Tag Archives: FrancisKnight

Chatham Placemaking Project – SEATING Part Two

Progress on Chatham Street Benches at Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in December 2018. Image: Andrew Lapthorn

Working with Andrew Lapthorn has been amazing. We have collaborated really well. He has done ALL the hard work. His craftsmanship is of the highest quality. The timber elements he has contributed to the project are artworks in their own right and I can’t wait to see them all installed. I know for a fact that he has been documenting his process throughout the project and that he has some amazing images. I am really hoping to get my hands on them and bask in his reflected glory.

He did in fact let a few images slip from his grasp – and they are reproduced here.

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

I showed the image above in the last post, but needed to upload again so you can make sense of the images to follow. This shows a single plank of elm being bent to shape over the formwork. The radius laminate seat involves laminating and bending 45 individual layers of English Elm to create the final work. Each layer may contain up to 3 or 4 individual cut planks of timber. The effect of this is to create not only a robust and highly engineered structure, but a sculptural object with beautiful aesthetics, colour variation and flow.

 

Progress on Chatham Street Benches at Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in December 2018. Image: Andrew Lapthorn

 

Progress on Chatham Street Benches at Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in December 2018. Image: Andrew Lapthorn

 

Progress on Chatham Street Benches at Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in December 2018. Image: Andrew Lapthorn

 

Progress on Chatham Street Benches at Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in December 2018. Image: Andrew Lapthorn

 

Chatham Placemaking Project – SEATING Part One

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: A Face in the Elm, Christopher Tipping

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Lower Railway Street, Chatham. Monolithic Granite & English Elm seating. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

I have been working in collaboration with Andrew Lapthorn Furniture  on a series of 6 monolithic granite and English Elm seats to be positioned at key anchor points within the streetscape of our Chatham Placemaking Project.

Andrew is a furniture designer and maker. He has a workshop within the Historic Dockyard Chatham. It is almost impossible to consider the historic and social fabric of Chatham without the Dockyard playing a major role. We have consulted with Nigel Howard, Historic Environment and Buildings Manager for the Dockyard throughout the project and have been granted access to their archives and buildings. They have been very generous in their support. When Nigel was made aware we were proposing to work with Andrew on the project he made a very generous gift to the project of seasoned timber, free of charge from the historic Timber Seasoning Sheds. Nigel had also generously offered us some monolithic slabs of granite, which have great historic resonance to our project, which we have unfortunately not been in a position to use as yet – but never say never !

 

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Christopher Tipping

The quality of some of these images is poor I’m afraid, but the content is pretty amazing…the interiors of the seasoning sheds have an otherworldly feel about them. These buildings were erected in 1775, to provide the Admiralty with at least 3 years of timber. Andrew unearthed some massive planks of English Elm. The age of the timber was hard to discern. Andrew thinks it may have been here for decades as least. The actual tree or trees they were cut or salvaged from could have been well over a century old before felling or being toppled through the effects of storm damage.

Timber Stores, Historic Dockyard Chatham, July 2017. Image: Andrew Lapthorn.

 

As with all creative proposals, we have been through various iterations, responded to challenges and made changes along the way. The following images relate to this design and creative process and show the evolution of the work and some of the outcomes on the street.

 

Draft proposals for granite and timber seating, Chatham, 2016. Artwork: Christopher Tipping

 

In 2016, during the early concept and development stages of the project, I had proposed this series of benches as a way of exploring the relationship between the significant building materials of the Historic Dockyard and the materials and contextual ideas being explored along out project route through Chatham Town.

 

Draft proposals for granite and timber seating with Chatham Patterns, Chatham, 2016. Artwork: Christopher Tipping & Xtina Lamb

 

 

The Chatham Patterns were a significant part of our concept to develop a distinct and site specific visual language for the streetscape and our creative public realm work. I collaborated with Xtina Lamb, Printmaker on this work. In this instance, the patterns were to be sandblasted into the honed surface of the monolithic granite blocks by Hardscape.

 

Draft proposals for granite and timber seating with Chatham Patterns, Chatham, 2016. Artwork: Christopher Tipping

 

Andrew responded to these early draft ideas and we discussed incorporating traditional techniques for creating large scale joints and methods for joining and connecting timber, which would be suggestive and resonant of shipbuilding in Chatham, as well as exploring advances in technology such as laminating and bending timber. These are his drawings – & his hands…

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Draft sketches for timber seating elements for Chatham by Andrew Lapthorn, January 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

In early November 2018, FrancisKnight and I visited Andrew at his workshop to see progress on the benches. I was blown away by the beauty and craftsmanship around me. The English Elm has the most wonderful patterns and figures in the grain. There was even half a face staring our at me. We were really so impressed. The work was solid, beautiful, resonant and robust, which is just as well as life as a street bench is tough !

