The Noise We Mek
The basic idea is to follow the Leeds/Liverpool Canal from Burscough to Blackburn, recording, documenting, performing and teaching the variety of local accents and dialects found on that route. It offers us, naturally, a potted history of our County passing as it does from agriculture at Burscough, through the coalfields of Wigan to the markets of Chorley and ending in the cotton capital of Blackburn. It’s all there in these four communities which would have been directly linked for the first time when the canal opened.
We plan to search out native dialect speakers in those areas, record, document and film what remains today, mainly with the old folk, and present it (teach it) in an acceptable and entertaining form to the younger generations through schools and youth groups and to the general communities through public performances. We are considering using a specially written play to illustrate the differences and similarities of these communities, their social and industrial heritage and to get old and young alike to perform it!
The HLF, aware that we are a newly formed Society, were at great pains to point out that their funds, if granted, were to be used for this specific project and not to fund and set up The Lancashire Society itself. Therefore, our application had to state the exact amounts which would be spent on the purchase of film and recording equipment, on volunteers expenses, venue hire, artists/consultants/professional fees, archiving, production of CD/DVD’s of the finished product, promotion, marketing etc. As they have now granted our request they obviously trust us and we will not let them down.
A sub-committee, led by the officers involved in the application, will be formed to oversee and co-ordinate the project and will meet separately from the Society’s main committee. This committee will have complete control and responsibility for the budget and the delivery of the project. Certain elements will require additional skills in performing, researching, teaching, promotions and marketing etc., and suppliers of these will be sourced where possible from Society members who will be co-opted onto the sub-committee. Selection will be on qualifications and experience, especially as work with schools, vulnerable adults and youth groups is covered by Government legislation. They will also need a small army of volunteers to enable everything to run smoothly.
The application benefitted from considerable support from Age Concern and the Arts and Heritage departments of Wigan, Chorley and Blackburn councils and these organisations will be working with us along the way.
“The Noise We Mek!” is a specific 3 year project within the Lancashire Society. Done properly, it will raise the profile of the Society, establish our reputation in the area, securing the Society’s future and benefitting everyone involved.