A community walk has been created by the Thomas Aveling Society to celebrate the pioneering Victorian engineer Thomas Aveling, who lived in Hoo as a boy, teenager and young man.
Thomas is often referred to as the ‘Father of the Traction Engine’. He’s known around the world for his Aveling & Porter Company of Rochester (based in Strood) - manufacturing iconic steam road rollers and traction engines.
Born in Cambridgeshire in 1824, Thomas moved to Hoo as a young boy, following the death of his father. He remained in Hoo throughout his teenage years and into adulthood - when he worked for local farmer Edward Lake (whose niece he would marry).
Thomas became internationally successful, but he sadly died prematurely in 1882, aged 57. He was buried outside St. Werburgh Church in Hoo.
As well as this new formalised local walk, the Thomas Aveling Society operates ‘The Mobile Thomas Aveling Museum’ (for schools and community groups) and ‘Thomas Aveling’s Annual Birthday Celebration’ in September (a beautiful celebration of local heritage).
If you’d like to download (and print out) a copy of the heritage walk, visit the Thomas Aveling Society website by clicking here.