ALBION INC. DIRECTORS HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE FOLLOWING PROJECTS:
Lingfield Point, Darlington. The Patons & Baldwins Wool Factory. – John Orchard
In its 1950’s heyday the Patons & Badwins wool factory employed over 4,500 local people, most of whom were women. As a result most Darlington families have an historic connection with the site which leads to a genuine emotional connection with the place.
When acquired by Marchday 2000 Lingfield Point had become a dilapidated, unloved mixed industrial estate but memories of its grand industrial heritage endured. There was still a great deal of warm, nostalgic feelings towards the site in the local community.
Marchday quickly realised the value of this emotion and set about weaving this grand heritage into the vision for the future Lingfield Point. Gradually existing wool factory buildings were reimagined and refurbished and became home to significant companies.
Marchday launched a large scale public consultation into the future use of Lingfiled Point and with Architects FAT created a Future vision which created new low energy homes around the existing refurbished business space. This was a truly sustainable mixed community with people living and working on site in the mould of Port Sunlight or Bourneville. The culture of this new community celebrated the textile heritage in all the names of relaunched building, Wool Lofts, Soap Dock, Yarn etc and branding.
Art was a powerful tool in changing people’s perception of Lingfield Point and marking it out as a place where ‘Art happens’. Most notably, Marchday commissioned artists John Kennedy and Chrisian Barnes to produce a piece, ‘Futurescope’ a series of six enormous circular images which overlooked the A66 and local road network. The artists foresaw these as ‘images of propaganda’, obliquely referring to processes at the site from the past, present or future.
In addition Marchday employed an Artist in Residence, Vicky Sunter who ran knitting circles and weaving classes for customers and members of the public on site.
In order to emphasise the unique work/play culture Marchday created public allotments at Lingfield Point and invested in bees and beehives, producing their own Lingfield Point honey.
Marchday sold Lingfield Point in 2014 by which time it was home to over 50 companies and work place to 4,000 people. The reinvented wool factory buildings had won National awards and the first new low energy homes were already occupied by families.
The Festival of Thrift – John Orchard
John was a co-founder of the Festival of Thrift along with Stella Hall and Red or Dead creators Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway.
Founded in 2013 as a way of showcasing the brand values of Lingfield Point, Darlington, the Festival of Thrift attracted 27,000 visitors in its first year.
A celebration of common sense living, the festival combines performance art, dance and music with workshops in all areas of up-cycling, making, repairing, growing and cooking.
In 2013 it won the Regional Award for best event in first year, doubling in size
and turnover by the second festival in 2014. In 2015, the Festival of Thrift won the Observer Ethical award for Arts & Culture and 2016 saw prizes for Gold Tourism Award 2016 and Best Event North East. In 2017, the festival won the Journal Culture Award.
The festival has developed real regenerative power bringing media exposure and a £1,000,000 boost to the local economy.
In response to the closure of the Redcar steelworks, the festival relocated to Kirkleatham in 2016 where it has continued to attract 45,000 visitors over the two day event.
FOLKESTONE HARBOUR ARM – COCKLES & CO.
WAKING THE GIANT 2020
We are a team of three with long experience in development, regeneration, placemaking, art and cultural events and food and hospitality. We formed Albion to bring our skills together in a successful bid for Pioneering Places East Kent’s Year of Engagement in Dover in 2019.
Focussing on creatively repurposing a disused Palmerston fort, Fort Burgoyne, we engaged in public consultation with the people of Dover and surrounding areas and with local businesses, producers and arts organisations. Over several months, several themes emerged; folklore, lost crafts, making and doing and heritage skills. We examined these themes and began to pull together a unique team for Dover to develop these ideas. We appointed Matt Rowe as artist in residence and made a partnership with The Museum of British Folkore, curated by Simon Costin, currently looking for a home on the South Coast to develop the ideas further. We made links with local youth-based crafts organisation Future Foundry, and Dover-based arts administrators DAD and also architect Charles Holland (Grayson Perry’s House for Essex) recently relocated to Dover.
