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Colour my world

This summer a fun art project is coming to Ryde – and everyone is welcome to get involved.

Ryde and seaside town Ramsgate have been unofficially twinned for the innovative commission by Historic England and Mooch to celebrate both historic coastal towns.

Buildings from each resort are being brought together on the imaginary island of Rydesgate – and residents of both towns are being invited to colour in and design new buildings for Rydesgate to populate a giant map.

The map will be displayed in both towns and will come to Ryde from 17 July – 8 August and be displayed at 29-30 Cross Street.

Theresa Smith, who runs Mooch and is the creative force behind the project, explained how the idea came about.

“Historic England was inviting commissions under the High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, and I realised Ryde and Ramsgate have a great deal in common that made them ideal locations for ‘twinning.’

“Ryde has a hovercraft service and Ramsgate used to have one too, both are coastal resorts and the quality and scale of the high streets are similar.

“I’m based in Ramsgate and I was really aware of the nostalgia for the model village that sadly closed in 2003. I realised it would be fun to recreate a model village that blends the best of both towns,” she said.

Coming out of the recent lockdown, Theresa thought people would welcome receiving a parcel that contains the craft pack in the post.

Participants can colour in and create their very own shop fronts using one of the templates.

 Craft packs include:

  • Instructions and information on the project
  • One of 12 building designs to colour in
  • Colouring pencils
  • Free returns envelope

“The full size map will be displayed in the former Elizabeth Pack store in Cross Street. It is brilliant to be in the same place as Ryde Arts and Shademakers and I am looking forward to meeting people face to face when they come to see the exhibition.  It is on until the 8th August but I will be there on the opening day of the 17th July, so please come along and say hello.” added Theresa.

For more details on how to get involved visit

 The Isle of Rydesgate is one of six Twin Towns commissions that are part of the four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones’ Cultural Programme, led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

#HistoricHighStreets #HighStreetsTwinTowns

Picture credit – Jemima Brown