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Rochester

Dickens 31 May ~ 2 June 2013

Festival

A spectacular festival of music, dance, drama, street theatre and colourful parades

www.enjoymedway.co.uk

Welcome...

We are delighted that you have chosen to join us for Rochester's 2013 summer Dickens Festival. Medway is proud of its association with this national legend, who created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and remains generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. His novels and short stories remain widely popular. Charles Dickens spent his formative years in Medway while his father worked at the Dockyards - a period which greatly influenced his writing. Many of his novels and characters have been based on the places he visited and people he met whilst living in the area. Every year we strive to make the festival more spectacular than the last, and 2013 is no different - with wonderful costumed character parades, lots of free activities, street entertainment and readings - get involved with the spirit of the festival by dressing in Victorian costume and taking part in the parades and competitions too. Your views can help us shape future festivals, so please do give us your feedback. Collect a questionnaire from one of our stewards, or go online and give us your views at www.enjoymedway.co.uk We would also like to thank all those that make the festival happen - without their commitment and hard work, the festival simply would not be possible.

Councillor Howard Doe Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services

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...to the Rochester

Dickens

Festival

A spectacular festival of music, da nce, drama, street theatre and colourful parades

The Amazing Travelling Camera Obscura

4th Battalion Royal Foot Artillery encampment

Throughout the festival

Throughout the festival

Miss Kay Rouse and Mr Tony Atthow present the Amazing Travelling Camera Obscura with a show of their celebrated Eye Magic curiosities at the Vines gardens, Rochester. All is entirely safe and respectable for gentlemen, ladies and children (even those of the most sensitive nature). Step inside the camera obscura to see the magic of moving pictures in full and glorious colour: view the whole panorama of the gardens, control the actions of your fellow visitors and enjoy all the activities of the festival.

Charles Dickens was born during the time of the Napoleonic wars. The French Revolution had taken place and many noble heads had fallen. The events of the time fired the imagination of this brilliant young author.

Look into the world of the peep, peer through the Stanhope viewer, experience the beauties of the spinning and pedestal kaleidoscopes, marvel at the wonders of the phenakistoscope – and even more. Come and find out exactly what a Thaumatrope is – then make your own to take home as a free souvenir of your visit.

Over the weekend the unit will be participating in parades through the streets of Rochester and will have an encampment within the moat of Rochester Castle with authentic cooking, discipline and the occasional visitor to partake in a spot of tea. The gunners will be available to answer any questions you may have. The Artillery can be seen at Fort Amherst on the first Sunday of each month where new recruits are always welcome.

Craft fair Throughout the festival A traditional craft fair with stalls selling all types of wares: knitted children’s clothes, jewellery, china, preserves and home-made fudge. The emphasis is on hand craft and individuality, set within an old-time fair environment.

Smith’s traditional fun-fair Throughout the festival A selection of traditional fairground rides for all the family.

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The Rapscallions Dizzy O’Dare presents Dicken:

Saturday and Sunday

About

Throughout the festival

We are obsessed with his writing, but just who was Charles Dickens the man; a writer, a traveller, a rockstar, a superhero? What was it like to be Charles Dickens, father of ten, grandfather to millions (probably)? What did he expect to see when he visited America? Which side of the bed did he get out of? How did he dance? Find out the answers to all these vitally important questions and many more in this comedy caper exploring the life of our greatest writer. From the creators of the immeasurably successful Dikipedia comes another masterpiece of wit and stupidity.

The Duel - back by popular demand Saturday and Sunday Rochester Castle Gardens arena Despite the passing of several years, the two old adversaries are still at odds with each other. Major Sir Peter Digby and Count Antoine Chevalier are, again, in dispute over gambling debts and the improper behaviour of the count towards the Lady Cassandra. Blood pressures have been raised and a challenge to fight a duel issued. Join us to witness this most English of spectacles in the pursuit of honour and justice. Feel free to raise a hearty cheer to spur on your favourite (they need all the help they can get).

