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1988
• A medallion of Queen Elizabeth II was added to the Clock Tower, but was heavily criticised and unpopular. (See 1991)
• Westcourt Farm, Chalk destroyed by fire. (Remains finally demolished in 1991)
• Thong Lane Sports centre changed its name to Cascades following a £2.6 million transformation project, which included a huge leisure pool.
• Ye Olde Leather Bottle in Cobham was one of 12 pubs in the country to be chosen for the title of “Great Character Inns of Britain”.
• The derelict swimming pool in Ordnance Road, Gravesend, which closed in September the previous year, was not re-opened for the summer season. It had been opened in 1938. (See 1989)
• 40,000 signatures were collected in a campaign to stop the closure of the town’s hospital.
• The Mausoleum at Cobham Hall was put up for sale at £500,000. (See 1783, 1998)
• Lawn Road School was gutted by fire. Damage was estimated at £200,000. A completely new school was later built near the site of the old school, which was demolished.
• The world’s last scheduled Atlantic steam liner, the “Stefan Batory” passed Gravesend on her last journey before being sold. The 15,000 tonne ship was built in 1951 and carried 900 passengers and 300 crew.
• Gravesend Sailing Club arranged a river race to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Spanish Armada. A giant beacon was also lit on Windmill Hill to mark the anniversary. 5,000 people watched the mayor light the 15 foot beacon.
• A £1 million project got underway to renovate the “Old Rectory” at Springhead Road, Northfleet, a 16th century listed building, and turn it into luxury offices.
• The 2 oldest and biggest Dutch elm trees in Gravesend, situated in Woodlands Park, were cut down after a seven year battle to save the trees. The stumps were completely buried by 400 tonnes of earth.
• Northfleet Grammar School, Hall Road, (formerly Wombwell Hall School for Girls), closed. (See 1949, 1994)
• A warehouse fire on the Northfleet industrial estate burned for 2 days, destroying £1 million of stock and could be seen burning from London.
• The warehouse was owned by Braybourne Packaging.
• After a 10 year absence the Shrimper’s Regatta returned and continues as an annual event today. (See 1975)
• Bomb disposal experts blew up a suspected bomb at a building society office (The Halifax). The suspected briefcase was later found to contain only paper work.
• The end of a 474 year era for Thames River Pilots as the Trinity House piloting station was brought under the ownership of the Port of London.
• A gas explosion at Chantry Court caused 90 people to be evacuated and one injured.
• Population estimates projected that males will outnumber females by 2 to 1 in Gravesham by the year 2001.
• The £9.5 million Northfleet by-pass was completed. The 2km link connected Springhead roundabout with the Imperial Business Estate via Vale and Dover Road.
• Gravesend’s Police Chief Superintendent, Ken Tappenden, was awarded the MBE.
• Ashenbank Wood was replanted with trees to replace those lost in the great storm of the previous year.

1989
• M.V.”Catherine” sold off as the ferry service declined.
• “Admiral Beatty” public house, Valley Drive, closed. Re-opened the following year. (See 1946, 1960)
• Gads Hill Place School re-formed as a limited company with charitable status and re-named Gads Hill School. (See 1924)
• The proposed Channel Tunnel Rail Link was much in the news. There were many protests against the link being built and action groups were formed.
• A builder working on the site of the new St. James’s Oaks development in Trafalgar Road was crushed to death when a wall collapsed on top of him. The development, built on the site of St. James’s Hospital (formerly the Gravesend Union Workhouse), was completed later in the year. (See 1985)
• A £1 million refurbishment of Gravesend and North Kent Hospital took place - improving operating theatres and wards and new X-Ray equipment. The maternity services for Dartford and Gravesend were brought together at Gravesend Hospital site and a midwifery education department established.
• An experimental scheme to ban traffic from King Street and New Road was not thought to be a success.
• Debenham’s new store in New Road Gravesend was opened by actor Dennis Waterman. The site was previously occupied by the Co-operative department store.
• Building began on a new day centre for the elderly at Coldharbour Road, Northfleet. The new building replaced the old day centre in Vale Road and opened at the end of the year. (See 1971)
• The Sikh community paraded through Gravesend town centre on their way to the Temple in Clarence Place, to celebrate the Indian New Year Vaisakhi. This is now an annual event.
• AEI Cables, Crete Hall Road, won the Queen’s Award for export achievement.
• Gravesend was twinned with Cambrai in France.
• Actress Sue Pollard, opened the new housing development at Crawley Court, West Street.
• A hosepipe ban was enforced as warm weather and no rain continued to cause problems with water supplies. (Hottest summer for 10 years).
