Do It Together
Lots of people told us they want to see community events and activities which will be unique for our area, that will mean people can say good things are happening here and we’re proud of what Rudheath and Witton is doing. These will have an arts or creative starting point, Creeping Toad artists Sarah Males and Gordon MacLellan will bring their own expertise and those of other artists to ensure all the sessions are imaginative and intriguing – and fun!
The end of the project will see a ‘spectacle’ and celebration unlike anything we’ve seen before in the neighbourhood. But what this looks like will be up to you!
Sarah and Gordon are now talking to people to find out the kinds of things you are interested in and would like to see going on in the area. There will be LOADS of opportunities to get involved, but even better a chance to actually have a say on what these should be, where they should go and what happens next!
Lantern Parade video | Updated 3 Jan 2018
Just before Christmas the Do It Together project held a lantern parade between St Helen's church and Grozone Community Garden via the River Dane. The event was to celebrate one year of community events and this video tells you a little bit more about what happened.
Lantern Parade | Updated 5 Dec 2017
We were delighted that so many people joined us on a lantern walk between St Helen's church and Grozone Community Garden on Saturday.
The Do It Together artists had visited both venues recently, as well as local primary schools, to demonstrate how to make and decorate lanterns.
Even though the weather was chilly, we estimate that 50-100 people joined us for the short walk and to hear Gordon recite poetry in the church yard. Hot chocolate at Grozone afterwards was also very well-received.
Gift Box Making at Grozone | Updated 6 Nov 2017
Jo Thilwind from the Do It Together project was at Grozone Community Garden recently working with volunteers to decorate gift boxes with natural materials found on site. We might have to wait until Christmas to see the finished results though!
Flying kites, festering sores and other delights! | Updated 21 Sep 2017
After a summer of liveliness, in the Rudheath and Witton Do It Together project we are turning towards autumn and thinking of winter activities
Over the summer season, we saw the completion of the first of the Lost Tales of Rudheath (with Rudheath Primary Academy) and of art and story workshops at Victoria Road Primary School. In public events we made, flew and crashed a few kites, gave people horrible diseases with associated horrible medieval cures and catastrophes. We made small fluttering windsocks and delicate mobiles of natural materials. In public events we met more than 200 local residents and through school sessions including children and visiting parents, another 400 folk joined the ranks of the “Did It Together”!
Our aim is to plan and deliver creative events: inviting people to try something new, preferably something that we hope they can go away and try again. So we have used everyday materials where possible, worked in familair places that people can come back to and used techniques that are quick to learn and easy to transfer.
Now we are looking at a colder season and new ideas. We have some thoughts and hope and plans but would like to hear from our Rudheath and Witton friends about other things they would like to do.
Our plans include the following: if you have other thoughts - or particularly like the look of any of these (or don’t like the look…) please let us know! Either leave a comment here or through our facebook page or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrating the seasons and the special qualities of Rudheath and Witton
outdoor art with natural objects at Grozone
a wintry storywalk
lantern making: the lights of Rudheath: capturing buildings, shapes, people, activities, the sculptures in Griffiths Park
small lights for houses: join us to hold onto miniature moments of Rudheath in tiny lanterns for table tops and corners, small treasures for the dark evenings
an evening walk with lanterns and maybe some carol-singing in December
Rudheath stories 2: collecting memories, writing poems and stories, working with artefacts from Weaver Hall Museum to remind of activities, games, dreams and promises
maybe finding the next of the Lost Tales.
Kite Making at Chinkers Field | Updated 13 Aug 2017
The Do It Together artists entertained a number of families recently with a kite making session at Chinkers field. Children could choose from round kites, sled kites and diamond kites and decorate them with their own designs. We were fortunate with the weather and they flew really well.
The activity will be repeated on Griffiths Park from 10-1 on Monday 14th August.
Marvellous Medieval Medicines | Updated 3 Aug 2017
Local youngsters learned how to become a plague doctor, discovered the disgusting truth about treating diseases in the Middle Ages and made a plague doctor mask in the Marvellous Medieval Medicines event at the Venue on Monday.
The Creeping Toad artists and experts from Weaver Hall Museum also demonstrated how to make cures from plants, make leeches from foam or clay and how to create a Pharmacopeia.
The Lost Tales of Rudheath | Updated 17 Jul 2017
The Do It Together project artists have been working with children from Rudheath Primary Academy to create the Lost Tales of Rudheath....
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
Our story comes from long ago but not too long ago. There were houses here in Rudheath then but not as many as now. There were trees along the river bank and out there and over there, down the rod and past the crossroads the wild lands waited
They woke in the morning to a missing pet
A rabbit, much loved, much cuddled, was gone.
Its hutch empty,
Its run abandoned,
No sign in the house,
No clue in the garden,
No trace in the streets.
So they gathered a rescue kit,
A bag of useful usefulnesses,
And 4 children set off into the morning.
Two boys and two girls,
Friends full of hope and adventure,
They had torches and towels,
A picnic, a map and a compass,
And a rope for swinging through trees.
They took lots of string for emergency things
And a bright green apple for healing.
They found sticks for campfires and shelters and sheds,
For a boat and for fishing rods.
They found twigs for drawing maps on leaves.
But where was the rabbit?
Had it wandered?
Had it been stolen?
