23 Submarines

Strengthening Communities

After heavy storms in 2013, a forgotten World War I submarine emerged from the mudflats on the River Medway.  

It was later discovered a further 23 submarines were originally abandoned, having sunk over the years into the Medway mud, disappearing without a trace.

The ’23 Submarines’ project explored this story and other found and lost myths, memories and objects in the River Medway. It ran for 9 months and delivered a range of workshops, exhibitions and commissions for local artists and poets. A poetry trail displayed excerpts of commissioned poems around Medway’s five towns, including in shops, parks, high streets and railway stations. The project culminated in a large-scale, outdoor theatre performance by the Chatham riverside on 24 September 2016.

The programme was led by Icon Theatre in partnership with Medway Libraries; LV21, a historic lightship and cultural space; and Dan Simpson, Canterbury Festival Poet Laureate 2013-14. It was supported by Medway Council Arts Development Team.

Please see our ‘Evaluation & Resources’ page to read a full evaluation of this programme.