A community choir singing on Queenborough bridge

Sea Folk Sing Workshops

In Summer 2018, we held 64 music/story-telling/songwriting workshops across Medway, Gravesham and Swale with people aged 55+.
Each was led by Artistic Director Tania Holland Williams and local artists.
The overall theme was based on the theme of reconciliation as November 2018 marked 100 years since the end of the First World War.
The stories and themes that came out of the workshops were then explored in the choral piece, ‘Never Again’


Listen to Sea Folk Sing year one Artistic Director, Tania Holland Willams in conversation with the 2018 workshop artists below:

Never Again

As part of Sea Folk Sing, Ideas Test commissioned a new piece of music written by local composer Emily Peasgood with lyrics by Kate Lynn-Devere called Never Again.

The music looked back at WW1 and asked what lessons have we learned about peace and reconciliation.

Never Again was performed by a community choir made up of older people from across Medway and Swale and was rehearsed in venues such as The Brook Theatre and in Church Halls in Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey.



Above: Ask A Woman from Never Again, performed on the footbridge of Queenborough Railway Station, 11/11/2018.
Video c/o Kent Community Rail Partnership. To see more footage of this performance visit: https://kentcrp.org/seafolksing/


Never Again was performed in venues including;

  • The Southeastern train service from Sittingbourne to Sheerness and on the footbridge of Queenborough Railway Station on Remembrance Sunday 2018 with support from Kent Community Rail Partnership.


Above: Never Again, performed on the Sittingbourne to Sheerness train, 11/11/2018.
Video c/o Kent Community Rail Partnership. To see more footage of this performance visit: https://kentcrp.org/seafolksing/


  • Strood Railway Station and Amphitheatre
  • The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, including a special extended VIP performance with contributions from the workshop artists, and a Livestreamed Performance streamed on YouTube.



Award Nominations

Never Again composer Emily Peasgood with Ideas Test’s director Lucy Medhurst, at the 2019 Ivor Novello Composer Awards.

Sea Folk Sing: Never Again was recognised for two awards in 2019;

  • 3rd place in the Best Community Engagement Project category at the Association of Community Rail PartnershipsCommunity Rail Awards.
  • Never Again composer Emily Peasgood was nominated for a prestigious Ivor Novello award in the Community Project category.



From November 2018 to February 2019, Ideas Test ran the Sea Folk Sing exhibition at No.34, High Street Sittingbourne to celebrate all the hard work that went into making ‘Never Again’ a success.

During the exhibition’s run visitors who left their thoughts and comments on our chalkboard wall.

Visitors included children from Canterbury Road Primary School, who completed an Arts Award Discover certificate during a visit to No.34.

Comments on a chalkboard
Chalkboard comments about the exhibition. Photo credit: Cassandra Gibbs


About the project

Sea Folk Sing Year Two was part of an Ideas Test and SparkedEcho production, exploring North Kent’s maritime and folklore history through singing.

The project was funded by Celebrating Age – a fund from Arts Council England & The Baring Foundation.

It was also funded by Kent County Council, Involving Medway and Optivo.

www1kent.com also supported us in the first year of Sea Folk Sing with additional wartime photos and stories.


Sea Folk Sing 2019

Find out more about the songs written with local people and Kent-based musicians, including The Dockyard Rush, and performances in places including Gillingham FC’s Priestfield Stadium and Sheerness East Working Mens Club.

Visit our Sea Folk Sing 2019 page: https://ideastest.org.uk/seafolksing-2019/

Sea Folk Sing 2020

Discover how we changed in-person Sea Folk Sing workshops into online Zoom sessions and how we made connections and supported people aged 55+ during the first Coronavirus Lockdown.

Visit our Sea Folk Sing 2020 page: https://ideastest.org.uk/seafolksing-2020/

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