Model citizens share their stories of coming to Great Yarmouth - in clay
- Credit: Joshua Grace
A clay model exhibition depicting the stories of more than 100 families in Great Yarmouth is to go on display from Monday.
The exhibition is the culmination of a project to explore the diversity of the town’s population and to reveal the backgrounds of some of its inhabitants.
Voluntary organisation Silver Darlings received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its Island Project.
This saw Silver Darlings artists Kevin Hunn and Charlotte Dickens encourage local people to tell their stories and make models representing them.
Charlotte said: “Working with all these different people has been such an incredible experience – we were touched by their openness. “Learning where they all came from and how their stories really reflect Yarmouth as it is today has been fascinating.”
Following citizen research earlier in the year, Charlotte and Kevin led interactive assemblies in local primary schools engaging children with their local history.
Families then took part in after-school workshops, making clay models and videos to tell their stories.
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The team also took to the streets in a video van, interviewing people out shopping and collecting more stories to be made into clay. More than 100 stories have now been captured on video with over 90 represented in clay models.
The models will be presented on a 7m replica of the Yarmouth sandbank, also showing the town’s towers and gates, upstairs in Great Yarmouth Library. Stories will also be displayed on walls and video interviews will be projected.
Some of the tales told
Ade Hayton who had grand plans to come to Yarmouth to train as a boatbuilder before sailing the world in his own boat.
He qualified but stayed in the town after he fell in love with a Gorleston girl and had his son Sam.
Abdu Mane now works every hour available at a chicken factory.
He left his beautiful hometown in the Azores to ensure his family’s survival, but remains grateful and optimistic.
Also Portuguese, Silvia Goncalves was a teacher in her home country but now works at Northgate Hospital as a housekeeper and cleaner.
Andrius Gluzeckis came from Lithuania to work as a web developer and for the adventure.
He spoke about communities coming together and rates Yarmouth people and police as among the most helpful and approachable he has encountered.
Benjamin Sutherland fondly remembered the days he spent herring fishing off the east coast as a Scottish trawlerman.
Mother and daughter, Elsa and Margarida Ribeiro are reunited now but when Elsa first came to work in Yarmouth she had to leave her daughter behind in Portugal.
Margarida is now 16, fluent in English and training as a veterinary nurse at Yarmouth College.
Visitors will be encouraged to add a flag showing their own family roots and to make a piece of the clay town wall.
The exhibition is being staged as part of the Out There Festival.
It is free to enter and will be open from 9am to 5pm every day except Wednesday (9am to 7.30pm) and Sunday (9am to 2pm).