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Happy & Glorious Project

Happy & Glorious Project

Article Written:

In partnership with The New Vic Theatre.

We have just finished our Happy & Glorious project “Walking with Light” – this project was great fun and really boosted the communities spirits – in the report below you can get an idea of the creativity and inspiration this project involved.

What is the project all about?

The New Vic Theatre approached Middleport Matters to support them in creating a walking trail as part of their Happy & Glorious project. The project was to celebrate the 75 years of the Queen’s reign, through a creative, environmental walk.

The team consisted of The New Vic Borderlines team, Middleport Matters staff and two eco artists Ruby and Anthony Hammond. The walk would focus on celebrating the local environment and how we can protect it for future generations. We initially went on a walk around the area to identify key environmental points that we could highlight as part of the walk. There are a lot of bat houses along Travers Street and around the Middleport area, so this sparked an exciting opportunity for the artists and performers. The walk was then based on bats & lacewings and would take people on a journey to explore the importance of these creatures and how the community could help protect them.

Root N Fruit Workshop

For the first community workshop, Anthony and Ruby went down to a Middleport Matters community gardening session with the aim of making two giant vegetables to become installations on the walk. These ended up being the star of the show and the big finale where the lacewing in the story could lay her eggs.

This workshop included eight residents, Middleport Matters staff and our Root N Fruit lead volunteer. It resulted in a giant carrot and a giant strawberry created, to echo the Root N Fruit logo.

“I’m hooked. I’m really into this willow making now, I can’t wait for the walk”

School Workshop

Eco artists Ant and Ruby went into the local primary school, Saint Nathaniel’s Academy, and worked with 60 Year 3 students in two groups. The first group worked with Ruby to create 20 sets of lacewing wings, while the second worked with Ant to create bat wings for bat lanterns. The children really enjoyed the workshops, and all gave positive feedback.

“I loved making bat wings; I can’t wait to be in the lantern parade”

Lantern Making Workshop

As the final part of preparation, we had a lantern making workshop at Middleport Matters Harper Street premises, which was open to the local community. Everyone had a fantastic time making a giant willow structure, nature viewers and helping to put together the bat and lacewing lanterns. We had 31 local people engage in this workshop with 18 from the hyper local  area.

“This is a great activity, thank you so much, we never knew willow weaving was so easy”

Walking with Light Parade

We had an amazing turnout of 28 local residents who participated in the walk – 21 of which had an ST6 postcode. It was a great mix of ages from new-born to over 55s, and the older generation shared their memories of the area with the children as we walked around which was fantastic.

Everyone who attended gave very positive feedback and we look forward to doing another walk in Spring.

“Bat-tastic!” … “Amazing & fantastic” … “Kids really enjoyed this experience, thank you” … “We had a lovely time – must do it again”