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Aylesham (pron.: //) is a village and civil parish 9 miles from the cathedral town of Canterbury. Aylesham has its administrative and political seat in the Dover district of Kent in England. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 3,884.
The village was once associated with coal-mining. Apart from Aylesham itself the parish includes Snowdown. Both villages are served by railway stations – Aylesham railway station only 10 minutes from Canterbury in a northerly direction and 5 minutes to Snowdown railway station.
As a village, Aylesham, was established in 1926, having been designed by Dorman and Long. The village was initially drafted to provide housing for the newly sunk coal mine, located at nearby Snowdown Colliery. Miners from all parts of the UK (notably South Wales, Scotland and the Northeast) seeking better wages and safer conditions, travelled to the South East to work at Snowdown Colliery. Due to this the people of Aylesham have developed a unique accent and vocabulary. The miners brought with them the traditional Male Voice Choir, Brass band and Rugby pastimes; all of which are still in evidence today and each of these organisations keep the colliery name as their identity.
During the Second World War, the Aylesham coalminers formed a Home Guard contingent that took part in many rescue operations during the German bombings, especially in Canterbury and the surrounding areas. Old pillboxes can be found in the fields and woods around the village.
Several footballers were sponsored by the Latrobe Soccer Club of Brisbane, Australia, to migrate in the early 1960s. Both Henry Brown and Robert Yore came via this way. Brown played and coached at Latrobe, Polonia and Wynnum. Many of the 1960s emigrants settled in a suburb of Brisbane called Acacia Ridge. The resettled families often affectionately referred to this suburb as "Little Aylesham."
Aylesham has been identified by the Dover Local Plan as a location for expansion.
Aylesham Fire Station was founded in 1955, and still remains active, despite the closure of other fire stations within the Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
At present[when?]; Aylesham continues to grow, and thrive, as both a community and an economically viable alternative to the larger, local settlements. This emphasis upon trade and business has seen Aylesham continue to grow into a moderate sized town and it continues to contribute significantly to the local economy.
In addition to the increasing sports activities with a newly opened sports centre in 2011, Aylesham Carnival Assocation promotes the village to surrounding areas in Kent and beyond
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- BBC Bake off host Paul Hollywood Sets up business in Aylesham