Bloxwich is an old Market town steeped in History, first mentioned in the Domesday book, in 1086 known as Blocs Village (spelt Blocheswic) before the Norman Conquest of 1066. It was an Anglo-Saxon town in the Kingdom of Mercia, when a Mercian family of Bloc settled there.
Over the years Bloxwich developed into a Coal mining Town and cottage industries sprung up, ranging from iron mongers and leather making industry and much more.
Bloxwich like its near neighbour flourished from a population of 600 to 1700 in rapid time, leading to houses been built and settlements which eventually created the surrounding estates.
The "We are Bloxwich project" aims to capture the stories of Growing up in Bloxwich, during the 1940's its development into a larger town. The life styles and employment of its people and significant landmarks which helped to shape its history. We will video and photograph real stories whilst creating a safe place to address isolation and loneliness in modern times.
What we'll deliver:
- Video interviews of residents who grew up in Bloxwich in the 1940's
- Arts and Craft workshops replicating Crafts form the past/memorabilia
- Develop a local venue for addressing social isolation and loneliness
- Pinpoint Local Landmarks of historical interest
Why it's a great idea:
The project will capture the stories of an aging population whose stories have not been recorded.
It will put facts to key landmarks that are visible in Bloxwich but very few know the stories behind them.
It will provide historical heritage and facts to a timeline that would otherwise be lost.
It will build community engagement within Bloxwich, which currently appears to lack a focal point for community development.
Develop a local site which will provide a hub for community engagement.
Local people will share their stories and this will empower others to engage in local activities providing a vehicle for long term sustainability, woven into the fabric of a local Coffeeshop, which provides community engagement in an informal manner to combat, depression, social isolation and loneliness. The project will link into Walsall's Historical archives, its Heritage strategy and its wider agenda of Social prescribing across the NHS, whilst providing a voice for a wider ethnic and community.
Steps to get it done:
- Recruit the participants 1 month in.
- Recruit the young people
- Train the young people in community Research
- Train the young people in Camera and Video use.
- Develop engagement classes to share stories
- Develop Arts and Craft sessions to address loneliness
The project will have many aspects which crosses over many different local agenda's. Its potential recruitment of young people to act as interviewers, will provide an inter generational aspect to the project, whilst also supporting young people into gaining key transferable skills and wider links to an older community.
The project will provide a platform for a project which will engage many diverse cultures whose stories surrounding Bloxwich and its development as a major town would otherwise be lost.
Its historical significance since its notorious mention in the doomsday book has many tales which need to be captured in order to understand its place within the history archives of Walsall and the Black Country.
The people of Bloxwich have demonstrated in early research the desire to place on record their lives and their experience of growing up during the War, but also in watching a town develop from a market town into a place of expansion and wider impact, creatively and politically.