped fund the Macmillan therapists, nurses and support line workers who make sure people living with cancer have the best team in their corner, every step of the way. More

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