In an era when the wreck of the Titanic - lying nearly three miles under the freezing waters of the Atlantic - has been extensively filmed and relics retrieved from its deep sea grave, it may come as something of a surprise that a far smaller, and infinitely more dangerous, vessel lying a little over a mile off the Kent coast remains so much of an unexplored mystery.The wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery - laden with tonnes of explosives - is certainly widely known.Rife with tales of impending disaster if an explosion was triggered - sparking, some suggest, a tsunami and devastating buildings on nearby Sheerness - it has often become more an amusing discussion topic than a potential death trap; a peril we have lived with and collectively crossed our fingers over.Yet precisely 75 years since it sank off the coast of Sheppey, a lack of knowledge as to its true condition and load, coupled with what appears to be a masterclass in political apathy, has meant any opportunity to recover it … [Read more...] about The mystery of the Montgomery
Isle of sheppey
A bike shop which has served the community for more than 40 years had closed down.The owner of Sheppey Cycles is moving on after 41 years of serving the community on the Isle of Sheppey.Founder Ozy Ibrahim and his son Omer shut up shop in Sheerness High Street for the last time on Thursday, July 11.Omer, 32, said: “It was a very sad day when we closed. People were still knocking on our door trying to get in.“I’m going to miss it a lot but the industry has changed so much over the years that it was no longer viable to keep going.”The cycle shop was opened by Ozy, 74, and his wife Susan in 1978 after they had run an antiques business.Grandad Ozy said: “It was so different then. Sheerness could support five cycle shops.“Dockers would buy their bikes here to ride to work and we had our own successful BMX team in the 1980s. Business was booming.”It was not unusual for the shop to sell up to 500 bikes for Christmas. Last year it sold just seven.Omer, … [Read more...] about End of the road for bike shop
A pensioner who was jailed for trying to kill his retirement home manager during a brutal knife attack died of natural causes while serving his time behind bars, a coroner has ruled.Fred Butcher was handed a 13-year sentence in March last year for repeatedly stabbing Mina Turner at Hengist Court in Marsham Street, Maidstone, on January 26, 2017.Butcher spent just two months in prison before his death, which was confirmed by the county’s coroner’s office last summer. The murder attempt at the retirement home started when Butcher reversed in his car to the back entrance before hitting Mrs Turner with the blunt end of a meat cleaver.During the struggle she was stabbed above her eye and in the neck and then in the stomach.When arrested, Butcher told police: "I meant to kill her. She's been winding me up."An inquest at the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone was told how the 80-year-old retired pipe fitter had a history of heart disease, which resulted in him having a pacemaker … [Read more...] about Prisoner died of natural causes
The finalists in this year's Taste of Kent Awards have been revealed.The annual competition sets out the very best food and drink businesses from across Kent and Medway.Brewers and butchers, pubs and producers, only the county's finest make it through to this stage with the winners announced at a presentation dinner at the Kent County Showground on Thursday, March 7.Seven businesses included Solley’s Ice Cream in Ripple and Mackays Court Farm in Rochester have been shortlisted for the Kent Countryside Award category.It's one of the main awards of the competition, celebrating company's who care about the countryside.Entrants for this award included farmers, growers, food businesses or rural businesses who had to demonstrate how they care for and manage the environment alongside food production.The other finalists are Courthope Farm in Shadoxhurst near Ashford, Frasers of Egerton in Egerton near Ashford, GL Boulden & Sons with Romney Marsh Wools and Romney Marsh Shepherd Huts … [Read more...] about Taste of Kent Awards 2019 finalists revealed
The search for a new Bishop of Dover has begun following the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott's retirement.The post is responsible for the whole Canterbury Diocese, which also stretches across the districts of Maidstone, Swale, Thanet, Folkestone and Hythe and Ashford.Holding the additional title of the Bishop of Canterbury, Bishop Trevor, 68, hit the headlines this summer for making outspoken comments on Universal Credit and urging the Government to "fix" its new benefit system.A series of consultations is now underway to find his successor, an appointment which will ultimately need to be approved by the Prime Minister.Anna Drew, the Diocese's director of communications, said that a wide range of views is being sought on who should next lead the Church of England's oldest see."The Canterbury Diocese is such a range of communities. We go from the Weald and all the way across to Maidstone, that's our eastern edge, and we also take in the coastline and the Isle of Sheppey," she said."You have got … [Read more...] about Who should be the next Bishop of Dover?