T100 Dreaming – A look back
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T100 Dreaming Festival 2021
Looking back at our 7th successful year
With a series of specially curated walks, T100 Dreaming invited communities and artists to come together to share their dreams, celebrate community spirit and imagine a more creative and sustainable future.
Along with inspiration sessions for artists and creative workshops for community groups, the festival was delighted to be able to provide mentoring support for 4 new walk leaders from diverse communities in partnership with Active Essex, Essex Cultural Diversity Project and Living London. This aimed to shine a light upon people with different backgrounds, from varied places and cultures, who make their homes in Thurrock.
This year the innovative approach of pairing local artists with walk leaders led to the walks becoming more interactive, with talks and artist-led activities on route and not just at the end. Some people joined in with the downloadable activity pack, and even more chose to get involved in person.
Thurrock Yacht Club quite literally flew the flag for T100 throughout June and July, and welcomed us to their clubhouse in Grays, while Essex Wildlife Trust volunteers provided an insightful tour of Langdon Hills Nature Reserve, Regency Dance performed a ‘dreaming dance’ in East Tilbury and lots of food outlets got involved in the Grays taster trail, while East Tilbury Primary School, Ockendon Children’s Centre, the Young Carers and more benefitted from creative workshops. A highlight was seeing the results of the Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions session during an impromptu performance with Kinetika Bloco at Grays Beach, cheered on by the Grays community who proudly paraded their newly designed community flags and set to a backdrop of Kinetika pennants being waved from yachts on the river.
Very popular this year, tickets remained free due to the generous support of funders and partners and were booked up quickly as people were keen to stretch their legs after lockdown.
In 2021 the festival partnered with Kinetika’s larger creative walking event Beach of Dreams, which expanded our walking, talking and making concept from Thurrock all the way up the coast to Lowestoft, resulting in new partnerships and receiving national news coverage.
An exceptional grand finale at Tilbury Fort brought T100 Dreaming to a close on 1st August. Mayor of Thurrock, Sue Shinnick, attended the widely anticipated event and witnessed the last steps of both festivals being taken into the historic Fort, as walkers were met with a host of musicians, giant dancing puppets and an impactful display of hundreds of silk flags, that represented the dreams of the those we met along the way.
The premiere performance of a new song ‘Tilbury is the Place for Me’ was a highlight of the occasion, performed by students from Gateway Learning Community and Tilbury Youth Services. The young people were given an opportunity to develop the track working with award-winning poet, novelist and musician Anthony Joseph, the saxophonist/ composer Ruben Fox and the impressive Kinetika Bloco. The song was inspired by the calypso of the Windrush generation ‘London is the place for me’ referencing local history, as well as ideas from the young people themselves.
T100 Dreaming was funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council England, Active Essex and Thurrock council with additional contributions for creative elements from the Port of Tilbury, Thameside Theatre and Riverside Community. The impactful project with Tilbury youth ‘Tilbury is the Place for Me’ was part of Shout Out Loud, English Heritage’s national youth engagement programme and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Kick the Dust strand.
£50 prize draw!
Open to everyone who took part in a T100 activity this year.
Please complete Kinetika’s feedback survey which provides information to our funders and helps us to improve.
N.B. If you joined T100 on a walk, please choose ‘Outdoor arts’ as the activity choice.
Once you’ve completed the feedback survey, enter the prize draw by entering your details separately via the Prize Draw button below. Buttons open on a new page.
Deadline for prize draw entries: Midnight 31st December 2021
Prize: £50 voucher from a Thurrock based business
Draw takes place in January 2022.
All prize draw entrants must have taken part in at least one T100 activity, be over 16 years of age and a resident of the UK.
It is not a condition of entry to complete the feedback survey, however if you enjoy T100 it really does help keep it going for future years.
Multiple entries from the same person are allowed but only if each entry submitted relates to a different T100 2021 festival activity.
People who complete the feedback survey are not automatically entered into the prize draw; the prize draw entry must be completed separately.
Theme: Imagination Our Nation/ Connectivity
Photos by Mike Johnston.
Our July walks kicked off with a nature-filled tour from Stanford-le-hope to visit the Thameside Nature Discovery Park, a former landfill site with superb views over Mucking Flats SSSI and the Thames Estuary.
