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alice

The Easter holiday Pantomime, Alice in Wonderland, is at The Woodville starring the legendary Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee as well as Steve Hewlett, the ventriloquist who shot to fame with his puppet versions of Sinita and Simon Cowell on ITV1′s Britain’s Got Talent.

Alice in wonderland is a great Easter treat with a live band, comedy, mind blowing magic and a west end calibre cast, including Ant Payne and Robert Pearce.

The pantomime show dates are Friday 4 April, Saturday 5 April and Sunday 6 April.

There is also more family fun at The Woodville with the Old MacDonald Had A Farm show. This fun filled farmyard tale with action, puppetry and animation brings to life all the best loved characters from the original nursery rhyme along with a medley of games, giggles and singalong songs. Show dates are Friday 28 March and Saturday 29 March.

For more information and to book tickets go to http://www.woodville.co.uk or cdll box offices on 01464 337774

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

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.”

newchiefKent’s Police and Crime Commissioner and the county’s most senior police officer visited Medway’s innovative CCTV hub today to see how it keeps more than 600,000 people safe.

The hub, which was started by Medway Council in April last year, looks after CCTV cameras for Medway, Gravesham, Maidstone and Swale.

In total, it helps keep the streets safe for an area with a population similar to a city the size of Sheffield.

And the centre – which allows councils across Kent to operate CCTV much more cheaply – has been behind numerous arrests.

In fact, since it started in April 2012 and up to November last year the centre and its operators were responsible for helping bring about 5,095 arrests across Kent.

Last year alone the hub was behind more than 2,000 arrests.

The centre – which looks after 750 cameras – is used to watch over town centres night and day at spots where people gather – such as High Streets – as well as areas that people have to use late at night, such as outside train stations.

It can also track alleged criminals travelling into Kent from elsewhere to direct police to their whereabouts.

For example, the centre was recently alerted to keep a look out for three males known to be travelling to North Kent from London with intent to supply drugs.

The centre’s operators spotted the men at Gillingham railway station and called police as they headed towards the town’s High Street.

One was arrested, but two of the men ran off. The CCTV operators were able to track them as they made their getaway until they were later picked up.

In other incidents it has also helped find missing vulnerable people including a man who left Medway Maritime Hospital and was found at Chatham High Street.

At today’s visit, Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes and newly appointed Chief Constable for Kent Police Alan Pughsley were being shown around the hub by Medway Council Deputy Leader Cllr Alan Jarrett and Cllr Peter Hicks, the Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Engagement.

Commenting on the visit, Ann Barnes, Kent Police and Commissioner said: ‘It was fantastic to visit one of the largest CCTV Centres in the country today. Having seen the Centre for myself I can absolutely reassure the people of Kent that this is true partnership working at its very best. I’m confident that the joint CCTV centre is value for money for the taxpayer and there is a phenomenal amount of work going on behind the scenes to keep everyone safe.’

Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: ‘This is a great example of the police and local authorities working in partnership to keep the public safe. Collaboration and
joined-up working across public services is absolutely critical, and this is a very good example of that in action, working to the benefit of Kent residents.’
Medway Council approved the formation of a CCTV Services Partnership in 2012 to improve the service and provide value for money. It is estimated to save each local authority 20 per cent of the cost of running their own CCTV service, as well as reducing crime.

Cllr Alan Jarrett said: ‘I am pleased that Ann Barnes and the new Chief Constable have come to our centre to see the good work that is being done helping keep people safe across Kent.

‘This innovative operation allows council across the county to have a CCTV service while keeping costs down. That is important in this time of austerity

Cllr Peter Hicks added: ‘Our hub allows many other councils to have a CCTV operation at a cost they can afford. It also allows Medway’s residents to have the same service while keeping costs down, which is good for the taxpayer.

‘It was very good to show the Commissioner and Chief Constable our centre and to show how all our staff are committed to work at keeping Medway and wider Kent safe for residents.’

Householders in Gravesham will get a new and easy way to increase recycling as part of a major reorganisation of refuse and recycling collections in the borough next summer. The proposals will be discussed by the council’s Cabinet on 7 October.

