Stories of Chat Moss – Salford Council

This was a project to create work inspired by stories gathered as part of a local history project organised by Salford Council funded by a Heritage lottery grant. A range of artists worked in 7 schools in the Irlam & Cadishead area. I worked with Year 3/4 in St Joseph The Worker Primary School in Irlam.

Listening to the CD of stories from residents, there was a real pride about the fields overflowing with different vegetables particularly lettuce and a sadness at the decline in farming not due to lack of quantity, quality or hard work but because of restrictions brought in by Europe . I wanted to explore the change in use of the land on the Moss and get the young people to think about what it used to look like and be like to live & work there. I chose to use puppetry to help the young people to explore the characteristics of people who are very different from them in age and experience. It also helps those who feel shy about performing as they have a puppet to hide behind. Everybody got involved in making the scenery. They each designed and made a puppet which they performed with to each other & for the camera to create the story on film to share with the rest of the school, the other schools involved in the project and online. A few members of the class were selected to record the narration. The film created by E. Bradley can be seen here on Vimeo.

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