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Cranes at the old Swan Hunter Yard

News Guardian (Whitley Bay, England, UK) , April 16, 2008


The famous shipyards of Wallsend have, over the past 18 months, slowly been taken apart and shipped off to India. But the memories of the residents of Wallsend and North Tyneside will always be a part of their lives and this spring the town is to play host to a variety of exciting arts workshops focusing on the role that women played in the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend.

Victoria Smyth from Access Inclusion and Development in Arts (AIDA CIC), Wallsend is helping to organise the project.

She said: "We are trying to capture the memories and stories of these women to create a legacy, making sure that their work is not forgotten.

"We believe there may be some women still in the area that worked in the shipyards or their family and friends who may be able to recount some of their stories.

"We have already found out about an aunt who was a welder and of another woman called Lily who was responsible for making aprons and leather goods.

"We decided to represent and explore these stories using art.

"The initial project started off quite small, but as we began to tell artists about the idea, they get really excited and wanted to be a part of it.

"It generated so much interest that we had to expand it.

"I think it touches a chord with the local community."

Subjects Covered: education, personal storytelling

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