Under the preferred scheme food waste will be collected weekly in separate new food caddies along with residual waste in black sacks every week. Once a fortnight recycling will be collected in wheeled bins. This has been proved to increase recycling and reduce residual waste as well as limiting the mess caused by food waste. Read more

© Man Vyi 2011 - Beating the Bounds at Oriel Oxford

© Man Vyi 2011 – Beating the Bounds at Oriel Oxford

Walkers of all ages are invited to join Gravesham’s Mayor, Councillor Derek Sales, as he carries on the ancient tradition of Beating the Bounds in the annual Boundary Walk over the weekend of 5 and 6 October 2013.

The borough perimeter is about 35 miles, with approximately six miles being the river Thames. On Saturday 5 October walkers cover nearly 18 miles, and on Sunday 6 October just over 11 miles. There are refreshment stops, mostly in pubs along the route. Sunday is a much easier walk than the Saturday, and you can, of course, join in for just part of the walk. Read More

Quiz Poster

28 People that completed a Healthy Weight programme in June 2013, lost a collective 60kg and shaved 97cm of their waists.

The Gr@nd’s Healthy Weight team have been supporting adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28 or above on a 12 Week programme .Participants learned about nutrition and tried a variety of exercise taster sessions, which has helped them to make little changes to lead a healthier lifestyle. Read More

Milton Chantry (Julieanne Savage) / CC BY-SA 2.0

There will be open days at the Milton Chantry, Gravesham’s oldest building, on Friday 13 September and Saturday 14 September. Entry is free and all visitors will be offered a complimentary audio guide which brings the building alive through its informative commentary.
On Saturday there will be a display supplied by Medieval Days Living History. There will be opportunity to try on some medieval fashion items, have a go at casting an iron coin and try your hand at spinning wool.

Melanie Norris said “Taking part in national events such as this enforces the importance of preserving and promoting local heritage. Milton Chantry is such a wonderful building and offers visitors a real sense of the past”. The Chantry was founded in 1322 by Aymer de Valence the Earl of Pembroke although its origins date back to around 1189. During the Middle Ages, many wealthy people built Chantry Chapels and gave them land to generate income in order to maintain a priest to pray for the owner and his family. The Chantry was occupied by a number of priests appointed by the Bishop of Rochester until around 1524. Like many other chapels, Milton Chantry was dissolved into Crown hands as part of Henry VIII’s reformation

Milton Chantry is located within the Fort Gardens close to Gordon Promenade and easily walkable from the town centre. The nearest car park is Milton Place. Public toilet facilities are located on the Promenade next to the Café.

Open times
Friday 13 September 10.30am – 3.30pm
Saturday 14 September 12noon – 5pm
Please note that due to the age of the building, at present it is not accessible to wheelchair users.

Low paid council employees in Gravesham are to receive the living wage rather than the minimum wage.

The council has reached an agreement with the Unison trades union to enhance 25 permanent positions’ pay packets to ensure their wages rise to at least the £7.45 per hour living wage. The deal will be backdated to 1 April this year. More

edna – energise dance nourish art is a distinctive dance, arts, health and well being project especially designed for older adults aged 55+ years. It will pilot a creative dance/movement, arts and science research based activity that will happen in two community settings in Medway and Gravesham. More

gravparkprom1 More than 10,000 people partied at the Prom last weekend with tribute acts, including Only One Direction, Cold Player and Counterfeit Quo.

Successful Asian music artist PBN (Panjabi By Nature), who had the crowd jumping with his hit single – Go Crazy, said “This was the first time that we have performed in Gravesham and I was blown away by the positive response. The crowds were amazing, I was delighted that I was able to showcase my music to a new audience. Festivals like this are a great way to promote the Brit-Asian culture to wider audiences, congratulations to Gravesham Borough Council and Cohesion Plus on a great event.”

gravparkpromAs a part of the Party On The Prom in the Fort Gardens was the 2013 Summer Queen Festival. Since 1948 there has been a crowning of a Summer Queen in Gravesham, this year’s Queen is Abigail Jewiss from Riverview Diamonds. Ladies in waiting Robyn Pullar and Megan Rielly accompanied the Summer Queen together with last year’s Queen Katie Hagen

Joe McElderryX-Factor winner, Joe McElderry will be making an exclusive performance at The Woodville, Gravesend on Friday 6 September 2013 from 7.30pm.

