Category Archives: Rochester

‘UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE CRANE’ ROCHESTER RIVERSIDE – PHASE 3 (3) CRANE POINT

‘B’ is for Bespoke…

RR Amphitheatre Public Art Proposals – Bespoke Letter ‘B’ in Honed Granite or Porphyry + Laser Etch – 400mm High x 30mm thick. Image: Christopher Tipping
RR Amphitheatre Public Art Proposals- Bespoke Letters 200221 Christopher Tipping

The proposals for the PCC Amphitheatre Steps and Seats are currently being considered by the client. In the meantime I am working up some drafts for the use bespoke highly detailed letters in a variety of materials ranging from granite and natural stones, to cast iron, enamelled steel, glazed architectural faience and Terrazzo. These letters will be fixed into the rebated text detail within the cast concrete seat riser, which will be 450mm high. Each bespoke letter can be 400mm high. The depth of the rebate will vary from 5mm to 30mm, however, the bespoke letters will all be best at 30mm deep, keeping them as robust as possible.

RR Amphitheatre Public Art Proposals- Bespoke Letter ‘O’ in Glazed Ceramic with Laser Etched Polished Granite inset detail – 400mm High x 30mm thick. Image: Christopher Tipping

Detail: PCC Amphitheatre at Rochester Riverside by LUC – Public art proposal for bespoke letter ‘O’ in architectural glazed ceramic with laser etched polished granite inset detail – 400mm high x 30mm deep. Image: Christopher Tipping

I am proposing to work in creative collaboration with a number of specialist manufacturers, amongst them Evans Concrete, Darwen Terracotta, Hardscape, A J Wells, Diespeker and Hargreaves Foundry

RR Amphitheatre Public Art Proposals- Bespoke Letter ‘B’ in Scratched Polished Stone with Laser Etched detail – 400mm High x 30mm thick. Image: Christopher Tipping
RR Amphitheatre Public Art Proposals- Bespoke Letter ‘B’ in Honed Granite or Porphyry – 400mm High x 30mm thick. Image: Christopher Tipping
RR Amphitheatre Public Art Proposals- Bespoke Letter ‘B’ repeated in a variety of materials and finishes – 400mm High x 30mm thick. Image: Christopher Tipping

RR Amphitheatre Public Art Proposals- Bespoke Letter ‘B’s’ repeated in a variety of materials and finishes – 400mm High x 30mm thick. Image: Christopher Tipping

‘Under the Shadow of the Crane’ was initially an idea for a large scale granite ‘drawing’ to make up the pavement and public realm of the Crane Point site. Water jet cut granite slabs in two colours would form this extensive mosaic pavement, making permanent the ephemeral passing shadow of the crane, creating a physical memorial to the industrial heritage of the Riverside site.

Draft Plan drawing of granite paving ‘shadow’ mosaic to Crane Point. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: granite ‘shadow’ mosaic paving to the public realm at Crane Point. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: granite ‘shadow’ mosaic paving to the public realm at Crane Point. Image: Christopher Tipping

‘Under the Shadow of the Crane’ ROCHESTER RIVERSIDE – PHASE 3 (2) CRANE POINT

Part 2. ‘Under the Shadow of the Crane’ is actually a reference to the whole of Rochester Riverside, as for much of its post 20th Century history, it was dominated and defined by tall cranes, loading and offloading from the various wharfs. However, a single 200tonne crane was retained & moved to this new position at Blue Boar Hard as a landmark and heritage beacon. Our journey for Phase 3 starts here.

Crane Point is the name for the public realm and viewing point under the shadow of the crane. The landscape has been designed by LUC as an Amphitheatre with precast concrete stepped seating and concrete paving extending around and beneath the crane. A large Apartment block is being built adjacent to the public space, which will look out over the crane and the River Medway.

This plan of the concept development masterplanning stage for the Phase 3 development at Blue Boar Wharf, Rochester Riverside shows opportunities for possible Public Art intervention within the site. Image: Christopher Tipping

Children swam from here…Blue Boar Wharf was our playground…

A forlorn Blue Boar Pier as it was in 1970, from a viewpoint looking out over the River towards the Chatham Dockyard. Image: By permission of MALSC
Artwork for the precast concrete Amphitheatre at Crane Point, Rochester Riverside Phase 3 Public Art Proposals. Image: Christopher Tipping

Crane Point – or Blue Boar Hard as it was called in its former life, is the end point of Blue Boar Lane, terminating with a Pier. It starts at its junction with Rochester High Street and the Blue Boar Public House (now demolished), leading under the railway tracks towards the river. At one time, the road split in two, with one track leading to the other side of Blue Boar Creek to James Hall & Son, Iron Foundry. Examples of their work can still be seen embedded into the pavements around Furrell’s Road. To the South of Blue Boar Creek, Blue Boar Wharf provided the river frontage for Barge Building. Up to 100 Medway Spritsail Barges were built here by William Higham. William lived on Victoria Street in Rochester and his wife had 9 children.

Plan of Crane Point draft artwork. Image: Christopher Tipping

William Higham was also notable as a signatory to a fascinating document signed by 251 individuals connected to the Coal Trade Port of Rochester trading from Rochester Riverside on February 10th 1876 petitioning the Mayor and Corporation of the City of Rochester to review the state of the roadway of Blue Boar Lane, which was in such a poor condition it was compelling commerce to land at Chatham and not Blue Boar Hard.

