Title ID 10788Collection ID1258
TitleMedway on Screen: Memories of the River Medway and West Kent
CollectionMedway on Screen - Project films
Genre/TypeProfessionalScreen Archive South EastNon-fictionOral History
ThemeUrban Life Rural Life
KeywordsAircraft Boats Everyday Life Hospitals Industry Local History Oral History Pageants Parades Rivers Rural Areas Urban Areas Water Transport Labour
LocalChatham Gillingham Maidstone Rochester Tonbridge
RegionalMedway Kent
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionScreen Archive South East
Commissioning bodyScreen Archive South East
Funding bodyHeritage Lottery Fund
EditorScreen Archive South East / Junk TV
NarratorInterviewees: Brenda Evans; Philomena Rees; Trevor Rose; Alice Harkin; May Davison; Peter Hills; Mick Munn; Brian Sheppard; Betty Crouch; John Hedgeley; Norman Roots; Andrew Bailey; Alan Moss; Ted Bates; John Harkin; Ted Bates; Joan Smith; Sheila Halliday; Kevin Russel; Rod Berwick; Janet Willis; June Berwick
ParticipantsOral History Participants: John Hedgeley Joan Smith Janet Willis and June Berwick Horace Moore Black History Month recordings Brian Sheppard John McKevitt Andrew Bailey John Smalman Smith John Morgan John Hill Brenda Evans Bob Ratcliffe Betty & Gordon Crouch Barbara Brigden Angela Warner Alice & John Harkin Alan Moss Christine Furminger Dick Hall and Gill Hawkes Kevin Russell Margaret Davies May Davison Nora Farrow Norman Roots Peter Hills Philomena Rees Phyllis Dugdale Rob Flood Sheila Halliday Suzanne Hillen Ted Bates Tessa Towner Tony Haisman and Mick Munn Trevor Rose Oral History interviewers: Julia Booth Davide Caputo Peter Connolly Jennifer Farrow Christine Furminger Linda Newberry Elaine Sheppard Catherine Walsh
Other creditsInterviewers: Julia Booth; Davide Caputo; Peter Connolly; Jennifer Farrow; Christine Furminger; Linda Newberry; Elaine Sheppard; Catherine Walsh
FormatMixed Colour and Black & White Sound
Duration15 min. 27 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A compilation of archive footage of the Medway area of Kent, is combined with audio excerpts from oral history recordings, captured by Screen Archive South East from residents of the area, during the Medway on Screen oral history and reminiscence project in 2010/11.


Selected clips from oral history recordings about life in the Medway area of Kent are edited together with a selection of Archive clips from the 1930s. Archive footage includes clips from The Watery Trail (1938), In the Medway Valley (1930s), In the Hop Fields of Kent (1937), Chegworth Watermill (1946), Procession Gazette (1930), St Bartholomew's Hospital (ca.1930s), Kent Messenger Newsreel (ca. 1930s).

Tonbridge This section of the compilation includes Brenda Evans, talking about her memories of Tonbridge and renting boats on the river. Her recollections are combined with archive footage of boating on the river Medway as it runs through the town.

The Hop Gardens On the subject of the hop gardens and hop farming in Kent, various interviewees share their memories, which are accompanied by footage of hop-pickers in the 1930s. Philomena Rees and Trevor Rose recall working in the hop farms in their childhood; Alice Harkin remembers the hop-pickers arriving in the area; Mary Davison talks about playing games in the hop 'pokes' as a child.

Maidstone The various factories that filled the town of Maidstone, and the distinctive smells that each one produced are recalled by Peter Hills, Mick Munn, Brian Sheppard, Betty Crouch and John Hedgeley. Footage of various industries and factories on the river Medway are shown over these audio excerpts. The carnival parade held each year through the town is recalled by Norman Roots and Brian Sheppard. Footage from the procession in 1930, showing the various floats is shown.

Rochester and the Medway Towns Various archive film clips of Rochester and the surrounding area are used to illustrate memories including: Andrew Bailey on the hospital; Alan Moss on the flying boats; Ted Bates on the planes taking off from the river; and John Harkin on working in the factory making the planes. Ted Bates, Joan Smith, Sheila Halliday and Kevin Russel all talk about their memories of the paddle steamers. Rod Berwick, Janet Willis and June Berwick talk about the dockyard at Chatham.