St Mary's Island History Group

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St Mary's Island is a wealth of stories -- of people, heritage, new life and hope.


Welcome to our web site  that is growing as our Group grows.


We have already had some very successful meetings and set up some contact groups.


We have identified research that we want to do on this Island as well as present its many layers of history.



Take time to read our latest Newsletter and we will then look forward to meeting you soon.



Our Twenty Years and more booklets

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There is a further booklet in the St Mary’s Island History Group series where we have drawn together history on the Dutch Raid on the River Medway of 1667. This is a compilation of information with some illustrations describing some of the history leading up to the raid and various accounts.

We also have our booklet on the Medway Hulks -- the de-masted hulks of warships fitted out to take hundreds of convicts and prisoners of war. They floated in the River Medway and off Sheerness with each having a crew of guardians and the convicts coming ashore to work.

We already have sold over a hundred copies of the booklet produced alongside the 20 Years of St Mary’s Island Exhibition. Not forgetting text and illustrations from our St Mary's Island 1914 - 2014 exhibition as booklets.

To get your booklet copies, priced £1, telephone Brian Portway on 01634 891708 or send us a contact message through our web site.  Or see us at the meeting. We meet at St Mary's Island Community Centre, Island Way West,  Chatham  ME4 3EP on the second Monday each two months. See you there.



Medway's heritage reporter at AGM


As we have found, Medway is just about afloat with heritage, history and stories.

We welcomed as our speaker to the Annual General Meeting on Monday, 14 May, Peter Cook who takes on the challenge of providing us with a weekly insight into that world.

Peter Cook compiles the weekly pages of heritage stories and people tales for the Medway Messenger newspaper.

No one would underestimate the challenge there must be in achieving that and we heard some  memorable stories of events from peace and wartime that local people had helped Peter bring to the newspaper.

Once again wwe are looking for willing volunteers to join our committee and group of researchers. Also we are talking about our next projects on the history and heritage of St Mary's Island with suggestions welcome.

Here are dates for your diary of our meetings through 2018:

            9 July

          17 September

          12 November

            3 December   Christmas Gathering

All at St Mary's Island Community Centre of Island Way West.  7.30pm Visitors welcome £2 ... and the hint is that our subs will not be going up.







We are still looking into the mystery of the burnt ship found as the massive Chatham Dockyard Extension project was underway in the late 19th Century. Some 15 metres down in the mud was found the partial hull of a burnt out ship as what is now the commercial basin was being built. It seems to come from the Dutch Raid of 1657 when two ships were burned at the mouth of St Mary's Creek.

Watchj this space.




The mystery

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