Rochester celebrates Charles Dickens at festival

Dickens festival
Image caption The annual event has taken place in Rochester since 1978

The annual Charles Dickens festival will begin in Rochester later with an opening parade.

The three-day event has been held in the town, which has strong connections with Charles Dickens, since 1978.

Medway Council said this year's event will include street entertainment, displays and readings.

Hundreds dressed in Victorian costume will lead a parade through the High Street, along Corporation Street and into Rochester Esplanade.

Although Dickens was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, he spent five of his childhood years in Medway from 1817 to 1822.

He returned for the last 13 years of his life, dying at Gad's Hill in 1870.

Restoration House in Rochester was the setting for Satis House in Great Expectations, where Miss Havisham lived.

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