On Tuesday 3rd May, Rob Young & I had a meeting with Rachel Kerr, Project Coordinator (100 Objects That Made Kent) and the Education Officer, Jeremy Clarke at The Guildhall Museum,High Street, Rochester. We were looking to explore opportunities for us all to collaborate in some manner during the project, taking advantage of the Museum Collections cultural importance to Medway and its outreach work with the community – particularly in education and schools.
Rob is very keen to build this relationship into his commission and has already submitted a wonderful proposal for an engagement with St Michaels Roman Catholic Primary School,who are already working with the Museum on an arts award educational project, focussed on the Statue of Thomas Waghorn on Railway Street and a portrait of whom hangs in the Museum. The school is the most local to our project route. Rob is also keen to meet with The Friends of the Guildhall Museum to hear their thoughts about Chatham. Simon Lace, Medway’s Heritage Services Manager is also helping our cause by contributing a call out for stories by Friends of the Guildhall in their ‘about to be launched’ newsletter.
Jeremy Clarke, the Museum’s Education Officer – found this image for us of a young boy taken at the Photographic Studio of W. Kent, Photographic Artist at No 19 Military Road, Chatham – a great find for us right on our project route. I’m sure Rob will make some resonant response to this.
There are many ways in which the Chatham Placemaking Project can communicate with the local community. Large scale visuals can be really effective – such as these mock-up ideas drafted onto a series of primesight billboardson Railway Street.
The Chatham Big Screen too would provide a great opportunity for us, as we could post film and moving images as well as sound.
The statue of Thomas Waghornon Railway Street in Chatham points conveniently along the route of our Chatham Placemaking Project – from Chatham Station / Railway Street / New Cut / St Johns’ Church / Military Road / The Paddock / Waterfront. He is our biggest fan ! He was also a postal pioneer, who developed a new route from India to Great Britain. Can’t be certain that he is pointing to India – but he is certainly pointing to the Old Post Office on Railway Street, soon to become a Wetherspoon’s Pub and named conveniently – The Thomas Waghorn ! Click on the name and you can see the report from Kent Online28th Feb. 2016, which announced the start of works on site to refurbish the building.
The work has now started to transform the building once again into a Public House !
I am very keen to get inside the building for a look around. How much of the original interiors remain is unknown. The building has twice before been transformed into pubs – first the Francis and Firkin & then The Old Post Office !