Medway's Year of Celebration

Medway Year of Celebration logoA year of celebration will take place in 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the bicentenary of Dickens birth, 200 years of the Royal Engineers in Medway and the use of the area as an Olympic and Paralympic training camp.

In addition to the 28 days of free festivals and events that Medway hosts annually, such as Fuse, Dickens, Sweeps and sport, there will be extra celebrations.

The council will also be encouraging street parties and taking part in the national campaign to light 2,012 beacons, with six being lit in Medway.

The Royal Engineers will mark their bicentenary, and the 100th anniversary of the Royal Engineers Museum, by building a new bridge at the Great Lines, the site of Chatham’s proposed World Heritage Site.

The platoon will also be hosting a range of other events including a football match against Gillingham Football Club, who in 2012 will be celebrating 100 years since changing their name from New Brompton FC.

Picture of a young Charles DickensThe Dickens celebrations will include a series of events, talks and displays hosted at Eastgate House and Dickens World in February.

A travelling Dickens Conference, "A Tale of 4 Cities", is taking place in Chatham organised by Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent.

The Guildhall Museum will hold a Dickens exhibition and the Royal Engineers are loaning their collection of first editions.

Medway Park will be used as a pre-games training camp for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Olympic Torch relay will pass through the area.

Extra sporting events in the area next year include the National basketball play-off finals, a national wheelchair rugby event and the British Transplant Games, which will be held at Medway Park between the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Other events include the permanent lighting of Rochester Castle, which will happen towards the end of 2012.

Picture of Medway Council leader Cllr Rodney ChambersCllr Rodney Chambers, the Leader of Medway Council, said: “We want 2012 to be a real year for all to remember.

“It is an important time for Medway as it marks so many significant milestones and we will be organising a series of fun events for all.

“We aim to hold these for the benefit of all residents and to encourage more people to travel to Medway.

“The idea is that this would let us showcase all the superb things Medway has to offer, encourage people to come here and spend their money with our local businesses and to spread the word that our area is a great place that is worth visiting again and again.”

Details on events throughout 2012 will be posted at http://www.celebratemedway2012.co.uk/.

Please keep checking the site as events will be updated on there as they are announced.

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