Saturday, 20 March 2010
Arrived 2:30 to talk to senior citizens and see whether they were interested, and what they might be prepared to do. Cynthia and Brenda agreed to stay on after to meet OOSC.
The school group only arrives at 3:30, which means Brenda and Cynthia did have to hang around a bit, but OOSC interviewers decided to delay tea so we could start straight away. Some good questions, but group size of 12 is a little large and means it is harder for everyone to ask questions - something to change for next time.
I had prepared the ‘Shenley History Detectives’ cards for the group which all were happy about, and responding to what they wanted to do (and I did too) we got out paints and began a mural, ‘Museum of Shenley Green’.
There were plenty of ideas, including wanting themselves in the museum, so we began outlining everyone, finding space on the wall, and painting all on.
Everyone enjoyed the activity, and as parents arrived (and staff from the office) more people had a go painting with their children and for themselves.
Each of the ‘Shenley History Detectives’ took a folder with them, and I’m hoping some of them will begin collecting material from parents, interviews, artwork, whatever, for our project.
Arrived 1:00 for the senior citizens. I had compiled the photos from last week and printed of many of them. Mike from Archives had also brought archive material about the area and photos from ‘Suburban Birmingham’ project. We had maps of the area from 1887 and 1937.
Alan Shrimpton from BVT and Phil Benjamin-Coker from Weoley Library also came to meet the group. A music group had been booked in on the same day, but there was time afterwards for us to chat with the group. Although some of the group were interested in joining the OOSC group later on in the project, no one was available for today. I had a backup plan for later, but it was a shame not to persuade anyone to meet the young people on the first week, as there is a limited amount of time on our project.
The OOSC group were pleased with their photos and we began attaching them to the map they had started last week. We also talked about what they would like to do on the project, and started by interviewing themselves, and then the staff.
The cameras were also available for more photos of the centre, and we drew everyone together at 5:15 (those left) for group photos which did not include faces. Quickly the group decided to try writing on the floor with their bodies – eventually writing their own club name on the floor.
I hadn’t met the group yet, so needed to get to know the out-of-school group, and them to meet me and find out about the project and what the group wanted to do. We started with some games based around getting to know each other and asking questions.
Initially the challenge was to work with everyone who wanted to take part, which initially was everyone (around forty young people). I asked people to form a circle and asked people to step if ‘there eyes were brown’, ‘they were wearing trousers’, and so on. Very quickly they got the hang of it and easily came up with their own questions, and even started to qualify their questions, responding to what the group did.
It was already 4:40 and some of the group were beginning to go (as an after-school club, parents come to pick up whenever convenient). We decided to break up the group – Joe had already started making drawings of Shenley with some of the group, so the half of the group I was left with was far nearer the number I planned to run activities with.
We started a map of the centre on wallpaper. The group started small, but soon, led by a couple of the group, a map started to materialise. Meanwhile in small groups, children took turns to take our cameras into the centre and photo what they saw.
They needed little encouragement and really enjoyed taking photos. They were also competent photographers and needed no support within the centre to find what they wanted and take their photos.
All went well and was a good introduction to the group.