Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Working the War - A New Front

As keen readers of the blog will have read, Inverclyde Community Development Trust have secured £28,500 from Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme to work with local young people to explore personal histories and archives relating to the First World War.

Working Closely with pupils from Saint Columba’s High School in Gourock, the main goal of the project is to produce a drama, as well as a broadsheet style newspaper focusing on the personal stories of the War, on both the home front and the battlefields. 

Over the past few months the pupils have been gathering research from newspaper archives, books and every other resource available. On Monday 26th of May, our young researchers took a trip to Stirling Castle to have a look at the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum. The visit to the museum proved to be extremely useful, and a great deal of information was gathered. One notable piece of information was that of the 1st/5th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who were mobilized from Greenock, and were involved in the ill fated Gallipoli Campaign.
Anyway, without giving away too much information about our final outcome, here are a selection of photos which show the pupils researching, and enjoying their time at the Museum.

Research Stage 1 - Tea, Biscuits, and Books

 Stage 2 - The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum / Stirling Castle

Ready and Willing to Go!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Building Blocks

People ask us every day what our plans are for the Dutch Gable House and The Back House. For now, most of that is about running really excellent cultural projects and events from our interesting and bohemian wee space, but over the last few months in particular, we have also been able to focus on some of the longer term structural plans for the building.

Obviously, the house is a listed building in a conservation area, it's no mean task to make it all fit together.  So we've been very glad to have Dominic Quigley (of Quigley Architects) in working with us on plans for the next few stages of the renovation. Dominic has a real interest in heritage himself, and also runs 6Art, a smashing gallery based in George Square, Greenock - well worth a wee visit.

So, if you are interested in what's buzzing around our heads at the moment, well, we're currently looking for funding to tidy up the front of The Dutch Gable House itself (just a wee lick of paint and some work on the windows), get some work done in the lovely bumpy courtyard and of course to begin the proper renovation and restoration of the Back House into a new community space for learning and exhibiting. With the Back House, we want to make the space feel new and interesting while not losing the character thats kept it alive these last 250 years. We're also exploring options for a new community studio on the top floor of Dutch Gable

The Back House pipes don't enjoy rainy days...
These things take time, and in some instances we'll be way into next year before we have decisions on some of the projects we have planned. Its also very likely we'll be looking at other more direct forms of fundraising to undertake works which will need doing before winter. Naturally it's challenging to still have projects running in the building when it's not quite "done" yet, but it's also really important to us that the space feels alive and useful.

We've also been lucky enough to get involved with the excellent new Building Resources Investment and Community Knowledge programme from Princes Trust, a new programme specifically designed to help communities all across the UK use community heritage assets effectively.

We'll keep you posted here on the blog on how its all going, and hopefully be able to share more detail with you on a display during this years Doors Open Day in September. Meantime you can hopefully enjoy some of the other projects and events we have on offer throughout the summer.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Working The War

Inverclyde Community Development Trust have secured £28,500 from Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme to work with local young people to explore personal histories and archives relating to the First World War.
The project, based at the historic Dutch Gable House, will create a drama and a  broadsheet style newspaper style based on the personal stories of those who left the area to fight the war, but also, crucially, the families of those left behind who served the war effort in other ways – such as working in the Torpedo Factory.
Pupils from Saint Columba’s High School have already started their research in the Watt Library archives, and are developing the script for their play with local playwright Dan McCahon. The play will be performed in the Albany theatre over the summer.
Project coordinator Kay Clark explains how the project developed, “We created a number of short drama pieces through the Identity project last year, one of them Guerra Guerra focussed on the experiences of the Italian community during the Second World War, some of the young people involved had enjoyed the project so much they wanted to try something else. The idea to explore the First World War was really driven by those young people, but as usual, we’re all learning things we’d never known about our town and our area.”
Trust Operations Manager Paul Bristow said, “This is the first in a series of projects which are going to be working from Dutch Gable House over the next year. The Dutch Gable is all about stories, and so I’m really pleased that we are able to respectfully explore the human impacts and histories of the First World War story in the centenary year.”

Torpedo Factory - Secret Scotland

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Magic Torch - Uncommon Tales Preview

Here's the very first page of Magic Torch's Uncommon Tales, with artwork by Andy Lee, in which we can see Sir Glen deciding to take a wee journey away from our very own Dutch Gable House....bonus points if you can name some of the folks walking by..

Uncommon Tales will be out later this year, and so far features Wendigo, Anansi, the Serpent King of Lesotho an unusual mermaid and some Sri Lankan demons...

Friday, 9 May 2014

Pirates and Mermaids - A Fairytale for Adults

In association with The Beacon Arts Centre, we're delighted to share with you a unique storytelling experience, Pirates and Mermaids...

Cameron is in NYC. Eilidh lives in Scotland. The technology in their pockets keeps them constantly in touch but you can't hold someone in your arms over Skype and a text doesn't show you someone's smile. A challenging, ambitious and universal story told on a very human scale, Pirates and Mermaids is an uplifting and surprising show about true love, family advice, favourite sweets and what whisky can do to you.

There are two shows on Friday 16th May, 6pm and 8pm.

Tickets £10 available from the Beacon Box Office or online...