By the time the Royal Dockyard closed in 1984 CDHS had created a museum of dockyard and naval artefacts in the old Lead and Paint Mill (a building of historical interest in its own right). CDHS Members were lecturing and undertaking research for visitors who wrote in seeking information about relatives who had worked in the yard or served in the Royal Navy.
Over the years members have assembled a nautical reference library which is considered to be one of the best of its type in the South-East of England.
In the spring of 2001 the society's historical collection was amalgamated with the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust's own collection of artefacts and books to form the new, larger MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL DOCKYARD and the Royal Dockyard Library upstairs in the Fitted Rigging House. (See a location map.)
The Royal Dockyard Library was officially opened by HRH The Prince of Wales in November 2004.
Summer 2012 saw the Society being recognised for our voluntary work by the award of the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service during Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee year.
Following the 2023 Annual General Meeting held in October 2023, the following people were appointed as Officers and Committee Members of the Chatham Dockyard Historical Society:-
President: Mr P Poulter
Chairman: Mr D Dray
Vice Chairman: Mr C Stanley
Secretary: Mr P Sargison
Treasurer: Mr J Frier
Mr B Perry
Mr T England
Mr LG Phillips
Mr I Neve
Mr P Webb
Mr J De Rose (also Membership Secretary)
Our Patron is His Honour Andrew Patience, KC.
“2024 marks 40 years since the closure of Chatham Dockyard on 31 March 1984”