Essex rail stations host 100 stories

Published on: Wednesday, 25 January 2023
Last updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Chelmsford 100 posters at Braintree Freeport train station

Reproductions of 100 silk flags are on display at rail stations across Essex to support the Chelmsford 100 community art project.

Chelmsford 100 is a new community development project led by Chelmsford Council for Voluntary Service (CVS), in collaboration with international arts company Kinetika.

The festival bought together a wide range of individuals and local community groups from the city and asked them to share a story about what living in Chelmsford means to them, and in particular, what it had meant to them during the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each story – 100 in total - was then turned into its own hand-painted silk batik flag, creating a mobile installation of 100 works of art which were carried by volunteers for 100 miles across walking routes in Essex, sharing the stories as they went.

Now the flags have been reproduced as posters and are on display at Althorne, South Woodham Ferrers, Burnham on Crouch, Southminster and Braintree Freeport rail stations for passers-by to enjoy all year, thanks to the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, the Community Rail Network and Greater Anglia.

Each poster displays a different flag telling stories of celebrations of local heritage, notable figures and landmarks, descriptions of areas of natural beauty, favourite walks, and environmental concerns, family histories, treasured memories, and personal journeys, hobbies and vocations, food, pets, and music; the things that keep us going and help us connect, charitable causes, social activism, key workers, and community projects, reflections on the diversity and complexity of our communities and creative writing and poetry.

Jayne Sumner, Rail Engagement Manager for the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, said, “The project is a wonderful celebration of local people and experiences and we are delighted to help bring it to a wider audience by displaying each story at rail stations around the county. We hope that people will find them inspiring.”

Sally Medd, of Chelmsford CVS, said, “We are grateful for the extra promotion of our new festival of talking, walking, creating and connecting and it has been exciting to showcase some of the talents, resourcefulness and community spirit found right across Chelmsford to a wider audience.”

All 100 stories will be shared in full in a commemorative book to be published in 2023, and at

Chelmsford 100 posters at Chelmsford train station