Category Archives: Volunteering

Building walls, community and skills… (via SVR)

A snapshot of what’s been happening as part of Spodden Valley Revealed recently, from this SVR blog.  Featuring drystone walling; artist in residence; Rushcart; researching the stories of Spodden Valley..

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David Chatton Barker - 1

 

via the Spodden Valley Revealed blog
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A Vote for Ethel

ethel1_from-hbrown-1As part of the our Pendle Radicals programme we have the opportunity to put forward a poem by Ethel Carnie Holdsworth for inclusion into the National Archive.  Ethel is one of the Radicals our volunteer team have been researching, and she has certainly caught their imagination.  We would like you to vote on your favourite poem of hers, from the following. You can vote either on our Facebook page, by typing the name of your favourite poem in the comments beneath the post about this, or by emailing the name of the poem to Faye@midpenninearts.org.uk

You can download a PDF of the information on this page HERE.

 

Life                         https://archive.org/details/voicesofwomanhoo00carn/page/n13

Why?                    https://archive.org/details/voicesofwomanhoo00carn/page/12

The New Commandment    https://archive.org/details/voicesofwomanhoo00carn/page/16

His Books             https://archive.org/details/voicesofwomanhoo00carn/page/18

Unknown            https://archive.org/details/voicesofwomanhoo00carn/page/50

Three                    https://archive.org/details/voicesofwomanhoo00carn/page/100

A Lament             https://archive.org/details/voicesofwomanhoo00carn/page/132

Possession          https://archive.org/details/songsoffactorygi00carn/page/48

Earth’s Song to Her Children     https://archive.org/details/songsoffactorygi00carn/page/30

Cloud Mountains                          https://archive.org/details/songsoffactorygi00carn/page/16

The Bookworm http://www.working-class-women-writing.co.uk/the-bookworm-by-ethel-carnie.html

Poem - Reveille - Jpeg

Poem - The Carnival of State - Jpeg (Apologies for the lack of clarity on images of the following poem.)

 

Poem - The Rich & Poor - page 1 - Jpeg

 

 

Poem - The Rich & Poor - page 2 - Jpeg

 

My journey so far…

I am currently36745307_1860427927348441_5113171631178514432_n studying Art and Design at Leeds University and have joined the Mid Pennine Arts team, working as Projects Assistant in order to complete a Year in Industry.

I can’t believe I have been part of the team for over a month already, and what a great month it has been! I have already gained so many skills and a lot of confidence to take with me and I am looking forward to the next year as Projects Assistant… whether this requires me putting on my explorer hat, researching numerous radicals, working with members of the public or making events such as Burnley Canal Festival a success!

What a great team Mid Pennine Arts is to be a part of, everyone has been so welcoming and given me lots of tasks to get stuck into! I have particularly enjoyed carrying out workshops in schools and at events, being creative with young people and welcoming them into the Explorer Club!

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Another highlight has been working with community groups, designing flags for Burnley Canal Festival. In particular working at a women’s refuge, an amazing workshop was carried out here which I feel very lucky to have been a part of and a very special flag was designed…. I can’t wait to get sewing!

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Already, I have been very much inspired in terms of my own practice and how this internship may influence the main subject of my dissertation when I return to University for my final year… I am not sure I will want to leave however!

Nick and Melanie have already taught me lots about Mid Pennine Arts and the various projects that they are involved in, I hope as time continues I can bring something new to the team and take on more ambitious roles and tasks!

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Pendle Radicals Needs Your Help!

Pendle Radicals is a brilliant new project which will be exploring Pendle Hill’s amazing heritage of radical thinkers and non-conformists. Unfolding over four years from spring 2018, the project will carry out research, commission new art and celebrate its findings with community events.

In order to get things started, we need volunteers to get researching: bringing history to life, infusing familiar locations with new meaning and building pride of place in the process.

Who do we mean by Pendle Radicals?  They include George Fox, founder of the Quakers, who had his great vision on the summit of Pendle in 1651…  Sir Jonas Moore, known as the ‘father of time’, born at Higham and part responsible for the Greenwich Observatory and the creation of Greenwich Mean Time…  Selina Cooper, a hero of the suffrage movement in spite of having to work in the mills from the age of 12.  Selina, like many members of Nelson ILP (Independent Labour Party) made strong connections to Clarion House at Roughlee, now the last of the Clarion Clubs but still thriving and an inspiring location for followers of socialist politics.

