Wednesday, 10 October 2012

R.A.F Cadets at Benton

The RAF cadets session went really well, I had been asked to carry out the work as part of their Geordie Toon celebrations. There were around 35 cadets between the ages of 15-20 years who were really good fun. They joined in, answered questions, tried on the WW11 helmet, gas mask, played blow football, yoyo, cup and ball games etc. I had a cuppa and met some lovely dedicated people who keep the whole thing going.

Next project will involve story telling, crafts, improv workshops for 13-19 year olds. This will also be new to me, but I am really enjoying the research into local heroes, characters and ghost storie`s/myths of Tyneside. Have- trolley-will-travel again, stuffed to capacity with props. As the sessions will be outdoors in various park venues, (I will have a tent and tables) I have purchased a couple of washing lines and pegs to hang the props from and folks can choose whatever takes their imagination. Maybe mask and prop making might be an option. But definitely some drawing involved.

Worked for the library service in Saturday as part of World Mental Health Day. We set up the stand with drawings and information on health and well being. There were more adults came to draw and experiment with characters than children which was excellent. While it`s not meant to be therapy, drawing is extremely theraputic. We shared a stand with Autism help desk and NHS. There were dancers, singers, poets and zumba workshops along with many information desks offering advice and links to their organisations.

Meeting with Kit Haigh in my pal Des Walton`s old house. He is now living there and is keeping most of the excellent original features. He has just finished a tour with Northumbrian musician Kathryn Tickell. He is busy working on a project which will involve actors playing Des and his friend Jimmy Forsyth. Kit has become interested in the history of the pair since moving into the house and discovering their friendship. We spoke about my memories of Des and I am more than happy to offer any information which may be of help. He has lots of ideas to make Des proud. I left a couple of things for him to borrow which may or may not be useful.

Whenever I visited Des, we always talked of local history and he was a mine of information. If ever I wanted to borrow a book, map or video, out would come the records book where he wrote who had anything of his, what date and when it was returned, ever the librarian. On leaving Kit`s house, he made me laugh when he said "Should you not have got me to sign something for the things I`ve borrowed"  I said that Des would be watching and saying "Why have you left without getting a signature!"

Also spent a productive evening at I W`s house with my publisher. He is working on a book on our friend Audrey Guthrie, boxer and local bus driver. She has a fascinating history of matches all around Britain, has met some very skilled people and done lots of charity fundraising for cancer research.  The launch should be in November and I predict that the sales will go through the roof.  Watch here for book cover photo soon.

Had a great time at Jane`s party, good food company and conversation. Andrew Belshaw has a book launch soon, his photographs will compliment Sheree Mack`s poems, he also has new Xmas cards and calendars released. Check out his fridge magnets and cup designs. (Pictured second right of first photo)

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