The beautiful village of Tattenhall in Cheshire
Yvonne Keeping/Nikki Barraclough: December 2018
Yvonne Keeping, of Tattenhall Local History, has a passion for all things Roman!
She has long wanted to display our local Artefacts in a central location within the village, to be enjoyed by everyone.
That wish will be fulfilled on Monday 17 December, with the unveiling of a new showcase within The Barbour Institute which will house some of the most exciting local Artefacts that have been discovered within the village. The 'cabinet of curiosities' has been fully funded by our Ward Councillor, Mike Jones.
Importantly, however, Yvonne wanted to encourage local children of primary school age to get involved with their past and she came up with the idea of holding two children's workshops, both fully funded by Sanctuary Housing. Using the local Artefacts as a springboard for their creativity, as well as engaging the youngsters with the history of their village, the fun began!
The very talented Nikki Barraclough from Ditzy Rose Makery, threw open the doors of her wonderful workshop on the High Street, and talented art specialists, Sarah Usher and Mary Pilkington, steered the 23 children through the varying stages to completion. The children's finished work will be exhibited alongside the very Artefacts which acted as their inspiration.
The Tasks ...
- To create prints from enlarged photographs of some of the Artefacts. There were photographs of broken tiles, beautifully patterned pottery, Georgian buttons, cuff links, a Roman brooch and coins ranging from the Roman period through to Victoria. One boy was absolutely fascinated by the Roman brooch!
- The focus of the second workshop was to then create a clay tile, just as people in the past had done. Again, the children used the photographs of the tiles to assist them, but also went outside where they were encouraged to look at their natural world to help them with their designs. They came back laden with twigs and leaves and berries, just as their predecessors would have done.
A Bonus ...
- Local metal detectorist 'Ash' gave the youngsters a quick guide to what can be unearthed locally and he talked about his most spectacular finds with the children, admitting too that Prince Harry had been a former 'student' — the children were captivated (and not just because he also supplied tasty treats for all the children)! They were also reminded to look in their cupboards, mindful that we all unearth bits and pieces in our own backyards — it might be that you too have something which we could add to the 'cabinet of curiosities'!
What the Children had to Say ...
- Roxie said that ...'her favourite part was the printing — she found it satisfying and liked the results. She also said that it was interesting that the Romans were in our village all those years ago as she didn't know that'!
- Fin enjoyed ... 'talking to the metal detector man who had worked with Prince Harry and who had found coins'.
- Charlotte said ... 'I enjoyed the pottery the best, it was really fun. I made a tile from the drawings of plants. I found stones, feathers, rocks and plants. The metal detector man was very interesting. I would recommend anyone doing it if they get a chance. Thank you'.
- Tabby and Jacob's favourites were ... 'making the tiles but it was a hard choice (they said). We made tiles with patterns on. A lady showed us pictures of Roman tiles and then we had to design our own. We then had to put the design on the clay tile. Ash also came in to talk about finding items with his metal detector. We both found this fascinating because he showed us an extremely old coin'.
And the Outcomes ...
- We are sure you will agree — the images, speak for themselves — wonderfully creative glazed tiles and all based on original artefacts.
The new display cabinet will be unveiled on Monday 17 December and the children's work will be displayed alongside it. Please pop in and take a look and if you find anything at home and which you have unearthed locally, then perhaps we can display that too (contact Yvonne on firstname.lastname@example.org)
A huge 'THANK YOU' to everyone who has been involved in this fantastic local project — community engagement at its very best!
(in the interests of safeguarding, all images have been supplied by Nikki at The Ditzy Rose Makery and we have deliberately excluded facial images of the children. There were so many wonderful photographs that we have only been able to include a sample. Click on each image to enlarge.)
Sportsmans Arms Car Park