‘Animating the past, to illuminate the future’ – a heritage project devised to link past, present and future in the Swindon Community as part of Brunel 200 celebrations.
I worked with Bristol based company Cirque Bijou, in partnership with Swindon Borough Council, to engage Swindon residents, school children, youth groups and organisations in local heritage research leading to creative outcomes. The project culminated in a community festival held on 16th July in Swindon’s Railway village and Faringdon Park.
Key for me were the intergenerational workshops, where we brought together ex railway workers and primary school children to find ways of telling their stories through dance, animation and writing. And cake became pretty important too! Faringdon Park historically hosted a Victorian Children’s Fete from 1886 – 1939 and we aimed to re-enact aspects of the traditions, including the giving out of free cake to 1,000 children.
“The atmosphere was fantastic. It was wonderful to see the elderly and all residents out on the streets. A big, big thank you from the bottom of our hearts, from the two year old up. It gave us back the The Park and gave people back the Village” Betty McKinlay, railway village resident
“The Creative Writing workshop was brilliant. It was really interesting to hear all the stories from the railway workers’ working days” Krystyna, primary school participant