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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
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Exploring Antarctica: The Final Expeditions of Scott and Shackleton

Credit: Royal Geographical Society

Credit: Royal Geographical Society

An exhibition of the ultimate expeditions of both Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton – charted through the words, photographs and artefacts of those who survived and those who perished in this most hostile of environments – is being shown at The Historic Dockyard Chatham in No. 1 Smithery: The Gallery from 24 May until 30 August. This exhibition is in association with The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) with artefacts from the Scott Polar Research Institute, Royal Museums Greenwich and Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive. More

A Red Ensign will be flown over Medway Council’s Gun Wharf building in May to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. The Battle is known as the “longest, largest, and most complex” in naval history and continued throughout the Second World War. During this time, pitched battles were carried out on the high seas to win control of the Atlantic and maintain vital supply routes between Britain and America. Huge convoys of Merchant Naval vessels sailed under the protection of British and Allied navy and air forces while under attack from German U-boats and other parts of the Nazi military machine. More

……by a ship of the Royal Navy since 1984 – a real Salute to the ‘40s!

HMS CAVALIER, The Historic Dockyard Chatham’s very own Second World War destroyer, will mark her own “Salute to the ‘40s” by firing a ‘broadside’ using all three of her 4.5” guns at 12.00 noon on Saturday 15th September, the first day of the Salute to the ‘40s event.

The last broadsides fired from operational Royal Navy ships were by HMS LONDON as she returned to the UK before paying off in February 1982 and HMS ZULU on paying off in 1984. Three rounds will be fired from A, B and Y guns on board HMS CAVALIER by the Historic Naval Gun Crew, a group of re-enactor volunteers who have assisted in restoring the ship’s guns and who will also re-create Captain’s Defaulters and bring the ship to life over the weekend of the Salute to the ‘40s event.

HMS CAVALIER was one of ninety-six war emergency destroyers built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Awarded the Battle Honour ‘Arctic 1945’ for operations off northern Norway and in support of the homeward-bound Russian convoy RA64, CAVALIER later operated in the Western Approaches, undertaking duties which included the high-speed escort of the liners-turned-troopships RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth.

HMS CAVALIER, together with an adjacent bronze monument is now the National Destroyer Memorial 1939-1945 marking the very special contribution made by these ships and the men who served in them.
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