Thursday 3rd September 2015 – Chatham Research Visit No 2 – A clearer vision…
Chatham is making more sense ! – the topography here is incredibly helpful in aiding navigation around the town. Geography, topography and the particular curve of the River Medway provided the strategic advantage which led to the exponential growth of the Docks and town from the early part of the 18th Century. The day today was clearer and brighter – unlike my first visit when it poured down all day – this really makes a considerable difference! Still walking as much as possible – by far the best way of getting to grips with a place – today I went as far as Strood, via Rochester and visited the Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre.
The following images again trace the pedestrian route from the Rail Station to the Waterfront.
At the centre of the image, the Viaduct with New Road can be clearly seen, as can the tower of St John’s Church and the red brick monolith of Mountbatten House on Military Street, adjacent to the new Bus Station.
“Thomas Fletcher Waghorn (1800–1850), whose statue stands in Chatham, Kent, was a postal pioneer who developed a new route from Great Britain to India. Waghorn’s route reduced the journey from 16,000 miles, via the Cape of Good Hope to 6,000 miles: from three months to between 35 and 45 days.Waghorn was born in Chatham, England, and baptised at St Mary’s Church on 16 July 1800″. Wikipedia
Interestingly, Thomas appears to be pointing the way to the Town Centre and Waterfront to pedestrians coming down from the Rail Station. Good man ! –
Architectural text and detailing on the upper stories of extant buildings along Railway Street, provide clues to the rich legacy of activity and usage in the area.