“ We the undersigned Ship Owners, Merchants, Captains and others connected with the coal trade of the Port of Rochester hereby beg to call your attention to the bad state of the roadway of Blue Boar Lane leading to the River Medway and considering the large amount of traffic now going to and from the River…the present state of the road being such as to compel many to land at Chatham who would otherwise do so at Blue Boar Hard…” MALSC

A document signed by 251 important people associated with Rochester Riverside petitioning for improvements to the condition of Blue Boar Lane to save their trade. By permission MALSC
Draft artwork for paving with Cast Iron detailing at Crane Point. Image: Christopher Tipping
Plan of draft artwork for paving to Crane Point with inset cast iron interpretation units. Image: Christopher Tipping
Plan of draft artwork for cast iron paving unit at Crane Point. Image: Christopher Tipping
Draft artwork for cast iron paving units with text and pattern as interpretation. Image: Christopher Tipping
Crane Point PCC Amphitheatre – draft artwork for rebated text into the concrete step riser. Artwork: Christopher Tipping
Crane Point PCC Amphitheatre – draft artwork for rebated text into the concrete step riser. Artwork: Christopher Tipping
Crane Point PCC Amphitheatre – draft concept artwork showing rebated text cast into the concrete step riser. Artwork: Christopher Tipping

Rather a lot of variations on a theme are drawn up – this is a process of discovery after all. I am often looking for something elusive. I don’t always know what I am chasing after or trying to uncover. Much of this work proves unsuitable to produce, or doesn’t fit the client brief (or budget) but nothing really ever goes to waste. Ideas unused are tucked away for another time.

The rebated letters within the cast concrete stepped units very from 5mm to 30mm deep. This allows for some expression and emphasis to be placed on certain anchor words, important for the interpretation on site. The large coloured letters are proposals for bespoke, highly detailed individual letters made of granite, enamelled steel or architectural glazed faience. These will be inset and bonded into several of the 30mm rebated capital letters, inspired by historiated initials of Illuminated Manuscripts in the Library of Rochester Cathedral.

Crane Point – PCC Amphitheatre – draft concept artwork exploring ideas for rebated text cast into the concrete step riser. Artwork: Christopher Tipping
Crane Point – PCC Amphitheatre – draft concept artworks showing bespoke letters inset into the concrete step riser. Artwork: Christopher Tipping
Crane Point – PCC Amphitheatre – draft concept artwork showing rebated text cast into the concrete step riser. Artwork: Christopher Tipping

mmmm

Crane Point – PCC Amphitheatre – draft concept artwork showing rebated text cast into the concrete step riser. Artwork: Christopher Tipping
Crane Point – Plan of PCC Amphitheatre – draft concept artwork showing the areas of rebated text cast into the concrete step risers. Artwork: Christopher Tipping. Plan Drawing: LUC

‘Under the shadow of the crane’ Rochester Riverside – Phase 3 (Post1)

In December 2019, I began research and concept development of Phase 3 Public Art proposals for Rochester Riverside. Commissioned by FrancisKnight Art Consultants for client Countryside Properties and The Hyde Group.

This plan of the concept development masterplanning stage for the Phase 3 development at Blue Boar Wharf, Rochester Riverside shows opportunities for possible Public Art intervention within the site. Image: Christopher Tipping
The 1898 OS Map overlaid with the new concept development proposals for Phase 3 on the Blue Boar Wharf Site. Image of 1898 Map by permission MALSC

I have had access to some amazing aerial images from Britain From Above. The following black and white images are so evocative and detailed, they tell a fascinating story of our site’s industrial and social history, nothing much of which survives today, except the large crane.

Rochester Riverside 1965 Aerial Image: By Permission – Britain From Above.
Limehouse Reach, River Medway, looking towards Chatham. Rochester Riverside 1965 Aerial Image: With Permission – Britain From Above.

The above image from 1965 shows the Gasworks, Limehouse Wharf, Acorn Wharf (Shipbuildng) Acorn House, RMC Aggregates and Ready Made Concrete, Cory’s Wharf (Coal), Chatham Goods Yard (Railways), Blue Boar Wharf, Furrell’s Wharf – almost all the way to Chatham Intra. So much to be inspired by…

I am collaborating with LUC and BPTW who are leading on the architecture, masterplanning and landscape design.

I am continuing to develop the work I created for Phases 1 & 2 as the site has endless riches to be inspired by. My problem is knowing where to stop the research. Each stone unturned has golden threads to follow. Contextually, we are now on the site of Blue Boar Wharf, in its heyday a major Barge Building site, with two Yards, Upper and Lower occupied by two businesses – William Higham, ran the Upper Yard, where he built 100 Barges between 1876 and 1901 & George Weedon the proprietor of the Lower Yard.

Cory’s Coal Wharf and Gyproc Products as seen looking towards Rochester Cathedral. Rochester Riverside 1936. Aerial Image: With Permission – Britain From Above.

Above: Gyproc Products (Plasterboard), started production on the Rochester Riverside site in 1933, just 3 years prior to this images from 1936 (the large white shed in the centre of the picture). Cory’s Wharf, with its ‘5 Cranes Dancing’, is in the foreground.