Dizzy O'Dare Presents

Cabinet of Curiosities

Saturday and Sunday Canterbury's sixth funniest magician makes a welcome return to Rochester Library to perform some fun magic shows and bring back his overdue books. Dizzy O'Dare Presents

The Last Apothecary

Saturday and Sunday Brimming with goods, the Cabinet of Curiosities is full of weird and wonderful artifacts for ‘sale’. Spot this eccentric duo as they try anything to tell a tale.

Sunday A roaming treatment centre full of daft and nutty treatments for equally foolish ailments. Armed with only a few brain cells between them, Floggit and Skarper have the cure for you.

Festival competitions Friday, 31 May 2pm

Gillingham Lions tea tent and charity stalls

Baby and children’s Victorian costume competition. Open to children aged 0-15 years. A child may only enter into one age group; under three, three - six, seven -11 or 12-15.

Saturday and Sunday

Friday, 31 May 2.30pm

Serving drinks and light snacks, raising money for local charities with a variety of activities.

Children’s Dickens character competition. Dress your child as their favourite Dickens character. Open to children aged up to 15 years.

Friday, 31 May 3pm Children’s gurning competition. A child may only enter into one age group; under three, three - six, seven -11 or 12-15.

Friday, 31 May 3.30pm Widow Corney’s workhouse tea party. Enjoy a limited supply of gruel (ice cream). Open to children in Victorian costume, up to the age of 12 years.

Gerald Dickens performs

Saturday, 1 June 2.45pm

A child’s journey with Dickens

Best-dressed Dickens adult character – ladies and gentlemen. Dress as your favourite Dickens character and show the audience your knowledge of this character to be in with a chance of winning.

Throughout the festival The Guildhall Chamber

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Meet a group of like-minded individuals who portray characters living the down and dirty side of Victorian life. Witness bare-knuckle fights, try your luck at games of chance, see beggars, the flower seller and ladies of a not altogether honest nature. Relish the sight of the peelers who try to impart law over the disorder.

El Baldhino

During his 1868 reading tour of America, Charles Dickens, tired and in poor health, gave one performance in Portland, Maine. As he travelled to Boston on the following morning a 10-year-old girl precociously took a seat next to him and proceeded to engage the greatest celebrity of the age in conversation. Many years later Kate Douglas Wiggin, now an author in her own right, wrote a charming account of their train journey together. Along with descriptions of Dickens’ arduous reading tour, Gerald’s performance features a retelling of this delightful meeting, taking on the personas of the adult and child Kate, as well as that of Dickens himself.

Sponsored by Mirror Group Newspapers

Saturday, 1 June 3.30pm Adult gurning competition. Can you contort your features to fantastical effect? Then put your mouth where your nose is and get gurning.

Sunday, 2 June 2:45pm Best-dressed ladies competition. Ladies, this is your chance to parade your finest attire in front of the judges and the arena audience. At least two items of the costume must be home-made. Sponsored by Mirror Group Newspapers.

Sunday, 2 June 3.30pm Best-dressed gentleman competition. At least two items of the costume must be home-made. Sponsored by Confucious Chinese Restaurant.

This will be followed by the presentation of The Spirit of Dickens Award, a new award for 2013. Sponsored by Tony Knight and Family.

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Festival parades Join us for a colourful and spectacular parade of Dickensian characters and Victorian costumes. From the well-heeled to the humble street urchin, all are represented in this festival highlight. Led by the mayor of Medway, the parade will form at Star Hill end of the High Street and move along to its junction with Corporation Street and into Rochester Esplanade, before making its way into Rochester Castle Gardens.

Friday, 31 May 12noon opening parade and mayor’s welcome speech Saturday, 1 June 12noon grand parade 4.45pm afternoon parade Sunday, 2 June 12noon grand parade 4.45pm afternoon parade and closing ceremony

Edith May sailing barge

Play on Words Theatre, with The Brook Youth Theatre, present

Dickensian Family Fun - an interactive Victorian fair

Saturday and Sunday Guildhall forecourt Join with all the fun of the fair: hoop the hoopla with Pip, scatter the skittles with Scrooge, and delight in the antics of Punch & Judy alongside Oliver Twist. Our fortune teller awaits you, do you dare to discover what Dickens has in store? Meet Dickensian characters and see them come alive in unexpected and exciting ways.

