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Step back in time with expert tour guide Geoff Rambler to uncover Rochester

By Chris Hunter

You can almost taste the history as you follow in the shoes of Geoff Rambler and step back in time to when the people of Rochester lived through the First World War.

In fact “almost” is an understatement - because Geoff, aka Geoff Ettridge, will actually dish up some contemporary war time food on walking tours scheduled for June and July.

The guide and historian is inviting people to join him on four tours offering a glimpse into the lives of ordinary folk as they responded to the challenges, worries and deprivation of the time.

Geoff Ettridge, aka Geoff Rambler, leads a walking tour around Rochester
Geoff Ettridge, aka Geoff Rambler, leads a walking tour around Rochester

“The story of WW1 is largely told from the perspective of military campaigns, but WW1 was a total war that impacted on the lives, losses and opportunities for everyone at home,” said Geoff, who in recent years has written regular news reports for the City of Rochester’s newsletter using contemporary wartime accounts.

“Such was the interest in this subject I decided to put together a 90-minute tour of Rochester that enables the telling of some of the WW1 stories associated with particular buildings and places in the City.

“The tour is less of a history lesson and more of a glimpse into the lives of ordinary folk as they responded the challenges, worries and deprivations of the time. The story though is not one of ‘doom & gloom’ - the people of Rochester and the Towns responded marvellously to the challenges of a war brought right to their doorstep.”

Geoff Ettridge, aka Geoff Rambler, leads a walking tour around Rochester
Geoff Ettridge, aka Geoff Rambler, leads a walking tour around Rochester

Recent pilot tours were well-attended and well-received an Geoff will use the upcoming scheduled tours to raise funds for the British Legion.

All the tours start from the front of the Guildhall Museum, Rochester - and there is no need to book unless you wish to join a tour that ends with trench cake or trench stew - both made to an authentic WW1 recipe. There will be a charge of £5 per person for the food on top of any donation participants wish to make for the tour.

Any group - friends, club, soldiers/sailors or businesses looking for a team building experience or aiming to raise money for a good cause can also contact Geoff.

Tour dates as follows: Saturday June 16, 10.30am, with stew - booking required; Tuesday June 19, 7.30pm - open tour;

Sunday July 8, 10.30am, with cake - booking required; Sunday July 27, 2.30pm - open tour email geoff.rambler@me.com to find out more.

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