Thanks to all who made the 2023 edition a great event!
Planning has started for 2024…
Developed by Tiller & Wheel and Sun Pier House, with support from Medway Council.
The Festival of Chatham Reach creates a country fayre atmosphere by the water, focusing on the heritage of the River and historic river vessels. With activities located on Sun Pier and alongside at Sun Pier House, in Chatham.
Tiller & Wheel CIC want to make the day as available to all, with many of the activities free of charge or subsidised, to ensure that price is not a barrier to participation.
This is in part thanks to our Patrons – www.patreon.com/tillerandwheel – a diverse group of people who choose to support us to make sailing these ships available to all.
Following the inaugural edition in 2021, we were pleased to bring the Festival back on Saturday 23rd September 2023.
The 2023 activities included:
- Steam Tug Barking offering free ship tours (book on the day)
- Sailing trips on board Sailing Barges Edith May and Repertor
- Sailing Barge Blue Mermaid offering free tours and demonstrations (book on the day)
- Red2Red Ribs offering high speed rib tours
- Free history walks, covering the old theatres, great fire of Chatham and river industries – book in advance online
- Live music throughout the day, including sea shanties and folk music – confirmed acts include The Beard Conspiracy, Henty and English, The Ashen Keys, Paul Corcoran, Catherine CJ Jones & Gemma Gaynor and shanty singers Fire & Ice.
- Have-a-go activities for all
- An arts market, local produce and food stalls
- Drop in family friendly art workshops
General Information about the day:
Many of the activities are free and available throughout the day, but the river trips and history walks have limited availability and should be booked in advance. There is a charge for the rib experiences.
Tours of the static ships take place at set times and for a limited number of people – these spaces can be booked on the day.
History walks depart at 11am and 3pm and can be booked here: – Walking Tours
There are excellent public transport links, with Chatham bus and train stations only a short walk away.
There is no on site parking. The nearest parking sites are the Pentagon and St Johns car parks.
Sun Pier House will be open, with on site café and toilets.
11-11.50: CATHERINE ‘CJ’ JONES & GEMMA GAYNOR (POPULAR FOLK SONGS
AND TUNES ON GUITAR AND FIDDLE)
11.50-12.05 FIRE AND ICE (SHANTIES BY THE ANCHOR)
12.05-12.55: PAUL CORCORAN (MEDWAY SINGER/SONGWRITER)
12.55-1.15: FIRE AND ICE (BY ANCHOR)
1.15- 2.15 HENTY & MATTHEWS (AMERICANA/CAJUN)
2.15-2.35 FIRE AND ICE (BY ANCHOR)
2.35-3.30 ASHEN KEYS (MEDWAY FEMALE TRIO)
3.30-3.50pm FIRE AND ICE (BY ANCHOR)
3.50–4.50: THE BEARD CONSPIRACY (WORLD/POP/CLASSICAL/EASTERN
Thank you to our funding partners Medway Council and Historic England.
#HighStreetHeritageActionZone #HiddenHistories #HistoricHighStreets #Medway #TheOldHighStreetIntra #ChathamIntra #Medway2025 #CreativeMedway #WhoKnew #EnjoyMedway #HeritageOpenDays #HODs
This event is largely free to the public, thanks to the funding support of Tiller & Wheel’s patrons, Medway Council and the Chatham Maritime Trust and we thank them for their support.