• A World War II bomb was brought ashore at Northfleet after a dredger brought it up from the seabed. A bomb disposal team later diffused it.
• Two houses at the bottom of the High Street (Heritage House/the Fan Shop) restored at a cost of £270,000. Some of the oldest surviving houses in Gravesend, dating from 1730, they feature weather boarding and peg tile roofs.
• 140 ships taking part in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships race sailed past Gravesend.
• Official visit by Northfleet’s adopted warship HMS “Cygnet”. The new £2 million sports centre in Hall Road was named after the vessel. (Vessel was first adopted 1943) There had been a ship named “Cygnet” in the navy for 400 years - this was the 19th to carry the name.
• Three times winner of the Grand National “Red Rum” officially “opened” a new book makers in Vigilant Way, Riverview Park.
• The derelict swimming pool in Ordnance Road was demolished and the site was earmarked for development. (See 1938)
• A fire in the High Street, Gravesend destroyed 3 historic buildings and left a family homeless. Eight fire engines attended the blaze.

1990
• Operation Crabstick. The Royal Engineers removed explosive pipes laid during the 2nd World War - designed to destroy the airfield in the event of invasion. Residents of Riverview Park were evacuated while the work was carried out.
• The sail training vessel “The Lord Nelson”, visited Gravesend. The Mayor and MP for Gravesend were given a tour of the ship, which is especially adapted for disabled seafarers.
• Hurricane winds swept across Kent in February. On the A2 at Gravesend three lorries were overturned, 700 homes in the borough were without electricity and many ships broke their moorings. Shortly afterwards flash floods brought havoc to the area. The hosepipe ban was lifted after several weeks of storms and heavy rains.
• High winds drove out tides, stranding ships in the river, then water surged back within hours, sparking a flood alert. The Thames Barrier was closed upriver - water breached the sea wall at Gravesend in several places. The freak weather coincided with the highest (spring) tides of the year.
• The hosepipe ban was re-introduced after another spell of hot dry weather, just 80 days after it had been lifted.
• Anti-poll tax protestors threatened to wreck Gravesend’s Mayor-making ceremony, but there was a heavy police presence.
• A section of Crete Hall Road collapsed into the Thames, due to subsidence. Water pipes were broken and power cables exposed, fire crews were on alert in case of a gas leak and subsequent explosion.
• A record breaking sub-marine cable (48 kilometre continuous line) made by AEI cables was transported on a cable laying vessel to the Hebrides to carry electricity from mainland Scotland to the Western Isles.
• Vigo village celebrated its silver jubilee. Spanish dignitaries from the villages namesake attended the celebrations.
• British Rails plans to build the Channel Tunnel Rail Link were rejected by the Government transport minister. The route went under review. Later in the year a new route was proposed by Ove Arup, but the anti-link campaign continued.
• The annual Edwardian Fair held on the Promenade ended in tragedy when a motorbike stunt went wrong and killed a spectator. An inquest later recorded a verdict of accidental death.
• Gravesend’s first Asian woman magistrate, Charnjit Sangha, was sworn in.
• Customs and Excise moved their regional base to Gravesend, renovating the old Excise building in the Terrace at a cost of £2 million. The refurbished building included a museum, which opened to the public on special days.
• The first poll-tax hearing in Gravesend ended in uproar. 200 non-payers were summonsed but only 13 attended court. The hearing lasted 3 hours.
• The area of New Road and King Street was pedestrianised and re-routing of traffic took place. This was to be an experimental scheme lasting 6-9 months, but was expected to become permanent. There was a mixed response from the public, taxi and bus operators initially, but the Borough Council considered it a success.
• Improvements to the Windmill Hill area took place with new car parking area, seating, descriptive information cairns, two view points, a children’s play area and more trees were planted.
• The first women’s long distance rowing race on the Thames took place. Four crews completed 21 miles from Greenwich to Gravesend in less than 4 hours.
• A new tug “Sun Mercia” was launched, owned by Alexandra Towing (London) Ltd. A dual purpose vessel; a tug and a fire boat, it was based at Royal Terrace Pier.
• A plaque was unveiled in the Gordon Gardens to commemorate World War II pilot Eric Williams on the 50th anniversary of his death and was attended by members of his family. (See 1940)
• A riverside welcome was given to Gill Bond when she completed a record breaking rowing trip down the Thames from Lechdale in Gloucester to Gravesend. The first woman to skull the 175 miles.
• “Railway Tavern” in Gravesend re-opened after 3 years, following refurbishment.
• A Golden Mullet was found in the Thames, bringing the total number of newly recorded species of fish to 3, which reflected the improving water quality of the river.
• Stores in Gravesend flouted the Sunday Trading laws and opened on the weekend prior to Christmas.