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Evening Meeting With Amanda Mckean, Director Canterbury Festival

30th April 2024
Venue: Cricket Ground

Evening meeting with Amanda McKean, Director, Canterbury Festival.
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Lunchtime Meeting Agm & May Business Meeting

7th May 2024
Venue: Cricket Ground
Lunchtime meeting 12.30pm for 1pm meal Annual General Meeting to be followed by the May Business Meeting.
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Vocational Visit to Fordwich

On a sunny morning this August some 20 Rotarians and guests visited Fordwich. Accompanied by two dogs the more energetic started the day with a walk along the River Stour before arriving at the Town Hall to be met by the rest of the party.

We were introduced to Fordwich Town Hall by a ten minute DVD film which informed us that it was built in 1544 during the reign of King Henry VIII. It is decked with lovely herringbone brickwork on the outside whilst the interior retains all the original timbers. The upstairs was used as a Courtroom for many centuries and the accused had to state their case at “The Pleading Bar”. In the ground floor jail three men were last imprisoned in 1855 for poaching the famous Fordwich trout! At the rear end stands the Crane House with its crane ready to be swung out to unload boats bringing all sorts of provisions for the city of Canterbury, including the stone that came from Caen in Normandy to re-build Canterbury Cathedral in the 11th century. Fordwich is classified as the “Smallest Town in Britain” and the Town Hall is still used by the Town Council for all their meetings and is believed to be the oldest and smallest in the country still in use.

We then went next door to visit the Parish church of St Mary’s. This historic church stands in an idyllic spot near the River Stour, leaning somewhat, as a result of a 15th-century flood.
Inside, the church is mellow and unspoilt, with 17th-century fittings and wall paintings. It is home to a strange carved stone, dating from around 1100. Nearly 1.7 metres long, the Fordwich Stone is thought to be a shrine made for the body parts – or relics – of a saint, maybe St Augustine of Canterbury.
There are also box pews and a corporation pew, 17th-century rails, and the Royal Arms and Commandments, painted on plaster in 1688.

We all then adjourned to the George and Dragon for a leisurely lunch. Many thanks to Deborah for her masterly organisation. photo by Sheila Cragg.

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The Rotary Club of Canterbury
St Lawrence Cricket Ground
Old Dover Road,
Canterbury, Kent,
CT1 3NZ,
United Kingdom

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