The Sea Folk Sing 2019 choir performing at The Glassbox Theatre, Gillingham. Photo by Hope Fitzgerald

“Totally surprised by how much I knew and learnt about Medway. Felt like a truly creative
and collaborative process. Left feeling really happy”

Sea Folk Sing 2019 Workshop Participant (Gillingham)


We ran 18 workshops during Summer 2019 in new locations in Gillingham and Sheppey, working with Choral Director Debbie Sowter, Music Leader Bob Carling and Kent-based professional musicians including Anil Sebastian, Lucy Moyo, Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds.

People at the workshops explored their local history and folklore, drawing on stories related to the North Kent coast to create music.


The Songs

The workshops culminated in the co-creation of eight new folk songs. Songs included the singalong The Dockyard Rush about the workers of Chatham Dockyard and Island Home that reflects on the natural beauty of Isle of Sheppey.


“It is delightful to be able to bring in the talents of all of the people in the group. This is
exactly what it should be. A really exciting adventure”

Sea Folk Sing: Year Two Workshop Participant (Sheerness) 2019


Listen below to a selection of the 2019 Sea Folk Sing songs performed live at the Glassbox Theatre in November 2019


The Sea Folk Sing songs were performed across Swale, Medway and Gravesham in November 2019 with support from Rochester folk band The Flowing with guest Russell Jemmett, as well as the workshop musicians.

Venues for performances included

  • The Glassbox Theatre, Mid-Kent College, Gillingham
  • Gillingham FC’s Priestfield Stadium (as part of Rivermead Inclusive Trust’s Synthesis: A Community Concert event)
  • St Andrew’s Arts Centre, Gravesend
  • Sheppey Gateway Library
  • Sheerness East Working Mens Club

There were also street performances at

  • Gillingham High Street
  • Gravesend High Street
  • Sheerness Clocktower


Watch our short video with clips from rehearsals and performances from Sea Folk Sing 2019


Dementia Café sessions

We also ran two sessions at The Oasis Dementia Café on The Isle of Sheppey, working with
facilitator Marina Perryman to explore a selection of the songs.

These sessions brought together children and young people who worked together with older people in their community.


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.


Sea Folk Sing 2018 – Never Again

Learn how 60+ workshops became the Ivor Novello Award-nominated choral work, Never Again by Kent-based composer Emily Peasgood which was performed on Remembrance Sunday 2018 live on a train and on a Railway Station footbridge for free to hundreds of people.

Visit our Sea Folk Sing 2018 page:

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:

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