2017 09 15 onwards Silk River


On the banks of the Hooghly, in West Bengal, India


General note

These walks are part of the Silk River Walking Festival www.silkriver.co.uk supported by LDWA London.

This ten–day performative walk along the river Thames explores the unique relationship between London and Kolkata through artistic exchange between communities along the Thames Estuary and India’s Hooghly River.

On each of the ten days, there is a "Local Community Walk", which is open to all.   If you'd like to go on one of these walks, you will need to register with "Eventbrite".You can find links to the Eventbrite registration system on the Silk River website, which you can access at this link www.silkriver.co.uk

LDWA members are also invited to join the Link Walks at the beginning and end of each day - and help to carry the silk scrolls on their 7 metre fishing rods - as well as the Local Community Walks. To join a link walk, please email Gordon Parker at silkriver@ldwa.org.uk and he will provide further details.

Remember the Local Community Walks are open to the general public and you will need to book for them separately using the Eventbrite links shown on www.silkriver.co.uk .

The programme of daily walks in September, and registration process, is toward the bottom of this page



The LDWA London Committee has agreed that LDWA London becomes a partner in Silk River 2017, an unusual project – unusual both in itself and for LDWA. The project is led by Kinetika, an arts organisation based in Purfleet and run by Ali Pretty, a London Group member

Funded by Arts Council, England and the British Council as part of a cultural exchange programme celebrating 70 years of Indian independence, Silk River will bring together communities on the Thames and on the Hooghly, in West Bengal, India.

A key feature of both ends of the project is to transport silk scrolls along each river, on foot or by boat, which is where the LDWA comes in. We're helping to curate the Thames walks from Kew to the end of the estuary. There will be a few ferries too, including Woolwich, Tilbury, and a Purfleet-Dartford link created for the occasion! But no road or rail transport.

The scrolls will be designed and painted by local partner organisations to tell stories about their localities. The walks will link these stories and the communities.

The walks along the Thames will take place on 10 successive days in September. Most will be in London; some will be in Essex and Kent. Most of the walks won't be long by LDWA standards as the plan will be to get local communities involved in the places the walks might visit - they won't all be riverside strolls. However we would be delighted if members of the LDWA could be involved in planning, marshalling and scroll-carrying!


More information and getting involved

Below are details of the walks.

These details are also reproduced on the LDWA London website online walks programme

For more information, and to get involved, email:

Video - background to the Silk River project
A 36 minute documentary film has been produced by Steve Shaw showing the silk scrolls being painted in India and describing the background to the project; it's well worth a look!:


Walks programme

Each walk ends at or near a rail station .
In each location the walks will visit specific localities with stories illustrated on the scrolls. The distance given is the minimum distance we have to cover.

At the bottom of the page is a full table showing how the "Link" and "Community" walks fit together, and how to register for each.



Dist (mi)

Friday 15th
  Sep 2017

Kew Gardens to Blackfriars Pier

Details: Meet 10 a.m. Jodrell Gate, Kew Gardens.
Please note to join this leg of the walk you will need to purchase a day ticket to Kew Gardens either online at www.kew.org or at the gates on the day. Tickets cost £13.00 or £14.00.
The walk, with 2 scrolls, will uncover treasures from Kew’s Economic Botany Collection and the trade links between continents, walk among the living collection of Indian specimens in the Palm House, and witness the paintings of Indian plants by Victorian painter and explorer Marianne North.

At 3.45 p.m. we will leave the Gardens with the 2 scrolls and walk via Barnes Bridge and Putney Common to Putney pier and take the Thames Clipper to Blackfriars Pier, arriving at approx. 7 p.m

6.5 m

Saturday 16th

Blackfriars Pier to Island Gardens via Spitalfields and Limehouse

Details: Meet 9 a.m. at Blackfriars Pier.

The Link Walk will take 2 scrolls to Christ Church Spitalfields where the Local Walk starts at 10.30. This, now with 4 scrolls, follows the footsteps of migrant Huguenot silk weavers and Brick Lane rag traders to Altab Ali Park and Mulberry School.

LDWA members will help to carry the 4 scrolls to St Anne's Limehouse. Nearby are several seamen's hostels built for Bengali lascars and St Matthias Church assocaiated with the East India Company. The Local Walk finishes at the Museum of London Docklands.

The Link Walk continues to Island Gardens, where there is a DLR station, arriving approx. 6 p.m.