Friday, 31 May 10.30am 10.30am 10.30am 10.30am 10.45am

Guildhall forecourt Boley Hill performance area Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar Castle Gardens Blue Boar Lane performance area

10.45am 11am

St Mary’s Meadow The City Wall stage

12noon

Parade

12.30pm

The City Wall stage

Saturday and Sunday The character of Mr Boffin in Our Mutual Friend was based on the famous bargeman Henry Dodd, who made his fortune transporting London’s rubbish out of the capital by sailing barge. The Edith May, built in 1906, will be running hour-long trips from Rochester Pier, so step aboard and enjoy a flavour of life from the age of sail. For sailing times, more information and bookings visit www.edithmaybargecharter.co.uk

Dickens Festival Ball Thursday, 30 May 7.30pm, Corn Exchange

Due to the nature of this vessel there is no disabled access onto the barge.

Three course meal followed by dancing in the grand ballroom. Victorian costumes are a must. Tickets £24.50, phone 01795 843317 or email dickensevents48@btinternet.com

The Trials and Tribulations of Mr Pickwick Saturday, 1 June 7.30pm, Corn Exchange

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At a glance

A very funny look at how Mr Pickwick, through various misunderstandings, is committed to trial for breach of promise of marriage and finds himself incarcerated in the Fleet debtors’ prison. On his travels he meets some of the most vivid and eccentric characters that Charles Dickens created. Tickets £10 (£7.50 students and under-16s) Available from www.medwayticketslive.co.uk or phone 01634 338338. Also available in person from Medway Visitor Information Centre.

your complete guide to what’s on, where and when.

1.15pm 1.30pm 1.30pm 1.30pm

1.45pm 2pm

2pm

2pm 2.15pm 2.15pm

2.30pm

The Lamplighter Dance Alley performance Bagpipe music from the Glenduart Pipe Band Punch ‘n’ Judy with Crazee Hazee The Three Towns Theatre Company perform a Victorian Music Hall Music from Allcock and Brown CAMINE – Two young and demure ladies perform drawing room Victorian music using harp, violin and guitars, as well as charming voices

CAMINE – Two young and demure ladies perform drawing room Victorian music using harp, violin and guitars, as well as charming voices Boley Hill performance area Dance Alley performance Blue Boar Lane performance area The Lamplighter Castle Gardens Punch ‘n’ Judy with Crazee Hazee St Mary’s Meadow Frumpid Stumblestone, juggling, unicycling and slapstick humour with a dash of silliness thrown in for good measure Guildhall forecourt Visitors can come and have their picture taken with Fagin Rochester Library Oliver Twist Enters the Den of Thieves from the novel Oliver Twist. A reading by the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship The City Wall stage CAMINE – Two young and demure ladies perform drawing room Victorian music using harp, violin and guitars, as well as charming voices La Providence Photo opportunity with members from The Rochester Pickwick Club Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar The Three Towns Theatre Company perform a Victorian Music Hall Visitor Information Centre Guided walking tour of Rochester led by The City of Rochester Society. The tour will last 90 minutes and is free of charge but donations to the society are welcome Guildhall forecourt Bagpipe music from the Glenduart Pipe Band

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2.45pm

2.45pm 3pm 3.15pm

3.15pm 3.30pm

3.30pm

4pm 4pm 4pm 4pm

4.15pm 4.30pm

Boley Hill performance area

Frumpid Stumblestone, juggling, unicycling and slapstick humour with a dash of silliness thrown in for good measure St Mary’s Meadow Music from Allcock and Brown Blue Boar Lane performance area The Lamplighter Rochester Library Oliver Twist Enters the Den of Thieves from the novel Oliver Twist. A reading by the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship The Guildhall Chamber Gerald Dickens will be reading ‘A childs’ journey with Dickens’ The City Wall stage CAMINE – Two young and demure ladies perform drawing room Victorian music using harp, violin and guitars, as well as charming voices Castle Gardens stage Widow Corney’s workshouse tea party. Enjoy a limited supply of gruel (ice cream); open to children up to 12 years in Victorian costume Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar Bagpipe music from the Glenduart Pipe Band Guildhall forecourt Visitors can come and have their picture taken with Fagin Boley Hill performance area Music from Allcock and Brown St Mary’s Meadow Frumpid Stumblestone, juggling, unicycling and slapstick humour with a dash of silliness thrown in for good measure Castle Gardens stage Dance Alley performance Blue Boar Lane performance area The Three Towns Theatre Company perform a Victorian Music Hall

