Design-led Architects based in Gravesend, Kent delivering highly workable contemporary and innovative design solutions to challenging briefs and tight budgets

Clay History Project

…and we’re off!

This week saw the inaugural meeting of a local history project entitled: ‘Changing Places, Changing Lives’.

-100 years of social and urban design history viewed through the eyes of an architectural practice in Gravesham and Medway.

After over a year of idea development and petitioning for support, we are thrilled to announce that Heritage Lottery Funding has been granted to research, curate and present the local history project!

Clay Architecture is collaborating with Irene Seijo (Project Manager) to drive this vision. The funding will enable researchers to compose an understanding of the history and growth of the towns; using a starting point of archival resources and the collective memory of retired and practising members of the former George Clay Partnership (now renamed Clay Architecture). The architectural practice has been based in Gravesham and Medway for more than 100 years and has built numerous buildings which are integral to the town’s historical fabric; including schools, churches, pubs, industrial factories and cultural buildings.

The first meeting with Duncan Hiscock (former Partner) and Ted Clifford (former Associate) was full of stories, intimately recanting the spirit of the town and the practice. Through the informal but intriguing discussions, we explained the initial direction of the project. Firstly; a steering group, of volunteers, needs to be formed. From initial research they will select three projects, which best illustrates the history of the towns, to explore in depth. Secondly, a team of volunteers will be sought to help carry out the research. They will be trained in archival research and cataloguing as well as how to conduct oral history interviews.

At the end of the explorations, we aim:

  • to curate an exhibition with the potential to tour to different locations, comprised of images, videos and audio recordings of oral history interviews on the projects and the town
  • to produce a website which could have local history/architectural information continually inserted
  • to conduct workshops with local school children
  • to have a legacy of local residents, trained in archival and oral history recording, who can use the experience and knowledge gained in this project perhaps in other similar initiatives to come

It’s going to be an exciting few months ahead. Watch this space for further updates on the progress of Changing Places, Changing Lives.

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