9.0 m

Sunday 17th

Greenwich Foot Tunnel to Woolwich Ferry

Details: Meet Island Gardens 9.30 a.m. and walk through Greenwich Foot Tunnel to Cutty Sark; visit Cutty Sark. 
Please note a limited early-bird ticket offer is available to view the scrolls and look around the ship. Thirty people will be able to purchase tickets at £5 each (under-5s go free) after which normal ticket prices will apply. Early bird tickets available from Royal Museums Greenwich from September 4th.

Then, at 11.30 with 6 scrolls, follow Thames Path to Old Woolwich Dockyard and Woolwich Arsenal, crossing on the Woolwich Ferry to finish at King George V DLR station by approx. 6 p.m.

8.0 m

Monday 18th

North Woolwich to Barking and Rainham

Details: Meet 8.30 a.m. at King George V DLR station and walk (with 6 scrolls) through the Royal Docks to St Margaret's Church, Barking.

The Local Community Walk, with 8 scrolls, goes via Town Quay, Studio 3 Arts, Greatfields Park and the Rivergate Centre to Barking Riverside.

The Link Walk continues to Rainham station, arriving approx. 7 p.m.

13.0 m

Tuesday 19th

RSPB Rainham to High House Production Park, Purfleet

Details: Meet 8 a.m. at Rainham station and walk with 8 scrolls to RSPB Rainham.

Continue with 10 scrolls, via Purfleet Heritage & Military Centre to St Stephen's Church and High House Production Park. After lunch we will tour the site and then walk to the river to embark the scrolls at approx. 5 p.m. to cross the river towards Dartford.

7.0 m

Wednesday 20th

Dartford to Northfleet

Details: Meet 9.30 a.m. at Dartford Bridge Community Primary School, Birdwood Ave, Dartford DA1 5GB.

Walk to the river bank and then, with 12 scrolls, down the old tramway past the site of the old smallpox hospitals before arriving at Ruby Tuesday Avenue. We are visiting the home of Mick Jagger, the birthplace of The Rolling Stones and artist Sir Peter Blake. Discover Dartford and the legacy from its pop culture past.

After performances in the Open Air Theatre at Central Park the Link Walk will follow the Rivers Darent and Thames to Greenhithe, and cross Swanscombe Marshes and Botany Marsh to finish at Ebbsfleet United FC at approx. 6 p.m.

15.0 m

Thursday 21st

Northfleet and Gravesend

Details: Meet 9.30 a.m. at Ebbsfleet Utd FC, Stonebridge Rd, Northfleet DA11 9GN.

With 14 scrolls we will walk past Northfleet Harbour to St Botolph's Church and along the river to Gravesend. After lunch we will walk from the Pocahontas statue past the Market to St Andrews Arts Centre by the PLA building, then up Windmill Hill and on to visit the Gurdwara. The walk finishes at the former lightship LV21 moored by Town Pier where there will be a reception ending at 7 p.m.

6.0 m

Friday 22nd


Details: Meet 8.40 a.m. Town Pier, Gravesend (or 8.50 a.m. Tilbury Pier). Cross river by ferry and walk with 14 scrolls to Tilbury Town C2C Station.

Walk with 16 scrolls via Civic Square to Tilbury International Cruise Terminal, past Tilbury Fort along the Estuary Path to Coalhouse Fort. Finish at East Tilbury C2C Station at approx. 5 p.m.

8.0 m

Saturday 23rd

East Tilbury

Details: Meet 9 a.m. East Tilbury Station and walk to the shopping centre for a tour of Bata Village.
We will walk via Thurrock Thameside Nature Park at Mucking, Pitsea and Benfleet to Leigh-on-Sea, arriving at approx. 9 p.m.

Carrying 18 scrolls

23.0 m

DAY 10
Sunday 24th
Sep 2017

Southend &   Shoeburyness

Details: Meet 9 a.m. at Leigh-on-Sea station.

We visit Old Leigh and meet fishermen and artists before going on to Chalkwell Park and Metal Culture art centre.

The walk finishes at Southend Pier: we will parade the 20 scrolls along the Pier for the final event, scheduled to end at 4 p.m.

