From 4 August, 1914, the World changed in many ways.
Here on the River Medway the Fleet and the Dockyard went on to a war footing and the sky was full of smoke, steam, noise and thousands of working people.
A hundred years on and we have a very different environment, huge leaps in technology and lifestyle -- but people remain people.
We also are in a world where much of the past is in the second stages of dissappearing.
There is the onward passage of age and generation but then we have the papers, photographs, recollections and memories of times and lives past that need to also be captured before they too disappear.
This is where the 1914-2014 project comes in.
As well as the exhibition for all to see, we will be storing words and photographs here via our web site and creating a timeline for everyone to be able to look through the years.
The first resident arriving on the Island is a major moment alongside those of conflict, peace, growth and understanding through the past Century.
Help us to capture loads of those moments and create a history bank for all our futures.
A Century of stories and people
The St Mary's Island History Group has taken on the project of recording changes in the social history of people living and working in and around the Island over the past 100 years.
We also want to include significant events in family history of people currently living on St Mary’s Island. The 1914 to 2014 Exhibition on 15 November, 2014, at St Mary's Island Community Centre was a major success. It created a series of panels that can be the basis for a Century of history but also can be the starting points for more interest and research. The exhibition will also be displayed, from March to May, 2015, at the Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre in Strood
How You Can Continue to Help
Our researchers still want to compile the history of the past 100 years with stories or written material of you or your family members who may have been a civilian worker in Chatham Dockyard or a Chatham based serviceman.
Additionally we would like to speak to residents who can remember how the island has changed since development started in the 1990’s. It is the story of us, ordinary people across the last 100 years, doing ordinary things and ordinary people, when called upon, to do extraordinary things. Verbal accounts, documents and particularly, pictures, handed down over the generations are of great interest to us. There is no cost to you, we just want a little of your time to tell us your story and loan us your documents. This is a unique opportunity to tell your story and support our thriving community.
How we will use your information
Our researchers will record your reminisces and stories and transfer them into the written word where they will be displayed, with other text and pictures at exhibitions. Pictures and letters will be scanned for use and all original material will be returned. With your permission we will add your contribution to our website’s St Mary’s Island timeline .
Now four years old, busy and we need you!
The History Group is now two years old and in this time we have held very successful meetings plus being assisted by variuous Island organisations and our Medway Council Ward Councillors. We want to not only provide a community focus on history and heritage but also be part of the Island's history.
We successfully applied to the Community Development Foundation for a grant that will allow us to capture recollections, photographs and other material for archive and exhibition purposes plus taking out that information into the community. The project is aimed at all ages to involve them and interest them.
So we have our Group, an enthusiatic committee, equipment to collect and
record our history -- now we still need you!