Take a walk up to the War...
Take a walk up to the War Memorial on the Lines
The war memorial is situated on the Great Lines, to the North of the town centre, and is dedicated to the memory of those sailors from Chatham-based ships who died during The Great War (1914-18) and World War 2 (1939-45).
Have a picnic in the grounds of Leeds Castle
"A castle for allseasons and one of the most romantic buildings in the land"
A great place to relax in the summer days, with a picnic and a bottle of bubbly.
Take in the grounds, visit the castle, see the ducks and the birds in the avairy and even get lost in the maze.
Chatham - Blue Collar, English Style
This was the year that my wife, my 11 year old daughter and I decided to spend an entire summer somewhere in Europe. In Chatham, we were in our favorite Pub watching England playing in the World Cup, when one of our new-found friends asked us “why did you pick Chatham to spend the summer?”. With a smile on my face I replied that it was either Paris or Chatham, and Chatham had won out. They thought I was a bit daft, but then I told them that we chose Chatham because of its locality, price, heritage, and language. While Chatham doesn’t jump out of any tour guides, it’s an easy 45 minute train ride to London, the costs of housing is at least half the price of London, it figures into the rise of England as a great naval power, and they speak English (somewhat), the only language my daughter and I speak.
Once upon a time, thousands of men and women were employed at the Chatham dockyards making hundreds of ships and later submarines. A Dockyard was established there in 1544 by Henry VIII and the small village of Chatham grew around it. For the next 320 years it continued making the mighty english ships of the line. In fact this is the dockyards that gave birth to the HMS Victory of Lord Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar fame. Fathers passed trades to their sons genertion after generation, producting a hard tough breed of tradesman, not the prim and proper sort that was found in London. Sadly for them, the dockyard was shut down in 1984 by the Thatcher government, and Chatham had to reinvent itself.
Chatham today is still a blue collar town, in fact the city’s name is used as slang for what we in the US would call “trailer trash” (CHAV). Just about everyone you see walking its streets sports a tatoo with a beer in hand. We were lucky enough enough to be there during the World Cup and it looked like a city of Oakland Raider fans. My kind of people.
Remnant of its past are still there for the interested. Chatham Dockyard and protecting fort are now both museums. Both are staffed and maintained by volunteers, volunteers who are the sons and daughters of those workers of its past glory. While I love the city of Paris, I think I made the right decision.
flyingkiwi's new Chatham Page
I don't actually live in Chatham. I live in a town called Sittingbourne which is about 10 miles away. The reasons why I state this so clearly will become apparent when you read my travelogue entitled 'Chatham girls'! :)
However,seeing as it is the nearest place to Sittingbourne featured on vt I have reluctantly used Chatham as my 'home'.
You can read all about my real home by going into my United Kingdom page and checking out the page entitled 'Oh, the wonders of Sittingbourne'.
Maputosimon's not rushing back to Chatham!
Chatham - "The armpit of Medway"
I was living with someone who was studying at the Kent Institute of Art and Design.
It amazed me that such a town could have such a rich mix of international students!
Please remember that this is only my own opinion....PLEASE see vichatherly's Chatham pages for a more positive, and accurate side to this historic area!
When I lived there, Chatham was an unfortunate town, which had an interesting history, but had become grey, loud, dangerous at night, and not that clean. It's the only place in Europe that I've been where you walk down the main street from 8pm, and see working girls on many corners. If I had the choice, I would never have lived there...
only a few hundred metres away is the LOVELY town of Rochester!
Rochester has a beautiful harbour, a nice castle on a hill, some good restaurants and bars, a historical French hospital, and wonderful Dickensian weekends where the whole town goes back in time, with street markets, fairs, etc.
I moved here from Chatham, and am so pleased that I have had the chance to live here! It is unfortunate that year on year, Chatham's character got a few metres further along the street, and spreaded nearer to Rochester - let's hope it never gets there!