Joe, who also won ITV’s Pop Star to Opera Star in 2011, will wow fans by performing his hits including number one single ‘The Climb’.

For X-Factor and Joe McElderry fans, this magical night is one not to miss.

Tickets cost £25.25 each and can be purchased online by visiting http://www.woodville.co.uk, over the phone by calling 01474 33 77 74 or by visiting the box office in person.

The Gr@nd Healthy Living Centre is offering a free drop in service for Gravesham residents aged 50 years and over who need advice in using their digital equipment, such as digital cameras, laptops, how to upload pictures to the internet and set up a facebook account or use skype on their computer. More

CF Images 185One of the county’s biggest business events will be looking to the future when it takes over the Historic Dockyard in Chatham next week.

The Manufacturing and Engineering Expo 2013 is being held on Wednesday, 10 July with more than 60 firms and organisations taking part. It has been organised by Medway Council and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce with the support of Best Business Events.

At the heart of the exhibition will be an apprenticeship zone with apprentices from many of Medway and Kent’s major firms showing off the skills they have learned as they begin their careers in engineering or manufacturing. More

Wednesday 17th July 2013:

Local History and Chips – an evening guided tour of Gravesend town centre with Christoph Bull and then onto the Reliance Fish Restaurant in Queen Street for an optional meal
Meet: 6pm outside Gravesend Library, Windmill Street – this tour will end in Queen Street at 7pm.

Cost: £3 per head for the tour, meal is optional and pay for what you would like at the Reliance Restaurant (Gravesend and Northfleet’s oldest surviving fish and chip restaurant).
No need to book, just turn up.

Information: Christoph Bull on 07702 287147

It’s party time on the prom again. Saturday 20 July from 1.30pm the music starts and goes on until 8pm. This year the huge free concert’s theme is Rocking All Over The World. More

thames crossing

A New band have just been added to the line-up of FREE entertainment in Gravesend on Saturday 15 June at the Music & Motors Festival of Transport.

Defunk’d are a high-energy funk-rock band from the University of Kent, where all of the band members are studying Music Technology. With a wide range of covers, each of which has been given a unique twist, and a growing number of originals, Defunk’d have found themselves extremely busy over the past few months. More

mrphoebusGravesend shoppers will be treated to the charming spectacle of a penny farthing in motion, ridden by the very dapper Mr Phoebus – dressed head to toe in Victorian finery at ‘Music & Motors – Festival of Transport’ in the town centre on Saturday 15 June.

With a bunch of balloons in hand and coattails trailing merry cheer, Mr Phoebus will delight you with the folly of bell-ringing and horn-hooting as he cycles by in elegant form on the saddle of a modern penny farthing bicycle, pedalling old-fashioned Victorian whimsy. More

Gravesend town centre has once again entered the regional South and South East in Bloom competition which sees town centres and villages battle it out each year.

The competition, sponsored by Southern Water, is part of the largest horticultural campaign in Europe. It encourages communities to create town centre floral features, permanent planting, wildflower meadows, planting for nature, fruit and vegetable, gardening and much more. More

Gravesham Borough Council has launched a new video magazine programme on its You Tube channel to complement its coverage of community events. The programme, called The Studio, went live this week.

The St George’s day coverage (a 30-minute “as live” video of the event) has already had around 2,000 views on You Tube and via Facebook.

The Studio is set in an imaginary penthouse on the top of the Civic Centre with commanding views over the River Thames and the Gurdwara rooftop. In reality it is “green-screened” using video and photographic techniques. There are also on-location interviews conducted by local entertainer Dan Snelgrove.

The May edition features items on the Heritage Quarter Regulatory Board vote, the £5m grant to improve recycling, an interview with the outgoing mayor Cllr Lyn Milner on her momentous Olympic and Jubilee year, an interview with Simon Annand the photographer of the Half exhibition in the Blake Gallery and a chat with Woodville manager Neil Chandler on the theatre’s 45th anniversary.

