Young Root’s Project – On Mersey’s Side

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On Merseys Side – Starting Jan 2017 


Launch Event 05/01/2017

Where: Augustine Park, Bootle, L20 0BY


Press Feature: Bootle Champion 11/01/2017



Following the Inclusion Network’s great success in our recent ‘Sharing Heritage’ project: “Bootle’s Coming Home”, our existing group of young people, supported by young people from Hugh Baird College and Litherland Youth Centre are going to undertake a ‘Young Roots’ project exploring the rich and diverse history of Bootle’s docks, the industry that surrounds them, their historic importance for the local community and the UK, as well as the stories of the families who have toiled within it.

In partnership with C& T, a theatre and technology organisation based within Worcester University, we want to make a 3D printable Sling Hook: an iconic tool of the dockers for generations.  This 3D printable version will be embedded with NFC chips that will act as digital triggers for media content that tells the stories of the docks, dockers and associated local history.  Through drama, documentary, photography, video and other media, people will be able to use their smartphones to trigger this content, created by our young people in conjunction with local people, staff at the museums and historians.    This will make the resulting heritage inspired digital content available to anyone with a smartphone, ensuring that this rich history is freely available at the centre of Bootle’s community for future generations to experience and learn from.

The NFC chips created for this 3D printed dockers Sling Hook will focus around three main themes each being explored by our young participants over the course of 10 weeks each.

The first project will explore the political history of the docks. This will include visiting the International Slavery Museum with our participants and having experts explain the role Liverpool’s docks had in this trade. This part of the project will also involve Trade Union officials coming in to talk about the dockworkers strike and its impact on the politics of Merseyside. We also hope to have the mayor/deputy visit during this period to talk about the contemporary political importance of the docks. Young people will then be trained by documentary film making experts in how to create artistic responses to this research.

The young people will work together with these experts to create a short film encapsulating the shifting political landscape of the docks throughout Merseyside’s history. This film will be the first NFC chip embedded into our dockers sling hook.

The second project will explore the social history of the docks, capturing the oral histories of dock workers. Many of the residents in Bootle and Liverpool have worked on the docks for generations. Young people will develop the skills required to conduct interviews, transcribing the resulting oral history and then work alongside performance professionals to turn these oral histories into performances combining with music, photography and pictures. These will be filmed and embedded into the second NFC chip.

Finally Historians for Liverpool Hope University Modern History department will lead workshops with our students exploring the cultural history of the docks. This will range from the docks vital role during WW2 when the docks were requisitioned as a base for the British Atlantic Fleet,

Merseyside’s role in UK migration, both from China (Liverpool has Europe’s longest established Chinese community), the US and other nations.  This work will also explore the impact of the sinking of the Titanic on the city.

Participants will then create artistic and media responses to the cultural significance of the docks to Merseyside. This will form the basis of the final NFC chip.


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