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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Appeal to save chalet where Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations (UK)

Appeal to save chalet where Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations"The wooden building which once stood in the grounds of his home, Gads Hill Place in Higham, Kent is in desperate need of restoration. Now the Rochester and Chatham Dickens Fellowship hopes to raise GBP100,000 to complete the work prior to 2012, the bicentenary of Dickens's birth. The chalet now stands in the council gardens of Eastgate House, Rochester and was a present to the writer from French actor Charles Fechter. It arrived at Higham railway station in 1864 in 58 separate boxes. Dickens wrote much of A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend and The Uncommercial Traveller in the chalet, which was accessed via a specially made tunnel under the main Rochester to London Road at Higham. He was writing The Mystery of Edwin Drood in the chalet overlooking the River Thames and countryside the day he died. John Knott chairman of the Rochester and Dickens Fellowship, said the building really needs to be completely taken apart and every bit of rotten wood replaced. At the moment it is unsafe to go inside but once restoration is complete we hope to open it for special events and appointments"

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