Alongside tales from the walkers arriving from day 29 of Beach of Dreams, Essex Wildlife Trust gave a fascinating talk about the site over refreshing tea and cake.
Thanks to walk volunteers Gemma Ager and Joan Bullivant who, along with the team from Essex Wildlife Trust, helped to provide the perfect welcome for the Beach of Dreams walkers, lifting their sprits as they entered Thurrock to see some familiar faces.
📷 Click to see all Stanford-le-Hope walk photos.
East Tilbury ‘Bataville’
Theme: In Other People’s Shoes/ Empathy & Achievement
In June we enjoyed a guided tour of East Tilbury’s old Bata estate, exploring the theme ‘In Other People’s Shoes’. Mike Ostler shared his expert local knowledge and helped to plan the route with walk leaders Winnie and Melvin as well as Sarah Waterman.
The tour visited the old Bata factory site, hotel and memorial park and walkers learned about the residential, industrial and social legacy of Thomas Bata’s utopian vision from the 1930s. The walk ended with afternoon tea at another local treasure, Coalhouse Fort.
Thanks to June walk volunteers Winnie Nyamu, Melvin Ndebele, Sarah Waterman, Mike Ostler, Ray Reeves, Kathy Bird and the other volunteers from St Catherine’s Church.
June East Tilbury photos by Mike Johnston.
Local artist Sadie Hasler led themed workshops during the June walk and afterwards with Regency Dance School and East Tilbury Primary School. What are the aspirations of the local children for their town, what do they want to achieve, who are their role models? Sadie shared some of the insightful answers on the July walk.
In July, the East Tilbury walk began alongside Beach of Dreams walkers at Thameside Nature Discovery Park, a popular bird watching site with wonderful views of the lake.
The local history tour around ‘Bataville’ was interesting as ever, especially with all the dreams about the future shared by Sadie.
Thanks to everyone who took part, especially Regency Dance School, who performed their ‘Dreaming’ dance. It rained a bit at lunch time, but we think it made the chips taste better!
Thanks to July walk volunteers Mike Ostler and Phil Easteal.
📷 Click to see all East Tilbury July photos here.
- East Tilbury walk routes in JUNE and JULY
- Bata Heritage Centre
“A year like no other, with the pandemic hanging over us it was really proof of a triumph over adversity.” Mike Ostler
July East Tilbury photos by Mike Johnston.
Theme: Germination/ A Natural Resource
New inspiration awaited at Langdon Hills this year with a guided tour of the Country Park from Bob Rigdon and an introduction to Essex Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) SSSI (site of special scientific interest) and community sensory garden by Chris Curran . We were joined by walkers from Beach of Dreams, having walked over 450 miles at this point, and Ali Pretty gave a talk about the significance of the beautiful silk pennants they were carrying.
We arrived at the new EWT visitor centre to be greeted by John Little from the Grass Roof Company, who shared his vision for a more biodiverse, sustainable future using innovative planting. Colourful wildflower displays in the visitor centre car park were testament to his work, and the inspiration continued as we were guided to the community garden for a fun dream catcher workshop with local artist Selena Chandler.
Photos by Mike Johnston.
Thanks to walk volunteers Joan Bullivant, Lesley Robinson, Colin Saunders, Phil Easteal, Chris Curran, John Little, Bob Rigdon and his wife.
📷 Click to see all Langdon Hills photos here.
“Walking & talking together is a hot-bed for germinating new ideas for supporting each other and to benefit the local environment” Selena Chandler, workshop artist
Theme: Renewal/ Thinking Differently
A day full of dreams and positive action, with a visit to Little Belhus Country Park to see the insect habitat Renewal Mandala created last year. It began by hearing from Beach of Dreams walkers about their personal connections to the area, before heading over to Little Belhus Country Park. The insect habitat mandala is now a celebrated part of this ex-landfill site, and T100 have helped to maintain it throughout the year. While enjoying a close look at the flowers growing there, Rural Arising’s Alex outlined their exciting plans for the park.
At the Children’s Centre we planted wildflower seeds in the story-corner garden and heard dreams for the town gathered from Thurrock Young Carers and local parents by artist Rebecca Brewer. We even recorded our own dreams for the area on seed paper and planted them in the garden of the Royal Oak pub, the final stop for a well-earned drink
Thanks to walk volunteers Diane Faben, Lesley Robinson, Joan Bullivant and Alex Hollocks.
