We are now over halfway into the Our Lincolnshire project and we have learnt an incredible amount about both Grantham and Louth. So much has happened in the last few weeks that we could write about fifty blog posts but for the sake of all of our sanity, here are the highlights so far.
The Almighty Anne- From week one we have been fortunate to have the extensive local knowledge of Anne at our disposal. From giving us a guided tour of her town to taking hundreds of photographs for the show, Anne has been a valuable asset and has given us more on Grantham than we could have ever wished for. Many of her stories and contributions will build the foundation for our final showcase.
Harlaxton Manor- We had a wonderful day trip to what can only be described as the Hogwarts of Grantham (pictured above). This fascinating building was home to one of Grantham’s most eccentric and pioneering women, Violet Van Der Elst, and we were lucky enough to get a detailed tour. This was a real hidden gem and we were all enthralled by its grandeur and history.
Grantham Museum and Library- These two establishments have been extremely welcoming and have contributed an extensive amount of verbatim for our showcase. We have met so many lovely locals that are (quite rightly) very proud of Grantham’s rich heritage and have kindly shared this passion with us.
Betty- Last week we spent the afternoon with one of Grantham’s local celebrities. This inspirational woman is in her 80s and still writes, tells stories and frequents the radio. We all listened with awe as Betty shared her life story. She was incredibly inspiring and supportive of our project and we hope to use some of Betty’s stories in the showcase.
Although we have not secured performers to join us on stage in Grantham, we have had many contributions to the project in other forms. We are extremely grateful for all of the opinions, knowledge and stories that people have shared with us so far and we are excited about the prospect of having text based contributions too in the form of poetry, short stories and potentially song. We have been most interested by the numerous female pioneers that have inhabited Grantham. This, coupled with the numerous inspiring female participants that have taken part in the project, will be the basis of our performance on the 26th.
The playgoers- Last week we interviewed some of the playgoers who shared their passion for their theatre with us. We learned a lot about the heritage of the group and discussed some of the changes that have occurred in the way they operate. They were very open and honest with us which has helped paint a clearer picture of their place in the Louth community.
The Riverhead producers- Interviewing these young Louthians was extremely valuable. In a town that is, in the words of a local, “a retirement town”, the Riverhead producers provided us with a perspective of life as a young person there.
The lovely locals- The local people have been very accommodating and have tolerated our meddling in their beautiful market town. Although we have struggled with participation and engagement, there is no denying that the people of Louth are extremely friendly.
In Louth we are very pleased to have a local acapella group that will be performing at our showcase and we hope to be joined by more local musicians that frequent the emerging music scene in this small town. The showcase day is getting ever closer and over the next two weeks we will be piecing together an evening that celebrates the brilliance of Louth and gives the locals a chance to discuss the towns future.