Wheels of Time 2022 was launched with a ‘bang’, at Crabble Corn Mill in Dover on Friday 18 March, by some of the Heritage Explorers who have earned awards during the last two years.
Children, led by Joshua and Erica Stanley, announced the start of the Scheme when they let off party cannons to mark the scheme’s new year, which officially starts on 1 April.
The principal guest was Deputy-Lieutenant of Kent, Kate Fenwick DL, who was presented with a posy of flowers on her arrival by Charlotte Davis. Other guests including the Mayor of Dover, Cllr Gordon Cowan and Town-Sergeant Mr David Hunt-Cooke; The Mayor of Swale, Cllr Paul Stephen and the Chair of the River Parish Council Clive Taylor and his wife Jill, participated in the 2022 launch.
53 sites throughout Kent
The guests were able to meet with representatives of many of the 53 Museums and Heritage sites that are now part of the scheme, at stalls they had set up over two floors of the Crabble Corn Mill site, one of the participating sites.
The sites also collected supplies of Roamin’ Rex’s 2022 Map (now a 12-page booklet) and this year’s supplies of badges and lanyards.
Bob Shrubb, Chair of the Scheme said:
“Many of the museums and heritage sites that are members of the scheme are small, volunteer-run charities that really enjoy the benefits of participating in the scheme. We are delighted to add five more sites this year.
“The scheme is free thanks to the volunteers who run the scheme and the grants we receive from sponsors: Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council, Ashford Borough Council, South East Museum Development and The Auston Trust and the Roger de Haan Charitable Trust.”
The Deputy Lieutenant responds
Deputy Lieutenant Mrs Kate Fenwick DL said a few words of thanks to everyone present and ended by saying…
“Wheels of Time” and “Roamin’ Rex” certainly capture the imagination of those young participants who feel inspired to seek out your museums and heritage sites and to collect a badge and lanyard. Wheels of Time is so much more though for, whilst they attend your sites, our youngsters are broadening their knowledge and learning more about the wonderful history we have here in Kent.
“For all of you supporting Wheels of Time and to those of you operating the sites, it is extremely rare to see such a dynamic scheme operating with so many volunteers. You should all be proud of what you have achieved across the county. The passion and commitment you show is truly exceptional.”
Words of appreciation from parents
With comments from parents such as, “We have all learned so much and explored places we didn’t know existed,” the scheme, in addition to encouraging children to learn about history and heritage, is providing valuable promotion for the member sites, many of which have very small budgets.
The scheme also receives valuable support from Kent Children’s University (KCU) through many of the sites having accreditation as Learning Destinations and inclusion of visit a Wheels of Time site as an activity for KCU challenges. Children registered with Children’s University can collect 0.5 to 1 Learning Credit at any Wheels of Time site and more at those that are validated Learning Destinations.
Another parent commented, “This is a really great initiative for Kent – we are really enjoying it!”
2022 map of participating sites widely available
The Roamin’ Rex’s map, showing all of the participating sites, are available from any of the sites, some Visitor Information Centres, or downloaded from the Wheels of Time website.
Badges and awards!
Badges are FREE. Normal entry fees apply to each museum or heritage site. Some sites are free to enter but rely on donations from visitors; parents are asked to give generously. Opening dates and times and entry costs for individual sites can be found on wheelsoftime.uk.
Children can earn Roamin’ Rex’s ‘Bronze Award Badge’ by collecting 10 badges a ‘Silver Award Badge’ for 20, the ‘Gold Award Badge’ for 30, the ‘Platinum Award Badge’ for 40 and those that collect all 53 badges a special 2022 Wheels of Time Award Badge.
We do hope that all ages will come and visit our heritage sites and encourage the younger generation to enjoy the heritage on their doorsteps.
Wheels of Time is a partnership of the participating museums and heritage sites developed to encourage children and their families to explore heritage sites in Kent.
The South East Museums Development (SEMD) is led by a Consortium consisting of Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton and Hove (the lead partner), the Hampshire Cultural Trust, the Oxfordshire County Museums Service, and Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. It was formed in 2012 to manage the Arts Council England museum development funding in the South East.
Sites this year are:
Agricultural Museum, Brook
Blue Town Heritage Centre
Crabble Corn Mill
Deal Maritime & Local History Museum
Dover Transport Museum
East Kent Railway
Eastchurch Aviation Museum
Eden Valley Museum
Elham Valley Railway Museum
Fleur de Lis Museum, Faversham
Heritage and History Museum
Folkestone MuseumFordwich Town Hall
Guildhall Museum, Rochester
Heritage Hub, Sittingbourne
Hythe Local History Museum
Kent Museum of the Moving Image
Kent Police Museum
Lashenden Air Warfare Museum
Lydd Town Museum
Milton Regis Court Hall
Minster Abbey Gatehouse Museum
Old Forge Wartime House
Queenborough Guildhall Museum
RAF Manston History Museum
RAF Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum
Romney Marsh Wartime Collection
Rose Street Cottage of Curiosities
Royal Engineers Museum
Sandwich Guildhall Museum
Seaside Museum, Herne Bay
Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway
Sittingbourne Heritage Museum
Timeball Tower, Deal
Union Windmill, Cranbrook
Whitstable Community Museum and Gallery
Woodchurch Village Life Museum