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: A Face in the Elm, Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: A Face in the Elm, Christopher Tipping

 

I couldn’t resist creating a mirror image – a portrait in English Elm.

 

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

A visit to Andrew Lapthorn’s workshop in November 2018. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

 

 

 

CHATHAM RAILWAY STATION

£1.4m Chatham station regeneration gets underway…

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

‘Medway Council successfully secured £700,000 from the government’s Local Growth Fund through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) to contribute towards the £1.4m upgrade, with Network Rail match-funding the windfall through its National Station Improvement Programme’. Medway Council

This was great news to see this project being promoted on Linkedin this week by Medway Council. Following the near completion of public realm works and embedded public art along Railway Street and Military Road, including New Cut, St John’s Steps and Military Square, Chatham Railway Station is now about to undergo its long awaited regeneration too, at the head of our works as part of the Chatham Placemaking Project.  

I made one of the first posts about Chatham Station on this blog back in September 2015 in the very early stages of our research and contextual work on the project. Click on this link for more information

Chatham Railway Station 2015. Image: Christopher Tipping

Chatham Railway Station 1910. Historic Image: by kind permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre

Chatham Railway Station – Date unknown. Historic Image: Copyright of and by kind permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre – Couchman Collection

Chatham Railway Station – Date unknown. Image: Copyright and by kind permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre – Couchman Collection.

 

Many draft proposals and developments of conceptual and contextually based responses to the site were developed and considered. The final detailed designs for public art interventions were presented to Medway Council and their partners Network Rail in January 2018. This work dovetails with works already carried out and continues themes and material choices and finishes established at the outset of the scheme.

The following images highlight the proposals we put forward at the beginning of 2018.

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 1. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 2. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 3. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 4. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 5. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 6. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 7. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 8. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 9. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 10. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 11. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 12. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 13. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 14. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 15. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 16. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 17. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

Creative Public Realm proposals for Chatham Railway Station – Page 18. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

THESE ARE OUR STREETS for the Chatham Placemaking Project. Image & Artwork: Simon Williams. Lead Artist: Christopher Tipping

 

 

 

THESE ARE OUR STREETS Part Three – final

Draft Magazine – Playing Card Graphics by Paul Baker with text by Rob Young. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

THESE ARE OUR STREETS  Part Three…! We have always planned to create a magazine or booklet…some form of printed publication or other, with which to celebrate and record our progress, our ideas, the stuff that got away…but mostly our collaboration with each other and with the people along our route. We may still be able to deliver this a a hard-copy paper publication at some point in the future, as a way or marking the project – or as an online event.

The following images will show you part of our journey to create the draft and concepts for the work you can now see embedded into the pavements of Railway Street and Military Square. The content has been generated in collaboration with other artists and creatives, commissioned to deliver specific aspects of our work, but who directly and indirectly contributed so brilliantly to the outcome. FrancisKnight Public Art Consultants, Rob Young – Writer, Xtina Lamb – Printmaker, Simon Williams – Filmmaker & Paul Baker – Graphic Designer.

Draft Magazine – Pages 34 & 35 FINAL : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping. Group Photograph by FrancisKnight. Chatham Patterns by Xtina Lamb

Above Image: From left to right – Xtina Lamb, Christopher Tipping, Simon Williams, Rob Young at a project meeting in Rochester with FrancisKnight, September 2016

 

 

Draft Magazine – Playing Card Graphics by Paul Baker with text by Rob Young. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

Draft Magazine – Playing Card Graphics by Paul Baker with text by Rob Young. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Graphic Designer Paul Baker with writer Rob Young devised these Playing Cards posters carrying anecdotal, conversational or overheard words on the streets of Chatham

 

Draft Magazine – Colour Key Page Icons. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Colour Key Page Icons. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 24 & 25 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

Draft Magazine – Colour Key Page Icons. THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Fictional Heroes of Chatham are a series of fictional stories about Chatham’s past by our project writer Rob Young developed in response to time spent walking and talking on the streets of Chatham.

The fictional story below is about a Chatham Hero, Davey Pitt, who worked on the New Cut Viaduct

 

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 26 & 27 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 28 & 29 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

A CIRCLE OF WORDS IN A MILITARY SQUARE 

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 24 & 25 V1A : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 24 & 25 V3 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 30 & 31 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping. Archive Photograph by kind permission of MALSC

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 30 & 31 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping. Artwork & Text by Rob Young

Draft Magazine – Pages 34 & 35 FINAL : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping. Group Photograph by FrancisKnight. Chatham Patterns by Xtina Lamb

 

THESE ARE OUR STREETS Part One

Draft Magazine – Cover: THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping

We have always planned to create a magazine or booklet…some form of printed publication or other, with which to celebrate and record our progress, our ideas, the stuff that got away…but mostly our collaboration with each other and with the people along our route. We may still be able to deliver this a a hard-copy paper publication at some point in the future, as a way or marking the project – or as an online event.