Pendle Radicals Combined Image

These are just a first, few names, but the stories are many, and we are just starting on this exploration.  Over four years our project will bring some of those stories to life.  In doing so, we can give current residents, especially young people, a new understanding of their history, a reinforced sense of local identity and new pride in where they live.

ethel1_from-hbrown-1One particular local woman who might just spark your interest, is Ethel Carnie Holdsworth.  Ethel was a working-class writer, feminist, and socialist activist from Great Harwood. You may not have heard of her as she has been largely lost to history because of circumstances, but as a young woman she was a poet, journalist (for example writing for the Woman Worker in London), children’s writer and author.  She published at least ten novels during her lifetime and her work is significant not just locally but also nationally, as she is the first working class woman in Britain to be published.

We are excited to get started with Ethel especially as the National Poetry Archive are keen to add her to their list of poets whose poems can be heard and explored online, but also because we are hoping that her story can be told through story and song some time in 2019.

So if Ethel’s story has inspired you, or you have an interest in local history and want to tell the story of another particular individual, or special local place, please make contact with the Pendle Radicals team.  For volunteers on our research team, we offer training to develop your archive skills, excursions to investigate source material, and plentiful tea and biscuits.  We promise you a fascinating journey of discovery and chance to bring to life those who deserve not to be forgotten!

A presentation – A short introduction to the life and work of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth plus an overview of relevant sources (approximately 40 minutes in total) can be presented to local history groups or other groups who have an interest in bringing her story to life.  Just contact Nick Hunt, Creative Director at Mid Pennine Arts.

There will be a presentation about Pendle Radicals and a short introduction to the life and work of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, plus an overview of relevant sources, on Tuesday 2 July from 2-4pm at One Sixty Café, 160 St James Street, Burnley. See the MPA website or contact Nick Hunt, Creative Director at Mid Pennine Arts for details of both, or the project in general.

 

Website:        www.midpenninearts.org.uk

Email:          nick@midpenninearts.org.uk

Phone:          01282 421986 ext: 209

 

 

 

 

 

My Mid Pennine Story…

Hi, I’m Katie, I’m 15 and in Year 10 at St Christopher’s CE High School. I have been doing a  work experience placement here at Mid Pennine Arts for two weeks. I didn’t know very much about the organisation before I arrived, so this is all very new to me. MPA is in the middle of compiling a digital archive, to celebrate their 50 year anniversary and I am very pleased that I have been involved in this process. Whilst looking through images, brochures, leaflets and posters I found some things that I found particularly interesting and wanted to investigate further. Throughout my time here, I have been doing just that and I would like to share some of my findings with you here on this blog.

I’ve been dancing and performing since I was three, so naturally many of the projects and events that stood out for me were about dance and theatre. I’ve tried to pick a few projects from each decade, so that you can get a sense of how MPA has developed but also because I wanted to explore the early years of the company.finished-contraptions

In the 1970’s The Mid Pennine Association for the Arts set up a travelling theatre company called TheatreMobile. The company travelled around the Mid Pennine area performing shows, plays and pantomimes in a range of venues for all different age groups. One thing that struck me about the performances was how little it cost to go and see them – I think the most scrooge-and-marleyexpensive that I found was onIMG_7365.JPGly 60p! Today you struggle to buy anything for that price and to see a performance of theduo-photo-1 same nature would be far more expensive. I decided to do some research about prices in the 70’s and I’ve discovered it cost only five pence for a pint of milk and nine pence for a loaf of bread; 20 cigarettes would only set you back 30p and you could buy a Mini for only £600! Something else I have discovered from an old newspaper article is that the early shows were done with five actors, no lights and a £50 budget, which again is quite amazing. I came across another press cutting, talking about how actors from TheatreMobile had been to visit and entertain children who had to spend Christmas in hospital; MPA is all about bringing people and communities together and I think this really shows that    the ethos has always been this way.1970s-northern-ballet-company

Also when looking through projects from the 70’s, I discovered the Northern Dance Theatre, who were the only regional ballet company. They toured around the area performing their latest ballet each season, the earliest documentation I can find of this is in September 1970. What really stood out to me was their photos and how exquisite they looked in them, and as I do ballet myself I can truly appreciate how hard they must have worked. It seems that the Mid Pennine area loved them too, because they made numerous appearances throughout the 1970’s.

