The Strand in Gillingham, Medway: 125 years old this summer

by My Kent Family reporter

Sponsored Editorial: Produced in association with Medway Council

It's 125 years since The Strand in Gillingham first opened in June 1896 - and we want you to help us celebrate this landmark anniversary.

All you need to do is share your favourite memories of this most iconic of Medway's attraction or send in your family snapshots of The Strand.

We’ll use the most poignant ones in a special exhibition to mark the 125th anniversary - details of which will be released next month.

This year marks the 125 anniversary of The Strand since it first opened in June 1896
This year marks the 125 anniversary of The Strand since it first opened in June 1896

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

  • Send us a photo of The Strand from your family archives
  • Telling us your favourite memory
  • Or simply tells us why you love The Strand and what it means to you

Send us your Strand 125 memories along with a picture (if you have one) by emailing medwaysport@medway.gov.co.uk - or go to our website by clicking here.

You can also have your say on Twitter using #TheStrand125

Families from across Medway have been flocking to The Strand for years
Families from across Medway have been flocking to The Strand for years

HISTORY OF THE STRAND

  • The Strand first opened in June 1896
  • It’s the home to one of Britain's earliest open air-pools and is the country's only remaining riverside salt-water pool.
  • The outdoor pool was the first main attraction available when The Strand opened. Along with bathing, a special sports programme included underwater swimming, water polo and a greasy pole competition
  • The nationwide drive to save fuel and money, ensured that The Strand remained a popular venue throughout the summers of the First World War
  • Between the wars, a putting green, car park, cafe, pony rides and a timber hexagonal bandstand that attracted large crowds on Sundays all opened. By the mid-1930s 30,000 deckchairs a year were being rented out by The Strand cafe.
  • The miniature railway was opened after the Second World War in 1948. The swings and roundabouts followed a year later
  • Attractions that opened in more recent times included a pitch and putt course (which became a footgolf course in 2014 before closing) while refurbishments have been made to the playground areas
  • In 2019 saw the launch of ‘Talking Telescopes’- a joint project between students and staff at Medway Council and Mid Kent College. The project aims were to capture, preserve and share people’s memories of The Strand and surrounding landmarks, especially from the 1950s and 1960s. A celebration event was held at the Strand in May 2019 which saw over 400 people attend
It's still going strong today but the miniature railway first opened just after the Second World War in 1948
It's still going strong today but the miniature railway first opened just after the Second World War in 1948

DON'T MISS AT THE STRAND IN 2021

Attractions currently available include...

  • Riverside walks
  • Two children's play areas (including a sandpit)
  • Café

Other activities (currently closed due to the national restrictions) include...

  • Outdoor leisure pool and paddling pool
  • Miniature railway
  • Crazy golf
  • Outdoor tennis courts
  • Outdoor gym
  • Parkour training facility
The lido and paddling pool are one of the many family attractions at The Strand
The lido and paddling pool are one of the many family attractions at The Strand

VALUE FOR MONEY FUN

The Strand is renowned for providing great value family activities including the tennis courts and miniature railway.

The Strand is renowned for providing great value activities for families
The Strand is renowned for providing great value activities for families

THE STRAND IS ALL-INCLUSIVE

  • Disabled access
  • Disabled parking
  • Disabled changing facilities
  • Disabled toilets

For more details on The Strand, please click here

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