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Young and old combine for new arts project

PUBLISHED: 17:39 19 February 2018

The Oulton Broad Primary School children with their Lowestoft Folk story bags, ready to start collecting stories about local customs and traditions. Picture: Alex Jeffery

The Oulton Broad Primary School children with their Lowestoft Folk story bags, ready to start collecting stories about local customs and traditions. Picture: Alex Jeffery

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A new project, bringing young and old together in a unique celebration of Lowestoft’s folk heritage, has got under way.

The peg dolls were a great hit with the residents. Picture: Alex JefferyThe peg dolls were a great hit with the residents. Picture: Alex Jeffery

School pupils from Oulton Broad Primary School have begun a series of visits to the nearby Broadlands Care Home to explore their heritage with residents as part of the project.

Run by Suffolk Artlink, the new arts project – Lowestoft Folk – sees the school pupils and nearby care home residents meeting regularly over a three month period to take part in creative activities together, which explore Lowestoft’s folk heritage.

Rosemary, a resident at Broadlands Care Home, obviously delighted with the peg doll given to her  by one of the Oulton Broad pupils. Picture: Alex JefferyRosemary, a resident at Broadlands Care Home, obviously delighted with the peg doll given to her by one of the Oulton Broad pupils. Picture: Alex Jeffery

Before the meeting, the Oulton Broad primary youngsters made individual peg dolls as gifts for the care home residents, while the residents created a poem based on their experiences of tea time as children, alongside artist, Caitlin Howells.

During the visits, residents and children spent time with creative writer, Lynn Whitehead exploring old phrases and sayings, customs and traditions. They also enjoyed a visit from storyteller, Liam Carroll, who wrote and told an original story based around the collections in Lowestoft Museum.

Each child had made a peg doll, to give to a resident, and it was clearly much appreciated. Picture: Alex JefferyEach child had made a peg doll, to give to a resident, and it was clearly much appreciated. Picture: Alex Jeffery

Explaining why he wanted to take part, Oulton Primary School pupil, Jenson, said: “Lowestoft is where I was born, my family and history belongs here. I would love to find out more about my home town.”

Broadlands Care Home resident, Roy, said: “I thought that was lovely, mixing with the children. It brings it all back to you.”

Broadland residents look on as Rosemary is given one of the peg dolls - specially made by the children for each resident. Picture: Alex JefferyBroadland residents look on as Rosemary is given one of the peg dolls - specially made by the children for each resident. Picture: Alex Jeffery

Candida Wingate, Suffolk Artlink project officer, added: “It’s such fun, bringing the children and residents together to work in this creative way. The children have already found out so much from the adults, and so many snippets of family customs and traditions have been shared.”

Lowestoft Folk is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Lowestoft Rising and is being delivered in partnership with Lowestoft Museum and the Maritime Museum.

The two-year project will see artists lead school pupils and care home residents in a creative exploration of artefacts and stories found in Lowestoft’s Museums. Pupils from four Lowestoft schools – including Oulton Broad, Pakefield and Roman Hill primary schools – will each be paired with a nearby residential care home.

From this summer, Suffolk Artlink will also be holding family storytelling events and workshops for people in Lowestoft, as well as running touring exhibitions of the work created by participants.

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