Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site that lies on the River Stour.  The Archbishop of Canterbury is the primate of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion owing to the importance of St Augustine, who served as the apostle to the pagan Kingdom of Kent around the turn of the 7th century. The city’s cathedral became a major focus of pilgrimage following the 1170 martyrdom of Thomas Becket, although it had already been a well-trodden pilgrim destination since the murder of St Alphege by the men of King Canute in 1012. A journey of pilgrims to Becket’s shrine served as the frame for Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th century classic The Canterbury Tales.

Our visit to the city in 1994, hosted by Bob and Valerie Heddle with supper at their local pub, began with a guided tour of Howlett’s Zoo by a well-informed vet. The meeting in the Medical Centre at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital included a discussion by the East Kent coroner of the disaster at Zeebrugge where the roll-on roll-off ferry Herald of Free Enterprise had rolled over because its bow-doors were left open. There was also an X-ray quiz, an infrequent but welcome mind-stretching exercise giving radiologists free rein. The chance was also taken to visit Canterbury Cathedral and finally the Eurotunnel Exhibition at Folkestone.


Images above of the Cathedral and the Kent and Canterbury Hospital