1st June 2014: Rochester Dickens Festival

Jonathan’s walk from Newington to the Medway estuary was thwarted by a train cancellation due to “persons on the line”. I had planned to join them on the train at Rochester, but discovering that the Dickens Festival was on there, I decided to have a look at that instead. Rochester is an interesting town at any time with its Cathedral, Castle, River Medway and a mixture of quirky shops, pubs and teashops. Today it was thronged with people enjoying the sunshine, the parade of people dressed in Dickensian costumes (I saw two Miss Havishams and a Fagin), a pipe band and various Dickensian playlets and other activities. The food stalls and children’s funfair were doing good business. I joined a guided walk looking at the Dickens connections in the town, including the house on which he based “Satis House” the home of Miss Havisham where, having been jilted by her bridegroom, she spent her days wearing her wedding dress amid the decay of her wedding breakfast.

I discovered later that the group who had met at Victoria Station got as far as Bromley South and did a short walk from there.


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