Francesca Lashmar, History of Place Project Manager, and I went to the Royal School for the Blind for an initial meeting in February.
We met with the Head Teacher Paul and some of his staff who were welcoming and enthusiastic about the project. They were clearly very proud of their school and the heritage of their school and that comes across in how the staff speak and in the historic objects on display. Below is a picture of the bronze doors from the Hardman Street building which are now on display in the reception area.
“in which the Chair and the Head Teacher have a gun fight”…
Paul shared some wonderful stories about the school with us such as the tale of the duel where the Chair of the charity and the Head Teacher had a gun fight! Plus a number of ghost stories! Clearly there are some unusual stories that are shared orally through time within the school. We are excited to get stuck into the archive to see if the written material produces equally unusual stories.
In addition to being a project delivery partner and allowing us to work with them to catalogue and explore their archive, we will also work with students who attend the school to creatively respond to the stories and to produce films and digital games. We are excited to develop our initial ideas with students from the school so that what we produce is something they have enjoyed creating and can be proud of.
We are awaiting dates to visit the school again to assess the archive and work out a plan of action so VRAG members can start their research and to work alongside the students to get an idea about what they enjoy doing so we can create activities and workshops that are engaging and productive (and most importantly fun!).
We welcome thoughts, suggestions, comments on the project and we encourage those with memories of the school to get in touch as we want to hear them! You can contact Kerry, the Project Coordinator based in Liverpool, by e-mailing Kerry.Massheder-Rigby@accentuateuk.org or by calling 07568 429 593