📷 Click to see all Ockendon photos here.
“People are always surprised by South Ockendon it’s not what they really expect” Lesley Robinson
Photos by Mike Johnston.
Theme: Grow Your Own/ Sustainable Communities
June photos by Mike Johnston.
In June Jayshree led her first walk, supported by Saira Niazi of Living London, providing a glorious personal tour of Purfleet-on-Thames and Rainham Marshes. Saira led some ‘dreaming’ activities on the Grow your own theme where walkers were encouraged to reflect on what they could see.
More people joined for the second part of the walk as it was intercepted by a ‘Welcome to Purfleet-on-Thames’ talk from Trevor Batchelor.
How to grow a sustainable community was a fascinating topic of discussion as the walk made its way to the creative hub of High House Production Park where the beautiful flags and films from last year‘s festival were on display.
Following the theme, Saira also worked on collecting community recipes to use locally grown produce with Zyle from Heavenly Greens Fruit and Veg.
The recipes reflected the diversity of the local population and contributed to a sustainable vision for the town; growing locally, supporting local businesses and each other.
Thanks to June walk volunteers Joan Bullivant, Margaret Hall, Lesley Robinson, Stephen Green, Jayshree Patel, Trevor Batchelor, Zyle Mills, Mike Ostler, Madeleine Emmerson and other volunteers from the High House Community Group.
Photos by Mike Johnston.
In July we returned for a short stroll around Purfleet-on-Thames and were joined again by Beach of Dreams walkers. After visiting the Heritage and Military Centre and a brief stop at RSPB Rainham Marshes it was time to head back to the Beacon to see beautiful flag installations on the green next to the Thames.
The Royal Hotel provided welcome shelter from the worsening weather, and there Saira shared the results of her sessions to examine what a sustainable community in Purfleet might look like. We couldn’t picnic on the green due to the weather, but that didn’t stop us sampling some tasty treats from community member Bola.
Thanks to July walk volunteers Margaret Hall, Jayshree Patel, Trevor Batchelor, Joan Bullivant, Lesley Robinson, Stephen Green and Sekinat Adeniyi (Bola)
“Every walk we took part in had something new to offer. The world around you just opens up.” Melvin Ndebele
Theme: Spring Clean/ Belonging & Aspiration
In Grays we followed a very popular taste trail visiting local food outlets to learn about the proprietors and their cuisine, from all corners of the globe. After starting at the Thameside Theatre we visited the New Delhi restaurant before trying Laredos Grill, Nagawa’s Japanese, Tasty African and Lulu’s Cakes.
Following our Grays walk last year, local people told us they wanted a way to link the high street and the foreshore together, connecting the community, and involving more people in the activities. Sarah and Lisa, a local and Kinetika artist, set off on a mission to create flags with 20 community groups and businesses to celebrate how they belong to Grays and to invite them to take part in a flag parade to Grays beach in July.
Thanks to June walk contributors Hi Ching, Lesley Robinson, Stephen Green, Gemma Ager and Murray James.
June photos by Mike Johnston
In July the walk began alongside Beach of Dreams walkers in Purfleet-on-Thames, heading to Grays via the mile-long graffiti wall. On arrival at the Thameside Theatre, members from the flag-making groups joined and talked about where in the town they are based as the tour stopped at places along the route. We even managed to sample some tasty treats on the way, as we headed along the high street to the river.
And what a welcome at Grays Beach! Kinetika Bloco and members of Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions (TLS) played some of the music they had created in a workshop that afternoon, and to the delight of the Beach of Dreams walkers, Grays Town Band played ‘500 miles’ courtesy of Hi Ching. In the park, surrounded by the beautiful new Grays flags, Thameside Theatre and Riverside Community Big Local, who had supported the event and flag project, spoke to everyone about their work and the projects they support.
In keeping with our dreaming theme, all the community groups shared their dreams for the future, and we ended the day with a celebratory Kinetika Bloco & TLS performance on the foreshore, as Thurrock Yacht Club members waved Beach of Dreams pennants from their boats on the river.
Thanks to July walk contributors Hi Ching, Lesley Robinson, Stephen Green, Joan Bullivant, David Ashton, Colin Saunders, Grays Town Band, Murray James and members of the Thurrock Yacht Club.
