Transforming Communities

Songwriting in Medway with Age UK

We’re excited to present “From the Dockyard to Chatham High Street”, a beautiful song written and composed by Medway residents and Live Music Now musicians in April 2022.

From February to April 2022, Live Music Now musicians, Thomas Harvey and Zoë Wren worked with local residents and Age UK Medway service users to write a song inspired by Chatham Intra.*

Over several weeks the musicians took inspiration and lyrics from the memories and stories that members of the local community shared with them. This song is a celebration of the history as well as the future of this part of Chatham.

Seven songwriting workshops took place at Age UK’s The Mackenny Centre in Gillingham, the Masonic Hall Chatham and INTRA in Rochester. During these sessions, participants enjoyed performances by Thomas and Zoë with lively singalongs.

Thomas Harvey said afterwards: “We had such a wonderful time in the session [at The Mackenny Centre]. Allowing a space to write a song in real time and have the whole audience chatting in the hall worked so well! It really engaged the participants with memories and also involved them in a very different way with putting the song together.”

Live Music Now worked with local Medway media company, Mill Hill Media, to create a music video using archive images and footage from the workshops. They also created an accompanying “Making Of” video.

The High Street Heritage Action Zone Programme is funded by Historic England and supported by Medway Council.

We are looking forward to moving ahead with further songwriting projects with Trinity School children in Chatham Intra during our ‘Round Here project with Historic England across their High Street Heritage Action Zones.

*Chatham Intra is the colloquial name for the part of the high street that runs between Star Hill in Rochester and Sun Pier in Chatham.

A group of people in a recording studio, singing and clapping hands

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