We’ve had a couple of fact finding tours around the mind blowingly huge Sunderland car plant in which we took over 3 hours to walk 3 miles and even then we didn’t see everything! Accompanied by a guide, who was a retired employee, I looked for things to explore through writing.
With all the activity and bustle and the sheer scale of the place, it wasn’t hard to find plenty of inspiration, in fact I was in danger of sensory overload!
There are 5 areas in the building of a car: Press, Body, Paint, Trim and Chassis. To enter them is like stepping into another world: dancing robots, miles of cables, gigantic machines with foundations as deep as a 3 storey building, a constant stream of part built cars floating above your head. With all systems planned to the last microsecond for absolute efficiency, it would be easy to see the workers almost as robots. And this is where our project comes in – to look at the humans and the humanity behind the machines. In the coming months, I’m looking forward to what unfolds.
I was thrilled to be invited to the recent launch and reading of the anthology Talking Threads, the most recent publication from the talented North Pens. The writing group is based at Stanhope Community Centre in the heart of magnificent Weardale. Their stories, poetry and memories are largely inspired by textiles with a diverse and fascinating interpretation from each writer.
I have been privileged to work with North Pens in the past, most recently for the We are Weardale project in Summer 2017 in addition to recording their work for listenupnorth (CLICK HERE)and can heartily recommend their book for a cracking read.
Here are the places where you can buy a copy:
Durham Dales Centre tourist info. shop
Weardale community hub
Weardale Gazette office
ST JOHNS CHAPEL
Bradley Burn Farm shop