Wheels of Time Awards – 5th October 2019

Five ‘Sittingbourne Time Travellers’ collect their 2019 Wheels of Time Top Awards at the Heritage Hub in the Forum, Sittingbourne.

They had visited all 40 Wheels of Time heritage sites across Kent…and learnt about the varied aspects of the county’s history.

Well done to Daisy Elliott, Hannah Boorman, Kieran McGahern, Ryan McGahern (left) and Bailey Ryan (right).

Visit Wheels of Time or visit the Heritage Hub to find out more.

New Zealander visits the Hub – 17th August 2019

These photos show the value of our WW1 research, that brought New Zealand tourist Julie Ryde to see her Great Uncle Sidney Ride’s name on the Wall of Reflection, in The Heritage Hub.

Julie also visited memorials in Sittingbourne and Milton Regis, which included Holy Trinity Church, Milton Regis.

Check if you have family links on our Parish Memorials Database.


HRGS Peace Day Celebrations Centenary Event – 29th June 2019

June the 29th 2019 was a momentous day, when the local community all came together to participate in, and witness a unique event. This was a WW1 Peace Day celebration within the Armed Forces Day parade, which coincided with the hottest day of the year, so far. Although the fighting ceased on 11th November 1918, the First World War did not officially end until the Peace Treaty was signed at Versailles, on 28th June 1919. The following month the whole country celebrated ‘Peace Day’.

See the full article here.

Happy 100th to Flo – 25th May 2019

Flo Court, one of our regular visitors to the Heritage Hub is presented with a cake to celebrate her 100th Birthday today.

Happy Birthday from everyone at The Heritage Hub.

Swale’s youngest WW1 casualty given new CWGC headstone – 23rd April 2019

A new CWGC headstone was installed for local Milton boy, Alec Ernest Grigg, who died at the young age of 14 years old.

He is the youngest casualty identified within Swale as part of the Sittingbourne Memorial Project.

See the full article here.

Sittingbourne War Memorial Project

Download here

The report was written because the Heritage Lottery Fund asked recipient groups from the ‘Then and Now’ fund to make a submission to the Inquiry into Lessons from the First World War Centenary by 15th March 2019.  We were one of the 115 groups who responded to the request.

It is also a great accolade to all those who have participated in the project.

BBC South East – 11th November 2018

HRGS were pleased to be able to help Robin Gibson from the BBC South East team with his news article about the First World War that was screened on 11th November 2018.

On Sunday 4th November 2018 the Wall of Reflection was unveiled in the Forum by the Mayor of Swale. The wall commemorates the men and one lady who lost their lives as a result of WW1:

HRGS 2018 Annual General Meeting

A selection of photos from the event marking the 100th anniversary of the formation of The Royal Air Force which took place at Eastchurch Aviation Museum on 24th March 2018.

A short film of an event marking the 100th anniversary of the formation of The Royal Air Force which took place at Eastchurch Aviation Museum

Eastchurch Aviation Museum celebrates the RAF at 100

A short film of an event marking the 100th anniversary of the formation of The Royal Air Force which took place at Eastchurch Aviation Museum

Posted by on Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Heritage scheme for children launches in Kent called “Wheels of Time” which aims to encourage the next generation to visit history attractions across the county

Heritage scheme launches in Kent

VIDEO: Heritage scheme for children launches in Kent Wheels of Time aims to encourage the next generation to visit history attractions across the county, and kids will be able to collect badges along the way.

Posted by KMTV on Friday, 23 March 2018

A free taster session in archaeology hosted by HRGS (Historical Research Group Sittingbourne). Filmed here in The Forum Sittingbourne Shopping Centre, by Kent Online News. See Youtube video below.

Event Wins National Award

Last November the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne teamed up Swale Community Rail Partnership, and Kent Community Rail Partnership with volunteers and re-enactors to stage an ambitious Swale-wide event to remember the unsung volunteer heroes and-forgotten ambulance train service of the Great War

The ambulance trains were used to transport wounded servicemen to hospitals across the UK, as far as Scotland

Last week, at the 13th Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) awards ceremony, held in The Roundhouse in Derby, it was announced that the Ambulance Event had come first in its category for ‘ACoRP Best Community Engagement Award’.  Richard Emmett, chair of HRGS, attended along with representatives from the Kent Community Rail Partnership.

The Ambulance Train event began on a bitterly cold morning in November 2016 at Queenborough harbour where a dedicated group of volunteers dressed as nurses and wounded service personnel, supported by the team from Big Fish Arts re-enacted scenes of casualties being brought ashore prior to boarding an specially chartered high speed train supplied by Southeast trains to Sittingbourne.

There they were joined by “The Tommies of Mons” Living History Group and the Swale Marching Band who subsequently paraded their way to the Forum Shopping Centre.

Local shoppers and visitors in The Forum shopping centre were greeted by stalls, with exhibits from Military Groups, heritage groups, re-enactors and a film about the Trains.

The Train then went back to Sheerness and a remembrance service at the Sheerness War Memorial.

It was an incredible day and well attended by local people. 

Richard Emmett said “it is great news for Swale to win a national award and we would like to congratulate and thank our partners, volunteers and visitors for putting Swale on the map so well, for turning out in such numbers on an atrocious day and remembering these unsung heroes in the Great War.  HRGS was delighted to be a part of the event and responded to a request by Kent Community Rail Partnership for information and supplied the research and agreed to coordinate The Forum displays and the Sittingbourne end of the project, whilst providing additional expertise where needed.”

Linda Brinklow. the then chair of Swale Rail Community Rail Partnership, co-ordinated events on the Isle of Sheppey.

The Kent Community Rail Partnership (KCRP) were given a glass crystal award and a framed certificate. 

Sue Murray, chair of KCRP, was “absolutely delighted” with the result, “as it provided a thought provoking event which highlighted the role that railways and ambulance trains specifically, played during WW1.”

Collecting the Award

ACoRP Best Community Engagement Award

Photos from the event

Wheels of Time

Congratulations to the Chapell family on achieving the top Wheels of Time award presented recently at the Heritage Hub in Sittingbourne. Wheels of Time is a fun way for children (and families) to explore museums and heritage sites in Kent.