Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Region:||South East England|
Sheerness was the focus of an attack by the Dutch navy in June 1667, when 72 hostile ships during the Raid on the Medway compelled the little "sandspit fort", to surrender and landed a force which for a short while occupied the town. Impressed by the civil behavior of the Dutch marines - they paid for their dinner - the town reinvited the Dutch Marine Corps for the third centennial of the raid. Pepys at Gravesend remarked in his diary "we do plainly at this time hear the guns play" and in fear departed to Brampton in Huntingdonshire.
In 1860 the town was linked to mainland by a branch railway line from Sittingbourne; at the same time the Kingsferry bridge gave better communications with the island, succeeding the ferries which had at one time been the only connection. The line opened on 19 July 1860. A branch to a pier a Queenborough served a steamer service to Flushing in Holland for many years. The Sheppey Light Railway, opened in 1901, also provided services to the opposite end of the island from the town until its closure in 1948.
The dockyard — now Sheerness Docks — is a significant feature of the Isle of Sheppey's economy, which includes the extensive export-import of cars, and a steel works, with extensive railway fixtures.
Population of Sheerness and Minster:
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