Click here to scroll down to the dates for the Dickens 2016 festivals and festival costume sales
ROCHESTER DICKENSIAN CHRISTMAS
Sat 5 and Sun 6 December
This year’s Rochester Dickensian Christmas
by the mild weather, and when
we were there
on Saturday the number of visitors was more than we have seen for years. Occasionally the numbers made it difficult to get around, but everybody stayed
calm and all was well. Everybody seemed to be entering into
Christmas spirit and had a good time at the festival, but we heard of some problems getting to the event. We had been warned that the train station would be out of action for the day, which wouldn’t have helped, so we asked Verne Sanderson, the event operations manager, for his comments -
‘The advance coach numbers are always a good guide as to how busy the festival is likely to be so 202 [coach bookings] prepared us to some degree but a staggering 290 turned up which set the pattern for the event.
‘It was a good event and a lot of people had a tremendous experience but there were undoubtedly issues around traffic and crowd management. With regards to the crowd management, we have never seen crowds like it at any Medway festival for many years and, at times, we could have done with more Stewards to help with managing the crowds in the High St.
‘With regards to traffic management, as it was busier than usual we had more problems with car parking space. This, along with the huge coach numbers, contributed to the congestion around Corporation St. And then, as if to create the Perfect Storm, SE Rail contributed by running a Rail Replacement Bus Service. This all impacted onto the Park & Ride service which could not run to schedule. This ultimately led to a situation where, due to the necessity
for driver’s breaks, the queues for the buses, in both directions, sometimes built up to an unacceptable level.
‘Looking ahead to next year, hopefully the new station will ease things, as long as we don’t get engineering works again, with more people choosing to use rail as a form of travel. We will also be reviewing the traffic management arrangements to see if anything can be improved upon. We will also be discussing the Park & Ride operation with the provider to see if any other action will help to improve the service.’
News about the Rochester Dickens Festival in June can be found on our news archive page.
Dickens events in 2016
(and other events of interest)
Please check on the organisers' official websites by clicking on the links
TheRochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowshipholds regular meetings at Dickens World, Chatham, on the 3rd Thursday of the month, normally in the Education
Room (entrance via The Six Jolly Porters, with wheelchair access and facilities for the disabled). Non-Members are welcome for a small
fee payable on the door but advanced booking is essential. Further details from Hon Secretary
Thursday, 18 February, 2016 7:30
Dean Caston will talk about ‘The History of the Royal Variety Performance’. Pre-Show Room at Dickens’ World. Further details from the Branch
The Rochester Fleaholds a regular market at the Gordon House Hotel Car Park, 91 High Street Rochester Kent ME1 1LZ on the last Saturday of the month. Entry is free.
27th and 28th March 2016 Festival of Steam and Transport 2016 The Historic Dockyard Chatham ME4 4TY
Advance information and discounted online booking is on their website
Great Kentspectations steampunk group will be returning to the Mezzanine Floor of the awe-inspiring No. 3 Slip: The BIG Space Click here to visit the the dockyard's page for the event
Saturday, 14th May from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Princes Hall, Corn Exchange, Rochester High Street ME1 1LX 'under the clock'
The Dickens Festival costume sale a one day 'pop up shop' with all sorts of outfits and accessories for festival outfits for Dickensian ladies and gentlemen.
A three day free festival, with the accent on childrens events on the first day followed by two days celebrating the life of Charles Dickens. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.
if you fancy joining in the fun by coming in costume visit our Dickensian Characters page
This year the inspiration for the festival will be 'The Old Curiosity Shop'
17th and 18th September 2016 Salute To The 'Forties
The Historic Dockyard Chatham ME4 4TY
Advance information is available now on their website - discounted online booking should be available there soon
Saturday 12th November
The Dickensian Christmas costume sale
Saturday 12 November from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Princes Hall, Corn Exchange, Rochester High Street ME1 1LX 'under the clock'
The Dickensian Christmas costume sale a one day 'pop up shop' with all sorts of outfits and accessories for festival outfits for Dickensian ladies and gentlemen.