Cory’s Coal Wharf, Gyproc Products and the Cattle Market. Rochester Riverside 1936. Aerial Image: With Permission – Britain From Above.

Above: The coming of the railways in the 1840’s effectively separated the town from its salt marsh grazing pastures and community centred around The Common. The Cattle & Livestock Market – seen bottom left in this image from 1936 has rooftop graphics – advertising its products – probably for the benefit of train passengers, as the track was raised on an earthen bank and brick viaduct. ‘Thorley’s Food for Cattle’, & ‘Thorley’s Food for all Stock’.

Cory’s Coal Wharf and Gyproc Products as seen looking towards Rochester Cathedral. Rochester Riverside 1936. Aerial Image: With Permission – Britain From Above.

Above: This Postcard must be a very early image of the site, as there appears to be no industrial development of the Riverside site.

This Google Earth Image from 1960 shows the site in its Industrial heyday.
This Google Earth Image from 2017 shows the site stripped of its industry and prepared for development as a new residential community in Rochester.
One of two 200tonne Cranes was retained on site. This is not its original position, but nonetheless, it speaks loudly of the industrial heritage of the site. Image: Crane on Rochester Riverside cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Danny P Robinson – geograph.org.uk/p/843730

There is a great short film on You Tube called the Medway Dock Crane, which show the Blue Boar Wharf site and the whole of Rochester Riverside, prior to development by Countryside as seen from a drone. Click on the above link to view.

‘5 CRANES DANCING’ & OTHER STORIES FROM ROCHESTER RIVERSIDE – PHASES 1 & 2 (5)

By mid-December 2019, a number of the bespoke public art units (5 of 24) had been finally installed into the footpaths and thresholds of new properties along sections of Common Creek Wharf and Thalia Way. These parts of the site were fully occupied during the weeks leading up to Christmas. I will update as more units are installed –

Granite Unit ‘GOLDEN SAMPHIRE’ installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘GOLDEN SAMPHIRE’ installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘GOLDEN SAMPHIRE’ installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘SHELDUCK’ installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘SHELDUCK’ installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘SHELDUCK’ in progress at Hardscape England prior to being installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. This was a really complex unit to achieve. Image: Hardscape England
Granite Unit ‘SHELDUCK’ in progress at Hardscape England prior to being installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. This was a really complex unit to achieve. Image: Hardscape England
Granite Unit ‘WILLIAM CORY & SON LTD’ installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘WILLIAM CORY & SON LTD’ installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘WILLIAM CORY & SON LTD’ in progress at Hardscape England prior to being installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Hardscape England
Granite Unit ‘WILLIAM CORY & SON LTD’ being laser etched during production at Hardscape England prior to being installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Hardscape England
Cast Iron Unit ‘5 CRANES DANCING’ installed at Rochester Riverside. Manufactured to my designs by Hargreaves Foundry. Image: Christopher Tipping
Cast Iron Unit ‘5 CRANES DANCING’ installed at Rochester Riverside. Manufactured to my designs by Hargreaves Foundry. Image: Christopher Tipping
Cast Iron Unit ‘5 CRANES DANCING’ installed at Rochester Riverside. Manufactured to my designs by Hargreaves Foundry. Image: Christopher Tipping
Above: Concept Development Masterplan circa 2017, Rochester Riverside by BPTW. Below: Rochester Riverside 1936, Photograph by permission of Britain From Above.

Above: You may just be able to make out the ‘5 Cranes Dancing’...just below the CORY’S WHARF text . These cranes were eventually replaced by 2 x 200 tonne Cranes, each capable of lifting 10 tons at a time.

Granite Unit ‘WALRUS & NELLIE’ installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Christopher Tipping

Granite Unit ‘WALRUS & NELLIE’ installed at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘WALRUS & NELLIE’ in prodution at Hardscape England prior to installation at Rochester Riverside. A variety of granites with water jet cut, inlaid, laser etched and sandblasted detail. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘ADA & EDITH’ installed at Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘ADA & EDITH’ installed at Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping
Granite Unit ‘ADA & EDITH’ during manufacture at Hardscape England and now installed at Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

ROCHESTER RIVERSIDE – PUBLIC ART IN PRODUCTION – ARTSCAPEOLOGY AT HARDSCAPE ENGLAND – PART 4

My recent trip up to Hardscape at Logistics North near Bolton was a ‘more than hoped for’ brilliant success. This work was conceived with care, skill and emotion. I feel I can honestly say it has been manufactured with care, with enormous skill and equal amounts of emotion. This is what I want to be doing with my time! Achieving beautiful things, creating good work, working with great people. Focussing on craft and natural materials, on age-old skills of hand and eye, fused with technological innovation. I want to work alongside and collaborate with people who are proud of what they do and shout it from the rooftops. –

OK – so with that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the day’s outstanding work.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: My good friend, the ampersand. ‘WALRUS & NELLIE’. Unit size – 900mm x 300mm x 75mm. More ‘Tales from Rochester Riverside’…