📷 Click to see Grays July photos here.
Photos by Mike Johnston
“Grays was just brilliant, walking down the street was really fantastic. The way that Katie got everyone to introduce and talk about their flag in that circle and all those different groups, there’s so much to build on.” Ali Pretty
Theme: Tilbury is the Place for Me/ Pride of Place
June photos by Mike Johnston
In June we enjoyed a gentle walk around Tilbury Town and over to Tilbury Fort, celebrating the community, reflecting on what used to be and looking towards to the future.
At the end of walk, the historic site of Tilbury Fort provided a peek at rehearsals for the new song to be premiered in July, ‘Tilbury is the Place for Me’. The song was inspired by Lord Kitchener’s 1948 Calypso “London is the Place for Me” sung upon arrival at Tilbury Docks on the Empire Windrush. It was created with students from Gateway Academy and participants from the local Youth Services, in partnership with English Heritage, Kinetika Bloco and award-winning, Trinidad-born musician, Anthony Joseph. Hearing the energetic rehearsal in June really set the standard for what to expect in July and we were not disappointed!
Thanks to June walk volunteers Winnie Nyamu, Melvin Ndebele, Les Morgan, Teresa Beadle and Pauline Lacey.
📷 Click to see all T100 June photos here.
On the last day of the festival, a cheerful group of walkers from Beach of Dreams joined T100 on our route out of Tilbury towards the Thames. At Tilbury Fort, old friends and new gathered to welcome all the walkers as they arrived together for the last steps of their respective journeys, walking through hundreds of Beach of Dreams pennants as they entered.
Giant puppets waved them in at the entrance, the Tilbury docker and two Windrush Children, then there were fun workshops in puppetry, flag movement and crafts as well as displays about Windrush, Tilbury Riverside Project and Singing Our Lives.
July photos by Mike Johnston
The real highlight was hearing the premiere performance of ‘Tilbury is the Place for Me’ by local students and Kinetika Bloco. The song featured lyrics about how these young people feel about living in Tilbury and was part of an incredible project celebrating this rich, historic, and diverse place. We’re excited to see how this develops into the future working with all the partners and participants. Read more about ‘Tilbury is the Place for Me’.
T100 Festival is proud to have developed the walking, talking and making model in Thurrock, and together with expanded projects like Beach of Dreams, we have succeeded in bringing hundreds of people together, exploring shared connections to place, despite the pandemic. A heartfelt thank you to all who contributed to the activities this year, it was fantastic celebrating the achievements of both projects on the final day at the Fort, and we’re excited to look forward to future developments.
Thanks to July walk and finale volunteers: Annie O’Brian, Mike Ostler, Yolande Simmons, Alexandria Merchant, Roxanne Carney, Alexandra Godfree, Margaret Hall, Lesley Robinson, Stephen Green, Winnie Nyamu, Melvin Ndebele, Teresa Beadle, Pauline Lacey and Roberta Fontaine.
Thanks to ‘Tilbury is the Place for Me’ funders and partners: English Heritage, Tilbury Fort, Tilbury on the Thames Trust, Tilbury Cruise Terminal, Port of Tilbury, Gateway Academy, Kinetika Bloco, Anthony Joseph and the local Tilbury musicians.
Tilbury is the Place for Me is part of Shout Out Loud, English Heritage’s national youth engagement programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Kick the Dust programme.
Thanks to Port of Tilbury and Tilbury on the Thames Trust for funding the large puppets at the finale.
- More about: Tilbury is the Place for Me
- Beach of Dreams blog about the Tilbury walk
- Tilbury walk routes in JUNE and JULY
- Tilbury Fort
“These are the kinds of things that really stand out for young people…if you feel good about where you come from, you feel good about yourself.”
Shayanna Harris, Kinetika Bloco
The festival takes all year to organise and in preparation for its evolution into an independent non-profit in 2023, localised creative hubs are being established in Purfleet-on-Thames, Stanford-le-Hope, Ockendon, Langdon Hills, Tilbury, East Tilbury and Grays. Individuals or organisations can take part and are given the opportunity to input into walks and creative activity at future events.
It’s a fun way to connect with others in the community, to find out more please contact Katie Beadle at email@example.com.