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Chatham High Street to get street party to celebrate life of Thomas Waghorn

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Many will be familiar with Chatham's statue of a man pointing northwards, often sporting an orange cone on his head.

A group are looking to pay homage to Thomas Waghorn, a Victorian sailor and naval officer who was born in the town.

The Thomas Waghorn statue in Chatham.
The Thomas Waghorn statue in Chatham.

This year marks both 220 years since Waghorn was born, and 170 years since he died in 1850.

After joining the Royal Navy at the age of 12, Waghorn suggested a new postal route between Great Britain and India prior to the development of the Suez Canal.

An entry in the Oxford Dictionary from 2004 does however say many of Waghorn’s claims were false and he achieved fame by accident.

Nowadays, Chatham pays homage to him via his statue in Railway Street, the same road in which there is a Wetherspoon named after him.

Love Chatham want to hear from people who want to get involved in a street party celebrating his life.

Thomas Waghorn sporting multiple orange cones.
Thomas Waghorn sporting multiple orange cones.

The group, which was set up to promote activities in the town centre, wants to stage the event on Saturday, June 20, which would have been his birthday.

John Brice, chairman of the group, said: "We now have got all sorts of interest already from music and theatre groups.

"We want to see how much more interest there is."

The organisation is planning on joining together groups from the town and stage entertainment in the High Street.

An open meeting to form the plans will be going ahead on Tuesday, March 3 at 6pm at the cafe at the Nucleus Arts Centre in the High Street.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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