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The sky was lit up as the Battle of Medway firework finale came to a climax

By Lynn Cox

The sky above Medway were awash with colour last night as thousands of people enjoyed to the finale of the Battle Of Medway commemorations on the River Medway.

The Medway in Flames climax event was staged on the River at Chatham Maritime and was the end of a 10-day extravaganza marking a key part of the area’s history.

During the day the area was packed full of people enjoying a whole host of attractions including water screens, projections and later their will be a spectacular fireworks display over the River Medway.

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The firework display at Chatham Maritime
The firework display at Chatham Maritime

The festivities were part of a programme of events which aimed to dramatically relive the Battle of Medway when Dutch ships launched a surprise attack on the English naval fleet moored at Chatham dockyard 350 years ago.

Events kicked off at 2pm near to the Ship & Trades pub, the Outlet Centre and Chatham Historic Dockyard.

Youngsters had a great time cooling down in the heat when they took advantage of water activities including dinghy rides, sailing, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding.

People seemed to enjoy the fireworks.
People seemed to enjoy the fireworks.

These activities were put on by the Arethusa Venture Centre and Medway Watersports Trust.

At 3.15pm there was also a slash in the water as the Splash Dog water display did there stuff in the marina. The massive rescue dogs were very popular with visitors.

People could enjoy ice creams, chat to giant sailors or see pirates at the event which also includes two stages and a bandstand to listen to live bands and have a bit of a jig.

The River Medway last night.
The River Medway last night.

The Blues stage by the Dockside Outlet Centre proved popular with families and the Folk music could he heard on the stage near the Ship and Trades pub.

There was also a bandstand near Basin 2 where bands and singers performed.

There were around the many food and drink stalls scattered across the site, as well as a funfair zone which featured a massive bouncy castle and other thrilling rides.

People watching the Splashpals Working Newfoundland Dogs.
People watching the Splashpals Working Newfoundland Dogs.

At 5.30pm visitors made their way to the river wall to watch the magnificent sail past by ships and boats on the water.

People lining the river bank watched displays of tugs and jet skis and the evening finale show where visitors watched water screens, a digital projection, pyrotechnics, special effects and later the fireworks finale.

The displays were put on free by Medway Council and people who couldn’t get there could watch it live online.

People lined the river wall.
People lined the river wall.

Jon Primett from Chatham later tweeted the council.

@Jon_Primett said: “Looks like a brilliant display. Brilliant from @medway_council.”

And kmfm DJ Andy Walker also enjoyed the display.

The Dutch raid, which is said to have set the River Medway on fire, led to huge investment in new ships and dockyard improvements, laying the foundations for Britannia to rule the waves for the next 200 years.

Commemorations to mark the 350th anniversary began last week with tall ships and plenty of pomp and ceremony at Upnor Castle, Chatham Historic Dockyard.

Even Dutch royalty and watched the start of the festivities here in the Towns.

A collection of Dutch and British art, historic manuscripts and objects on loan from around the world are on display to coincide with the commemorations at the Chatham Historic Dockyard.

Entitled Breaking the Chain, it will run at the dockyard until Sunday, September 3.

If you missed the Medway in Flames event click here to watch it.

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