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10.30am 10.30am 10.45am 10.45am

Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar Eastgate House gardens Outside Rochester Bar Rochester Children’s Library Boley Hill performance area Castle Gardens stage St Mary’s Meadow Blue Boar Lane performance area

11am

The City Wall stage

Eastgate House gardens

11.30am 11.30am

Boley Hill performance area The City Wall stage

12noon

Festival Grande Parade

12.30pm

The City Wall stage

1pm 1.15pm

Boley Hill performance area Rochester Children’s Library The City Wall stage

1.15pm

1.30pm 1.30pm 1.45pm 1.45pm 1.45pm 2pm 2pm 2pm

2pm

Saturday, 1 June 10.30am 10.30am 10.30am 10.30am

11.15am

City of Rochester Pipe Band Dicken: About The Lamplighter Punch ‘n’ Judy Right Royal Revels Dance Alley performance Music from Allcock and Brown The Three Towns Theatre Company perform a Victorian Music Hall SKINNERS RATS – A couple of salty old sea dogs with some rumbustious songs and tunes. Join in if you wish

2pm 2.15pm

2pm

2.30pm 2.45pm

2.45pm

Visitors can come and have their picture taken with Fagin BAE Systems Brass Band Greg McDonald, self styled former colour-sergeant of the Rochester Highlanders presents his own portfolio of songs SKINNERS RATS – A couple of salty old sea dogs with some rumbustious songs and tunes. Join in if you wish BAE Systems Brass Band Punch ‘n’ Judy

Greg McDonald, self styled former colour-sergeant of the Rochester Highlanders presents his own portfolio of songs Blue Boar Lane performance area The Lamplighter Castle Gardens Punch ‘n’ Judy with Crazee Hazee Boley Hill performance area Dance Alley performance Castle Gardens arena The Duel St Mary’s Meadow Music from Allcock and Brown Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar Right Royal Revels Eastgate House gardens Dicken: About Rochester Library Oliver Twist Enters the Den of Thieves from the novel Oliver Twist. A reading by the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship The Guildhall Chamber Gerald Dickens will be reading ‘A childs’ journey with Dickens’ La Providence Photo opportunity with members from The Rochester Pickwick Club Visitor Information Centre Guided walking tour of Rochester led by The City of Rochester Society. The tour will last 90 minutes and is free of charge but donations to the society are welcome. The City Wall stage SKINNERS RATS – A couple of salty old sea dogs with some rumbustious songs and tunes. Join in if you wish. Boley Hill performance area BAE Systems Brass Band The City Wall stage Greg McDonald, self styled former colour-sergeant of the Rochester Highlanders presents his own portfolio of songs Outside Rochester Bar Bagpipe music from the City of Rochester Pipe Band

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2.45pm

Eastgate House gardens

2.45pm 2.45pm

Castle Gardens Stage Rochester Children’s Library Blue Boar Lane performance area The Lamplighter Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar The Three Towns Theatre Company perform a Victorian Music Hall Rochester Library Oliver Twist Enters the Den of Thieves from the novel Oliver Twist. A reading by the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship St Mary’s Meadow Music from Allcock and Brown Eastgate House gardens Dicken: About Boley Hill performance area Dance Alley performance The City Wall stage SKINNERS RATS – A couple of salty old sea dogs with some rumbustious songs and tunes. Join in if you wish The Guildhall Chamber My Grandma’s Bloomers. A lighthearted insight into a Victorian lady’s undergarments. Janet Peters will entertain you with stories about her very own grandmother and her bloomers. Castle Gardens stage Adult gurning competition Blue Boar Lane performance area Right Royal Revels Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar Bagpipe music from the City of Rochester Band Castle Gardens Punch ‘n’ Judy with Crazee Hazee The City Wall stage Greg McDonald, self styled former colour-sergeant of the Rochester Highlanders presents his own portfolio of songs