We were very aware that delivering a high ‘Art’ project in a town such as Dover can be viewed with suspicion by the local population, as has been the case in other coastal towns, so we gave ourselves a brief to deliver a democratic offer, art-based and creatively driven but understandable by all – an event in which visitors could participate rather than simply be passive spectators.
We also wanted to explore some of the local folklore and historical themes surrounding Dover, but themes that were less obvious than the Castle and Military and Maritime history, revealing a hidden Dover (Fort Burgoyne was never open to the public and was decommissioned 20 years ago)
Discovery on-site of a half-built framework for a Festival Giant (which were once a tradition in Kent) we chanced upon a metaphor that perfectly represented not only the folklore and making themes we were exploring but also the dormant giant that is Dover.
We decided to create an event toward the end of our year called “Waking the Giant”.
The basis of the idea was to demonstrate how a creative, working community might inhabit the casemates of the fort, from weaving corn dollies to smithing, pottery to weaving with accompanying film, visual arts, music, food and drink.
We started a ‘teaser’ campaign on social media months in advance of the event, aimed at Dover social media groups, giving a sense of “What is going on at Fort Burgoyne”
The event “Waking the Giant” was scheduled on the mythological leap-year day, February 29th.
Celebrity potter, Keith Brymer-Jones opened the event and gave pottery throwing demonstrations amongst other clay-based activities, willow and performance textile weaving, music was created spontaneously on site, plus film and virtual reality demonstrations based on creative projects at the Fort.
2500 people turned up on what proved to be a wet and windy day at the end of February – a result that encouraged us to believe that we had not only targeted the content of the event correctly, but that there is a huge appetite for people getting involved in hands-on making and doing crafts and folklore at ground level.
We believe that Waking the Giant is a tested template that we wish to expand and replicate in other venues and areas.
Folkestone Harbour Arm
In 2016, Peter Cocks and Gavin Oakley created the brand “COCKLES”, a seafood concession for Folkestone’s refurbished Harbour Arm, developed by Sir Roger de Haan’s Folkestone Harbour Company project.
Their successful pitch for the “COCKLES” pop-up Crab and Chowder Bar was based on working with the local fishing fleet, using only sustainable fish and shellfish, with all vegetables sourced or foraged from a ten mile radius.
“COCKLES” also worked with local winery Chapel Down and was instrumental in establishing their beer brand Curious Brew.
The interior of “COCKLES” had a distinctive style: a copper-topped bar and all fixtures and cladding were made from materials recycled from the old Harbour Station site. “COCKLES” ran over three seasons on Folkestone Harbour Arm as well as hosting guest pop-ups at other venues such as The Goods Shed, Canterbury.
Dover Marine Station
In 2017, Albion extended the COCKLES brand to “COCKLES & Co.” a pop-up concession for the Winter Season at Dover Marine Station .
COCKLES & Co. extended the original seafood remit, opening a large, metropolitan style bar and kitchen. The food offer was again, locally sourced with winter soups, pies and pasties as well as oysters and seafood.
Chapel Down wines and Curious Brew beers were served alongside other local speciality beers and spirits such as Time and Tide and Anno gin.
The dark, glamorous bar featured tables and lighting salvaged from the Station site and was an instant hit from its opening, hosting various corporate events.
COCKLES & Co. also scheduled a roster of entertainment under cover of the station; afternoon world and folk music and bands in the evenings.
Peter Cocks – Peter@AlbionIncorporated.com 07973 209715
Gavin Oakley – Gavin@AlbionIncorporated.com 07841 406070
John Orchard – John@AlbionIncorporated.com 07831 304126
Albion Incorporated Limited
Reg Co. – 10511966
The White Cliffs, High St., St. Margaret’s-at-Cliffe, Dover, Kent CT15 6AT