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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 first of Medway’s flagship academy builds has been completed, on time and on budget.
The doors of Strood Academy’s old building have closed for the final time as its new £26million home gets set to open – the first new secondary in Medway for more than 40 years. More

With the summer holidays fast approaching, the dreaded phrase ‘I’m bored’ is inevitable. But not this year, as London’s first outdoor trapeze school – Gorilla Circus, More

A sports taster day for people with physical disabilities is being held in Medway next month (August). Wheelchair rugby, goalball, boccia, wheelchair basketball and powerchair football will all be available to sample between 10am and 4pm on Thursday, 23 August at Medway Park. More

A large open-air screen will be at Rochester Castle Gardens on Friday evening showing the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
The wide screen will be free to watch and will showcase the amazing spectacle as it happens live at the Olympic stadium.
The 2012 Opening Ceremony has been coordinated by film director Danny Boyle – the man behind Slumdog Millionaire – and is set to delight billions around the world.
The Rochester Castle Gardens screening will follow the Medway Mile, which is also happening in Rochester on Friday, 27th July. More

Medway Council’s Trading Standards team is conducting inspections on some holiday essentials to ensure that local residents enjoy the sun whether it is at home or on holiday.
Medway’s officers are out testing children’s sunglasses to make sure that they offer proper protection from damaging UV light that can cause irreversable damage to their young eyes. 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:

A Heritage Lottery Fund supported community project
Join the Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive and the Brompton History Research Group in celebrating the 200th anniversary the Royal Engineers in Brompton.

On Saturday 30th June 2012 a brand new exhibition opened at the Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive and a new history website was launched. More

Young people in Medway are being asked to get involved and help shape the future of education in Medway by taking part in a new online survey.
The survey is aimed at pursuing the possibility of establishing a University Technical College in Medway, by asking young people what they think about the idea.
By launching the survey, at the board behind the bid, which is led by the University of Greenwich with members from the university, MidKent College and the council, hope to get as much feedback about the proposal for a Medway UTC as possible, to use should any future rounds of applications be announced. More

Medway Council is inviting potential providers to submit their applications to establish and operate a new primary academy in Chatham. More

Five officers from Medway Council’s Community Safety Team have trained to become walk leaders as part of Medway Health Walks. The five walk leaders now guide weekly health walks from the libraries in Strood, Cuxton, Lordswood, Luton and Hook Meadow, Walderslade.

Medway Health Walks is an NHS funded programme, aimed at getting more people out walking in their local community and utilising Medway’s excellent green and urban walking routes. The community walks are held every week and take approximately one hour. During the walks the community officers can identify any issues such as rubbish, fly-tipping and stray dogs.

After the walks the community officers join the walkers for refreshments, which also gives them a chance to discuss any local concerns with residents. The walks have proven to be very popular. Strood now has more than 40 registered walkers, with a regular turnout of 15-20 people each week.

To find your nearest Medway Health Walk, please visit or phone 01634 333720.

It’s fun, it’s free and it’s the perfect way to mark the start of the 2012 Olympics. The Medway Mile takes place on Friday 27 July, and everyone is invited to come along and walk, run or even skip a mile through Rochester’s streets, from toddlers to seniors and seasoned runners. More

Medway Council has reluctantly written to Gillingham Football Club to say it must leave its training ground for failing to pay for its use, or for gas, water or electricity bills. More

Talented young people from the Hoo Peninsula and Medway Towns will perform at Rochester Castle gardens in Under Siege on Sunday, 22 July from 1pm to 3.30pm.
Now in its fifth year, the free event gives some of the area’s most gifted young performers from the Medway Towns the chance to showcase their talents on the Castle Concerts stage.
This year the Under Siege performers will follow in the footsteps of Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Steps, Billy Ocean, Alexander O’Neal and 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.
There are 19 acts in the line-up this year, covering everything from glam rock to acoustic pop and technical guitar, and including performers from MidKent College, Chatham Grammar School for Girls, Strood Academy, Rainham Mark Grammar School, Rochester Grammar School, the Thomas Aveling Academy, Robert Napier School, Greenacre School for Boys and The Robert Napier School.
Last year more than 3,000 young people turned up to enjoy the free afternoon of music, including many who were there to support friends performing on stage. As part of the buzz around this year’s event, Medway Council has been asking “What’s Your Siege Mentality?”. The idea is for young people who have experienced the event, either on stage or in the audience, to come up with their favourite Under Siege memory and post these on the Under Siege Facebook page,
All of the quotes will be on display during this year’s concert.
Under Siege is organised by Medway Council in partnership with Training Them Live and MidKent College.

Children’s favourites – Peppa Pig and her brother George – will be visiting Pirate Play Days at The Historic Dockyard Chatham on Thursday 26th July 2012

The well known Channel 5 and Nick Jnr. children’s characters will be making appearances throughout the day providing opportunities to meet them face to face and to take photographs with them. There will be plenty of other activities to keep children happy all day too including Water Walking Balls, the Krazy Kidz Bus, Dodgem boats; Dockyard Matey land train, face painting as well as loads of Pirate Play Days fun activities and all the galleries and attractions of The Historic Dockyard.

