I was delighted when staff at Chesterfield Library invited us to take part in their half-term reminiscence event, promoting the record office and our collections through craft activities with children and young people. So, last Tuesday I loaded up the car with a selection of craft materials, templates of trees, a large bundle of old and “less old” photographs of Chesterfield (courtesy of Picture the Past), as well as a small assortment of original archives to be displayed in the local studies section at the Library.
As always our intergenerational ‘History of You‘ craft activity engaged children as young as two in the history of their family as they designed and made their own colourful, furry, feathery and leafy trees. Not unsurprisingly the parents and grandparents who came along too enjoyed the activity just as much (and sometimes even more) than their children, and they shared stories about why cousin Laura is called Laura, and how Uncle Mick met Aunt Sally.
In the afternoon we tried something a bit different and, supported by third and fourth generation Cestrefeldians, a small group of 7-16 year olds prepared a display for the library revealing how Chesterfield Market Place has been used and has changed over the last 200 years. Inspired by the photographs from Picture the Past, the group re-created the clock tower of the Market Hall, created paper chains of people shopping and cows being sold, and arranged the old photographs to show a lively market town over the centuries and still going strong today.
You can see the display at Chesterfield Library, or here (below)
The whole day, which also included pumpkin badge making and owl crafting with Straight Curves, artefact handling with Chesterfield Museum and an exhibition on social housing from Homes For Good, was really fantastic and we were so pleased to be a part of it. The organisers have now started to think about the next event – and our table is already booked!