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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

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

With the start of another series of the popular BBC show Who do You Think You Are?, Medway residents are invited to discover their family history at Medway Archives & Local Studies Centre (MALSC).
Each week volunteers from Kent Family History Society will be at the Strood centre to help beginners in family history.
The helpdesk is at MALSC every Tuesday and Thursday 9.30am to 12noon.

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.

Two of the biggest names in literature are coming to Medway to speak about their latest novels.

Authors Lisa Jewell and Tamar Cohen will be at Gillingham Library at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 30 July.

Lisa has written 11 books, the latest of which is The House We Grew Up In. More

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.

Get your heart racing and learn the tricks of the trade at an introduction to crime fiction writing at Gillingham Library. Crime and Mystery Twilight is on Tuesday, 21 May at 7.15pm. Tutors from The University of Kent’s access to higher education diploma will be offering this free taster session, with no obligation to carry on studying afterwards.
Places on this free course can be booked by phoning 01634 337340.

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

(c) Graham Jepson

Popular British author Robert Goddard will be in Chatham next month to launch his latest book, in paperback.

The author, who has penned more than 20 thrillers, will be in Chatham Library at Chatham Community Hub on Thursday, 13 September at 7.30pm. More

The Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive are undertaking a very exciting project to conserve and install a German V2 Rocket within the museum later this year. The V2, which was brought back from mainland Europe by Royal Engineers, has been situated at an MOD site in Chattenden for over 40 years and has recently been acquired by the museum. The V2, over 14 metres in length, is now at Borley Brothers’ workshops in Cambridge, who are working to strengthen and return the V2 to its former state. In 1944 Hitler ordered that V2 Rockets would be directly launched at Britain and Belgium and over 1000 reached targets in Britain killing thousands. The weapon was an object of terror; it arrived unheard and unseen and delivered almost a ton of explosive at a speed of 3500 feet per second. The V2 was strategically insignificant during the war but it is celebrated for initiating space travel.
We are very excited to have acquired this fascinating and enormous object for our collection and the new Cold War and V2 Rocket displays will open at REMLA later this year.
Keep an eye on our website for more details:

This month (July) Medway Libraries is encouraging visitors to be creative, and meet new people in the process.
Strood Library is hosting a social event on Saturday, 14 July for those people who are interested in writing, painting, photography and acting.
The idea is to encourage people from all age groups and walks of life to meet and mingle. Open to all artists from beginners to professionals.
Creative minds: meeting like minds is on Saturday, 14 July from 10am to 12.30pm at Strood Library. Places are limited. To book a place phone 01634 335890 or email

Myth and folktales are the subject of a talk by Chatham-based author, poet and storyteller Philip Kane at Chatham Library next month (May). More

Children will be making a right royal exhibition of themselves at a free workshop next month (April). To mark the countdown to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, children will be making crowns and dressing up, before posing for professional Medway artist Wendy Daws as she draws their silhouettes. More

World Poetry Day will be celebrated with a workshop for budding wordsmiths. Heroes and Villains: a poetry workshop for World Poetry Day takes place on Saturday, 24 March – World Poetry Day – from 10am to 12.30pm at Strood Library. From Greek myths to fairytales, football to politics, TV to comic books: who are the heroes, who are the villains? This inspiring and creative writing workshop for new and established poets will be led by Maria C. McCarthy, author of Strange Fruits. The workshop Places are free but booking is essential, phone 01634 335890.

Discover the history of Ordnance Survey and modern maps at a talk this month.

Ordnance survey ancient and modern: the history of Ordnance Survey and modern map and data centres talk is at Chatham Library at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 21 February.

Speaker Colin Brown will discuss the story of how Ordnance Survey maps came in to existence, finishing with an outline of the OS products that the mapping and data centres offer today.

This event is free but booking is essential. Phone Chatham Library on 01634 337799.

Luton village history – development and change in Victorian Luton, is the subject of the talk by Brian Joyce at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 18 January at Chatham Library. More

Dinosaurs and the Crystal Palace are the subject of two talks at Chatham Library this autumn. More

Fans of the thriller writer Gerald Seymour are in for a treat next month when the British author comes to Chatham Library. More

Medway Council’s Children’s Mobile Library will be out and about in the community next/this month (August). More

The freedom to read is the subject of a talk by Christine Ronaldson, head of literature and book production at Calibre, a charity which has been providing audio books for more than thirty years. More


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