The following images will take you with us on part of our journey to create the draft and concepts for the work you can now see embedded into the pavements of Railway Street and Military Square. The content has been generated in collaboration with other artists and creatives, commissioned to deliver specific aspects of our work, but who directly and indirectly contributed so brilliantly to the outcome. FrancisKnight Public Art Consultants, Rob Young – Writer, Xtina Lamb – Printmaker, Simon Williams – Filmmaker & Paul Baker – Graphic Designer.

There were many versions of these pages made, as we decided how best to represent what had been done. Here are just a few…

Draft Magazine – Page 1: THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

“I’m not from Chatham, I’m just visiting…I come here a lot – Every Day !”. 

The voices represented here are everyday voices of people in Chatham. Writer Rob Young sent time talking to small businesses and the people who worked in them along our route. He is a good listener with an exceptional ear for a ‘one liner’; a swagger, a forgotten hero, a heartfelt sentiment softly spoken. These overheard or anecdotal lines have been captured in stone set into the paving. Not all could be used. Many are reproduced here for the first time.

 

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 2 & 3: THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping

This was a draft layout for the information page – a bit of what we were planning. It is quire ambitious, but we actually achieved an enormous amount.

 

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 4 & 5: THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The fantastic panorama of the River Medway was taken by Filmmaker Simon Williams from the roof terrace of Fort Pitt, now the UCA Rochester Campus. The mock-up street signs were the outcome of a collaboration between Rob Young, Simon Williams and myself.

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 6 & 7: THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

1000 Pies Lined up in a row like Soldiers…

 

Chatham Station and it’s approaches were always at the head of our scheme. Designs and public art have been prepared and approved, to become a part of the regeneration of the Station, which has just started on site. Click on this link to find out more.

Draft Magazine – Pages 6 & 7 V2 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 6 & 7 V3 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping. Archive Photograph by Kind Permission of MALSC

 

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 8 & 9 V2 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

The Sailor who travelled the world…the found his girl in Chatham

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 10 & 11 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

An imaginary tale…The Story of Tommy Johnson of Margate by Rob Young

 

 

Draft Magazine – Pages 12 & 13 V1 : THESE ARE OUR STREETS. Image: Christopher Tipping.

 

THE GIRL WHO THOUGHT SNODLAND WAS A COUNTRY

 

 

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’ 

 

Brickies, Stackies and Stumpies

Brickies, Stackies and Stumpies refer to Thames Sailing Barges (aka Medway Barges or Rochester Sailing Barges or Spritsail Barges), which were built at Rochester and more specifically to the the trades they carried out. Brickies carried up to 40,000 bricks on the up river journey to London and came back laden with London’s rubbish. Huge mounds of glass bottles recorded on the Rochester Riverside site, north of Blue Boar Creek, are a result of this domestic waste being brought up the Medway from the capital. Stackies were piled high with Hay and Straw. Stumpies could take cement, lime, timber, clay, coal, bricks, hops and other commodities.

“Russet Brown & Ochre Sails with Various devices Emblazoned” Edgar J Marsh. ‘Spritsail Barges of the Thames and Medway’. 1948

Draft design for a granite paving slab. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample granite paving slab with water jet cut granite inlay and sandblasted text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The granite units will be manufactured in collaboration with Hardscape. 

Granite square tile with a sandblasted letter B. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample coloured granite squares with sandblasted letters. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample coloured granite squares with sandblasted letters. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Detail of sample granite paving slab with water jet cut granite inlay and sandblasted text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

I am proposing to make 24 artwork units in either cast iron or granite, with inlaid & sandblasted detail. The units will be embedded into paving within or adjacent to the threshold entrances to all Apartment blocks and to the footpaths of all the central and riverside designated housing. I want these works with their accompanying text and drawings to be seen each day as people cross the thresholds between the public realm and the private home. This site was an industrious place for hundreds of years, providing and creating the wealth upon which Rochester grew into a powerful and beautiful cathedral city. It’s wealth however, is not only in the grand and the elevated. The everyday, the matter of fact, the local and colloquial have all contributed over time to this place leaving a rich social and community-led legacy through the people whose livelihoods were centred on this fascinating site next to the River Medway. Shipbuilding, Sailmaking, Gasworks, Railways, Livestock Market, Transport, Fishing, Metal and Aggregate Trades and Market Gardening have all at various times left an indelible and tangible mark on this place, as have the domestic residences, pubs, shops and small businesses such as:

Henry Allen – Dealer in Building Materials

Jane Weaver – Milliner

Joseph Anderson – Clay Pipe Maker

George Millar – Wheelwright and Coach Builder

Ebenezer Baird – Tailor

…all of Rochester Common.

