A great morning with the Kent and Medway Civilian and Military Covenant Partnership

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With Councillor  Leyland Ridings of Kent County Council, I had the privilege of opening the Kent and Medway Civilian and Military Partnership Workshop at Canterbury College yesterday.

This was my address to the delegates :

Medway has a proud military history.  In the 1550’s Chatham was set up as an important naval base, over the years the Royal Navy built 500 warships at the Docks and that proud association with the Royal Navy – who at their height employed 10,000 people in Medway, continued until the end of the Falklands War when the base closed in 1984.  We haven’t forgotten our past and the Historic Dockyard continues to welcome guests from around the world to see the best example of a dockyard from the age of sail anywhere in the world.
The Army is a big presence in Chatham. The  Royal School of Military Engineering dates back to 1812 and is still very much part of the fabric of Medway. It is a centre of excellence for military engineering and explosive ordnance disposal.  Many thousands of army personnel (and also staff for the Navy and RAF) pass through our base in Chatham and we are pleased to continue our positive association with them and are soon to unveil a sign saying CHATHAM – HOME OF THE ROYAL SCHOOL OF MILITARY ENGINEERING to recognise their importance to Medway.
We are proud to be involved with the military covenant which we have signed along with 50 others which shows the level of support for the military in Medway. We have received our first military grant working with the University of Kent and young children from the Army to develop their knowledge of our military and naval history and focussing on current issues facing the armed forces. At the end of the project we aim to have a sculpture or work of art to demonstrate the connection between the Army base and Medway.  I confirm our continuing support for the Armed Forces Covenant and of course for our armed forces personnel based in Medway.  Thank you.
Whilst I was at Canterbury College I took the opportunity of visiting the Media Department where I had previously spend some years teaching Key Skills. It was great to meet old friends and colleagues and I had the opportunity of visiting the classes and talking to students.
I am pictured below in the National Diploma Photographic course classroom .
Canterbury

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