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: Details of ‘ADA & EDITH‘ , 900mm x 300mm x 75mm with an inverted ‘WALRUS & NELLIE’. at top. Unit size – 900mm x 300mm x 75mm.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: Details of ‘ADA & EDITH‘ , 900mm x 300mm x 75mm with a rectangular block of Carlow Limestone crisply laser etched with the name ‘ADA’ & inset into a slab of Porphyry. An inverted ‘WALRUS & NELLIE’ at top, was also sandblasted and inset with text – unit size – 900mm x 300mm x 75mm.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: Eleven of the fifteen units being created up at Hardscape are visible in this image.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: At bottom, ‘DUNLIN A SALTMARSH BIRD’, with water jet cut, inset, laser etched and sandblasted granite – unit size – 1200mm x 400mm x 75mm . At top, an inverted ‘GOOZERS & WATERMEN’ – unit size – 900mm x 300mm x 75mm.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

The beautifully detailed DUNLIN in black Carlow Limestone is laser etched, then water jet cut from its slab and inset into the red Shiraz base slab. The letter ‘D’ is also water jet cut from green Kobra Granite and inset into both the red Shiraz and the Black Carlow, bonded in place with a golden yellow resin specially selected for colour. The letter ‘U’ and other visible text is sandblasted. This is highly skilled and complex work. Looks bloody amazing too…

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: ‘GOOZERS & WATERMEN’ is no less complex, with water jet cut and inset text in Maple Red Granite, inlaid into a Black Carlow Limestone base slab, which is in turn sandblasted with text and laser etched to two depths to create the rippling water effect. See images below.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: The laser etched text ‘Watermen’ on the ‘GOOZERS & Watermen’, panel is wonderfully delivered with a deeper etch to the centre and a delicate lighter etch to the outline. This attention to detail and finish it what makes these bespoke units so outstanding.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: Detail of ‘SHELDUCK’, Laser etched bird motif on black Carlow Limestone, water jet cut-out and inset into a Kobra Green base slab. Letter ‘D’ is also water jet cut and inset. The other letters are sandblasted into the Kobra Green. Unit size – 960mm x 400mm x 75mm

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: Details of ‘SHELDUCK’ & ‘PERENNIAL GLASSWORT’, just two of our 15 tales from Rochester Riverside. ‘SHELDUCK’, is a laser etched bird motif on black Carlow Limestone, water jet cut-out and inset into a Kobra Green base slab with large letter ‘D’ also water jet cut and inset. The other letters are sandblasted into the Kobra Green. Unit size – 960mm x 400mm x 75mm. ‘PERENNIAL GLASSWORT’ is a red Shiraz slab base sandblasted to two depths for text and plant motifs. Royal White & Carlow Limestone letters have also been inset into the surface.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: Detail of some of the letters of ‘PERENNIAL GLASSWORT’ sandblasted into red Shiraz granite.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: ‘MARSH COWS GRAZING’..& other tales from Rochester Riverside’ is Unit No. 8 in a sequence of 15 bespoke granite units along with 9 bespoke cast iron units together create a story about the history and use of this site from Medieval times to the present day. The slabs are robust and heavyweight, adding a physical presence to the narratives they embody. The lives and livelihoods of Rochester people are represented here. These histories live on in stone and cast iron.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: Detail of letters ‘C’ & ‘O’, bot water jet cut and inset from Maple Red Granite and Porphyry respectively and inset into sandblasted Kobra green Granite.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above & Below: ‘BLUE BOAR CREEK’ & ‘GOLDEN SAMPHIRE’, 2 more Tales from Rochester Riverside. Large letter ‘B’ water jet cut from Maple Red Granite, inset into Black Carlow Limestone with laser etched detail.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: ‘GOLDEN SAMPHIRE’ still has the resin bond material smeared over the surface…the cleaned up version can be seen below.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: The large letter ‘S’ is water jet cut from black Carlow Limestone, which has beautiful white shell deposits within its matrix., which are wonderfully contrasting when wet.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above & Below: ’15 BARGES STARTED THE RACE’ & ‘RUSSET BROWN & OCHRE SAILS’. Both bespoke units exhibit great colour contrast and use of stone. Deliberate use of coloured resin bond to fix water jet cut motifs in place adds another dimension.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: Detail of the red Shiraz base slab with sandblasted text into which is inset a 2 colour motif with Maple Red granite and Kobra Green, fixed with a coloured resin bond.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above and Below: ‘THE FIVE BROTHERS’ & ‘SPRITSAIL BARGE’, share a base slab of Porphyry, with sandblasted text and motifs. FIVE BROTHERS has the word ‘FIVE’ inset in water jet cut Maple Red, whilst SPRITSAIL has three letters ‘S’ ‘g’ & ‘L’ inset in Royal White for contrast.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above and images below: ‘COAL – METER HEAVER WHIPPER’ & ‘WILLIAM CORY & SON LTD COAL FACTORS’. 2 Tales from Rochester Riverside…

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: Top slab1200mm x 400mm x 75mm – Crystal Black base slab with sandblasted text & water jet cut and inset Maple Red rectangle with additional inset text in Crystal Black. Bottom slab960mm x 400mm x 75mm – Black Carlow Limestone base slab with sandblasted text and motifs with water jet cut and inset Maple Red granite letters and motifs.

Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Christopher Tipping
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Hardscape
Detail: Bespoke public art units for Countryside Homes at Rochester Riverside in production at Hardscape England. Image: Hardscape

ROCHESTER RIVERSIDE – PUBLIC ART IN PRODUCTION – HARDSCAPE ENGLAND – PART 3

I’m travelling up north to Bolton this week to see the final units completed and hopefully sign off the work so it can be delivered to Rochester Riverside for installation. Can’t wait to see them all.

Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam

Above: “BLUE BOAR CREEK”…& other tales from Rochester Riverside. Detail of a water-jet cut & laser-etched paving panel in black Carlow Limestone with inset text of Amarelo Real (yellow granite) & Porphyry.

These new images are just in this afternoon thanks to Mathew Haslam of Hardscape – as their skilled stone specialists focus on the applied detail. Water jet cutting, inlaying, sandblasting and laser etching their way through 15 bespoke units destined to be embedded into the landscape of the new housing development at Rochester Riverside for client Countryside. This highly bespoke work needs to be handled with care and demands high levels of craft skills.

Hardscape have been excellent at providing this form creative collaboration. Public Art Strategy & Artists Commissions by FrancisKnight .

Below: This unit is 9 of 15 – ‘SHELDUCK’, a Kobra Green Granite base slab with water jet cut inset motif & text in black Carlow Limestone, which has been laser etched with surface detail. Further sandblasting of text into the green granite, will complete the work.

Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam
Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam
Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam

Above: The almost completed ‘WILLIAM CORY & SON LTD’.

Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam

Above: This is the base slab of black Carlow Limestone, which has been laser etched first & then water jet cut – but the large letter ‘W’, the ‘&’ and the diamond motif have yet to be chiselled out. See Below –

Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam

Above: The water jet cutting removes a series of lines from the granite, which are determined by the CAD programme, which creates the cutting paths. These pathways are interesting in themselves as patterns, but in this instance they have to be chiselled out carefully by hand, to create the void space for the granite inlay to be fixed.

Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam

Above: This images shows the void spaces chiselled out from the Carlow Limestone. The letter ‘W’ in Maple Red granite has already been inset and is awaiting bonding in place – the diamond motif is just about to be inset. These images are wonderful for showing process, craft and the mix of skills from CAD technology to work by hand & eye.

Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam
Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam
Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam
Hardscape’s stone specialists continuing their great work on my bespoke granite public art granite features for Rochester Riverside. Image: Hardscape Mathew Haslam

Rochester riverside – public art in production – hardscape england – part 2 –

Oh my word…we’re on a roll in production up at Hardscape in Bolton.

These images are hot off the press, as skilled stone specialists at Hardscape focus on the applied detail. Water jet cutting, inlaying, sandblasting and laser etching their way through 15 bespoke units destined to be embedded into the landscape of the new housing development at Rochester Riverside for client Countryside Properties. This work needs to be handled with care and demands high levels of craft skills. Hardscape have been excellent at providing creative collaboration .

Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Hardscape
Artwork for bespoke detailed granite Public Art Unit ‘WALRUS & NELLIE’ in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: This is the ‘&’ from ‘WALRUS & NELLIE’. Water jet cut into a slab of Red Shiraz Granite 900mm x 300mm x75mm. It is awaiting the inlaying of the circle of yellow Amarelo Real Granite. It looks amazing. WALRUS & NELLIE were the names of two portable aggregate conveyors loading stone and cobbles on and off barges at Cory’s Wharf, Blue Boar Hard.

Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Hardscape

Above: This is the laser etched ‘DUNLIN A SALTMARSH BIRD’, , waiting to be water jet cut from its slab of beautiful Carlow Limestone & inset into a slab of red granite. See image below, where the DUNLIN has been partially cut out from the block in concentric linear patterns. This is a complex unit, with other letters inlaid. Precision is key. These beautifully crafted objects embedded in the landscape, will be a gentle reminder of the natural, social and industrial history of the site.

Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Hardscape
Detail: ‘DUNLIN A MARSHLAND BIRD’. Bespoke granite water jet cut motifs. Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Hardscape
Artwork for ‘DUNLIN’. This motif is to be Laser Etched onto a Carlow Limestone slab, then cut out and inlaid into a red Shiraz slab. Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Christopher Tipping
Artwork for bespoke detailed granite Public Art Unit ‘DUNLIN A MARSHLAND BIRD” in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Christopher Tipping
’15 BARGES STARTED THE RACE 1930′. Sandblasting underway with delicate handling of the vinyl stencils required. Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Hardscape
’15 BARGES STARTED THE RACE 1930′. Sandblasting underway with delicate handling of the vinyl stencils required. Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Hardscape
Artwork for ’15 BARGES STARTED THE RACE 1930′.Bespoke detailed granite in Kobra Green & Shiraz. Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Christopher Tipping
‘RUSSET BROWN & OCHRE SAILS’. Sandblasting underway with delicate handling of the vinyl stencils required. Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Hardscape
Artwork for ‘RUSSET BROWN & OCHRE SAILS’.Bespoke detailed granite in Kobra Green, Amarelo Real & Shiraz. Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Christopher Tipping
‘SPRITSAIL BARGES’ & ‘FIVE BROTHERS’. . Sandblasting underway with delicate handling of the vinyl stencils required. Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Hardscape
‘SPRITSAIL BARGE’ . Detailed sandblasting underway with delicate handling of the vinyl stencils required throughout. Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Hardscape
Drawing of a Spritsail Barge, used on the River Medway and of a type originally built on our site at Rochester Riverside in the 19th Century. Image: Christopher Tipping
Artwork for ‘SPRITSAIL BARGES’. Bespoke detailed granite in Kobra Green, Amarelo Real & Shiraz. Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Christopher Tipping
Artwork for ‘THE FIVE BROTHERS”. Bespoke detailed granite in Kobra Green, Amarelo Real & Shiraz. Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Christopher Tipping
‘SHELDUCK’. Laser Etching of a Shelduck on a Carlow Limestone slab underway with delicate handling of the detail required. Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Hardscape

The laser etched image of the Shelduck will now be water jet cut out of the Carlow slab and the motif inlaid into a slab of Kobra Green Granite, which has the shape of the bird already cut into the surface.

