Years ago, the sunny Isle of Sheppey was "THE" place to take your annual holiday in the South-East & was hugely popular with Londoners, full of beach huts & saucy postcards! In the scheme of things, it's a very short journey to reach the Island from Central London .....
It would seem that good old Sheppey is still as popular as ever, with recent reports that none other than our very own Frank Bruno has just purchased a Static Caravan on the island...
Frank is one of Britain’s best-loved boxers & remained a firm favourite with the public after his retirement from boxing after his last title fight in 1996, when he was advised he could lose his sight if he continued with the sport. Following his personal issues in 2003, he has since campaigned tirelessly for more understanding of mental illness.
So - you may well bump into him on the island if you stay at any of the properties ETK has listed on the island, all of which are within a stone's throw of the Holiday Park ole Frank is reported to have purchased on!
"Know what I mean, Harry?"
Al's Van: Ashcroft Coast ~ 3-bedrooms, free travel cot use, living area, separate dining area, very well equipped kitchen, shower room with double shower, separate W.C, flat screen TVs with built in freeview & DVD players, DVDs, books, board games, toy cupboard, very 4-paws-friendly, garden furniture, BBQ. Gas fire + air-blown heating throughout + convector heaters. Linen pack available. Entertainment & Facility Passes can be included, or purchased direct on arrival.
ABI Arizona: Ashcroft Coast ~ 3 bedrooms, living area, (all seating recently re-covered), with dining table & chairs, very well equipped kitchen, shower room/W.C, flat screen TV, electric wall-mounted fire + wall-mounted convector heaters in the bedrooms. Bed linen, hand-towels & tea-towels all included. Baby/toddler equipment can be included on request. Personal "meet & greet" service from the owners. Secluded outside space, with garden furniture & car parking adjacent. Simply stunning sea views.
Willerby Sailsbury: Warden Springs ~ 2 bedrooms, living area with dining area, well equipped kitchen, shower room/W.C, flat screen TV with Freeview, gas fire + portable electric heater, high-chair, moses basket or travel cot provided at no charge on request. Bed linen included. Entertainment & Facility Passes included. Pet-friendly.
A little bit of Sheppey history
The Isle of Sheppey is just full of history - which many are totally unaware of & is something "Little Al" (Al's Van) has previously researched in quite some depth:
The Isle of Sheppey is an island off the northern coast of Kent, in the Thames Estuary, some 46 miles (74 km) to the east of London. It has an area of 36 square miles (93 km2). The island forms part of the local government district of Swale.
Sheppey is derived from the ancient Saxon "Sceapige", meaning isle of sheep, and even today the extensive marshes which make up a considerable proportion of the island provide grazing for large flocks of sheep, (Baaahhhhh)
The Eastchurch airfield played a significant role in the history of British aviation from 1909 when Frank McClean acquired Stonepits Farm, on the marshes across from Leysdown, converting the land into an airfield for members of the Aero Club of Great Britain.
The Short brothers, Horace, Eustace & Oswald, built aircraft at Battersea to be tested at the site; later Moore-Brabazon, Professor Huntington, Charles S. Rolls & Cecil Grace all visited & used the flying club's services.
On May 2 1909, John Brabazon made the first flight in Britain - flying a total of 500 yards at a height of 35 feet above Leysdown (on the Isle of Sheppey.)
Later that year, Moore-Brabazon made the first "live cargo" flight by fixed-wing aircraft, by tying a waste-paper basket to a wing strut of his Shorts-built Wright aircraft. Then using it as a "cargo hold", he airlifted one small pig.
Wilbur Wright & his brother Orville came to the Isle of Sheppey to visit the new flying grounds of the Aero Club.
During the reign of Edward I, according to the historian Charles Igglesden, a bridge connected Sheppey to the mainland at Elmley. It was called the Tremsethg Bridge but was lost in a tidal wave and never replaced.
About 200 shipwrecks are recorded around the coast of Sheppey, the most famous being the SS Richard Montgomery, a liberty ship loaded with bombs and explosives that grounded on sandbanks during the Second World War. As of 2004 plans were discussed with a view to removing the threat from the Montgomery. These include encasing the ship in concrete or removing the bombs; no firm decision has been made.
The isle is noted as the northern-most place to have an established scorpion population, which has been resident since the 1860s, believed to have been imported on a ship. They have been found to be highly adaptable and hence have survived the relative cold by conserving energy and only acting for nutrition and reproduction. (Al's Van has never seen a scorpion on the island as yet! - Just wild rabbits & peacocks!)
Sheppey enjoys the dubious distinction of being one of few parts of what is now the United Kingdom to be lost to a foreign power since William the Conqueror's invasion in 1066. This was in June 1667, when a Dutch fleet sailing up the Thames Estuary captured the fort at Sheerness. The fort at the time was incomplete and the garrison underfed and unpaid, so resistance to the heavily armed Dutch Navy was hardly enthusiastic. Samuel Pepys, then secretary of the Navy Board, described Sheerness as lost "after two or three hours' dispute". The Dutch quickly overran and occupied the whole island for several days before withdrawing. Prior to leaving, the Dutch took supplies, ammunition and guns, then burned everything that was combustible.
Sheerness is a commercial port & main town of the Isle of Sheppey & owes much to its origins, as a Royal Naval dockyard town. Samuel Pepys established the Royal Navy Dockyard in the 17th century. Henry VIII, requiring the River Medway as an anchorage for his navy, ordered that the mouth of the river should be protected by a small fort. Garrison Fort was built in 1545.
Hopefully that's given you a bit of an "insight" into the Isle of Sheppey & if nothing else, you could find yourself having breakfast at one of the local cafes on the table next to Mr Bruno this summer!
Book your holiday now and make your own memories and history on the beautiful Isle of Sheppey
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