This Monday we had another exciting project event – our first meeting with schoolteachers from across Lancashire, who we hope will get involved with their students in finding Cotton Famine Poetry.
We were very lucky to be able to hold this event at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, thanks to the museum’s helpful staff and to Jessica Forshaw of Lancashire County Council’s Heritage Learning team, who facilitated the event. Jessica gave us a fascinating whistle-stop tour of the museum’s collections at the start of the event, taking us on a journey through the history of cotton production in Lancashire. This was really helpful for us, as it situated the Cotton Famine and the people it affected in a much broader historical context.
Brian, Simon, and I introduced the project, explaining what Cotton Famine Poetry is and how we find it. This lead to very productive discussion with the teachers, as well as Jessica and a representative of Lancashire Libraries who kindly assisted with library-related queries. We were absolutely thrilled with the level of enthusiasm about the project, and gained some really useful insights into how we can help teachers to get involved. It was a really fun event, and will hopefully lead to some of Lancashire’s school students playing a really vital role in uncovering poetry in their own local area.
If you work in a school in Lancashire or Greater Manchester and would like to get involved, please do get in touch with us. We are also always happy to hear from groups that would like us to do an event in their area.
If you don’t already, please also follow our social media channels for regular updates – sometimes with poems!
Dr Ruth Mather.