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Bid to renew Sheerness millennium time-line

Did you help create Sheppey's millennium time-line? If so, Phil Crowder wants to hear from you.

The retired postman says the memories embedded in the pavement at Beachfields, Sheerness, need renovating for its 20th anniversary.

Retired postie Phil Crowder is campaigning to get the Sheppey millennium time line in Sheerness tidied up for its 20th anniversary
Retired postie Phil Crowder is campaigning to get the Sheppey millennium time line in Sheerness tidied up for its 20th anniversary

He said: "During the past two decades some of the specially-made tiles have been damaged or lost, either because of the weather or because trucks have driven over them. It is such a shame."

He has teamed up with Paul Murray at the Oasis Academy who was one of the organisers of the project when he was teaching at Cheyne Middle School.

The pair want to hear from anyone who remembers working on the project.

Phil, 59, from Galway Road, Sheerness, said: "We would like to replace some of the missing memories. If anyone has photographs of how they looked we'd love to see them."

Paul recalled: "It was an excellent project involving 40 students. They worked every Tuesday evening on this for more than a year designing the entrance feature next to McDonald's, the timeline and sand pit.

Phil Crowder shows where vehicles have churned up mud and damaged the Sheppey millennium time-line in Sheerness
Phil Crowder shows where vehicles have churned up mud and damaged the Sheppey millennium time-line in Sheerness

"As a result, they reached the National Environmental Finals at Loughborough University where they were runners-up and represented Kent County Council at the Kent County Show."

He added: "It would be great to return the area to its former glory."

Sheppey cartoonist Richard Jefries has also offered to help.

Many tiles have been covered up by mud. Some areas are subject to flooding and some have been destroyed after the ground was churned up by vehicles.

The time line begins near McDonald's, where a time capsule was buried by Cheyne Middle School pupils on August 9, 2000, and stretches to the beach.

The statue unveiled by the French ambassador on May 12, 2001. Retired postie Phil Crowder is campaigning to get the Sheppey millennium time line in Sheerness tidied up for its 20th anniversary
The statue unveiled by the French ambassador on May 12, 2001. Retired postie Phil Crowder is campaigning to get the Sheppey millennium time line in Sheerness tidied up for its 20th anniversary

Highlights in Sheppey's history are marked by stone plinths celebrating subjects such as Sheerness Naval Dockyard, Shurland Hall at Eastchurch, Leysdown's British aviation pioneers the Short Brothers, Queenborough's industrial heritage and the Cooperative Society which was founded on the Island.

Individual tiles on the Sheppey millennium time line were designed by members of the public.

They include one by Karen Curtis for Sheppey College and one marking the 10th anniversary of the Sheerness Society.

There is one by Halfway Houses Primary School and one celebrating Stephen Bottoms' 18th birthday.

There is also one for James and Charlotte who moved to Beach Street in February 2000.

A stone plinth in the Sheerness millennium time-line marking aviation pioneers the Short Brothers who built planes at Leysdown and Eastchurch.
A stone plinth in the Sheerness millennium time-line marking aviation pioneers the Short Brothers who built planes at Leysdown and Eastchurch.

The project was organised by Groundwork Swale in partnership with the South East England Development Agency (Seeda), Swale council and the EU.

It included a stainless steel statue of a yacht with oars at the entrance to Beachfields which was unveiled by the French Ambassador on May 12, 2001.

He invited the pupils to tea at the French Embassy telling them: "In life, you have friends and acquaintances. I regard you as my friends."

Phil added: "There is nothing to tell visitors what the time-line is all about. It would be great to have a sign explaining everything."

To join him, email crowderpj@aol.com

Read more: All the latest news from the Isle of Sheppey


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