I1980s-collagen the 1980’s, a dance company called the Lynx Dance Company came to visit the Mid Pennine area, they were a contemporary company, who focused heavily on getting dance into schools. I found this interesting because today there still isn’t much dance in schools and I think it’s a really important and valuable thing to have.

Accidentally, I stumbled upon an exhibition of dance photographs by a man named John Austin called ‘Out of the Limelight’. I found myself fascinated by this because John said he wanted to photograph dancers because when he takes a photo, he is looking for perfection and he thought this was true of dancers also. Everyone in the dance community strives for perfection, however small the performance and even just in rehearsals, but not many people get to see this side of it all. John’s photographs not only show the pretty costumes and outstanding performance but the blood, sweat, tears and hard-work that goes on behind the scenes to create the picture that the outside world gets to see.

When setting up the MPA50 exhibition at Radio Lancashire, I discovered an extraordin60ary and beautiful project from the 1990’s. This was the Mughal Tent or the Shamiana – groups of local women joined together to create a banner, along with lots of other groups from around the UK, and the finished banners were put together in a tent at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. The finished product is exquisite and the level of hard work and attention to detail is obvious.  In May 1996, there was a performance from the Abasindi Dancers and Drummers, they performed songs and dances 1990's collage.jpgfrom East, South and West Africa. From searching through the archive, I get the impression that the 90’s was a real decade of world culture for Mid Pennine Arts as it is the first time I can see events from around the globe and from people from different backgrounds and cultures.

In the 2000’s MPA launched its largest project to date – Panopticons. Before, I arrived at the start of this two weeks, this project was the one I knew most about, as I have visited three of them on numerous occasions but still I decided to do a bit more research on them. The project got its name from the word ‘Panopticon’ which means structure, space or device providing a comprehensive or panoramic view, all of the four Panopticons are placed high up, and the aim was to get people out into the countryside so that they could see the stunning views. Throughout the building of these, MPA managed to keep the community spirit alive by involving local people, schools and organisations as well as creating jobs and supporting businesses. One thing that definitepanopticons-collagely shines through in all the projects is the community ethos of the company.

The Singing Ringing Tree is made from pipes of steel stacked in layers to make the shape of a tree in the wind; the wind blows across these tuned pipes to create a low, almost humming like song.

The Atom is located in historic Wycoller which can be dated back to 1000BC, the structure is constructed of Ferro-cement with a coating of metal-based paint. It can provide shelter but the circular cut outs also make great viewing spots for the surrounding scenery.

The Halo is a steel lattice structure suspended five metres above the ground on a steel tripod. It is situated above Haslingden on an old quarry and former landfill site. The Halo is lit at night and glows a dark blue colour, this makes it appear to be hovering over Lancashire and is clearly visible for miles around.

Colourfields is the only Panopticon that I have not visited, so I wanted to find out some more about this one. It is a transformation of the cannon battery that was installed for the park’s opening in 1857 to house two Russian cannons captured during the Crimean War. Colourfields was built here to incorporate this piece of history, rather than it being dismantled and lost forever. It adds new dimensions of shape, height and colour to Blackburn’s Corporation Park and has fantastic views over to Lytham, Southport and Fleetwood.

Before I arrived I was given some publications to read, one of which was about a project in 2014 called Truce. After reading about it, I was keen to find out more; Truce was all about commemorating the First World War, a topic I know quite a lot about through History and English. The project included: a performance about the Christmas Day truce from a local man’s perspective, a choir, made up of local volTruce collage.jpgunteers, who sang songs just like the soldiers did on Christmas Day, a textile piece made up of poppies made by local people and a young people’s football tournament- to commemorate the football game in No-Man’s Land. Again, this project involves all kinds of people and really brought people together to celebrate something that happened 100 years ago.

