Monday 7th February 2011
Anyone who has lived in Chesterfield for a long period of time will remember Arkwright, and the re building of a whole new village to replace the old which was rendered dangerous by the effects of methane emissions from ex mining works.
Now, the unique history of this North East Derbyshire village has been brought to life as part of a community art and drama project.
'Coal Not Dole!' (L-R): Arkwright resident Shannon Payton, playwright Lynn Ludditt, and local residents Carole Payne and Norma Dolby, pictured during final rehearsals.
Members of local community group, 'The ArkWriters', made up of residents of all ages and abilities, have spent a year researching the community and then working with a local playwright to re-create the story.
The project was funded by North East Derbyshire District Council Arts Development, Derbyshire County Council's Small Arts Grant and County Cllr David Chapman, with support from Rykneld Homes and Spirita Nottingham.
Cllr Graham Baxter MBE, Council Leader, said: "The story of Arkwright Town has a fascinating history which residents are enjoying exploring and bringing to life through this innovative project.
"The group is made up of all ages, abilities and interests who - through this project - have enjoyed developing their creative writing, arts and drama skills."
The group staged excerpts from the play for the local community at the Arkwright Miner's Welfare Club, alongside performances by the touring Pomegranate Playwrights and a fun 'pub quiz' testing people's knowledge of the town.
The group is continuing to collect and collate memories about the history of their town - if anyone would like to get involved, please contact Helena Davenport, Arts Development Officer, on (01246) 217510 or email email@example.com
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