2.45pm 3pm 3.15pm

3.15pm 3.30pm 3.30pm 3.30pm

3.30pm

3.30pm 3.45pm 4pm 4pm 4.15pm

4.45pm

Visitors can come and have their picture taken with Fagin Best-dressed Dickens adult character competition Punch ‘n’ Judy

Parade

11am

The City Wall stage

11.15am

Eastgate House gardens

11.30am 11.30am

Boley Hill performance area The City Wall stage

12noon

Festival Grande Parade

12.30pm

The City Wall stage

1pm 1.15pm

Boley Hill performance area Rochester Children’s Library The City Wall stage

1.15pm 1.30pm 1.30pm 1.45pm 1.45pm 1.45pm 2pm 2pm 2pm

2pm 2pm

Sunday, 2 June 10.30am 10.30am 10.30am 10.30am 10.30am 10.30am 10.45am 10.45am

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Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar Eastgate House gardens Outside Rochester Bar Rochester Children’s Library Boley Hill performance area Castle Gardens stage St Mary’s Meadow Blue Boar Lane performance area

City of Rochester Pipe Band Dicken: About The Lamplighter Punch ‘n’ Judy Right Royal Revels Dance Alley performance Music from Allcock and Brown The Three Towns Theatre Company perform a Victorian Music Hall

2pm 2.15pm

2.30pm 2.45pm 2.45pm

WILGRESS-WHIPPS & GREW – Fugitives from the debtors’ prison, goodness knows what they have to sing about Visitors can come and have their picture taken with Fagin BAE Systems Brass Band Swinging the Lead Dockyard shantymen from the pubs of Chatham WILGRESS-WHIPPS & GREW – Fugitives from the debtors’ prison, goodness knows what they have to sing about BAE Systems Brass Band Punch ‘n’ Judy

Swinging the Lead Dockyard shantymen from the pubs of Chatham Blue Boar Lane performance area The Lamplighter Castle Gardens Punch ‘n’ Judy with Crazee Hazee Boley Hill performance area Dance Alley performance Castle Gardens arena The Duel St Mary’s Meadow Music from Allcock and Brown Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar Right Royal Revels La Providence Photo opportunity with members from The Rochester Pickwick Club The City Wall stage WILGRESS-WHIPPS & GREW – Fugitives from the debtors’ prison, goodness knows what they have to sing about Eastgate House gardens Dicken:About Rochester Library Oliver Twist Enters the Den of Thieves from the novel Oliver Twist. A reading by the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship The Guildhall Chamber Gerald Dickens will be reading ‘A childs’ journey with Dickens’ Visitor Information Centre Guided walking tour of Rochester led by The City of Rochester Society. The tour will last 90 minutes and is free of charge but donations to the society are welcome Boley Hill performance area BAE Systems Brass Band Outside Rochester Bar Bagpipe music from the City of Rochester Pipe Band Eastgate House gardens Visitors can come and have their picture taken with Fagin

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Festival performers 2.45pm 2.45pm 2.45pm 3pm 3.15pm

3.15pm 3.30pm 3.30pm 3.30pm

3.30pm 3.45pm 4pm 4pm 4.15pm

4.45pm

The City Wall stage

Swinging the Lead Dockyard shantymen from the pubs of Chatham Castle Gardens stage Best-dressed Dickens adult character competition Blue Boar Lane performance area The Lamplighter Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar The Three Towns Theatre Company perform a Victorian Music Hall Rochester Library Oliver Twist Enters the Den of Thieves from the novel Oliver Twist. A reading by the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship St Mary’s Meadow Music from Allcock and Brown Eastgate House gardens Dicken:About Boley Hill performance area Dance Alley performance The Guildhall Chamber My Grandma’s Bloomers. A lighthearted insight into a Victorian lady’s undergarments. Janet Peters will entertain you with stories about her very own grandmother and her bloomers Castle Gardens stage Adult gurning competition Blue Boar Lane performance area Right Royal Revels Outside Oliver’s Wine Bar Bagpipe music from the City of Rochester Band Castle Gardens Punch ‘n’ Judy with Crazee Hazee The City Wall stage Swinging the Lead Dockyard shantymen from the pubs of Chatham