Neil reveals that some film showings in the Paul Greengrass Cinema will mark the anniversary by reverting to 1970s prices for tickets.

The new channel, which has links to its archive channel with older material, is at http://www.youtube.com/graveshamtv

Other new items there include the Pride in Gravesham awards, the scouts’ St George’s service and the opening of the new Petanque pistes at Istead Rise.

The council’s communications manager Graham Cole said: “This year we are concentrating on trying to make Connecting with the Community a reality in as many ways as we can. The advent of new smart phones and smart TVs has meant people can get information direct to their home and at pretty high quality.

“We are trying to use social media in interesting ways and the experiment with the new news magazine programme is just one of them. The big difference today is that these new channels don’t cost any money but attract relatively large audiences. The future will lead to production of local news and entertainment – sometimes with live streaming on the internet.

“It really is a case of watch this space.”

Council tax bills began to drop through letterboxes all over Gravesham in the last few weeks with many people on benefits finding they have to pay council tax for the first time.

Gravesham Borough Council wants to point out that this is the result of government policy to reduce the cost of benefits nationally. Every council in England and Wales is having to do the same and, on average benefits have been cut by 8.5% this year with a greater cut expected next year. More

Karl Homden of Russell Road, Gravesend was sentenced to prison for 42 days by Dartford magistrates for non-payment of council tax totalling £4,532.78. More

There will be a Gravesham Borough Council by-election in Painters Ash ward following the resignation of Cllr Colin Dennis due to ill health.

Cllr Dennis took the seat at elections in May 2011 when Labour won all three seats back from the Conservatives.

He is 68 and lives in Gainsborough Drive, Northfleet. Prior to becoming an elected member for Gravesham Borough Council, Cllr Dennis worked for Scott’s in Northfleet and is known by his friends as ‘Kermit’.

Cllr Dennis has one of the best meeting attendance records despite being ill for some time. He was a member of six main committees and a substitute member on two more.

Council leader Cllr John Burden said: “Colin will be missed especially by his constituents because he was an assiduous ward member and tireless worker in the community.”

The by-election will probably be set for 2 May to coincide with the Kent County Council elections.

Mr Dominic Slingo aged 46 was committed to prison on Tuesday 5 March 2013 and sentenced to 41 days imprisonment for continued non-payment of Council tax totalling £4,471.35. More

Now Gravesham CAN with community grants

Community groups and organisations will be able to get money for projects and to improve facilities from a new capital fund called Gravesham CAN (Communities And Neighbourhoods).

The scheme is divided into three categories – grants up to £10,000 for major projects, smaller grants at the discretion of every of ward member of the council for local groups, and a fund to help create networks in the new communities in the borough. More

‘Throwing Snowballs On The Thames’ is just one of the works painted by artist Chris Billington especially for the Blake Gallery at The Woodville, Gravesend.

There are 22 paintings in the exhibition that embrace the colours of Christmas including the titles ‘Oh Christmas Tree’, ‘Christmas Under The Clock Tower, Gravesham’ and We Three Cosmic Kings’

Cornwall based abstract artist Chris Billington said ‘To be invited to paint for this exhibition and to return to Gravesend for the first time in 40 years, has been an absolute delight for me . Through these paintings I have rediscovered my love for the area and there is a strong element of Kent in a lot of the work.’

The Colours Of Christmas exhibition will be on show until the 28 December 2012

Entrance to the Blake Gallery is Free.

The Mayor of Gravesham invites the community to join her to sing Christmas carols accompanied by the Borough Band around the first ever Christmas tree on the Community Square at the Civic Centre, Gravesend.

This festive event will take place On Thursday 13 December at 6.30pm. There will be a mini funfair and sideshows that will open at 7pm. Mince pies and mulled wine will be available in the Spotlites Café

Mayor of Gravesham, Councillor Lyn Milner said ‘Christmas will soon be upon us and singing carols around the tree will be a perfect way to get into the festive spirit, I am really looking forward to singing along with the borough band’

Please click the items below to view the pdf for each election

Nominees for KCC

Nominees for Meopham North Borough Ward of GBC

The two document links above show the nominees standing in the two by-elections taking place in Gravesham on the 20th Dec 2012

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