News – February 2016

There is lots going on with ‘Where’s Our Spake Gone?’ 

 Where’s Our Cradley Heath Spake Gone?
Heather Wastie is hosting a drop-in evening at the Holly Bush, 53 Newtown Lane, Cradley Heath to gather contributions from local people about Black Country dialect. Heather has been commissioned by the project to develop new writing and poetry through working with people around Cradley Heath.  There is more information on the flyer below, please drop in if you can.

‘Where’s Our Spake Gone?’ – The Book
We have starting work on initial design ideas for the project book. It’s an exciting challenge considering we now have over 70 oral recordings made with the project participants, 100’s of new and archive photographs, and that we are now working with ten writers, poets, performers and artists who are engaged in a wide range of community workshops, events, exhibitions and performances.

We are working with Blue and White Creative on the book design and they are helping us to organise and shape the material in a way that will create an accessible and exciting reflection of the project.  Artist and writer Brendan Jackson also joined us for the first two sessions to share some of his publishing expertise.
We plan to have the book finished and back from the printers by the end of June 2016.

Book Planning

Bursary Artists
We have now appointed four Bursary Artists and we have a new dedicated section on the website to document all the work they will be doing. Supported by the Arts Council, these commissions are designed to be opportunities to creatively explore some of the key themes at the heart of the project: dialect, community and change. You can see more information here

Where’s Our Spake Gone? – Workshops
We now have many workshops taking place in Oldbury, Cradley Heath and Gornal over the new few months. In the last few weeks writer Mandy Ross and writer and poet Brendan Hawthorne have both been busy working across Oldbury.

Mandy is gathering Oldbury stories and memories sparked by Black Country dialect words for food. There’s some fine fittle emerging! She is turning conversations into song lyrics for traditional tunes, and making a ballad broadsheet for a bostin singsong.



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