Sunday, 17 April 2016

Spoons 7- and so it continued...

During the early part of 2016 I continued to work on Creating a Stir with twenty very disparate groups. 

Those involved included museums visitors, youth groups, staff and volunteers, a Brownie Guide group, groups for the elderly, library groups and people of all ages with mental, physical and psychological additional needs from all over Norfolk. Some local publicity when I visited King's Lynn Museum is available here.

We revisited HMP Wayland as planned and worked with another PIPE group and a group from the Personality Disorder Unit. Our model for working with HM Prisons looks likely to be rolled out throughout the county, and potentially beyond, as part of the national Museums in Prisons initiative.

Every group was different and I learned to assess their likely needs and abilities very quickly on arrival. I learned that flexibility of my delivery style, along with clear communication between myself and the group leader, was critical to the success of each session.

There were 248 workhouse inmates listed on the 1871 census. My target was to represent all of them by making at least that number of spoon dolls, but to aim for 300. The final total?

367 !!!!!


This means I have worked with well over 300 individuals on the project (a few participants made more than one spoon doll- and a few got sent in). An excellent result.

I devised and delivered the 'Creating a Stir' project in my role of Learning & Engagement Officer for the Voices From The Workhouse redevelopment. 

'Creating a Stir' has enabled the stories, objects and documents relating to Gressenhall Workhouse to engage with a greater and more varied audience than any of us expected. My numerous participants also had the opportunity to
get involved in hands-on learning about the workhouse. They also tell me they are delighted to be able to make a tangible contribution to the redisplay thereby gaining a sense of ownership of this major local landmark. 

Every single spoon doll will be displayed when the workhouse museum re-opens- do come along and see the miniature throng! Oh, er, yes, and the new galleries, of course...

I took photos of all the spoon people; sometimes in groups, and sometimes individually. All these photos will be on display, in addition to the dolls, at the Grand Re-Opening of the Workhouse displays this summer. In the meantime here are a few more...

 And finally... we all had fun!

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