Interesting to note also that the Carlow Limestone has beautiful fossil shells embedded. Also note that these are not my feet, they probably belong to Pedro, who is overseeing and also working on my project. Without skilled people like this, I would be lost !

Artwork for ‘SHELDUCK’. This motif is to be Laser Etched onto a Carlow Limestone slab. Bespoke detailed granite Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Christopher Tipping
Artwork for ‘SHELDUCK’. Bespoke detailed granite in Kobra Green & Carlow Limestone. Public Art Units in production at Hardscape England, Logistics North, Bolton for Rochester Riverside and client Countryside Properties. Image: Christopher Tipping

Thalia, Belvedere and Telemon

Great to seen that our client Countryside & the Hyde Group have adopted several street names for Rochester Riverside from the original contextual research I did to underpin my public art proposals for the scheme, as directed and managed by Public Art Consultants FrancisKnight. 

 

Detail showing a plan of Phases 1 & 2 Rochester Riverside housing development by Countryside Homes with street names. Image: By permission of Countryside Properties

 

Thalia, Belvedere and Telemon were 3 of 4 locomotives that worked at William Cory & Sons Ltd (Coal Wharf) on Rochester Riverside.

‘Thalia’: Built by Robert Stevenson and Hawthorn Newcastle, (works No 7816, Drewry Car Co works No. 2503 of 1945). The locomotive was supplied new to William Cory & Sons Ltd. where it was named after one of the three Graces in Greek mythology. The locomotive was painted black with Cory’s standard logo on each side & spent all its working life in Cory’s sidings, which were located adjacent to Blue Boar Wharf on the River Medway.

‘Telemon’: Built by the Vulcan Foundry 9 (works No. 295, Drewry Car Co. works No. 2568 of 1955) worked at William Cory’s Coal Wharf, Rochester, 1971

 

Locomotives ‘Thalia’ and ‘Telemon’ at Cory’s Wharf, Rochester, January 1971. Image: Copyright Gordon Edgar

Gordon Edgar on Flickr 

 

 

 ‘Belvedere’: Had a streamlined casing and was built by Sentinel (Shrewsbury) in 1945 and worked at Rochester Cory’s Wharf from 1950 to 1957 & now at the Northampton Ironstone Museum.

 

An image of BELVEDERE in the sidings at Cory’s Wharf, Rochester Riverside. Image: Kent History Forum/3pinplug

KENT HISTORY FORUM

 

BELVEDERE. A proposal for a Cast Iron unit 960mm x 400mm x 75mm manufactured by Hargreaves. One of 24 Public Art elements to be embedded into the streetscape of Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Proposals for a variety of Cast Iron units – shown full scale – to be manufactured by Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax. One of 24 Public Art elements to be embedded into the streetscape of Rochester Riverside, which recall the history of the site. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Proposals for a variety of Cast Iron units – shown full scale – to be manufactured by Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax. One of 24 Public Art elements to be embedded into the streetscape of Rochester Riverside, which recall the history of the site. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

Spritsail Barges of the Medway…and other Rochester Riverside Stories (2 of 3)

‘Mr Gill showed me a very fine model of their barge Centaur, a 50-tonner built by Messrs. Gill & Son, specially for the 1899 Medway barge Race, in the astonishing time of 6 weeks.” 

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

In his wonderfully evocative book ‘Spritsail Barges of Thames and Medway’, published in 1948, Edgar J March paints a highly detailed picture of Barge activity and life on the Medway. Many of these Barges started life in the boatyards of Rochester.

“Staunch and well built though a barge may be, each year sees a toll taken. Some yield at last to the cold embrace of the sea, whose caresses they have so long resisted, others steal quietly up some lonely creek to nose gently into the malodorous mud and settle down into their last berth, gradually to moulder away, forgotten by all save their one time masters, and perhaps, some sentimental fool like myself, who will gaze down on their rotting timbers and imagination see spars clothed with red-brown sails and hulls vibrant with life as they thrash there way round the Foreland.” 

Describing the excitement and thrill of the Medway Barge Races – “The course was from Hoo Marshes to the West Oaze Buoy and back to the Sun Pier at Chatham, a distance of about thirty five miles…A strong easterly wind was blowing, and in Long Reach Verona’s bowsprit snapped off short, but the crew cleared away the wreckage and setting a jib topsail as a staysail, carried on to come sixth in their class.” Edgar J March. 

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Referencing a painting by T.B. Hardy, 1874, Edgar March goes on to describe the Medway as, “When this picture was painted, marine artists had little need to look for subjects. The Medway was alive with sailing craft : dainty little topsail schooners, picturesque collier brigs with apple bows and dingy canvas, barques from Scandinavia, bringing pine-scented timber from the Baltic to Rochester, and above all, barges innumerable, threading their way through the maze of traffic. One hundred a tide was no uncommon sight, and what a joy to a sail-lover that galaxy of russet, brown and ochre canvas must have been, many with various devices emblazoned on their mainsails – Lees’ stumpies had the white horse of Kent rampant on ebony coloured sails – all either hurrying down on the ebb or beating up against wind and tide. Now gone forever.”

