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Let's celebrate our Heritage

PUBLISHED: 15:08 29 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:39 23 August 2010

PROUD: Brian Amos, Angela Acott, Claire Williams, and Brian Macknish.

PROUD: Brian Amos, Angela Acott, Claire Williams, and Brian Macknish.

SIXTY events have been organised for a two-week long celebration of the borough s rich history and culture. The Discover Gravesham Heritage Festival was launched at the Chantry Heritage Centre, in Fort Gardens, Gravesend, home to some of the borough s ol

SIXTY events have been organised for a two-week long celebration of the borough's rich history and culture.

The Discover Gravesham Heritage Festival was launched at the Chantry Heritage Centre, in Fort Gardens, Gravesend, home to some of the borough's oldest Roman relics.

This year's programme, which runs from May 15 to May 31, sees the re-opening of the New Tavern Fort at the Riverside Leisure area after 18 months of renovation works, walks through historical parts of the borough and numerous exhibitions and activities.

Mike Snelling, leader of Gravesham Borough Council said: "It is fitting to launch this year's programme at Milton Chantry, one of the oldest buildings in the borough and one that exemplifies many of the hidden gems that we have locally.

"Last year in excess of 4,000 people participated in the visits and activities during the festival, and this is a major achievement.

"It is encouraging to see an increasing percentage of participation from outside the borough as we have promoted more widely, and this is of course something that we would wish to see in developing the tourism sector locally."

Other highlights of the festival include an antique valuation show, a guided walk of Old Perry Street and Cobham Wood and an Audience with Dickens, which features Gerald Dickens, the great, great grandson of author Charles Dickens, who recreates scenes from some of his ancestor's famous stories.

The Thames and Medway Canal Association, which works on the restoration and protection of the canal which runs from the River Thames to Higham, will be holding an open day during the festival.

Mr Snelling added: "The festival goes from strength to strength and is laying the foundations for further growth in visitor numbers.

"We all know we still have a long way to go to realise the borough's full potential, but we can be encouraged by the progress that is being made year on year."

For more information or to take part in any of the events, visit Towncentric in St Georges Square, Gravesend, or contact 01474 337 600.

Organisers encourage residents to book early to avoid disappointment.

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