The NASH and Dales Countryside Museum are delighted to confirm a new heritage project: The Story of Schools in the Upper Dales.
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund, the project will delve into the development of schools over time in Upper Wensleydale, Swaledale and Arkengarthdale.
The story will unfold through the gathering of oral histories in which the memories of those who attended Dales schools from the 1930s onwards will be recorded, as well as the undertaking of new research.
There will be an engagement programme in which pupils from three local primary schools will locate historical school photographs, piece together their stories and use them to learn about the past. There will also be a campaign for the wider community, encouraging everyone to locate their old photos of school life in the Upper Dales and share them through social media and drop-ins.
Digital artist Helen Marshall of The People’s Picture will use these photos and stories to produce a giant heritage photo mosaic. The mosaic will be made up of 1000+ photos that overall will create a whole new picture that tells a shared Story of Schools. Pupils will help to decide on the final mosaic image and document their learning in a short film.
Activity will culminate in an exhibition at Dales Countryside Museum opening in January 2021 telling The Story of Schools through the big reveal of the mosaic, short film, display boards, audio recordings and artefacts.
Emily Rowe Rawlence of The NASH in Hawes says: ‘The NASH, now used as a dance studio, is a former Victorian school and across the Upper Dales almost every village or hamlet has at least one and sometimes several buildings with a variation of the name ‘The Old School House’. These buildings dot our landscape as ghosts with a pent-up story to tell. What have their walls seen? This project will offer a new perspective on local history that not only gives a voice to more elderly members of our community but also celebrates the dynamic youth of the Dales – both now and throughout history. It will tell new stories, of buildings and of people, and put little-known school sites on the map’.
Jan Linsley, Chair of Governors at Hawes Primary School, says: ‘This project is a perfect study of local history. We are particularly keen to champion our small rural schools and the vital roles they play in our local communities. The education and outreach sessions will offer fantastic opportunities for members of our community of all ages to share their photos and school memories, and to unearth the education heritage of the Dales’.
Huge thanks to our funders The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Yorkshire Dales National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund.
For enquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos from DCM archive: Garsdale School; Askrigg School 1905: Askrigg School 1906.