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Isle of Sheppey

The Isle of Sheppey is a small island of the northern coast of Kent in the Thames Estuary, some 40km to the east of downtown London. It is connected to the mainland on its south side by the Kingsferry Bridge, the central section of which lifts on four columns to allow shipping to pass. Sheppey is located in Swale Borough.

The largest town on the island is Sheerness. It has the wreck of the liberty ship USS Richard Montgomery nearby. This contains a sizeable quantity of unexploded munitions. Other towns include Minster which has a pebble beach and Leysdown-on-Sea which has a coarse sandy one. Both towns are moderately popular day destinations.

The Isle has a long history of aviation development in England. It was home to Lord Brabazon's Royal Aero Club which formed in Leysdown in 1901 to popularize balloon flying. The club took to the airplane with relish, and soon Short Brothers set up shop there to build six licensed Wright Flyers for them, moving the next year a few kilometers away to Eastchurch where a new aerodrome had been built for the club.

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