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

…and “In  those far-off days, watermen, or “goozers”, to use their riverside nick-name, plied their trade in skiffs”. Edgar J March

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

William Higham was born in 1838 in Lewes Sussex. On 27/10/1864 he married Fanny Elizabeth Blake in Strood, nr, Rochester. By 1881 they had 9 children.

William was a Barge Builder and they lived in a private house on Victoria Street, Rochester. The location of his Yard is show on the OS map of 1898 on Blue Boar Hard, just above the Pier. ADA & EDITH is just one of many barges built here between 1876 and 1901.

Detail of OS Map 1898 showing land prior to development as Cory’s Coal & Rail Depot & Wharf. Rochester Riverside Industry. Reproduced by Kind Permission of MALSC.

 PROVIDENCE

FOX HOUND

MAID OF KENT

ANNIE & ALICE

CHARLEY BAKER

HERBERT & HAROLD

ADA & EDITH

ANSWERS

SILVER WEDDING

MABEL MAUD

VENTURA

FIVE BROTHERS

DOROTHY

 

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

‘WALRUS’ & ‘NELLIE’ were two portable conveyors owned by William Cory & Son, Coal Factors, at Cory’s Wharf, used for transporting stone aggregates from Barge to Train. These aggregates were known as Fines, Nuts & Cobbles.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

“It has been my privilege to go over and see the marvellous machinery for loading and unloading coal. The five large cranes, when seen at work bowing their stately heads, look like dancers executing a minuet; …when in repose, standing like so many soldiers on sentry duty, with fixed bayonets. What a contrast to see the way a collier is unloaded by these cranes, as compared with the old coal whippers’ days! A coal boat seems scarcely to draw alongside the wharf before it is steaming away again”. Edwin Harris Guides to Old Rochester, Pub. 1930 No. 27 Part 1. (Ref: ROC. 942.23 HAR The Riverside. Harris/Edwin. MALSC).

 

Cory’s Coal Depot with 2 abandoned cranes from the original 5. November 1969. Black & White Photograph. Rochester Riverside Industry. Reproduced by Kind Permission of MALSC.

 

Detail of OS Map 1932 showing Cory’s Coal & Rail Depot & Wharf. Rochester Riverside Industry. Reproduced by Kind Permission of MALSC.

 

The five cranes were originally positioned along Cory’s Wharf on the far right hand side of the above OS Map of 1932

 

Detail of OS Map 1898 showing land prior to development as Cory’s Coal & Rail Depot & Wharf. Rochester Riverside Industry. Reproduced by Kind Permission of MALSC.

The earlier OS Map of 1898 records the same site some 30 years previously as Chatham Goods Yard. The site occupied by Cory’s Wharf is immediately below Blue Boar Pier along the HWMOT line.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

Dunlin…A Salt Marsh Bird

 

 

‘The Medway Estuary is believed to be the most important area in North Kent for wintering wildfowl in numbers of international significance. The Saltmarsh serves as a roosting area for waders at high tide. Several scarce plant species include: golden samphire, perennial glasswort and one-flowered glasswort. The estuary is one of the best places in Britain for the study of glassworts. The grazing marsh has breeding and wintering birds of interest; the former include lapwing, redshank, pochard, mallard and gadwall, while in winter large flocks of may wildfowl and wader species are present.

Ref: Environmental Stresses and Resource Use in Coastal Urban and Peri Urban Regions. DPSIR Approach to SECOA’s 17 Case Studies.

These overwintering birds, along with thousands of others migrating or breeding species have been present on our site, however the numbers of Dunlin and other birds have undergone a decline, ostensibly to do with habitat loss and disturbance, which is of course of great concern.

 

 

 

 

The Great Flood…and other Rochester Riverside stories (1 of 3)

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

“A creek separates the marsh here from Cory’s Wharf – apparently into which the watermill discharged…” “The marsh was full of logs (a huge stack of wooden piles from Rochester Old Bridge) and was home to many rabbits – wild rabbits, grey, brown and black…” ‘It was said that the Foord Family stocked the marsh, with animals from their farm at Darland’.  Stephen Hannington – Bygone Kent MagazineRochester’s Long Lost Common Part Two –

‘Floods of 1897 and 1928 inundated this area – the flooding in1897 was called The Great Flood and attributed to a record high tide on 29th November’. The image below shows the Homeward Bound Public House inundated by the flood waters. The Gas Holders of the Gasworks, can be seen in the background. The Gasworks, on Gas House Way was one of the earliest built in the UK in 1818. The area was known as Gas House Marshes. Image by kind permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre.