Detail of cast iron paving slab with low relief pattern and text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The images above shows a single panel manufactured by Hargreaves Foundry immediately after casting, when the surface is a gun-metal colour and then after a couple of weeks outside, where the colour is more akin to Corten steel.

The actual finish will be almost black, as the cast iron will eventually be treated with nitric acid to prevent further weathering.

There was an Iron Foundry on the site up to the 19th Century. HALLS IRON FOUNDRY was founded in 1785 and worked form premises adjacent to Cory’s Creek on Blue Boar Lane.  In the 1918 Directory of Manufacturers in England, James Hall & Son Ltd are listed as trading as T/A Hall’s Foundry. Tel. Chatham 169.

Cast Iron items such a pavement drains can still be see bearing the makers name in the streets surrounding the site.

James Hall & Son Cast Ltd. Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft design for a cast iron paving slab. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

BELVEDERE was the name of a Locomotive (a sentinel geared vertical boilered tank engine) that worked at William Cory’s Coal Yard and Cory’s Wharf. She was built by Sentinel (Shrewsbury) in 1945 & worked at Cory’s Wharf from 1950 to 1957 & is now at the Northampton Ironstone Museum. Belvedere was one of four Locomotives working in the yard – Thalia, Telemon and Greenwich being the others.

Detail of cnc milled model board for cast iron slab showing low relief pattern and text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The original models for the cast iron units are being manufactured by Arthur Jackson & Co Ltd in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Plan of Rochester Riverside Phases 1 & 2, showing proposed sites for artwork as red or blue dots. Image: Christopher Tipping

I had researched the whole Rochester Riverside site and so have an enormous resource of material to draw upon. For the first two Phases of delivery however, we are focussing on site specific references relevant to the locality.

The following images show some of the draft artwork we may have to work with for the delivery of future Phases.

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

The Ross family were Shipbuilders working out of Acorn Yard on Rochester Riverside. Following the death of her husband Charles Ross in 1808 leaving her a widow with seven children, Mary Ross  took on the running of the yard. This was highly unusual for a woman at this time.

These are the ships built by Mary Ross following the death of her husband Charles.

Vigo: 1810 / 74 Guns / Broken up 1867

Goodwill:

Stirling Castle: 1811 / 74 Guns / Hulk in 1839

Thistle: 1812 / Gun Brig / 12 guns / broken up 1832

Epervier: 1812 / 18 Guns

Eridanus: 1813 / 36 Guns

Confiance: 1813 / Cruizer Class / broken up 1832

Tanais: 1813 / 38 Guns / built of Fir / broken up 1819

HMS Fury: 1814 / Bomb Vessel / Lost 1825

HMS Fury was launched in 1814 and was one of Captain Parry’s two ‘Discovery Ships surveying for the Hudson Bay Company. Fury was converted to an Arctic exploration ship. Commander William Edward Parry commissioned her in December 1820 She then made two journeys to the Arctic, both in company with her sister ship, Hecla. Her second Arctic voyage ended in disaster. She was damaged by ice while overwintering and was abandoned on 25 August 1825, at what has since been called Fury Beach on Somerset Island on the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

 

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

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, nr, Rochester. By 1881 they had 9 children and they 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

Frederick Furrell was born in 1807 and died in 1877. Frederick Furrell & Son were Coal Merchants. 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 – 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. 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Rogallo Place & production visit to VGL

VGL Art Room, Reading. Approving Production Files. Image: Christopher Tipping

As with most of my projects I rely on creative collaboration and engagement with specialist suppliers and manufacturers. VGL are one of the best I have worked with. Their digital printing facilities are excellent, but it their outstanding collaborative skills which enable me to create work like this. The following images are from a factory visit in July 2018 to review sample production and the creation and sign off of the digital production files.

