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Thurrock 100 is a unique cultural project that aims to strengthen Thurrock’s shared identity, foster pride in its heritage, and create healthier and happier residents, with participants creating their own artworks, and exploring the borough on foot.
The project was launched in 2015, but the aim is to establish an annual walking event. Over a six month period, we worked with local people to devise ten new 10-mile walks across Thurrock, visiting local landmarks, beauty spots and places of particular interest.
In June 2015 Ali Pretty worked with at least 300 schoolchildren in 9 Thurrock schools and then with around 50 volunteers from all corners of the borough to design and paint 10 spectacular new 4m x 1m batik flags. Each flag represented one of the walks, and featured the places and things local people wanted to represent.
A ten day walking festival took place in July 2015, with a different walk taking place each day, beginning in South Ockendon on 9 July and ending in Grays on 18 July. Each area’s flag was carried, Olympic-torch style, along the route, by participants who ranged from 5 to 75 years old and who walked anything between 100 yards and 100 miles.
Representatives from all 10 areas were invited to join the walkers for the final mile of the final walk, carrying all 10 flags into the new Village Beach festival in Grays Riverside Beach Park.
“Your idea and flags are so inspiring. I hope that we have the chance to really make this a success next year.” Dr. William Bird
Thurrock 100 was commissioned by the Public Health team of Thurrock Council, with additional funds from Arts Council England.