Thursday, August 09, 2007

Purbeck Footprints

OPPORTUNITY: Workshops for Writers

As part of the Purbeck Heritage Trust’s Purbeck Keystone Project, Artsreach has commissioned the writer Paul Hyland to lead Purbeck Footprints, an initiative which aims to stimulate new, high-quality writing about the local stone industry. Please see the attached sheet regarding this opportunity.

Most people who see quarrs from the footpath or stone lorries on the road have little idea of the quality of work that Purbeck has exported from both its cliffstone and Purbeck stone and marble quarries. Some have heard quaint stories about the Ancient Order of Purbeck Marblers and Stone Cutters or dramatic tales of wrecks and smuggling connected with the quarries. Few understand the scale and difficulty of the stone business or appreciate the impact of Purbeck craftsmen and materials on national and international architecture.

There are many areas for research and chances to record oral history. Paul’s writing workshop will be an opportunity to network and share resources as well as to stimulate and feed back on new writing and work-in-progress. Paul is a poet, travel writer, biographer and broadcaster; he will bring his expertise in these areas to the table together with his experience in encouraging good writing from workshop participants.

The workshops will be linked to a special series of walks exploring all aspects of the stone industry – geology, quarrying, the craft of the stonemasons… and we will invite experts in the stone industry, its history and craft, to some of the workshops.

The workshops (ten sessions – 7.30-9.30 pm) will start at weekly intervals in October 2007, then become fortnightly (as well as leaving a six-week gap for the Christmas period) and finish in March 2008. We still have to decide the venue and day of the week, but they will be held either on a Monday or a Wednesday and the venue will be in Purbeck, in the heart of stone country. The fee for all ten sessions is £50 (concessions available).

Places will be limited – if you are interested in finding out more, please contact Angie Green as soon as possible – / 01305 269512.

Best wishes

Angie Green

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