Gravesend

PART 1 STEAM TUGS Chapter 1 Serendipity ” PAID TO LIVE THE DREAM

Clock towerThe Gravesend clock  was built in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. When the foundation stone was laid, a sealed bottle was placed beneath it containing copies of local papers and coins  that were minted for the Jubilee. The tower is 51ft high and built of Portland stone with sandstone banding. Each clock face has a diameter of 5ft 6ins and when the clock was first started in 1889 it was lit by gas.

pocahontas-statue-gravesend

 

The statue of Pocahontas in St Georges church has Grade II listed status.

 

 

Croyal terrace pier 1
The Royal Terrace Pier was built in 1884. It is now a Grade II listed structure.

Following the death of General Gordon in Khartoum on 26th January 1885 at the age of 51, the Gravesend council decided to create a memorial in  recognition of all that he had done for the town and its underprivileged.  The Gordon Gardens were created and in 1891 his statue was unveiled. In 1910, the Gordon promenade and recreation grounds were created. As a further tribute, in 1930, the Fort gardens and house, St Mary’s Milton Chantry and Gordon’s office in Commercial Place were added, so completing the Gordon Memorial.

 

General Gordon statue
The statue of General Gordon in the Fort Gardens.

PAID TO LIVE THE DREAM  Part 2 Chapter 4 ‘Time to Reflect’

Click on a picture to enlarge

Despite the unpleasant years of my very early childhood, everything worked out well and I have no right to make judgements on my long suffering parents. All in all, I’m lucky that things worked out as they  did. If I’d been happier at home I wouldn’t have done all the things that I did and it couldn’t have been easy for them during my troublesome years. It takes two or in my case three.

The Bloodhound

  • The book also tells of how a chance viewing of a short film clip in the Majestic cinema in Gravesend of  Prince Phillip’s twelve-metre class racing yacht the Bloodhound changed my life and inspired me to seek employment on an ocean racing yacht.

    bloodhound_360kb_beken
    The Bloodhound under sail

When I saw this magnificent ocean racing yawl battling its way through the waves under full sail, every cell of my body was electrified and never have I been so sure of anything. I had to be a part of the sailing world. What a wonderful day it was when I sat in the cinema mesmerised by that short film and what a wonderful life I’ve had as a result.

Cinema in Gravesend

The Majestic cinema was one of four at the time, the others were the Regal, the Super and the Plaza, in order of poshness. In the early days of my childhood, there was always a wonderful musical interlude. The Majestic had a 40 ft wide proscenium and a 10 ft deep stage. The magnificent instrument, a Compton 3 Manual / 7 Ranks Organ with an illuminated console and a grand piano attachment would ascend from below, rising onto the stage with the organist playing.  I remember how awe inspiring it could be and the applause afterwards. Oh, happy days! What amazing changes have taken place over the years. Some good and some not so good but we adapt.