The Explorers WALK4 : An Ordinary walk with Karuna Gurung & Amanda Jayne

The Explorers

We were 14 for the Ordinary walk on March 31st 2019 led by Karuna Gurung and supported by Amanda Jayne. Sadly Sangita Gurung was not able to be there, however we were very pleased that Philip Hutton and Christopher Lumgair who led WALK1 and Andy Rayner who led WALK2 participated in this walk.

Karuna comes from an environment in which walking up and down hills has been a part of everyday life for centuries and now, living as part of the Gurkha community adjacent to Fort Burgoyne, continues to walk up and down hill to Dover town and back as part of her daily routine. Karuna led the group at a pleasurable pace up from Dover’s Market Square, along Laureston Place and Victoria Park  ascending by the main road untill we reached the first of the new kissing gates that the land trust have installed leading to the land at the back of the West Wing Battery where we entered the site from the Connaught park side entrance.

We took a route that a visitor to Dover might take in the future who wanted to visit the re-imagined site of the West Wing Battery. This was apt and useful for our research that the last walk of the Explorers Community engagement Sunday morning walks should do this.

Once in the West Wing we explored the site adding to the collection of thoughts and ideas noted in the all weather green notebooks that participants have written and drawn their ideas in on all 4 walks.

Each of the walks has led us to the West Wing Battery via a different route, seen through a particular set of eyes. They have mapped the West Wing and its relationship to Dover through the lens of military and architectural history as well as lived and day-today experience. Collectively they have allowed us to place the West Wing within the historical and contemporary context of Dover and have generated ideas about its future use. These ideas will become part of the visioning for the West Wing Battery as a space to be used by the existing community as well as the new community that will arrive once the new houses adjacent to the site and on the former barracks land at Fort Burgoyne are built. The immediate context for the West Wing will thus be a new one. The Explorers will help shape that new relationship.

All photos by Joanna Jones unless otherwise credited

The Explorers programme is part of Pioneering Places East Kent: Dover developed by Dover Arts Development and Charles Holland Architects to support the conservation and opening up of the West Wing Battery of Fort Burgoyne through art led community engagement

Pioneering Places is part of the national Great Place Scheme, an ambitious project that will make East Kent an even better place to live, work and visit by exploring heritage, developing civic pride and connecting artists and communities. Four projects in Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Ramsgate are being led by cultural organisations to encourage local people to get involved and shape the place where they live. Supported through Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with Historic England and Artswork, the South East Bridge.