IF THE WALLS OF A CHURCH COULD SPEAK WHAT STORIES WOULD THEY TELL?
The 'Stories from the Stones pilot launched in 2005 with 50K of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, by January 2008 it had developed a series of interlocking visitor activities that focused on the heritage of church and countryside. Scroll down the page to follow the project diary.
To run the project at all the Management Group needed to attract volunteers and pilot churches - six churches were needed to take part in the pilot. As they would each receive a talking box they had to guarantee to be open.
An information meeting was held in Broadwas Church in November 2005.
JANUARY 2006 A GROUP OF TIME TRAVELLERS VISIT STOCKTON
One cold morning in late January a band of 13th century time travellers visited St. Andrew's Church, Stockton to see if there was anything they could still recognised today.
JANUARY TO MARCH 2006. LANDSCAPE AND MEMORY WORKSHOPS
A strong sense of place is one of the remarkable features of the Teme Valley. In the lead up to the millennium nearly every community had some sort of local history project. Our task was to find out what had already been discovered and to build on that to identify the connections between church and community over the centuries.
MARCH 2006. CHURCH WARDENS AND MEMBERS OF THE DAC MEET THE CONSULTANTS ATS HERITAGE.
Each pilot church was to research its own story and then brief a professional writer to develop a script for the 'Talking Box' that would be placed in their church. The idea of a 'talking box was a new one and the consultants had to develop a product that would be suitable and acceptable for each of the six pilot churches. Every church was invited to send a representative to take part in the preliminary discussions.
MAY 2006 KEVIN CROSSLEY-HOLLAND JOINS PROJECT TEAM
Kevin Crossley-Holland author of The Seeing Stones the book selected to help children imagine and engage with the past first met the project team at a Storytelling session in Worcester Cathedral and teachers at the University Of Worcester.
ATS HERITAGE START DEVELOPING A BESPOKE TALKING BOX
Mike Howie and Colin Arbon consult with representatives from the churches and with members of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches in Worcester Diocese to ensure that they fully understand the brief.
FROM EASTER TO SEPTEMBER 2006 LOCAL VOLUNTEERS RESEARCHED THEIR LOCAL STORY.
They visited the History Centre in Worcester and Worcester Cathedral Library. They read research already published locally- many communities had published local histories in the run up to the millennium - and they talked to older members of the communit, recording their stories.
IN THE AUTUMN ATS HERITAGE UNVEILED THE PROTOTYPE TALKING BOX
Each church community and the general public were given the opportunity to comment upon the prototype. Adjustments were made and production started. Meanwhile the Storytelling Group worked with professional Storyteller Robin Sharples to see how storytelling techniques could be used to tell their local stories.
STORYTELLER MERLIN STARTS WORK IN TEME VALLEY PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Broadwas Primary School. Martley Primary School and Lindridge Primary School all participated in the Schools Project - introducing local history and heritage to children.
MEMBERS OF MARTLEY W.I. MAKE TIME TRAVELLERS TABARDS
The children worked to discover more about their local parish in Arthur's time but to qualify as one of Arthur's Teme Valley Heritage Knights they had to time travel back to Arthur's time. they needed the special tabards to do this.
VOLUNTEERS VISIT ACTON SCOTT WORKING FARM MUSEUM TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FARMING THROUGH THE AGES
They took recordings of farming sounds to be used in conjunction with farming stories recorded with Teme Valley farmers.
The team at ATS Heritage expands to include editorial and acting expertises.
STUDENTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY EXPLORE COTHERIDGE CHURCH
Students of graphic design take part in the project as part of their course they had to design the materials fro the Heritage Quests. The winner would become our graphic designer.
AMY WINS THE PRIZE
Student Amy wins the prize!
All the beautiful designs and graphics for the Quests, the Maps and the Audio CDs are Amy's work - we are so grateful for all her work.
12 JULY 2007. ARTHUR'S FIRST TEME VALLEY HERITAGE KNIGHTS IN WORCESTER CATHEDRAL
75 Children prepare to become Heritage Knights
They join King John at prayer in the crypt of Worcester Cathedral
Pupils from Broadwas dispalyed the model of Caldicot Manor they had made
Lindridge pupils displayed their a model medieval village
Martley pupils talked about their medieval illuminated letters.
The celebrations started.
Kevin Crossley-Holland, the Grand Master of Arthur's Teme Valley Heritage Knights, created Arthur's first Teme Valley Heritage Knights
A grand procession assembled to process into the Lady Chapel. The music struck, the singing started and the procession made its way, flags flying, into the Lady Chapel.
Parents, teachers, the W.I. and a great company of project volunteers cheered as the first Heritage Knights prepared for the ceremony.
August 2007 THE GO WEST TALKING BOXES INSTALLED
The blue talking boxes were delivered, unwrapped and installed into the parish churches of Broadwas, Cotheridge, Martley, Shelsley Walsh, Stockton-0n-Teme and Lindridge.
August 2007. FLOODS DELAY THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PARISH HERITAGE WALKS
The River Teme bursts its banks yet again -Tenbury Wells is flooded for the 3rd time! Floood water runs down the hillsides destroying footpaths. Impossible to complete plans for the Parish Heritage Walks.
HLF AGREEES TO DEADLINE EXTENSION
Work continues on development of Parish Heritage Walks - Robert Swinton is finally able to complete audio commentary.
WORK CONTINUES ON THE CAR TRAIL AND PARISH HERITAGE WALKS
2008 - WE CELEBRATE OUR FIRST PROMOTIONAL COACH TRIP.
A full coach, beautiful winter sunshine, wonderful views across the Teme Valley and Stories from the Stones inside the churches, what more could we want!