The Homeward Bound Public House at Gas House Point inundated by the great flood of 1837. Image: By kind permission of MALSC

 

I thought I might post the artwork for all of the proposed granite and cast iron paving slab units. I can then add any historic anecdotes, images or information, which have caught my attention and may be of further interest. I’ll cover all these in this and the next two posts. 1 of 3

 

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

CAST IRON UNIT ‘BRICKIES‘ STACKIES STUMPIES’. You can also add MUDDIES to this list as well!  All colloquial names for the trades associated with Medway Barges built in and operating out of the Rochester Riverside site. Brickies carried up to 40,000 bricks on the up river journey to London and came back laden with London’s rubbish. Stackies were piled high with Hay and Straw. Stumpies could take cement, lime, timber, clay, coal, bricks, hops and other commodities. Muddies are self explanatory…the carried clay and mud dug from the banks of the Medway Estuary and destined for local brickworks.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

CAST IRON UNIT ‘GOLDEN SAMPHIRE’. To the northwest the Medway Estuary consists of an extensive area of marshland, comprising of salt marsh and intertidal mudflats. The River remains tidal at this point and estuarine conditions would have dominated most of the site’s past.’  Ref: KCC HER 012. 2014 -371. Golden Samphire  grows on estuary mudflats and salt march. It is rare and I have used it as it represents the efforts being made by the client team to build upon the heritage and legacy of the natural environment with it’s diverse flora and fauna.

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

GRANITE UNIT  ‘BLUE BOAR CREEK’. “Blue Boar Wharf was our playground”. Edwin Harris

Blue Boar Creek is the one of the more distinctively named and well remembered places on our site. It also gave name to Blue Boar Lane, Blue Boar Hard, Blue Boar Lower Yard, Blue Boar Upper Yard, Blue Boar Lane Foundry and Blue Boar Pier. ‘Blue Boar Hard Pier: November 26th 1886′ as seen at the Medway Archives is set of beautiful, hand painted drawings of plans for a new Pier by draughtsman William Hoelking. Some details are referred to as ‘DOLPHINS’ & ‘DUMMY’. MALSC Ref: Plan 1 of 4 (002) MP/B/30/1 (1 of 4).

Blue Boar Hard Pier: November 26th 1886. Image: By kind permission of MALSC. Ref: Plan 1 of 4 (002) MP/B/30/1 (1 of 4).

Blue Boar Hard Pier: November 26th 1886. Image: By kind permission of MALSC. Ref: Plan 1 of 4 (002) MP/B/30/1 (1 of 4).

William Banks City Surveyor has also signed this document. William was born in about 1850 at Edmonton. He married Anne Mary Everett in June 1876 at Islington. In 1891, he and his family were living at at 10 Albany Road, Rochester, William was by then aged 40 and a surveyor for the city of Rochester.

‘What is now left of Blue Boar Creek and the river beyond at Limehouse Reach, lies deathly silent. Coal is not longer unloaded from colliers at Cory’s Wharf. So too is the Pier, once festooned with skiffs and rowing boats, where formerly small boys with rod and line and a jar of worms could fish away the school holidays’. John K. Austin from his publication ‘Yesterday’s Medway’. Johns has been involved with this project from the outset, having been consulted by the project Architects BPTW on his local knowledge as a historian, author, teacher and artist.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

GRANITE UNIT ‘THE FIVE BROTHERS’  William Higham had a Barge Building business on Blue Boar Hard. He was born in 1838 in Lewes Sussex. On 27th October 1864 he married Fanny Elizabeth Blake in Strood. By 1881 they had 9 children and lived in a private house on Victoria Street, Rochester. William employed 11 men and 7 boys. THE FIVE BROTHERS was the last barge built at this yard alongside DOROTHY in 1901.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

GRANITE UNIT ‘PERENNIAL GLASSWORT’.  ‘The Medway Estuary is believed to be the most important area in North kent for wintering wildfowl in numbers of international significance. The saltmarsh serves as a roosting area for waders at high tide. Several scarce plant species include: golden samphire, perennial glasswort and one-flowered glasswort. The estuary is one of the best places in Britain for the study of glassworts. The grazing marsh has breeding and wintering birds of interest; the former include lapwing, redshank, pochard, mallard and gadwall, while in winter large flocks of may wildfowl and wader species are present.’ Ref: Environmental Stresses and Resource Use in Coastal Urban and Peri Urban Regions. DPSIR Approach to SECOA’s 17 Case Studies.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

GRANITE UNIT ‘COAL: METER HEAVER WHIPPER’. Colloquial names for trades employed in the Coal business.Frederick Furrell was born in 1807 and died in 1877. Frederick Furrell & Son were Coal Merchants based at Furrell’s Wharf, a  He was also an Alderman & Shipowner. He had ten children with his wife Katherine who he had married on February 25th 1832 at St Margaret’s Church in Rochester. Fred was Mayor of Rochester in 1855. Furrell’s Wharf was a 30m length of post and plank revetment of Oak and Elm Posts, most likely made from re-used ships timbers was in use in 1865 making it one of the oldest sites for industry on Rochester Riverside. It was accessed via Furrell’s Road.

His name also lived on as ‘Furrells Pond’“where children swam and skated in Icy weather – The site flooded during exceptionally high tides” . Edwin Harris

 Furrells Wharf was also the destination of many travelling shows, menageries and circuses – such as Wombwells Wild Beasts & Edmonds Menagerie – George Sangers Circus, Pinder’s Circus, Middletons’ Marionettes. 

Coal was a major industry at Rochester, with several businesses engaged, most notable William Cory & Son of Fenchurch Street London were registered in 1896 after taking over he business of coal factors, merchants and Lightermen of William Cory & Son of Rochester at Rochester Coal Wharf.

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

GRANITE UNIT ‘MARSH COWS GRAZING’