13/01/2009 PDF Print E-mail
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Friends of the Admiral’s Garden’s.

Minutes of the 20th meeting of Friends of Admiral’s Gardens held at the Sunlight Centre on 13th January 2009.

In attendance.

Linda Miller, Adam Price, Emma Sheikh, Cllr Cathy Sutton, Tina Lawlor Mottram, Keith Gulvin, Penny Chisholm, Pat Cooper, Maurice Newman, Claire Constable, Jane Jones (Mid-Kent College), Joanne Cable (Chatham World Heritage partnership) Jamie Little (Police Neighbourhood team)

Apologies: PCSO Jo White, Joan Higgs, Christine Hart, Cllr Andy Stamp, Cllr Geoff Juby, Mervyn Lamb, Vanessa Dean, Jez Dean, Eileen Bartlett, Dave Hughes, Gerd Hoad.


Linda introduced everyone.

2. Agree the minutes of 14th October 2008.


3. Update on the Park from Mid Kent College

Jane Jones circulated a few copies of the master plan for developing the park. Jane summarised the main changes from earlier plans: a mound in the moat rather than a bridge, cycle training facility has been withdrawn, the adventure play area has been moved further away.

The college has so far added an extra £1 million to the project from its budget. Restoration of heritage has proved more expensive than planned. Jane emphasised that the extra money being spent on heritage is not coming out of the recreational park budget. An early 20th century anti-aircraft spotlight has been found- the only one in the country.

Jane Jones met with the planning officer in early December with the landscape master plan. Her view was that no significant changes had been made. The whole plan is now being formally submitted for planning permission; Jane has informally received favourable comments.

According to Jane Jones the park will be ‘substantially’ complete by September 2009. The park will be open as far as possible in the autumn. Planting cannot be done where substantial groundworks need doing. Brickwork in the moat has to be safe. Grassing the moat will be left until last.

Regarding the college’s ongoing commitment to the park, two members of the trust at present are from the college. The college is likely to make voluntary contributions towards the running of the park on an ongoing basis for example provide a room, phone and desk free of charge. The college is probably in a position to do a large amount of the grounds maintenance. The college’s own security guards could patrol the park at night as well. Questioned further about the college’s security arrangements, Jane said the college have not yet decided whether to have an inhouse or a contracted service. The latter option can save money; the former tends to provide a more dedicated service.

Six interpretative panels are planned for the park at present. A heritage day will be organised once the park has opened.

The trust will have its own governing body and principals. Jane feels that the park is going to be a real benefit to the college and the community.

4. Update from Joanne Cable.

The Great Lines Heritage Park has been awarded £2 million from the Thames Gateway. Plans include at Upper Fort Amherst – improve pathways, improved lighting; at the parts of Fort Amherst which are unrestored – clearing away waste scrub, including a circular walk , viewing area and signage. A bridge will provide access from the Fort to the Great Lines. The Lines will have a new network of paths, improved entrances, litter/dog bins and benches. The new name ‘Great Lines Heritage Park’ had been voted on by the public at the last partnership meeting held at Fort Amherst.

What will happen next can be viewed on the Chatham World Heritage website:

5. Heritage report

Keith Gulvin pointed out that he has not been able to attend recent meetings owing to a date clash with meetings of the trustees of Fort Amherst. Keith has been visiting the Public Records office at Kew. He discovered some pictures of Admiralty House being built, and a document on the reasons for the closure of Nore command. Keith has previously studied the more distant history of the Lower Lines; now he has found even more interesting recent history; quite an amount of stuff going on over the last 60-70 years.

Fort Amherst will build further on the open days in 2008, and continue these into 2009 (again free to the public). A small charge will be levied on people walking through the tunnels. There will be a £2 ‘anorac’ tour available through the ‘unrestored’ middle Lines.

Keith mentioned a convoy routing board in HMS Wildfire, which could usefully be relocated in the Lower Lines guard house.

6. Medway Urban Parks and Green Spaces Forum

Linda Miller and Adam Price have provided some information which Brian Baker had requested about the Friends for the MUPGSF website.

7. Matters arising from the minutes of 14th­ October

a. Progress on website funded from Chatham World Heritage Partnership

Adam Price, Linda Miller and Tina Lawlor Mottram have met a couple of times since the last meeting to progress the website which is due to be delivered by 31 March 2009. Administration arrangements for the funding from Chatham World heritage Partnership had been agreed with Joanne Cable.

Karl Martin of ‘Blue Wasp’ has agreed to commission our website and hire domain names. Joanne Cable had suggested a number of possible and available domain names. The Friends agreed to opt for (not yet up and running). Friends were urged to submit website content direct to Karl via his email address This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it All

Karl Martin will be invited to attend the next Friends’ meeting. AP

Progress on the website and a new leaflet (target date 30 June 2009) will continue to feature as an agenda item at future meetings.

b. Bridget Simmonds’ project

Adam Price and Jane Jones had been approached by Bridget for copies of the plans and photographs.


8. AOB.

a) Annual membership donation

The following each donated £1; Adam Price agreed to hand this to our Treasurer:

Penny Chisholm, Jane Jones, Cllr Cathy Sutton, PC Jamie Little and Keith Gulvin

Date of Next Meeting

Tuesday 24 February 2009”, 6.00pm

Honeybees room, Sunlight Centre

Richmond Road, Gillingham

Summary of action points follows:

Action required before next meeting:

1. Get involved in planning for the website and a new leaflet All

2. Invite Karl Martin to the next meeting to discuss the website AP

3. Provide some information and photographs to Bridget Simmonds AP


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