Thurrock 100 2016 was a walking festival with a difference – 10 days of walks and talks exploring Thurrock’s rich (and sometimes forgotten) heritage as told through 100 stories that you could meet along the way.
This year’s walks ranged from 1 mile to 12, from gentle evening rambles to more strenuous weekend hikes, with 21 walks of different lengths, durations and difficulty, plus two walks especially for schools. In all, over 1,700 people took part in the walks over the 10 days, and Thurrock 100 looks certain to become a regular fixture!
- THURROCK 100 STORIES PROJECT ENDS WITH MASS PERFORMANCE AT COALHOUSE FORT
- 1700 PEOPLE TAKE PART IN 21 WALKS OVER 10 DAYS
- MORE THAN 3,000 PARTICIPATE IN PROJECT OVERALL
Thurrock 100 Stories 2016 ended with a colourful mass performance by over 100 Thurrock schoolchildren from across the borough who used the 100 batik silk flags created in the course of the project as part of a vibrant finale choreographed by one of the UK’s pre-eminent mass dance leaders, Jeanefer Jean-Charles, and her team. The performers were joined by 50 people who had walked from Tilbury Fort to Coalhouse Fort in the final event of the walking festival, and by the Thurrock Marching Band. An audience of 400 people watched the performance in the sweltering Coalhouse Fort.
Local history and community groups, residents, 19 schools, and no fewer than 500 students, took part in workshops to collect and write the stories, with a further 216 people coming to paint the flags at Kinetika’s studios. Overall, more than 3,000 people took part in the project this year. You can see a short film of the finale here, and there’s a gallery of photos here.
All the stories and images of the flags can be explored online through a new interactive story page available at www.thurrock100.com, and a book containing all 100 stories and the flags will be published in the autumn.
Thurrock’s Mayor, Cathy Kent, said: “Thurrock 100 Stories has done a great job in getting us all to focus on the many great things about Thurrock. The project has got people thinking about and celebrating our fascinating heritage using creative writing and silk painting, and exploring our landscape on foot. I’m delighted that so many people have engaged with the project this year, and I’m really looking forward to reading all the stories online and in the book that will be published later in the year.”
Kinetika’s artistic director, Ali Pretty, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the way the project has developed this year and I’m thrilled that more than 3,000 people have participated in some way. At yesterday’s finale I had the strong impression that we’d been able to bring the whole community together in a wonderful, celebratory way, which was really my primary aim. I want to say a big thank you to all our funders, supporters and everyone who took part, without whom the project would not have been possible. I’m looking forward to next year!”
Cllr Deb Stewart, portfolio holder for Communities, added: “If someone had said to me, “Right, you’ve got to get strangers talking to each-other by coming together and making things, and getting healthy at the same time, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. Yet Thurrock 100 has done that beautifully. I went on one of the walks, and I’ll never forget about the inventor of the Vincent motorcycle, the man making counterfeit half crowns, and why the local pub hangs hot cross buns outside at Easter. And the finale performed by Thurrock school children in front of their proud families was really wonderful. I hope Thurrock 100 goes from strength to strength!”