Rochester

Letter from the editor: A sense of humour

We are currently engaged in defining the profile of a typical i reader — intelligent, successful, inquisitive, and devilishly good-looking, that type of thing — but it occurs to me that one quality that unites readers of this newspaper is a sense of humour.

Rochester's literary past reveals a great deal about the city

Charles Dickens, champion of the working man and the overburdened woman, would be delighted with the offer each day from 7am to 9am outside the Golden Lion pub: tea or coffee for 49p. I’ll have two, thanks, and keep the change: a boost of caffeine is just what you need to make the most of the city that has been thriving for two millennia – and, within the past year, has moved even closer to London and the rest of the country.

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Lionel Lewis: Compassionate and energetic social service administrator

Lionel Lewis was full of ideas. As the Master of Workhouses, where he was responsible for everything from general maintenance to nursing services, he needed to be. His last appointment was superintendent of Bensted House, Faversham, a post he held jointly with his wife for 25 years, and where he also had oversight of the donkey engine which pumped the water supply. When the former workhouse was demolished and a council estate built on the site, Swale borough council named it Lewis Close and preserved the weeping beech tree which had been planted when he removed all the institution's high walls and had flower beds and gardens laid out for the old people in the house and hospital. "I am sad when I remember the sincere caring for patients and residents by the staff in now demolished workhouses, the easy interchange of inmate and patients under the same roof," he wrote in his autobiography, A Requiem for Workhouses (2006).

What did the aide say about the Bishop ...?

His outspoken views on gay rights and the integration of Muslim communities have attracted vitriolic criticism and even earned him death threats from outside the Church of England.

Dickens family seek to overturn writer's dying wish for no memorials

In 1869, a year before Charles Dickens died, he wrote in his will that he wanted to be remembered for his work alone. No plaques, no statues, "no monument memorial or testimonial whatever" were to be allowed to commemorate the life of one of Britain's greatest authors.