This blog is:

This blog is:
A living sketch book for the ideas generated during our Creative Halton Project in 2011. On this blog you will get to see the ideas as they pop up and see where the inspiration has come from. These are the ideas of the artists Beth Barlow and Jason Sheppard, informed by those we have spoken to. It has also grown to include the ideas sent to us by local residents . If you want to contribute please e mail

This blog is not:
A finished product. Many of the ideas here will be tested and seen to be the wrong for the place, time and its people. We hope that the ideas we take forward will be the correct ones, giving Runcorn a taste of its rich past, the positives in its present and notions about its future.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Derive in Runcorn

A derive is a word coined by a group of artists called the situationalists. As far as I understand it means wandering around a place in a kind of drift, considering how the things in the place affect what people do and how they feel. Our recent trips to Runcorn have probably been a bit more driven than a pure derive should be but its sometimes the parts in-between moving from a to b which bring up the most interest. We have been asking people we see round and about to think of an object which represents Runcorn old Towns past present and future. Standing trowel in hand, half way through re-patching his patio Tom stood in the shadow of the bridge and told us of Chewing gum and pears thrown from the American liners as they headed down the cut after the war. Sharon from Savers told us how the thing they sell most of is toilet roll and for the future she would like to see the preservation of local youth activities so wrestling ring was her choice of a future object. The lady whose job it is to collect the rubbish chose bins for present and future and pointed out the litter which sat outside the prolifically dotted about dustbins. Leather is a big Runcorn object from the past and the things brought in via the canals. We filmed as much of this as people wanted us to and are looking about for other people to contribute their ideas about past present and future objects. Maybe we could do a derive where we are blown about by the things people tell us. Somebody mentions a tannery and we head to its old site, then a mention of a kebab shop leads us there, it would certainly get us about.

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