The Cultural Consortium
The Old High Street Intra Cultural Consortium are a group of:
- art organisations
- community groups
- local businesses
They're passionate about improving our area and commissioning grants to help celebrate the area and its history through creativity. They were established as part of the HSHAZ cultural programme led by Historic England in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The HSHAZ is supported by Medway Council.
They develop events and activities to encourage you to explore the heritage of The Old High Street Intra. To join the consortium, email email@example.com.
Previous cultural projects
Throughout spring 2021, the projects were on display both physically and virtually.
Find out more about the artworks below:
- Closer than you think
- The Medway Intra walk
- St Batholomew's (St Bart's): The historic heart of health in Medway for over 900 years
- Slice of Medway #Litterarma
- Cathedral of community
- Medway Pride Radio (MPR).
The Ship Inn is one of the oldest LGBTQIA+ venues in the country. Opposite this pub is the Chatham Memorial Synagogue. These 2 venues symbolise communities that have been marginalised in the past.
During the Holocaust, these communities endured terrible atrocities. This year, these communities came together in shared remembrance.
Both buildings displayed replicas of the shapes worn by prisoners during World War 2. Pink triangles worn by homosexual prisoners and yellow stars worn by Jewish prisoners.
The images formed part of a window display at Intra Arts in February 2021.
Closer Than You Think was led by:
- Peter Moorcraft – Intra Arts director and local historian
- Irina Fridman – author, and education and Chatham Memorial Synagogue's outreach manager
- Martin Adams – musician and gay rights campaigner.
Irina’s book ‘Foreigners, Aliens, Citizens – Medway and its Jewish community, 1066 to 1939’ is displayed in the exhibition. The exhibition also includes some local LGBTQIA+ memorabilia for the Outing Medway’s Past project.
To find out more, visit the Intra Arts exhibition page.
By Ally Sinyard
An interactive poetry and spoken word trail curated by writer Ally Sinyard. The trail was made up of works from Medway residents and local writers. It was on display throughout summer 2021.
To find out more, visit Medway Intra poetry walk page.
By Natasha Steer and George Atzev
This project digitally sharing historical information about the hospital in February 2021.
George from Future Chatham and Natasha from Creatabot collected memories from people who:
- received care at St Barts's
- worked there
- lived in the residential quarters.
The original hospital was founded in 1078 on the High Street with the chapel on the corner of Gundulph Road. The hospital was one of UK's largest leprosy hospitals.
By The Living River Foundation (LRF)
The Medway is a forgotten river that flows by our towns. A lot of waste ends up in our waters, which the river leaves on our shores.
The LRF focuses on:
- improving the estuary's health
- engaging with the community
- collecting litter, including plastic from the Medway.
They had encased some of their finds into cubes, sliced them and framed with driftwood. They were placed around the High Street Intra to raise awareness of the waste in our river. They are making art from items that otherwise would go to landfill.
There was also an opportunity to get involved in writing about these finds. Children aged 7 to 10 years old were invited to write a story or a poem about the estuary and the local area, and join a storytelling session with a LRF volunteer. All submissions will be published in an e-book and available for local residents.
To find out more, visit the LRF website.
By Hannah Whittaker
The vibrancy and character of an area is created by its people. To celebrate Intra is to celebrate its people.
The Cathedral of community is a colourful spectacle dedicated to these people, and was on display at Open Road Wellness Centre, 97 High Street, Chatham in summer 2021.
Stained glass style tissue paper portraits of the people behind the area filled a window in the Intra High Street. Visible by day, and lit up at night, to create a dazzling display.
This project allows you to take a peek behind the scenes of The Old High Street Intra.
For more information, visit Hannah Whittaker's website.
In December 2020 Hilary Cooke and Shea Coffey formed a community radio station. The radio station is based in the Intra area but reaches all over Medway.
In the coming weeks and months, the MPR team will be reaching out across Medway and much further to bring us:
- great music
- fantastic entertainment
- a mix of DJs and presenters.
MPR will always be based in the heart of Intra. They will be showcasing the exciting projects happening in Intra.
To hear more about the projects, tune in to Medway Pride Radio.
Find out more about HSHAZ funding
To find out more about the funding for the HSHAZ project, visit:
- Historic England
- Department for Culture, Media and Sport
- Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
- National Lottery Heritage Fund
- Arts Council England.