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Wilf Lower told Tales from the Dividing River Medway on 20th March 2014 . The river is the boundary that divides the Men of Kent from Kentish Men who were fighting and skirmishing years ago. The Medway tidal area is protected by the Coastguard as far as Allington Lock, 20 miles inland. They receive 180 distress calls each year. The foreshore is often soft and sticky mud and they still wear wooden “platterns” (flat square sheets) strapped to their boots to stop them sinking and slipping. The Rochester Oyster and Floating Fishery Guild was granted by Royal Charter in 1446 by Henry VI and is reputed to be one of the oldest in the country. In 1630 a sturgeon was caught and eaten by the Mayor. 100 years ago there were 400 working boats on the river and now there are only 4. The Local Authority used to spread sand for the beach at both Gillingham Strand and Upnor. They now only sand the beach at Gillingham but the tide takes it each winter and deposits it at Upnor!

Report written by Polly Chandler.

Last Revised: 24-Mar-2014

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