Faversham Creek through the eyes of residents and visitors
‘Picture the Creek’: exhibition of photographs, paintings and drawings of Faversham Creek by local residents.
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th November 2014 | 11:00am to 5:00pm
The Purifier Building, Morrison’s Wharf, North Lane, Faversham, ME13 7DY
How do people picture the Creek?
During the summer, residents and visitors have been sharing their views of Faversham Creek in the form of photographs new and old, drawings, paintings and word pictures. The exhibition was a chance for everyone to view them and add their own ideas.
The event was part of the ‘Picture the Creek’ project set up by the Brents Community Association and Amicus Horizon housing association, in partnership with Kent Creative Arts CIC. The project was launched at the Faversham Nautical Festival in July, with people being asked to write one word that summed up the Creek for them, and their comments being turned into word pictures. They were then encouraged to email photographs, drawings or paintings of aspects of the Creek that interested them – or, if they had old photographs or pictures, to bring them to a drop-in session where they could be scanned electronically.
60 people contributed with 232 pictures and the stories behind them. A selection of the images submitted were on show, including the top three prize winners selected by a jury panel: Matthew Robbins (Amicus Horizon); Angela Simmons (Brents Community Association); Rebecca Pike (Faversham Times); Dr David Nettleingham (University of Kent).
Several activities took place during the week-end:
- Both children and adults had the opportunity to say what Faversham Creek means to them whilst visiting the exhibition in an active and creative way. There were pens and paper to write, draw, create, and have fun….
- The authors of the top three images selected by a jury panel received their prizes (First prize: £50; Second prize: £25; Third prize: £15).
- Visitors were invited to choose their favourite picture of the Creek for a ‘People’s Prize’.
- Representatives from the Brents Community Association and the Faversham Creek Trust were available to discuss the past, present and future of Faversham Creek.
- ‘Picture the Creek’ has attracted the attention of Dr David Nettleingham from the University of Kent, who is interested in following up with a more detailed oral history project, collecting stories and information from residents who remember the old industrial days of the Creek. He was at the event on Saturday, and anyone who wanted to take part was welcome to come and talk to him.
An impressive 440 people turned up at the exhibition in just that week-end. The feedback shows evidence that Faversham people have stories to tell, want to hear about them and have a strong interest in learning about their local history.
People came from Faversham of course but also from as far as Whitstable, Canterbury, Chatham, Birchington, Folkestone, Maidstone, Bromley, Rochester, Sandwich, Ashford, London…
Of the 176 visitors who responded to the question “How much did you enjoy the exhibition?” 87% said it was excellent or very good.
To the question: “What was the best thing you got out of your visit?” answers include:
- Knowing that people are actively trying to preserve the town’s history and bring long term benefits at the same time.
- A knowledge of how much there is of interest around the Creek
- A chance to see changes to the Creek over the years
- Great to see what the Creek means to people. A real community event and place.
- A sense of belonging to Faversham, past, present and future
- The sense of respect for others’ work and history, the passion, the beauty. And the love for the Creek which carries water.
- To see so many photos of the Creek
- My memories as a sea cadet on the Creek 1943-1946
- A reminder of how lucky those are who live in the area
- The picture of my Nanny and Grand dad
To the question: ‘What was the most surprising thing you found out?” answers include:
- How much has changed in 40 years
- How industrial the Creek was until quite recently
- How many people love the Creek
- History of the Purifier Building
- How important the Creek was to the economy of Faversham
- How popular our Creek is
- The strength of local enthusiasm and support for reviving the Creek as a resource and focal point
The ‘Picture the Creek’ event demonstrates very strong feelings people of Faversham have for their Creek, so we know this needs to be covered in the project.