Visit Kent has great expectations that Kent and Medway will be leading the way when it comes to celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of one of England’s greatest journalists and writers: Charles Dickens.
Dickens travelled widely and many areas in the UK and overseas can claim connections, but his personal associations with Kent and Medway as a child and as an established author are among the strongest.
Dickens fever is expected to grip the nation and delight visitors from around the world next year and will be a key element in the Cultural Olympiad which is being organised to complement the London Games.
Visit Kent has joined forces with a number of organisations interested in celebrating the author’s life, including Medway Council, Kent Country Council, Thanet District Council and Gravesham Borough Council, Kent Film Office, Dickens Fellowships and members of the Dickens family.
Plans under way include enhancing the popular Broadstairs and Medway Dickens festival; a major exhibition at the Guildhall Museum, Rochester; a movie map highlighting key locations used in films of Dickens’ novels; starting major restoration work at the Swiss Chalet and Eastgate Gardens, Rochester; and the opening of a Dickens Visitor Centre at Gad’s Hill Place, Higham, where the famous Victorian made his home and died.
Reference: Travel GBI March 2011