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Print Room Samples for Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Digital Print Sampling. Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Print Room Samples for Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

VGL Print Room Samples for Rogallo Place. Image: Christopher Tipping

All the RRR’s…

ROCHESTER RIVERSIDE

RESEARCH – REGENERATION – RECLAMATION – RECYCLE – REMINISCENCE – REVEAL – REPLACE – RESONATE

RE-USE

The Rochester Riverside development aims to deliver 489 homes in Phases 1, 2 & 3. The first show homes are scheduled to be ready by September 2018. I have been researching and developing ideas to embed some of the social & industrial legacy from this site into the new build homes and apartments & not forgetting a new community which is being delivered. The site has a treasure trove of layered history to uncover fed by its unique position between Rochester and  River Medway.

Intertidal Salt Marsh

Tithe Lands

St Nicholas Parish Rochester 

Livestock Grazing

Clay & Mud

Market Gardens

Oyster Fishery

Gas Works

Ship & Barge Building

Iron Foundry

Coal Factors

Coal Depot

Railway Goods Yard

Scrap Metal Merchants

Wharfs

Cranes

Locomotives

Aggregates

Cement

By 2006 almost all the site had been cleared for re-development.

I have to find a way to be creative with the public art budget and to produce high quality, robust interventions, capable of withstanding the wear and tear of a contemporary urban space. My approach to this project has been to work with a series of 2.4m high brick walls, which form the entrances to parking courts on the Central Streets of Phase 1 & 2. I am also embedding work into the threshold entrances of six apartment blocks and numerous private houses throughout the site. Materials being investigated at this stage include granite, cast concrete, cast iron, architectural ceramic & brick. The concept drawings shown below are all subject to change, revision, omission – all the usual ups and downs of project development.

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for brick walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for brick walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

These early concept drawings explore the various combinations of narrative elements which could be developed further. They are rather overstuffed with ideas at this stage – far too many to deliver – but are beginning to explore the legacy of the site via stories created by combining strands of research. Visiting menageries share space with Iron Foundry production and mud and clay trades carried out on the site. The elephant would be sandblasted into the brick surface, whilst adjacent panels of cast iron with relief detail and glazed brick units and polished granite are embedded into the brick structure.

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for brick walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside. Artist Concept. Cast Iron Units to footpaths. Artwork Draft Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Cast Iron proposals are being developed in collaboration with Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax.

Rochester Riverside. Artist Concept. Cast Iron Unit to brick walls. Artwork Draft Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside. Artist Concept. Draft cast iron units to brick walls and paving. Artwork Drafts Only Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite paving units with inset text. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite paving units with inset text. Image: Christopher Tipping

The proposals for granite paving units with inset granite text are being explored in collaboration with Hardscape. 

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for architectural ceramic units with low relief text & pattern. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Architectural Ceramic proposals are being developed in collaboration with Darwen Terracotta & Faience

 

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite & cast iron paving units with low relief text & pattern. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite & cast iron paving units with low relief text & pattern. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke balcony balustrade detail with pattern inspired by the Gas Works. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke balcony balustrade detail with pattern inspired by the Gas Works. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke Front Door & Garage Doors treatment. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke Front Door & Garage Doors treatment. Image: Christopher Tipping

Burton’s Elephant !

Halifax Building Society now occupy the Burton Art Deco Building on Military Road and High Street, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Halifax Building Society now occupy the Burton Art Deco Building on Military Road and High Street, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Halifax Building Society now occupy the former Burton Tailors Art Deco Building on Military Road and High Street, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

Halifax Building Society now occupy the former Burton Tailors Art Deco Building on Military Road and High Street, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Burton’s Tailors, Military Road, Chatham  – now the Halifax Building Society

“Burton’s long history in men’s clothing is a remarkable story. It was founded in 1903 by Montague Burton (originally named Meshe Osinsky), one of several Russian Jewish immigrants who built enormously successful businesses from humble beginnings.

Burton became a household name because of good public relations and the way it treated its workers. Burton bought shops in the prime town centre spots and were instantly recognisable because of their design. There were few men in England who didn’t at some time enter the portals of a Burton’s “gentlemen’s club” and get measured for a Burton suit.

On the eve of the 1939-45 war, Burton again turned to the production of uniforms for troops. After the war, Burton produced a suit for war veterans nicknamed “The Full Monty”. By the end of the war, Burton was estimated to be clothing around a fifth of British males.” On:Yorkshire Magazine 20th December 2012

The Art Deco Elephant motif on the building on Halifax Building on Military Road was common to all Burtons buildings throughout the 1930’s. It is a large and significant building in Chatham and one which assists in anchoring our site on the route from the Station to the Waterfront – not insignificantly because of it’s wonderful Elephant motif’s.

The Halifax Building Society now occupies the former Burton Art Deco Building on Military Road and High Street, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Halifax Building Society now occupies the former Burton Art Deco Building on Military Road and High Street, Chatham. Image: Christopher Tipping