Smugglers Tales

Our lovely friends at Wide Eyed Theatre have recently secured Heritage Funding to deliver an adventurous and intriguing project that explores and celebrates the history, myths and stories of smugglers around Kent and specifically Herne Bay.

This project will enable local young people to discover the origins and explore the history of smuggling in their local area, and will train them to collect new oral history material and research findings which will create an archive for Herne Bay museum. The various groups including Gulbenkian Youth Theatre, Squarepegs Drama club and hopefully Word Out young poets will develop scripts or pieces of work to be performed at Canterbury’s Gulbenkian theatre in July. These will also then feature in some way, as part of a museum exhibition in Herne Bay during September.

Working with heritage experts from The Seaside Museum Herne Bay, the Smuggler’s Project will enable participants to gain a deeper insight into this part of their history, as well as teaching them valuable new skills around collating and sharing historic events and making history more accessible to a wider audience. 

The Opportunity: 

We are looking for a young person from the Word Out group to become a Leader. You would be mentored by Workers of Art who will support you through the development of this project. We would however expect you to be self motivated, organised, have some knowledge of social media and to be passionate about delivering this project to the highest possible standard.

We are looking for people between the ages of 18 – 25.

This role will involve approximately 10 days work and include:

  • Recruiting others from the group and young poets more widely who might enjoy gathering inspiration and creating poems and stories around the history of smuggling in Kent.
  • Contributing to a social media campaign that shares some of the findings and work as it develops and engages a wider audience with the project. This might involve filming small elements of the research process or the poems created; writing a blog of the project as it develops; doing a weekly poem or short story that can be shared.
  • Curating performances that would become part of a celebration of this project on July 10th
  • Sharing Word Out’s ideas with the wider Leadership Group to inspire connections and ensure that all of the work develops comes together to create a coherent performance at the Gulbenkian and a well curated exhibition at the Herne Bay Museum.

The fee would be £750


We would expect you to attend meetings and receive mentoring sessions at the Cowshed Studios in Bridge.

The days stated are an indication only as this is a freelance role and the fee covers delivery of the work to the highest possible standard of which you are able. As the Leaders Meetings are 2hrs in length and there are a total of 4 meetings we have counted these as 1 day.

As this is a Freelance Role you would be responsible for paying any TAX or PAYE

Key Dates: 

If you can’t make all of these it’s not the end of the world but please indicate you availability on your application.

Oral History Training

Monday 30th May (this bank holiday)

9.45am – Meet at the Colyer Fergusson (next to Gulbenkian)

10.00am till 5pm – Oral History Training

5.15pm  – Hometime!

Please bring lunch and snacks on this day. We will provide limited refreshments but as it is a bank holiday campus facilities will be closed.

Exploring Herne Bay and the surrounding area

We would expect you to do one of the walks below. If for some reason walking this distance is not possible for you, there will be transport by car. 

Wednesday 1st June 

9.45 am – meet at the Gulbenkian carpark

10.30 am – arrive at walk location and walk!

12.30 pm – lunch in Herne Bay

1.15 pm – Walk to Reculver

3 pm – Mini Bus to Herne

3.30pm – Explore Herne

4.30pm – mini bus back to Gulbenkian

5pm – pick up from Gulbenkian car park

Please bring snacks and water, a light lunch will be provided. Wear sensible clothes for all weathers and walking!

Friday 3rd June 

10.15am – meet at Gulbenkian to get the mini bus

11am till 1pm – walk from siasalter to Tankerton via Whitstable

1pm till 2pm – lunch

2pm till 3pm – exploring the museum

3pm till 4pm – Writing interview questions and preparing

4pm till 6pm – Interviews at the museum

6pm till 6.30pm – reflection

6.30pm – minibus home for 7pm

Please bring snacks and water, a light lunch will be provided. Wear sensible clothes for all weathers and walking!

Leaders Group Meetings

These would take place at the University of Kent

Tues 7th June (5-7pm) 

Mon 20th June (5-7pm) 

Tues 5th July (5-7pm) 

Mon 18th July (5-7pm) 

Celebration of the project at the Gulbenkian

July 10th – Times TBC

There will also be a rehearsal for this day TBC

Launch of the exhibition at Herne Bay 

18th September 

How to apply

On no more than two sides of an A4, please let us know:

  • Why this project captured your imagination
  • How you think you might successfully recruit a minimum of 5 poets to take part as volunteers – contributing ideas towards the development of the project; contributing poems and / or short stories that they would perform at the Gulbenkian and contributing material that would appear in the exhibition at the Herne Bay Museum.
  • Share any initial ideas you might have around the performance at the Gulbenkian and the how we might share poetry both at a launch at the exhibition but also as an ongoing feature in the exhibition at the Herne Bay museum.
  • How this project, and the mentoring you will receive, might benefit you as an artist.
  • Also indicate you availability around the dates above.


Please send on a word doc or PDF to by midday Sunday 29th May.

We will let you know by 7pm on Sunday 29th May.