T100 Walking Festival Return to Kent Walks

Kinetika’s popular T100 Walking Festival returns to Kent in July.  

Ali Pretty, Artistic Director of the internationally renowned, outdoor arts company, leads the walks as a 15-day pilgrimage - Welcome to the Kitchen Table.

Running between 6 – 20 July, T100 2019 – Welcome to the Kitchen Table aims to connect diverse communities along the River Thames in Kent and Essex, sharing food and recipes as a way of starting conversations, finding what different groups have in common and sharing an understanding of diverse cultures.

The festival began in 2015 as Thurrock 100 (10 walks of 10 miles across 10 days) and has grown into a walking, talking and making festival which now stretches from Kinetika’s home in Purfleet along and  across the Estuary to encompass the Isle of Sheppy and Hoo Penisula in Kent and  Canvey and Southend.

T100 – Welcome to the Kitchen Table begins in Essex on 6th July and reaches Kent on Monday 15th July. Crossing the river by boat, the walkers lead off from Sheerness to pass though Minster, Faversham, Sittingbourne, Kemsley, Gillingham and Strood. On Friday 19th July, walkers can enjoy food from a selection of stall at the twilight Gravesend Borough Market Food & Drink Festival, which runs from 6-10pm. There’ll also be live performances from local musicians: Copper Fox Coolers, Gravesend Rock Choir and Chris Till.

Dedicated volunteer walk leaders have recced each walk to uncover the history, stories and fascinating facts about the landscapes and places each pass through. All the walks are free and open to all. Walk lengths vary as does the terrain covered. Check the T100 website for full details of each walk. 

Thurrock, Kinetika’s base since 2014, has long been a centre for the movement of people, with the docks in Tilbury drawing peoples from around the world to work and then to settle. To create connections between these communities, Kinetika has run a series of creative workshops to welcome everyone to the Kitchen Table, working with local participants to gather recipes and drawings to create especially designed hand-printed tablecloths for the walks.

Ali Pretty is undertaking this pilgrimage to see what that concept means in today’s secular world. Each day of the journey will include sharing food, creative writing and drawing activity to encourage an exchange of stories between participants from different backgrounds.

The walks will culminate on 20 July at the Tilbury Cruise Terminal, where the Tilbury Windrush Carnival takes place . Ali is the Artistic Director for the carnival on behalf of the Tilbury-on-The Thames Trust. Drawing on her experience of designing for Notting Hill Carnival in the 1990’s, she is bringing Tilbury’s rich heritage together inviting growing West African and East European communities around the Table with ex-dockers and seafarers to tell the story of this international port town strategically positioned on the banks of the Thames.

Kinetika has established a unique model with T100; engaging people from diverse backgrounds, harnessing a loyal, dedicated volunteer force linking together communities who are inspired to shape a different perspective of the places in which they live and have a voice in creating their own future.

Ali says “It has been wonderful working steadily in Thurrock over five years to build up a team of local artists and volunteers who are on a journey with us to reach out to wider communities through the arts and lay the foundation for culture to be a transformative force in the transition that is coming to this part of the Thames Estuary.”

A full programme of walk routes, start times and locations, can be found on the T100 website. More details will be added to the programme as they are confirmed, so keep checking the website for updates: www.thurrock100.com. For more information on Kinetika, please go to www.kinetikaonline.co.uk.

T100 Welcome to the Kitchen Table walks take place between Saturday 6 and Saturday 20 July

Fri 5 July 5– 7pm Launch event at Grays Beach Riverside Park

Sat 6 July   Shared lunch 12.30 – 2pm TICC Grays Campus. Walk 2pm.Grays to Purfleet via the Graffiti Wall and refreshments at St Clement’s Church

Sun 7 July 11.30 am Purfleet to High House Production Park, picnic lunch and walk on to Chafford Hundred for early evening refreshments

Mon 8 July 12.30pm Lunch taster at intu Lakeside, Davy Down and the Mardyke Way to Bulphan

Tues 9 July   1pm Explore Orsett and walk to Chadwell St Mary for an early evening community BBQ

Weds 10 July 1.30pm Chadwell St Mary to Coalhouse Fort, ending in East Tilbury for George’s Fish and Chips

Thurs 11 July 11am  East Tilbury to Pitsea with picnic at Thurrock Thameside Nature Park

Fri 12 July   10.30am Canvey Island ramble with lunch on the sea front.

Sat 13 July 9.30am  Benfleet to Chalkwell with Brunch at Salvation Army Tea Rooms and ice-cream at Belfairs Woodland Centre.

Sun 14 July   10.00am  Chalkwell to Southchurch Hall via the sea-front ending with a shared picnic.

Mon 15 July   10.00am  Sheerness to Minster. 5.30 – 7p.m. Evening walk Leysdown to the Ferry Inn, Isle of Harty.

Tues 16 July   11.30am  Faversham Two Creeks walk. 5pm  Faversham town walk ending with a programme at the Hot Tin.

Weds 17 July   10.30am  Sittingbourne Station to Kemsley and return on the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway. For further information and to book a place go to: http://thurrock100.com/17-july-sittingbourne-to-swale/

Thurs 18th July   5pm  Gillingham to Strood

Fri 19 July   3.00pm  Lower Higham to Gravesend via the Thames and Medway Canal ending 6pm with food to purchase in the twilight market.

Sat 20 July 10am  Walk through Tilbury to join the carnival and finale at Tilbury Cruise Terminal


 More details about the T100 Welcome to the Kitchen Table walks:

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