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The Community Atlas of Herne Bay

A community arts project with


The Great Herne Bay Map Project was the opening event for the launching of a new identity and management of The Seaside Museum in Herne Bay. This map of the coastal town was created with the creative input from local residents and visitors to The Seaside Museum during the spring of 2016, during a programme of drop in mapmaking workshops at the museum.

I have made this map of Herne Bay with multiple authors, with very mixed priorities and interests, with decisions about what is included led by the people who are growing up, living, working or visiting Herne Bay.

Truly A Peoples Map


The Community Atlas of Herne Bay Contents: Forward The making of the Map A traditional day out beside the sea Eating out and entertainment History and Heritage A walk along the sea front Shopping and independent traders Parks gardens and green spaces Public Art in Herne Bay


Forward A map of my home town was all ways going to be an exciting project. Letting go of control and letting other people draw (including toddlers) on something so precious was initially slightly concerning, but my worries were unfounded and the result very inclusive with all ages and drawing abilities contributing. There was also plenty of opportunity for me to work on the missing aspects of Herne Bay and contribute lots of my own knowledge about the town.

Map of Herne Bay 2.4 x 1.2m permanent marker and coloured pencil on paper backed on canvas

I believe the role of the artist as a chronicler of change is important, and recording local events, changing landscapes, histories and stories is a traditional role for the artist. I have used maps for research and the basis


for many of my community and public arts projects for several years and believe they can show diverse cultural, social and economic landscapes and not just physical geography.

A traditional map of Herne Bay. Orientated North – South. The Great Herne Bay Map is configured the opposite way around with South at the top

The map is a unique document which includes personal stories and experiences which include peoples childhood memories from decades past alongside new developments and events creating layers of time from multiple view points and perspectives.

The map is now a popular part of the Seaside Museums permanent collection


The making of the map Workshops included young and old with families working together discussing what to include and where?

Staff at the museum had curated a special exhibition of old maps taken from historical records and archives in the museum to make a contextual backdrop for the project


A traditional day out beside the seaside It appears that the shark infested waters off Herne Bay are also filled with several sea monsters. Bathers beware.

There is all the fun of the fair on the pier with a horse carousel, helterskelter, shooting galleries, a craft market, lots of food stalls, beer specialists, all sorts of different refreshments and deck chairs. There are traditional penny arcades and fish and chip shops. A Bandstand for musical events at the base of the pier.


Entertainment and eating out Of course there is the annual Air Show an established event now. The Red Arrows headline the event with as many as 70 - 80 thousand people visiting the town on the day.

If the sea is too full of sharks Herons leisure centre has a swimming pool and the Kavanagh Cinema. The oldest building in the town The Ship, for a pub lunch overlooking the sea or the there is cuisine from very corner of the globe in the many restaurants in the town.


Eating out and entertainment Probably the poshest restaraunt in town is the ‘Chop and Oyster’ but there are so many too choose from, French, Italian, the Middle East and many parts of Asia

Plenty of pubs, some with live music, even a few micro pubs. If you want to watch the second leg of the Arsenal Champions League match against Athletico Madrid then Rodney's Sports Bar if the venue for that.


History and Heritage The Seaside Museum has a Dam busters bomb. Herne Bay does only has one clock tower, but on the map it has two.

There are the Maunsell Forts way out to sea behind the Kentish Flats Wind Farm and Beachcreative (behind the new Aldi’s) where there will be an art exhibition and a cafÊ for a cup of coffee.


History and Heritage The Edwardian Kings Hall where there are exhibitions, shows and possibly a tribute band on in the evening

There are the Reculver Towers with the Roman fort and The Pier Head marooned out at sea. A Kentish Smock windmill (the type where only the top goes round not the whole mill) in neighbouring village of Herne and the off shore wind farm


A walk along the seafront

A walk along the promenade from left to right starting from the Kings Hall at one end of the town past the beach huts to the Hampton Inn at the other


Shopping and independent traders There are many independent trading shops in Herne Bay, may identified on the map. The service and knowledge offered by the owners of these shops is much appreciated by the towns folk

Along Mortimer St. in the detail above someone has drawn (in blue) the metal grills in the pavement which allow light down to basement flats, they look like cricket stumps with an extra stump! Briggsy’s is a second hand emporium of memorabilia


Parks gardens and green spaces The Memorial Park is the town park with formal gardens, lake with a model boat club, tennis courts a temporary scarecrow in what's described as Kitchen gardens.

Desirable residences around Oxenden Square an urban green space, also include the well used park in Hampton with play equipment which used to have a gravel area for the French game Petanque, sadly now gone for basket ball


Parks gardens and green spaces The Downs are extensive at both ends of town used frequently by dog walkers and people out for a stroll by the sea

The country park just outside the town has steep cliffs with Sand Martins who nest in the cliff face in Summer, a good place to see other plants and wildlife. The Wastelands near the railway line have a different kind of more crafty wildlife likely to appear just as often in back gardens as the country park.


Public Art in Herne Bay There is a lot of public art in Herne Bay with several pieces shown on the map, including some from a series of sculptural public benches forming a trail along the seafront

30 letter boxes in Herne Bay are temporarily bombed by knitters called the Cosy Crew every Xmas and one of them has been shown on the map. One of my favourite works is ‘The Boy With Boat’ looking out to sea near the Bandstand


With thanks to

for their support with the project

a community arts project by re-turner@live.com https://robturners.blogspot.co.uk/


The community atlas of herne bay