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Focal Point Gallery Forthcoming Exhibition Including BATA

Start date: 16 April, 2016

End date: 2 July, 2016

Location: Focal Point Gallery The Forum Elmer Square Southend-on-Sea Essex SS1 1NB

The Peculiar People

Focal Point Gallery is pleased to present ‘The Peculiar People’, an exhibition and event series that examines and traces a history of radical, ideological and sociopolitical communal living experiments throughout the 20th Century Essex, extending to the present day and beyond.

From pioneering industrial worker estates created for BATA East Tilbury and Silver End, to alternative ideological communities such as The Peculiar People and Tolstoyan inspired anarcho-naturist colonies, Essex was a county where utopias were imagined, traditional ways of living were challenged and revolutionary politics, art, architecture and literature were born.

The Gallery’s main exhibition space features an extensive archival display speculating on alternative living experiments from the early 1900’s to the 1980’s, alongside visual art,

architecture, design and literature that relate to these counter-cultural histories. In Gallery two, artist Christian Nyampeta’s installation provides a framework to an evolving radical library and dynamic programme of performances, permaculture experiments, readings and public discussions, which extend, question and re-examine modes of non-conformity within a wider cultural and political context.

The exhibition culminates with a shift from socialist focused agricultural developments to the growth of the financial sector in the East End of London and Britain’s first credit card company establishing itself in Southend-on-Sea. This shifting landscape is explored through the inclusion of Cedric Price’s 1972 model of an unrealised proposal for a lightweight pneumatic roof over the pedestrian shopping area of the towns High Street.


16 April to 2 July 2016

Time: Tuesday to Friday: 10:00am to 6:00pm Saturday: 10:00am to 5:00pm


Canvey Island U3A

Date: 22 June, 2016

Time: 10am

Location: Bata Heritage Centre

Presentation to the Canvey Island U3A group

BHC presenters MT/MP



Link to Canvey U3A report of Visit.

Thurrock 100 Walk and Talk . Bata and beyond: a gentle stroll around East Tilbury

Date: 11 July, 2016

Time: 18:00 to 20:00

Location: Bata Heritage Centre




This gentle walk begins at East Tilbury library with its Bata Heritage displays. We will start with a short walk around the Bata Estate, exploring the residential, industrial and social legacy of Thomas Bata’s Utopian vision from the 1930s.   Following this short walk, we will make our way to East Tilbury Village and conclude the evening with a drink at The Ship.