Gillingham Forest provided a hunting lodge for the Angevin Kings, notably King John. In the 1820s, the artist John Constable stayed at Gillingham vicarage and, being impressed by the beauty of the countryside, executed several local sketches and paintings. The railway arrived in 1859; farm produce could now be transported to London and new industries sprang up, taking advantage of the improved transport facilities. There was an upturn in population and the town expanded with many buildings of distinctive orange-red brick from the new brickyard.
Despite the decline of industries in the 1960s and '70s, the 1990s brought a relief road, new library and museum, new supermarkets, new housing developments and an expansion to change the face of Gillingham again. In recent years, Gillingham has been known as the fastest growing town in the South West. From the Square to Kings Court, from farms to the railway, from the brewery to the brickyard, Gillingham Through Time invites you to reminisce through photographs and illustrations of this growing Dorset town.
David Lloyd was born in Gillingham, left Gillingham School in 1964 and moved to Bristol for work in the public sector and later banking. He returned to Gillingham in 1988. He is a long-time member of Gillingham Local History Society of which he is now Chairman. David's book Around Gillingham in the Images of England series (HP) was published in 1998 with a pocket edition reprint in 2006. Researching his family tree David has found that his family goes back at least 250 years in the Gillingham area so he feels able to claim himself a `local'. Because of his interest in local and family history, as well as being a keen photographer, he has built up a collection of old postcards and photographs which will be used in the new book together with photographs taken by himself, and additional material from friends and Gillingham Museum. David produces regular newsletters for the Local History Society, Gillingham Town Twinning and Gillingham Rotary. He lives in Gillingham, Dorset.