Borderland Voices a charity promoting Health and Well-being through the Arts


Land of the Churnet Project

Land of the Churnet ArtThe Land of the Churnet  focuses on Haregate, encouraging work between the generations.   It particularly wants to involve older people, the unemployed and youngsters, showing how much they can achieve by working together.   

The River Churnet rises below the Roaches near the Winking Man pub and flows through Tittesworth Reservoir, past Tessenderlo at Bridge End and through Cheddleton.  It merges with the Caldon Canal at Consall and flows through Froghall and Oakamoor and south of Alton Towers , before eventually joining the Dove just south of Rocester.    

Its history (for example Leek's silk industry and the building of Tittesworth reservoir), folklore, landscape and wildlife has given us lots of ideas.  We have walked into the valley to see it change with the seasons and have had mini-bus visits to places of interest such as Tittesworth Reservoir.

This has prompted memories and ideas and, with the support of professional artists, got people involved in all sorts of creative activities including art, music, dance, drama, writing, story-telling, textiles, ceramics and photography.  There has been something for everyone, even people who don't think they're 'artistic'.  

The Land of the Churnet was keen to work with as many local groups as possible, from the Haregate Neighbourhood Partnership to the Tittesworth Rangers; St Paul's Church to the schools; the over 50's Gentle Keep Fit Club to the Children's Centre; the Stroke Club to the Youth Club.  

Existing mental health service users involved with BV, who have all lacked confidence in the past, have also taken part in The Land of the Churnet.  We hope that these two strands – interesting, creative activities linked to the local area and positive role models - encouraged people to get involved.  

As the project gathered momentum, we took part in local events such as the Haregate Gala, Art in the Park and the Strawberry Moon Fayre, before rounding off the project with our participation in Charles Monkhouse's Night Stations Project and a grand Land of the Churnet Lantern Parade will take place on the estate on 23rd October 2009.

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On Tuesday 24th Sept we are having a day at Tate Liverpool to see the current major exhibition of work by Marc Chagall. Subsidised by BV/Lloyds TSB, exhibition entry is £5; bring sandwiches or buy lunch there. Please let Andy know by 10 Sept if you want to come so she can confirm tickets. Rose will lead follow-up sessions inspired by the work.