Published: 13:52, 05 April 2018
| Updated: 16:32, 05 April 2018
The Duke of Kent visited five locations on the Isle of Sheppey today.
The Duke first called in at the Guildhall Museum at Queenborough to meet the Charter 650 Committee which was formed to celebrate 650 years of the town’s Royal Charter which was given by King Edward lll.
Among those greeting him were MP Gordon Henderson, Mayor of Swale Cllr Colin Prescott, Queenborough Mayor Cllr Mick Constable, High Sheriff of Kent George Jessel and museum manager Linda Vine.
Also invited were Swale council’s chief executive Mark Radford, Cllr David Brazier the chairman of Kent County Council and Swale’s police Chief Inspector Rachel McNeil.
The Duke then toured the fire-damaged Dockyard Church at Blue Town where Will Palin and the Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust are masterminding a multi-million make-over to bring the building back to community use. It has already won £4.71 million from the heritage Lottery Fund.
It will include cafes, rooms for fledgeling companies and a permanent home for huge John Rennie scale model of the Sheerness Dockyard which he designed. The model is currently housed in Portsmouth.
During his visit he met Lillie May, 12, and Archie Stewart, 13, from the Isle of Sheppey Oasis Academy.
Students have been talking to residents and recording their memories of the church at Sheerness Library, Age UK and at their school.
Archie, from Sheerness, said: "The Duke asked us what we knew about the church so we told him it had been used as a youth club and boxing club before it burned down in 2001."
After lunch, the Duke was driven to Eastchurch to inspect the Aviation Museum which is gearing up to celebrate 100 years of the RAF and was met by manager Peter West and trustees Martin and Rosemary Hawkins.
Eastchurch played a pivotal role in the creation of the RAF and is widely hailed as the birthplace of British aviation.
The museum is on a former RAF airfield which is now part of HMP Standford Hill Open Prison.
While there, the Duke met prisoners who are helping the community and have opened a craft workshop turning old wooden pallets into furniture and selling honey from bees kept on the site.
The visit came as Historic England announced it had upgraded the flying memorial in Eastchurch village to a Grade ll listing.