As part of Open Faversham we have got together with some of the resident artists based here at Creek Creative to put on our very first outside pop up art exhibition to celebrate some of the people and stories from Faversham, past and present.

Meet Our Faces Of Faversham

John Ward

Faces of FavershamDid you know that fictional pirate Captain Jack Sparrow from the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was actually based on real life pirate, and former Faversham resident John Ward?

John Ward (known more commonly as Jack Ward or birdy due to his love of birds) was born in around 1553 in Faversham, being raised in and around Abbey Street. Growing up, he started his working life in the local fisheries.  Until, in 1588, following the failed invasion by the Spanish Armada, Ward found work as a privateer, plundering the Spanish Fleet under licence of Queen Elizabeth I.

When King James I assumed the throne in 1603, he ended the war with Spain and revoked the privateer licences.  Jack and his fellow privateers refused to give up their lucrative livelihood and continued to plunder Spanish ships, and as such, they were considered pirates.

Around 1604, it is believed that Jack was pressed into service and aboard a ship named the Lyon’s Whelp.  However, Jack and his colleagues quickly deserted and stole a small 25-ton ship from Portsmouth.  Jack’s comrades elected him Captain and they sailed to the Isle of Wight, where they captured another ship named the Violet.

Over the next few years Ward and his crew captured a great many ships, fitting them out as war ships.  He based himself and his growing fleet of ships in Tunis (the capital of Tunisia) From here he built a fearsome reputation and captured many vessels from across Europe. In the spring of 1607 Ward took a fleet of four ships and spotted a large Venetian ship named Reniera e Soderina and after a three hour fire fight, the ship was surrendered to Jack Ward and his men with an alleged haul of £2m in today’s money.

Following the refit of the Reniera e Soderina as one of the fleet’s war ships, she broke up in a storm and sent 350 men to their deaths.  After this Ward requested a pardon from King James I which was denied due to the threat of war from Venice due to the amount ships Ward and his pirates had plundered and captured so many Venetian ships, so Ward reluctantly returned to Tunis

Ward’s reputations never fully recovered following the sinking of Reniera e Soderina, he was considered bad luck and was found to be drunk most of the time. Eventually, Jack and his entire crew  converted to Islam and Jack Ward was renamed Yusuf Reis, yet was more commonly known as Captain Yusuf Asfur  (Captain Jack Sparrow) due to Jack’s fascination with the small birds in Tunis.

So there you have it, a Faversham lad was the inspiration behind one of the most well known pirates to appear on film almost 500 years since he was born in the town.

Meet The Artists

Jason Cox (AKA Atomic Squib)

Multi talented Jason is a Illustrator and Graphic designer based at Creek Creative.  You may well have seen some of Jason’s work without realising it.  Having worked with the likes of Mars Confectionery, Tesco, M&S and Marvel Comics, his work is in demand.  Locally he is better know for some of his stylised vintage posters, and for his Ghosts of Faversham series which, we feel would look amazing on beer bottles if there are any brewers reading this!

Indeed, Geoff Sandiford’s group will be performed during Open Faversham this month, and the characters have been beautifully bought to life by Jason’s imaginative illustrations.

Jason as available to commission for a portrait, be it building, vehicle, pet or person. If you are interested please contact Jason directly.

Our pop up art exhibition has been put together in collaboration with Shore Way Marketing and the residents of Creek Creative as part of Open Faversham.  If you have enjoyed this exhibition, or have any suggestions/improvements or would simply like to be involved please contact as we would like to develop this in the future to be and annual Street Art style exhibition.




Meet more Faces of Faversham

Bessie and Bert

Bob Geldof

Arthur Percival

Gulliver Immink