It must have been stolen!
There was no way that rabbit, so loved and so loving, would leave home alone…
Footprints in the mud led them into the trees,
And they saw a trail catching the light,
Little glimmers in the fallen leaves,
“Clever rabbit! We’ll find her in no time!”
They followed the trail.
Of bright green apples through the trees.
Hungry by now, their picnic long gone,
They ate the apples as they went along,
Not thinking of the way home and a path they might not remember.
So they crunched and munched and chewed their way as the trees grew taller and the woods grew darker.
There are mysteries here,
In these dark woods,
Stories never told,
Treasures never found,
People forever lost…
These are the woods of the Tornado Trees.
These are the woods where the Leaf Dragon lives in the tree tops,
His scales as green and as delicate as the leaves themselves.
Camouflaged, he hides,
Scared of the hunters who might come to kill him.
These are the woods where a miner searches for gold
Twenty years of searching have brought no gold,
Just one dirty old shoe.
But in those twenty years of searching,
He has not washed,
He has not shaved,
He has not cut or combed his hair,
Some people don’t believe he’s even there,
But we know that somewhere in these deep, dark woods,
That miner is still searching for treasure.
And no-one else will be allowed to find it first.
And through the woods and far from home there is an old house.
Where, one clock ticks endlessly,
While two lonely butterflies flutter in the warm summer breeze
Which sways the three apple trees from side to side,
Four leaves carved into a totem are slowly being overgrown by Grinch-green moss.
Five bikes stand beside that totem,
Ready for riders and adventures.
A mad old man lives there.
A mad old man with a walking sick
And a useless dog,
Friendly as anything, it doesn’t growl,
It doesn’t bark at danger,
It can’t find a bone in its bowl,
And it can’t help the old man in his quest
For a golden leaf from the magic tree that grows somewhere in these woods.
The apple trail led the children, deep into the woods of the tornado trees, but there by a twisted, lumpy, moss-covered tree, the trail stopped. By then the children had eaten so many, so many very green apples, so many apples that were not quite ripe, that they sat down under the tree and felt rather ill….
END OF CHAPTER 1!
1. Tornado Trees
Most apple trees are very happy to share their apples with people. Hey don’t mind if you are the farmer or the gardener or children who have sneaked in to run away with an apple. In the streets of Rudheath, however, you must be careful which trees you take an apple from and if you pick an apple without asking the tree politely if you may, sometimes the tree will start to shiver and shake. If it does that you had better start running for that tree must be one of the Tornado Trees. These trees quiver and shiver and shake until suddenly they shake themselves into dark whirling storm clouds and then they will chase you down the street. If they catch you, you will be whirled up and thrown across the town but if you manage to stop and sit the stolen apple down on the ground, the tornado will stop its spinning and settle down around its apple, sinking its roots into the ground where it has stopped. This is why, when you walk through Rudheath, and all of Northwich, you sometimes find trees in unexpected places - on a street corner, in the middle of a garden, in a football pitch. These are the Tornado Trees settled in place until someone else annoys them enough to set the wind-trees spinning.
2. Twig Pencils: a warning
Some shops sell pencils that look like they are made of twigs from trees. Have a look, there might BE some in your classroom. You need to think carefully before using these pencils because these are Pinocchio Pencils. When Pinocchio lies, as we all know, his nose grows. But not many people know that Pinocchio’s cousins are kept on a pencil farm and there they are tricked into telling lies so that their noses grow - and then the mean pencil farmers cut those noses off with little saws, because Puppet noses give you wonderful twig pencil like the ones we see here! Each puppet grows a different colour of pencil. What no-one is very sure is when we write with these pencils are we really writing with Pinocchio Snot?
Victoria Road Primary School | Updated 30 May 2017
The Do It Together project has been working with artist Jo Thilwind and a number of local primary school children recently. We caught up with them at Victoria Road, where they were helping the Year 5's to create environmental mobiles out of things that could be found in nature and crafts materials.
Do It Together with Creeping Toad | Updated 8 Feb 2017
A year of making and doing, of drawing and stories, of painting, lanterns and puppets…
Over 2017, the environmental art and celebration group Creeping Toad will be organising creative events in Rudheath and Witton. With a background in storytelling and puppets, lanterns, celebrations and relaxed sessions in parks, the Toad team are offering Rudheath a year of creativity and company.
There will be events for families to join in, activities for adults, sessions for younger children and specific workshops designed to suit the interests of different groups.
Artists Gordon MacLellan and Sarah Males are already busy meeting local groups and venues for activities and starting to plan some exciting activities. They are keen to hear from local people – either groups or individuals – about activities people would like to try or from groups who would like to have a creative session but are not sure just what would suit their members.
“We are full of ideas,” says Gordon, “ we look at a place like Rudheath and start brewing plans inspired by buildings, people, places and wildlife. But our job here isn’t really to do what we want but to help people explore the streets where they live creatively in their own ways, and we will try to build events that offer the challenges people are looking for by delivering sessions ourselves or by finding the right people for the occasion”.
Plans at the moment include instant painting sessions in the Grozone Garden, a day of tiny puppets in various local parks, and storytelling and making with young children.
Through other events they hope to gather impressions, images and words to create a residents’ map of Rudheath capturing stories and the personal side of life in the area.