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It came as a bolt from the blue. The devastating news that Chatham Dockyard was to close after 400 years in operation. The Navy was pulling out and thousands of workers would lose their jobs.
It was a dark day for the people of Medway, but slowly, bit by bit, the town and the dockyard fought back, turning the site into a vibrant business community and visitor attraction. Now, 30 years on, the future is still bright.
Andrea Thomas has been speaking to Philip Lewing, a former engineer at the dockyard, Brian Jenkins, president of the Chatham Dockyard Historical Society and Bill Ferris, Chief Executive of the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.