Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kent Events - Northfleet Carnival 2009 / Gravesend Summer Regatta

The Northfleet Carnival will follow it's traditional route through the streets of Northfleet and Gravesend on the afternoon of Saturday 4th July 2009 arriving at the Gravesend Promenade at around 3.30 pm.

The carnival has been run on the first Saturday in July every year since 1967 and this year coincides with the Gravesend Summer Regatta and Gravesham Borough Council's "Big Day Out" event which is centred round the Gordon Promenade.

There will be various charity stalls around the Promenade as well as refreshments stands.

The Gravesend Summer Regatta features hard fought rowing races along the River Thames with crews (mostly) sponsored by local hostelries! Both ladies and mens teams compete.

I took part a few times myself, although it does seem a very long time ago now.

The "Big Day Out" is a free six hour music concert designed to appeal to a wide audience.

This year's line up includes amongst others American country singer Eve Selis, a bhangra band and Fake That - a Take That tribute act - you would never have guessed would you?!!

The "Big Day Out" finishes at 10 pm with a fireworks display over the river.

Gravesham Borough Council has finally made town centre parking free at the weekends.

So, if you're looking for a cheap day out for the family this Saturday, I can definitely recommend a trip to the Gravesend riverfront.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wrotham Classic Steam Rally - Pictures

Somewhat belatedly but as promised some news and pictures from the 30th Annual Wrotham Classic Rally that took place on 13th and 14th June 2009.

This was the first time we had attended the Rally. We had been persuaded to go by our relatives who had been several times before and were not disappointed.

The weather was glorious with hardly a cloud in the sky and plenty to see and do for all ages. The event is very well organised and the exhibitors are friendly. All in all a fun day out for the whole family.

The rally has been run since 1979 by the Friends of Wrotham Recreation Ground originally to help provide funds for sporting facilities in the village but this has now been expanded to include other organisations such as the village hall and the local school.

There were approximately a dozen different steam traction engines on display including these fine examples -

"Queen Jubilee" is an 8 ton steam roller built by Aveling & Porter in 1924.

Aveling & Porter had a factory in Strood near the Rochester Bridge and built more steam rollers than all the other manufacturers combined.

Aveling & Porter ceased trading in 1932 but in 1933 the remnants of the company merged with Barford & Perkins to become Aveling-Barford which still trades today and manufactures dumper trucks.

The engine shown above was built by John Fowler & Co in Leeds in 1917. Fowlers was founded in 1863 and operated until 1946 when they were taken over by Thomas Ward Ltd.

Another steam roller. The "Phoebe" was built in 1930 by a company called Wallis & Steevens who were based in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Wallis & Steevens started trading in the 1840's but became a victim of the last recession and ceased trading in 1981.

There were over one hundred vintage tractors on display. The oldest dating back to 1910. Here are a few pictures to give an idea of the wide variety of designs and manufacturers....

Apart from the steam engines and tractors, there were vintage cars and motor bikes as well as commercial vehicles such as this 1953 Dennis fire engine (note the bells rather than blue lights!)

My little boy and his cousin had a whale of a time and I would definitely recommend a visit to the show when it comes round again next year.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kent Events - Wrotham Classic Steam Rally

The 30th Wrotham Classic Steam Rally is taking place this weekend at the top of Wrotham Hill which is on the A20. The event is signposted from junction 2 of the M20.

The Rally features exhibitions and demonstration of steam traction engines, steam rollers, vintage cars and tractors. According to the organisers, around six thousand people attended last year's event.

On the recommendation of my aunt and uncle who have visited a few times before, we have decided to make a family day of it on Sunday.

I hope to post up some pictures and tell you how we got on in a later blog.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Welcome to the Kent Today & Yesterday Blog

Hello, a very warm welcome and thanks for visiting my blog.

My name is Glen. I am 41 years old and live with my wife and young son in North Kent. I was born in Kent and have spent most of my life living in the county apart from a few years spent working overseas.

I am very proud of my home county and would like to take the opportunity, through this blog, to tell you about some of the great places you can visit here today.

Kent also has a very colourful and interesting history and I will be writing some posts on this subject too which I hope you will enjoy reading.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with British geography, Kent is one of the thirty nine historic counties that make up England which, together with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland constitute the United Kingdom (Great Britain).

Kent occupies the South-East corner of England and has a long coastline with some very fine clean sandy beaches. The coast is formed by the River Thames and Estuary in the North merging into the English Channel to the East and South.

Kent has a land boundary with Greater London, Surrey and East Sussex to the West. It's population is currently around 1.6 million.

It is traditionally known as the Garden of England as it was once a very important centre for the production of fruit such as apples and cherries as well as hops used in brewing.

Britains oldest brewing company Shepherd Neame is still based in Faversham although the growing of hops has reduced dramatically in recent years due to cheaper imports.

I hope you will have found this post of interest and welcome any comments.