Gillingham began its life as an agricultural and fishing parish on the banks of the River Medway in Kent. From the late seventeenth century, the township of Brompton grew due to the expansion of the nearby Chatham Dockyard. Further development of the yard in the nineteenth century led to the creation of New Brompton. This was one of the fastest growing communities of the Victorian period. When it became incorporated in 1903, the township took the name of Gillingham. In the twentieth century, Gillingham expanded to include the village of Rainham and developed suburbs such as Wigmore and Twydall.
Using a unique collection of photographs, prints and postcards, Brian Joyce and Sophie Miller explore the evolution of the parish of Gillingham from rural backwater to thriving industrial town. Well-researched and informative, Gillingham & Around From Old Photographs reveals the area's dramatic changes over the centuries as well as providing a fascinating insight into the town's history.
Brian Joyce was born in Chatham. He holds degrees awarded by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Middlesex University. Brian is a retired teacher who researches and writes on all aspects of the history of the Medway Towns and has been a frequent speaker at meetings of local clubs and societies. Brian is the President of the Chatham Historical Society and has sat on various committees concerned with Medway's rich and varied history. He has his own collection of photographs, which he uses for his local books, also drawing on images from the collection of his co-author Sophie Miller. Sophie Miller is a graduate in Education. After leaving London for Kent, she's spent many years researching various aspects of the rich and diverse history of the county. She has a keen interest in the history of the county and can often be found at one of the many talks being given by Brian, who she has co-authored some local history books with.