Kings Hill revisited

IMG_0820Kings Hill is built on the former West Malling airfield, which was the most important base for night fighters during World War II and was subsequently home to US forces, Ugandan Asians expelled by Idi Amin, the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour and much more. From the 1990s it was developed as a new town and in 2013 I was invited to help to gather material from local residents and schoolchildren for a series of text-based artworks by artist Richard Wolfströme that would commemorate the site’s history.

It was a long journey from talking to people and gathering their memories and dreams to the finished art. But at last the works are installed and it was wonderful to see them and to remember the many conversations and workshops that inspired them.

You can read more of the memories we collected and some of the poetry we generated by clicking here.

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Kings Hill Cultural Strategy with Richard Wolfströme and Future Creative

Kings Hill is built on the former West Malling airfield, which was the most important base for night fighters during World War II and was subsequently home to US forces, Ugandan Asians expelled by Idi Amin, the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour and much more. From the 1990s it was developed as a new town and plans are now underway to refurbish the former airfield control tower – a wonderful 1930s building with curved glazing and walls – for community and commercial use.

Artist Richard Wolfströme is creating a series of text-based works to be embedded into the paving around the site. And along with Future Creative practitioners Andy Evans, Lesley Finlay and Doug Noble, I am collecting stories to use as inspiration. We are talking to individuals, organising visits to schools, nurseries and youth clubs and are holding two community events (see poster). So far we have heard about ghosts and heroes, abandoned women and candlesmoke graffiti, lost German pilots and the perils of going over the top. Please get in touch if you have any stories or information to add! Or join us in the Kings Hill Community Centre on 5 or 10 December.