24 April 2014

Year 3 shortlisted entry

Well done to current year 3 student Becky Goosey, whose work was shortlisted and exhibited as part of the Richard Watts Art competition. Becky's paper cuts showed a lesser known view of Chatham.

Extract from 1st page of article in WOW magazine October 2013 by David Gutteridge
"CHATHAM INTRA is a near-forgotten riverside area with a fascinating past.
Lately, the area has undergone something of a re-invention: Chatham Intra is home to a growing community of artists and creative businesses and the theme of a brand new art competition.

DAVID GUTTERIDGE gives us an insight into the area’s rich history.
In the 1830s Rochester formally absorbed a community known as Chatham Intra. It was immediately east of the end of St Margaret's Banks (roughly where the railway bridge crosses Rochester High Street) and as far as the old Chapel of St Bartholomew.
The Norman architect-bishop Gundulph had established it as a place of refuge, first for the lepers in 1077 and later the Jews no longer allowed to live within the city walls settled beside the leper hospital's hedge. In those days Chatham was a hamlet north of the Brook (the Bourne River), and the old Roman Road skirted around the bottom of the meander as it approached Rochester's east gate. The lepers were brought to the Hospital by boat and landed at a jetty almost where Ship Pier is now and they had a special place to cross The King's Highway into their enclosure. The site of the Sir John Hawkins Almshouses opposite the Chapel was where the monks caught fish in kettle nets for the lepers. And so things were from 1078 to 1541, when the leper hospital lost its income from St Andrew's priory beside the cathedral in the dissolution of the monasteries.

By 1585 John Hawkins, the Treasurer and then Controller of the Royal Navy, owned much of the land between Foundry Wharf and Medway Street, between the main road and the water. So it became the place where warehouses were built to hold supplies for the navy's ships. By the 17th and 18th century the Victualling Office and the limehouse were staffed by large numbers of people. Produce came down the Medway by barge, into warehouses and then supplies were rowed to ships at anchor in Chatham Reach. Eventually Naval Stores moved into the rebuilt and extended Georgian Dockyard. By then the waterfront of Chatham Intra was busy with light industries, wharfing, a brewery, chandlers, and ship repairs.

Wander down into Foundry Wharf, Cooks Wharf, Ship Lane, Hulkes Lane and Boundary Wharf to see the variety of old and new buildings. Venture through the latched gate beside the synagogue and tread the old leper-path into the burial ground to get a view of the “white castle” which was built as a folly at the end of the ornamental garden opposite 351 High Street and which has served as brewery water tower and hospital mortuary. Go into Bingley Road to see the little St Bartholomew's Terrace cottages facing unusual back entrances to High Street buildings or climb up to New Road, pass the 1863 hospital, and watch the roofscapes hide themselves as you walk down the winding Gundulph Road back to the High Street.

Our river bank is now mainly silted up with decaying broken dinghies and small craft beside rusting metal barges, but see - there is a small community living on the boats and tugs here. Try the waterfront path behind the Anchorage House tax office for a vantage point, or the riverside walk behind the UCA flats at Doust Way. The occasional appearances now of the Edith May sailing barge remind us how the Medway once was thronged by trading vessels under those distinctive maroon sails."

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