Cabbage Island was a local history project designed to uncover, research, share and celebrate hidden historical sites, local vocabulary, cultural traditions and memories that make up the history of Luton’s community and its people.

A touring exhibition with facts and local stories toured the All Saints Community Centre, Chatham Library and Luton Library.

Cut off from the rest of Chatham by a steep hill, a Victorian railway viaduct and the open space of Horsted Valley, Luton is an area that has experienced significant changes throughout its history. This project taught volunteers how to identify and record local heritage and engaged a broad range of participants in exploring and celebrating their local history.

The project explored hidden histories including one of the most respected Victorian botanical illustrators, Anne Pratt, who lived in and was married in Luton; fossils including a mammoths tooth; and that a Luton man built an airplane in his backroom on Magpie Hall Road in the 1930s.

Running since October 2017 and completing in October 2018, a range of local history activities were run as part of the project in Chatham and Luton Libraries, Fort Luton, Medway Archives, and Victory Academy and All Saints COE Primary School. We also created a history trail and made a film with Physical Folk. Additionally, 20 oral histories were recorded from a wide selection of people who live in Luton.

Cabbage Island was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with additional support from Medway Council’s Arts Development Team.

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