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Gravesend Reporter plaque given to a namesake’s pub

PUBLISHED: 10:15 24 February 2011

Pocock plaque

 l to r Christopher Bull,Cllr Michael Wenban, Arber Husani manager of Robert Pocock pub, Nick Hitchens and Tony Larkin

Pocock plaque l to r Christopher Bull,Cllr Michael Wenban, Arber Husani manager of Robert Pocock pub, Nick Hitchens and Tony Larkin

Archant

An historic plaque originally given to the town’s oldest newspaper has been passed on to celebrate the birthday of a famous former resident.

Your Reporter’s Nick Hitchens — working with the Gravesend Heritage Association and Gravesend Historical Society — handed a plaque commemorating Robert Pocok’s founding of the printing press in Gravesend to the manager of the Robert Pocock pub in Windmill Street.

The plaque — first given to The Reporter in 1986 on the 200th anniversary of the printing press coming to the town — will be mounted inside the pub.

Tony Larkin, a member of the Heritage Association, originally presented the plaque to The Reporter.

He said: “The Reporter has been in the town for almost 160 years and so a ceremony remembering the printing press should be linked. Today is Pocock’s birthday and so ends the 250th year anniversary of his life and it is fitting to end in this way.”

This year the association and historical society have had a portrait of Pocock restored and hung in the temporary library in the St George’s centre, Gravesend and a plaque placed in Wilmington where he is buried, commemorating his achievements.

Alongside setting up the printing press Pocock was a keen antiquarian and historian.

A controversial character, he clashed openly with the local authorities who responded by supporting rival printing companies and he was eventually forced to move to Dartford where he died a pauper.

He is also credited with writing a series of local histories while living with his son in Dartford.

Christoph Bull, a member of the historical society said: “What can be more appropriate than having the Robert Pocock plaque in the Robert Pocock public house?”

Pub manager Arber Husani accepted the gift, adding: “We are very proud to receive this. The pub is very grateful to be considered for this plaque.”

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