Tuesday, September 26, 2023

T100 Dreaming – bookings open for July walks

T100 Dreaming, Kinetika’s 2021 T100 festival got underway last week with the four newly devised walks taking place between 10-13 June, attracting new walkers and regular festival attendees alike.

Over four days, walk leaders from diverse communities across Thurrock led walkers on routes around Grays, Tilbury, East Tilbury and Purfleet-on-Thames, where Kinetika has its design studio.  Walkers were given the chance to learn about the history and culture of the area directly from local people. 

Thursday’s walk around Tilbury wound its way around the town hearing stories from local man Les Morgan and meeting Eileen Smith who has lived in her house for more than 60 years and in Tilbury her whole life. They shared the many changes they have seen in the town and their hopes for the future. The walk ended at Tilbury Fort with a sneak preview of a performance by local young people and the Kinetika Bloco, to be staged at the Fort on 1st August to celebrate the finale of T100 Dreaming. The new song ‘Tilbury is the Place for Me’ is being created in partnership with English Heritage’s Shout Out Loud programme and celebrates Tilbury’s rich heritage and community pride. 

Friday’s walk in Grays began at the Thameside Theatre and saw walkers visit a number of restaurants and food outlets around the town, before ending at the Thurrock Yacht Club, where Kinetika flags flew high. Each of the restaurants visited were extremely generous and laid on a fantastic taster feast for the walkers, discussing with them the food on offer and what made it unique to their culture or country. Working in partnership with Thameside Theatre and Riverside Community Big Local, beautiful silk flags will be made by local artist Sarah Doyle with the restaurants and other community groups from Grays, to parade during the July Festival.

The walk in East Tilbury focused on the legacy of Thomas Bata’s Utopian vision from the 1930s. Walkers visited the Bata factory, hotel and Bata Memorial Park and were joined by local Bata Heritage volunteer Mike Ostler who shared his vision for the future of the Heritage Centre. The walk ended at Coalhouse Fort for afternoon tea and a workshop led by local playwright and author Sadie Hasler, focusing on the values of the East Tilbury community through a stone painting activity. The stones have been hidden around the Memorial Gardens for local people to find and share online. They kick off a bigger writing project Sadie will be working on in preparation for T100 to revisit East Tilbury in July.

Great views and good conversation were the order of the day on Sunday 13th June as the T100 Dreaming walk took place between RSPB Rainham and High House Production Park. It was the first time local leader Jayshree Patel had led a T100 walk. She shared her personal connections to Purfleet–on–Thames and was supported by Trevor Batchelor from the Heritage and Military Centre, Zyle Mills from Heavenly Greens Fruit and veg and the High House Community Group. Walkers were treated to recipe talks to celebrate the diverse communities in Purfleet–on–Thames and received recipe cards and goodie bags to recreate the recipes at home.

Booking for the main programme of July walks opens on Monday 28th June. All walks are free to attend and led by an experienced walker; booking is essential. Find out more and book on the T100 website: https://thurrock100.com/t100-dreaming/ 

Before the walks, get involved with the festival by downloading the activity pack which offers a range of ideas to focus on the themes of the festival in specific locations. Please go to: https://thurrock100.com/t100-dreaming#pack to find the pack. 

T100 Dreaming is part of Kinetika’s ambitious regional project, Beach of Dreams, a 500-mile walk from Lowestoft to Tilbury during which 500 dreams will be collected and represented on 500 silk pennants.

The development of the June walks, which will be revisited as part of the main festival, has been in partnership with Active Essex and Essex Cultural Diversity Project. Four walk leaders from diverse communities across Thurrock have been mentored by Saira Niazi, Director of Living London. T100 Dreaming is made possible by the generous support of Arts Council England, Thurrock Council, English Heritage, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.  

Book T100 Dreaming walks here from 28th June: https://thurrock100.com/t100-dreaming/

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