About Gravesham

Gravesham is situated on the south bank of the River Thames, North West Kent, a convenient 25 miles from central London.

It comprises the towns of Gravesend, Northfleet, together with villages of Cobham, Higham, Luddesdown, Meopham, Shorne and Vigo.

Gravesham boasts a wide variety of landscapes within the Borough. Much of the rural portion of the Borough is exceptionally beautiful, and as mentioned above is designated by the Countryside Commission, as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Gravesham has the largest minority population in the County of Kent, with the second largest Sikh population in the South East. Migrants arrived from the Indian Subcontinent from the late 1940’s looking for work. The River Thames has long been an important feature in Gravesend life and may well have been the deciding factor for the first settlement here. The river has always played a vital part in the life of the community, providing an important link for industry jobs to the benefit of many people. The cross-river passenger ferry to Tilbury provides a long-established route to and from the neighbouring County of Essex. Many of the early migrants worked across the river in Essex. While locally Paper Mills such as Imperial Paper Mill (IPM) and Empire Paper Mill were key employers amongst the migrant community.

During the 1950’s and especially the 1960’s the few migrant pioneers over time became a significant community. It was clearly highlighted through this project that in the early days the migration was mostly by males, but by the 1960’s spouses and children started to arrive in Gravesham after the early migrants had established their roots in the borough.