Parade

Whilst every effort is made to ensure that information is correct at time of going to press, the programme is subject to alteration without prior notice.

The Queen of Heaven Friday, 31 May, Rochester Cathedral In 2013 world-renowned choir The Sixteen will present its most far-reaching Choral Pilgrimage tour yet, encompassing 34 concerts around the UK. The tour, entitled The Queen of Heaven, will see Harry Christophers CBE and his choir perform glorious music in churches and cathedrals for which it was written. The group will take you through the musical evolution of the Allegri’s legendary and much-requested Miserere. The programme also features stunning music by the ‘Prince of Music’ Palestrina, as well another brilliant yet contrasting setting of the Miserere by James MacMillan.

Tickets: £10/15/25 BOOKING NOW OPEN National box office: 01904 651485 Local box office: Medway Visitor Information Centre 01634 338141 Doors open at 6.30pm Pre-concert talk at 7pm

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BAE Systems Brass Band Colin Greenslade, ‘Fagin’ Cyril Baldwin, ‘Samuel Pickwick’ Dance Alley Dizzy O’Dare Frumpid Stumblestone Gerald Dickens, the great great grandson of Charles Dickens Glenduart Pipe Band City of Rochester Pipe Band Janet Peters, ‘Mrs Pocket’ Kay Rouse, Camera Obscura Keith Beckford, ‘The Lamplighter’ Phil Haze, ‘Crazee Hazee’ Play on Words Theatre Company Right Royal Revels Robert Styles, Punch and Judy Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship Rochester Pickwick Club Sandi and Peter Digby, The Duel Seven Dials Rapscallions Shirley Goodhew Three Towns Theatre Company Wilgress-Whipps & Grew Skinners Rats Camine Swinging the Lead Greg McDonald Allcock and Brown

Acknowledgements Medway Council acknowledges support from: Arriva Rochester Cathedral City of Rochester Society Rochester City Centre Forum Confucious Chinese restaurant Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship Dockyard, Chatham Slinders Florist Shirley Goodhew and Angela Maybourne St John Ambulance (Kent) Kent Police Thelma Grove Gillingham Lions Simon Kelsey (photographer) Mirror Group Newspapers

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Treasures of Rochester St Margaret's Church Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June, 10am – 5pm Explore Rochester's historic parish church, climb the 15th century tower and appreciate some fine views of Rochester and the Medway Valley, or simply enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet away from the crowds with a little light refreshment. St Margaret's Church is in St Margaret's Street approximately 15 minutes walk from the cathedral and castle.

Eastgate House and gardens Dickens used Eastgate House as inspiration for The Nun’s House in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and as Westgate House Seminary in The Pickwick Papers. In the gardens of Eastgate House is the Swiss chalet from Gad’s Hill Place, Dickens’ last home. It was in the chalet that Dickens was writing the final chapters of The Mystery of Edwin Drood just before his death on 9, June 1870. The chalet was bought by the Dickens Fellowship in 1960 and presented to Rochester City Corporation. As a result of its fragile condition the chalet may be viewed from the outside only. Eastgate House is a nationally significant Grade I listed building. A project is currently being developed with the support National Lottery Funding to conserve this wonderful building as a distinctive, valued and vibrant community resource for Medway and its visitors. If you would like to find out more or become a friend of Eastgate House, please

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contact us at eastgate.house@medway.gov.uk or follow Eastgate House on Facebook.