7.0 m


This table shows how the link walks and the community walks all fit together, and how you register to attend them:

Day Date Walk Start Finish No. Of Scrolls Distance (miles) Register
      Time Location Location Time      
1 Fri 15 Sep 2017 Community 10.00 Jodrell Gate, Kew Road, Richmond, TW9 3DS Nash Conservatory, Kew Gardens 15.45 2 1.7 http://bit.ly/2seTx7d
    Afternoon link 15.45 Nash Conservatory, Kew Gardens Blackfriars Pier 19.00 2 4.8 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
2 Sat 16 Sep 2017 Morning link 09.00 Blackfriars Pier Christ Church Spitalfields 10.00 2 1.7 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
    Community 10.00 Christ Church, Commercial Street, Spitalfields E1 6LY Museum of London Docklands 16.45 4 4 http://bit.ly/2ucVmD7
    Afternoon link 16.45 Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay, London E14 4AL Island Gardens 18.00 4 2.2 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
3 Sun 17 Sep 2017 Morning link 09.30 Island Gardens, Saunders Ness Rd, Isle of Dogs, London E14 3EB Cutty Sark 10.00 4 '0.5 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
    Community (morning) 10.00 Cutty Sark Cutty Sark PH, Ballast Quay, London SE10 9PD 12.00 6 0.6 http://bit.ly/2ty3T5Z
    Afternoon link 12.00 Cutty Sark PH, Ballast Quay, London SE10 9PD Clock House Community Centre 14.00 6 5.0 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
    Community (afternoon) 14.00 Clock House Community Centre, Defiance Walk, Royal Arsenal, SE18 5QL Woolwich Arsenal 16.15 6 1.0 http://bit.ly/2tzL16r
    Evening link 16.15 Woolwich Arsenal North Woolwich DLR 18.00 6 1.0 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
4 Mon 18 Sep 2017 Morning link 08.30 North Woolwich DLR St Margaret's Church, Barking 10.00 6 4.0 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
    Community 10.00 St Margaret's Church, The Broadway, Barking, Essex IG11 8AW Barking Riverside 17.00 8 3.8 http://bit.ly/2sfccQo 
    Afternoon link 17.00 Barking Riverside, Renwick Rd, Barking IG11 0DS Rainham Station 19.00 8 5.5 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
5 Tues 19 Sep 2017 Morning link 09.00 Rainham Station RSPB Rainham 10.30 8 4.3 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
    Community 10.30 RSPB Rainham, New Tank Hill Road, Purfleet RM19 1SZ High House Production Park 16.00 10 1.7 http://bit.ly/2sv5w4J 
    Afternoon link 16.00 High House Production Park, Vellacott Cl, Purfleet RM19 1RJ Purfleet-Dartford River Crossing (location tbc) tbc 10 tbc silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
6 Wed 20 Sep 2017 Morning link tbc At Dartford landing point (location tbc) The north, river end of Marsh St N, Dartford DA1 5PF 10.30 10 tbc silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
    Community 09.30 Dartford Bridge Community Primary School, Birdwood Ave, Dartford DA1 5GB Open Air Theatre, Central Park 14.30 12 4.2 http://bit.ly/2ty5jxB 
    Afternoon link 14.30 Open Air Theatre, Central Park, Dartford Ebbsfleet United FC, Stonebridge Rd, Northfleet DA11 9GN 18.00 12 10.2 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
7 Thurs 21 Sep 2017 Community (morning) 09.30 Ebbsfleet United FC, Stonebridge Rd, Northfleet DA11 9GN West Street, Gravesend 12.30 14 3.5 http://bit.ly/2ty3aSv
    Community (afternoon) 13.00 The Pocahontas statue, St George’s Church, Church Street, Gravesend, DA11 0DJ LV21, Town Quay, Gravesend 19.00 14 3.0 http://bit.ly/2tEi1LF
8 Fri 22 Sep 2017 Morning link 08.30 Town Pier, Gravesend Tilbury Town C2C Station 09.30 14 1.0 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
    Community 09.30 Tilbury Town C2C Station Coalhouse Fort, East Tilbury 16.15 16 5.3 http://bit.ly/2t575oB
    Afternoon link 16.15 Coalhouse Fort, Princess Margaret Rd, East Tilbury, Tilbury RM18 8PB East Tilbury C2C Station 17.00 16 1.6 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
9 Sat 23 Sep 2017 Morning link 09.00 East Tilbury C2C Station East Tilbury Shopping Centre RM18 8YP 09.30 16 0.4 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
    Community 09.30 East Tilbury Shopping Centre RM18 8YP Thurrock Thameside Nature Park 14.00 18 4.5 http://bit.ly/2ty5c52
    Afternoon link 14.00 Thurrock Thameside Nature Park, Mucking Wharf Rd, Stanford-le-Hope SS17 0RN Leigh-on-Sea Station 21.00 18 18.0 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
10 Sun 24 Sep 2017 Morning link 09.00 Leigh-on-Sea Station Peterboat PH 09.30 18 0.4 silkriverlondon@ldwa.org.uk
    Community 09.30 Peterboat PH, 27 High St, Leigh-on- Sea SS9 2EN Southend Pier 16.00 20 5.2 http://bit.ly/2suUsEI