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Celebrations planned to honour 650th anniversary of Queenborough's royal links

By Chloe Holmwood

A celebration is being planned to commemorate the day Queenborough officially became a borough.

This year marks the 650th anniversary of when the status was bestowed upon the town by Edward III.

Neil Hancock, one of the organisers, said: “We have been discussing, for some time, plans to celebrate the grant by Edward III in May 1368 of borough status to Queenborough.

King Edward III
King Edward III

“Following reorganisation, that status now rests with Swale council, from 1974 – but we feel such a major anniversary merits celebrating.

“Edward III named the town and gave it a charter for various economic rights to tolls on the sea, a right to export wool to Europe, and he built the castle and church. He did a huge amount for us and there’s a lot to celebrate that people are unaware of.”

The 76-year-old added: “More and more generations come along and they’re not aware of what went on in the years before them.”

Queenborough Castle
Queenborough Castle

Organisers are arranging a celebration for the May Day bank holiday weekend, from Sunday, May 6 to Monday, May 7.

Mr Hancock, who was born and bred in Queenborough and now lives in Uplands Way, Minster, said: “There will be a hog roast, a medieval combat society display, stalls, people in costumes parading through the High Street and much more.”

Mr Hancock hopes past events and stories of the town would live on and be experienced by Islanders for many years to come.

Queenborough is set to celebrate its historic past
Queenborough is set to celebrate its historic past

“Queenborough has substantial history,” he said. “And our project will not end after May 2018. It will continue to publicise our history throughout the ages.”

Organisers are looking for sponsors, funding, ideas or anyone who wants to help out over the weekend. Call Mr Hancock on 01795 663887 or email neilshancock@aol.com.

A quiz night will be held at Queenborough Social Club in North Road from 7.30pm on Friday, February 16, in aid of the anniversary celebrations. Entry is £5 per person.

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