Children at West Coker School have been working with Dawe’s since 2014 on various projects – described below
Their latest involvement is the 2016 Flax Project organised by Joanna Ball, the Bristol-based artist commissioned by Simon of OSR Projects to be one of three ‘Ropewalkers’. Here you see the sowing of flax seed in May:
In 2015, the pupils raised money to replace one of the 24 oak posts which support the front of the main ‘walk’. After it was installed, they all came along to sign their names on the post:
…and here is the story of their first project:
We are delighted that the children of West Coker School (with Cait Crisp and other staff) helped with the restoration of the Twineworks as a ‘community project’. 28 pupils arrived on November 7th 2014 for a tour of the factory and to witness the FIRST TWISTING OF TWINE UNDER POWER SINCE 1968. In the following weeks they spent a hour each week on projects which helped to get the twineworks up and running again. These included:
- making guides for the twine treatment runs by hammering in 4″ nails – 25 nails into each of 19 guides. All 19 done. That’s 475 nails!
- cutting 25 exact lengths of twine so we can assemble the treatment run (done)
- learning how to make balls of twine using an original restored balling machine
- raising money to pay for one of the 24 new oak posts. Done.
- creating a display of original nuts and bolts which cannot be re-used
- gardening and planting bulbs
- cleaning 100 years of grime off an original machine. Two barrow-loads of muck removed
- painting the main drive pulley black (finished)
- cleaning mud from railway lines and using it to fill in potholes in the driveway
- painting the original steam boiler. Lower part done. Now we need taller children.
- painting a machine pulley wheel blue. Done
- cutting back and clearing bushes from the drive. Done
- painting engine cooling pipes. Done
- moving and cleaning lots of exhibits into our ‘museum’. Done
All 85 pupils took part in the project. We think it is important and appropriate that these children learn of and experience the Twineworks because it is part of their history. Some will have had great, and great great-grandparents, uncles etc who spent their working lives there.
Here are photos, some taken by the children (you can click on each one to view it larger):