Exploring and documenting trading cultures in Folkestone

In the year 1313, Folkestone received a charter as a Corporate Limb of the Cinque port of Dover. It was thereby obliged to supply seven ships and thus began trading through the port. This initial trade consisted initially predominantly of wool as well as goods considered luxury at the time, such as wines and cloth.

Now, after centuries of development - both structurally and socially - the road now called The Old High Street (originally The High Street) is a progressive thoroughfare for trade, made up of a range of goods and services run by dedicated independent and creative people in a regenerating town.

Who are these people? What do they do, and why? And who came before them?

Gallery exhibition

October 9th - 27th 2019 @ Urban Room Folkestone, One The Plaza

Bartle Halpin will be showing a work-in-progress gallery exhibition including a select number of locations, with a selection of introductory pieces of research material. The long-term aim is to cover many more businesses on the Old High Street with more in-depth research, and then expand the project to incorporate other areas and roads around Folkestone.

This exhibition began at the Brewery Tap Project Space in August and its success there has led to this transfer. The on-going work at the Urban Room ties in nicely with 13:13 as they look in their own way at the transformation of Folkestone in terms of its people, social change and the landscape of the town.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

At 13:13 hours on a given day in the present, Bartle Halpin documents and records trading as it is at that exact time in locations and spaces up and down the cobbled, winding, sloping street. You will see the spaces, the people, the reality of The Old High Street as they experience it; the normality of their everyday.

These businesses, these people, and their potential customers are the next foundation for the future of Folkestone.

The Old High Street in February 2010.

Just under a decade ago there are no shops to be seen open for trade. There's a lot less colour and many fewer people.

This is in great contrast to the century of decades gone before and to the bustling thoroughfare it is in the present day.

[photo: Stacey Harris]

To allow 13:13 to progress to a full scale project, it needs support.

That can be simply visiting the gallery during the exhibition, telling people about it and sharing it on social media, to helping with funding, fund-raising events and professional recommendations.

Funding is required for time researching the streets, proprietors past and present, the architecture and social history; photographing the project, printing costs, materials, equipment and developing my practice through learning.

Any and all kind support for this project is very much appreciated.

Above: The venue for 13:13's second showing - Urban Room Folkestone, One The Plaza, Tram Road, Folkestone, CT20 1JG

Using Format