Guildhall Museum Enter the Dickens Discovery Room and watch a short film about the great man and Rochester. Enjoy the 19th century prison hulks experience or view Victorian toys, ornaments, furniture and costumes on display and get a bird’s eye view of Rochester, with the Rochester Riverside Eye. Visitors can also visit a new temporary exhibition Gadgets & Gizmos - a unique collection of over 150 gadgets from the 19th and 20th centuries. From hair curlers to vacuum cleaners this entertaining exhibition opens on Friday, 31 May and will run until 28 February 2014.

Restoration House Restoration House is inextricably woven into the fabric of Great Expectations as Satis House - the dark, foreboding home of Miss Havisham. Its ancient and venerable allure impressed the young Dickens who first saw it as a boy, his imagination making it the unforgettable setting for the enigmatic Miss Havisham. The large but compressed architectural composition took its present form in the 16th and 17th centuries, but its origins go back to at

least 1450, its soaring chimneys and gables and array of small secretive windows set behind a brick wall and iron gate still possess a strong charge to this day, aided by the sensitive private ownership. While Dickens never entered the house, today's visitors can see ravishing interiors of great poetic resonance, splendid formal gardens and the emerging restoration of the newly acquired Tudor garden. Special Dickens festival openings: Thursday, 30 May Friday, 31 May and Saturday, 1 June 12noon to 5pm. The charity teashop will also be open.

Six Poor Travellers House This charming Tudor almshouse is situated in the High Street, next door to the Visitor Information Centre. The house is the inspiration for Dickens’ short story, The Seven Poor Travellers. The original travellers’ rooms are open to the public and the house has a beautiful herb garden. Framed extracts from Dickens story allow visitors to experience the house through Dickens’ eyes. During the festival the house is open from 10.30am to12.30pm and 1pm to 4.30pm (closed during parades).

Rochester Cathedral

Service times:

This is the second oldest cathedral in England and has been a regular place of pilgrimage for historians and worshippers since Bishop Justus founded it in 604 AD. The present building was started in 1080 by King William’s architect Bishop Gundulf. The cathedral features one of the largest collections of medieval wall paintings. The first real fresco to be painted in an English cathedral for 800 years is on view to the public. Audio tours will be available from the welcome desk to hire outside of service times.

Friday, 31 May 8am Morning Prayer 8.30am Holy Communion 5.30pm Said Evening Prayer Saturday, 1 June 8am Morning Prayer 8.30am Holy Communion 3.15pm Choral Evensong Sunday, 5 June 8am Holy Communion BCP - High Altar 9.45am Choral Mattins 10.30am The Cathedral Eucharist 3.15pm Coral Evensong and Commemoration of Charles Dickens, sung by the Rochester Cathedral Voluntary Choir. The service will include the Oration which will be given by Mr Gerald Dickens, great great grandson of Charles Dickens. Attended by members of The Dickens Festival and The Pickwick Club. 8pm Taize Prayer

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10am to 5pm Rochester Castle Gardens Medway National Childbirth Trust (NCT) will provide nappy changing and feeding facilities throughout the festival. Information on local groups, classes and general advice in Medway can be obtained from the NCT marquee.

Baby changing and feeding

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Rochester Pier Rochester Castle Gardens Guildhall Museum The Corn Exchange Boley Hill/Castle Moat St Mary’s Meadow City Wall stage Blue Boar Lane performance area Eastgate House and gardens Rochester Community Hub Oliver’s Wine Bar

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Entertainment areas

To London, Civic Centre, Strood Strood Station

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Park and ride drop-off/pick-up point

Coach parking

Car and coach parking Limited car parking is available near the centre of Rochester. Public car parks are indicated on the festival map. Car parking is also available at the former Civic Centre site in Strood, throughout the festival. Coaches may use the drop-off and pick-up point, also shown on the map.

Park and ride Operating from Chatham Historic Dockyard. Buses start from Dockyard at 9am, last bus leaves Rochester at 6pm.

Train Rochester station is only a five minute walk from Rochester High Street and has excellent links between London and the coast. For more information visit: www.setrains.co.uk

Travel information

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Disabled parking

Car parking

Coach drop-off/pick-up point

First Aid point

Toilets


Dickens Festival brochure 2013