The chance to see Peppa Pig and George is included in the normal admission price to The Historic Dockyard, and tickets are valid for a whole year. A small additional charge applies to some of the extra activities within Pirate Play Days and return visits with 12 month tickets are valid for entry on this day and throughout the summer.

Pirate Play Days takes place from 21 July to 2 September where young visitors will be happy for hours in the undercover Pirates’ Play Place, with fantastic family fun, including soft play, a desert island sand pit, and arts and craft activities! A pirate themed assault course and ‘cannon firing’ sessions mean there is something for children of all ages. Storytelling on board HMS GANNET (1878) with Pirate Pam and her puppets provides one of the highlights of the day. The friendly crew is looking forward to welcoming promising pirates aboard!

A special evening for mums to be is celebrating five years of bumps, breastfeeding and baby massage.
The Temple Mill Children’s Centre pregnancy evening is celebrating it’s fifth anniversary with a special party next Monday, 9 July.
Goodie bags, party cake and a prize draw to win baby goodies will be on offer to everyone who visits the centre, based on Cliffe Road, Strood from 6-8pm next Monday. More

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

The Olympic flame will pass through the streets of Medway on Friday, 20 July – just one week before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.
Thousands of residents are expected line the streets to cheer on the 21 inspirational people, including four from Medway, who have been granted the honour of carrying the torch in the 8,000 strong chain linking towns, villages and cities across the country with the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. More

Medway will join the rest of the country to honour the armed forces on Saturday, 30 June with a gala day of ceremonial pomp, celebration and remembrance.

More than 400 participants will march through Rochester, led by HM band of the Royal Marines (Collingwood) – including veterans with their standards, serving members of the Armed Forces and 1 RSME regt – celebrating the Bi-centenary of their establishment at Brompton. More


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

The WHF is based in Kent, very near to Headcorn, Smarden and Biddenden and their work is concentrated on supporting and improving populations of some of the worlds most endangered big cats. More

A total of 27 schools took part in Medway’s annual Walk 2 Count Challenge last month (May) – seven more than last year.
St James’ CE Primary in Grain and Glencoe Juniors in Chatham were crowned the overall winners, each achieving a walk to school percentage of 96.6 per cent throughout the week. More

Oakleigh Farm was again this year the venue for a fun horse show and despite the recent spells of bad weather and torrential rain the sun shone or at least made its presence felt during most of the day. There were a large number of events for all ages and levels of experience, that applying to both riders and horses, spread throughout the day and competitors came from all over the area to join in. There were also a number of stalls selling related items alongside a BBQ and coffee stall. If you have never been to a horse show keep it in mind for June next year when I am sure it will all happen again.
Please follow the link below to view a number of pictures from the day, if you were there you may even recognise yourself on some of the photographs that were taken.

Exciting times are ahead in the village of Hoo…plans are in full swing for the first ever Music Festival on Saturday 11th August 4-9pm.

Aptly named “Hoo Rocks”, this will be an event for all the family to enjoy, and best of all it’s FREE!!

The full line up will be announced soon but will include local band Contraband and recent You Bloom finalists Mello. This event promises to please all music tastes so be prepared to rock your socks off! There will be some stalls and a variety of food and drink on offer just to add to a true festival atmosphere.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Maureen Tong-Ralphs &
Hoo Village Events Committee

Medway Council’s Safer Journeys Officers will be visiting a school and children’s centre next week to speak to parents and show them how a small step can make a big difference to a family’s safety. More

Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, one of the South East’s leading visitor attractions and home to the world’s best conifer collection, has appointed Dominic O’Connor Robinson as its new manager. Dominic, who at 25 is Bedgebury’s youngest ever manager, joined the Forestry Commission’s management training programme from Cambridge University in 2009 and has worked across the UK in Wales, Surrey, Bristol and Edinburgh before moving to Kent in May. More

The much-loved story of The Ugly Duckling comes to The Brook Theatre on Sunday, 24 June as part of the Sundays are for Kids season of shows. Kipper Tale Theatre’s production includes catchy tunes, magical storytelling and a lots of farmyard fun.
This classic story of the duckling who longs to be a beautiful swan is suitable for children aged three and upwards. Tickets are £6 for adults and £5 for children. A family of four is £20. To book tickets or for more details about Sundays are for Kids season at The Brook Theatre phone the box office on 01634 338338 or visit

An interactive Medway tugboat and river tour is proving a big hit with visitors to the refurbished Guildhall Museum.
The Rochester museum has been given a facelift that includes a disabled-friendly High Street entrance, a modern Medway-theme gallery, shop and reception point, tri-lingual information boards and a hands-on discovery zone.
The historic features of the Guildhall have also been restored including a 19th century mosaic floor that was discovered in the re-fit. More

The internationally acclaimed show Björn Again will get the party started with the greatest hits of Abba, before Steps take the Castle Concerts stage on Thursday, 19 July.
Created in the late 80s by Australian director and musician Rod Stephen, Björn Again has now performed 4,700 times in 70 countries over 24 years
Originally designed as a rocked-up light-hearted satirical Abba spoof, the show rapidly achieved world-wide cult status and initiated the Abba revival which brought about Abba Gold, Muriel’s Wedding and Mamma Mia! More


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