A wooden plaque was dedicated to the Freeman of the River Medway in Rochester Cathedral and recognises links between the Cathedral, old City of Rochester and the Rochester Oyster and Floating Fishery.
The plaque was commissioned by Mr Fred Trice to be installed in the Cathedral and was instigated by a relationship with the Canon Dr Phillip Hesketh following the tragic death at sea of his son Stephen, a Freeman, in February 2013 which had been recognised at the 2013 Admiralty Court by a minute’s silence.
The wooden plaque has been carved over a period of 18 months from oak estimated to be over 150 years old by local craftsman Dick Baugh and depicts a traditional bawley under full sail in Tower reach with the iconic Rochester skyline of the Cathedral and Castle in the back ground.
A bronze plaque will also be installed in the Cathedral’s garden of remembrance which is specific to Stephen Trice’s memory.
During a short speech the Canon noted that despite the river Medway being fundamental to the establishment of the City and hence cathedral there was no formal recognition of this fact evident but that this plaque was hoped to be part of a growing relationship and whilst at a very early stage mention was made of a the potential for a stained glass window to acknowledge the river and the trades plied upon it.
The dedication took place as part of the normal Sunday worship service and was attended by the Mayor of Medway, Cllr Barry Kemp (who gave a reading), his wife Mayoress Mrs Joyce Kemp, Shane Hales the Chamberlain of the Rochester Oyster and Floating Fishery together with other Freeman and members of the Trice Family and interested parties.
Oak plaque in Rochester Cathedral together with Freemen of the River Medway (left to right) Horace Moore, Dick Turner, Bradley Moore and Shane Hales, Chamberlain.