 

Completely bycopy 150.JPG chance, I found out that MPA was involved with tbest11smhe redevelopment of the Coppice in Accrington; I’ve lived in Accrington virtually all my life and never knew who and what had actually gone onOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA. There were talks and workshops in the allotments for the public and local primary school; a chance to think and put forward ideas for the further development of the area in the future and the Avenue Parade entrance to the park was completely restored by artist Michael Scheuermann along with the steps leading up to the monument at the top.practical-comp-4-5-12-007

Projects are constantly going on, sometimes right underneath our noses that we don’t know about or get involved in. I think this should be a lesson learnt to everyone that you should find out what’s happening and get involved in some fun activities and projects in your local area!

 

 

Digging a Little Deeper in Spodden Valley…

 

On the weekend of 2 – 4 December an exciting new phase of the Spodden Valley Revealed project started, with field survey work by Archaeology team Dig Ventures  and volunteer Explorers.

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Starting out from Whitworth Library and Whitworth Museum the team recorded heritage sites such as Facit Incline and Peel Chimney, Healey Dell, Cowm Reservoir and a ruined farm and exciting standing stones at Brown Wardle.

Interesting finds included a fully intact cellar at the ruined farm site, with vaulted ceilings, and intriguing standing stones that are exactly nine metres apart with curious indents and uniformed points, are these stone tenter posts as part of tenter frames to dry cloth as part of the cottage industries?  More to come as we investigate further – it has certainly caught the interest of our archaeology team…

It was such a great weekend, especially with our younger Explorers who really enjoyed being a part of the team, learning new skills and getting out into the wonderful landscape of Whitworth.

Keep an eye out in the New Year for more family based archaeology activities and for more ways you can get involved.

For more information email Diana Hamilton, visit the webpage and follow us on Facebook.

 

Hi there!

Alex Heaton - Intern - June 2016 - 2My name is Alex and I am in my second month as Assistant Producer Intern at Mid Pennine Arts, where I feel incredibly lucky and excited to be undertaking my placement year. I have just finished my second year of University, studying Illustration and Contemporary Art at Huddersfield, but come from the local area. This meant I already knew about Mid Pennine Arts and some of their amazing work. I wanted to join MPA because I am passionate about bringing arts to the community and I feel there is sometimes an absence of this, and MPA do a wonderful job of engaging a wide community for their work.

I am going to be helping Nick, Melanie and the other project managers with some of the projects as they advance towards their completion, which I find brilliant as I have never been involved with projects on such a large scale before. A few I have been helping out with are: Burnley Canal Festival (27 & 28 August 2016), Spodden Valley Revealed and 50 Years of Mid Pennine Arts.

I have only been at MPA for four weeks and already feel as though I am growing, both in learned skills and confidence. So far I have attended a lot of meetings, these help me gain more in-depth knowledge about the projects, how they are brought together, and how good communication is an important part of the process. This has, slowly but surely, been helping me with my confidence. I have also been minute taking, which is really useful, as it is helping me learn to write down key points when making notes, rather than writing down every part (no matter how irrelevant)!

We recently had a Spodden Valley Explorers event at Whitworth family fun day, where a few of us went down in our exploring gear and welcomed new explorers, helping them make badges and inviting them to share their stories of the area. This was to raise awareness of the Spodden Valley Revealed Project. It was great seeing both kids and adults alike join in on the fun, and wonderful how excited everyone was when the final badges came out. I have to say I got a bit too enthusiastic about the badge making myself. I feel as though badge making brings out the inner child in everyone, though some people won’t readily admit it!

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I have also been helping with the 50 Years of Mid Pennine Arts project, and have found reading through the old programmes and press cuttings really interesting, as I am scanning them in preparation for the digital archive. This sometimes proves to be quite hilarious, when any member of the team finds a particularly funny story or headline. Though we do sometimes have to drag ourselves out of the time warp, as you could get lost in them for days!

Along with the many lovely and wonderful people I have been given the opportunity to meet, I am very excited to say that this week I will be meeting the artist Lucy Birbeck, who is creating the flags for Burnley Canal Festival. I can’t wait to know a bit more about her working process, and I feel I have lots to learn from her.

Four weeks has flown by, and I can’t quite believe how much I have already learned at MPA. I always start each day with excitement when thinking about all the projects that are in progress, and I am so excited about the parts I am going to be here to see all the way through – like Burnley Canal Festival! I can’t wait to learn more from the kind and helpful team at MPA and all those I encounter while working here, and I would like to thank everyone I have met so far for being so friendly and great.