Commission by Salford City Council funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to produce an interactive CD Rom.  I collaborated with Maria Stukoff to devise and deliver a series of workshops exploring the  history of  the Wet Earth Colliery with year 4 children at Clifton Primary School. We collected collated and produced art work based on the present and past of the Wet Earth Colliery.

The results of the workshop included a body of drawings, ideas, designs and sound recordings that were used to develop and create an educational CD Rom for use at Clifton Country Park Visitors Centre and by all Primary Schools within Salford.

Year 4 children participating in the project showed increased knowledge in creativity and literacy together with an increased passion and understanding for their local environment and its historical, social and cultural contexts.

This project was challenging due to the derelict nature of the site, that much of it was hidden underground and that little interpretation material existed of the wet earth colliery site that would immediately appeal to children. That said the project was received very well by the children, park rangers and teachers that collaborated together with myself and Maria and the CD Rom that resulted in our work has proved invaluable in interpreting the site to primary children in Salford.

Strategies that I developed to engage the children’s imaginations included researching historic documents held about the site at the Museum of Science and Industry and presenting these articles, photographs and documents to the children. They found particular empathy with those documents containing stories of the experiences of workers of the colliery recounted by children of their own age.

Equally they engaged wholeheartedly in the project when I instigated a visit to the school by a park ranger who re-enacted a pit worker character  from the site. Dressed in an authentic costume that included a pair of clogs, he answered children’s questions relating to his experiences of working in the colliery. The teacher that I collaborated with on this project was impressed with their engagement on this project and was very proud of the intelligent questions that they asked and the listening skills that they demonstrated during the colliery workers visit that which brought history to life.

To aid the children’s understanding and knowledge of the site, I produced a blog for the children to use throughout their work on the project. It provided contextual information and educational material about the wet earth colliery site, examples of work by contemporary artists concerned with ideas of  place, space and time that related to the project, extracts from literature such as George Orwell’s The road to Wigan Pier, together with documentation of workshop processes, methodologies and outputs.

Workshop Blog for Clifton Country Park, Wet Earth Colliery:

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