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.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Things we have noted about Runcorn which may or may not be true.

  • Everybody we have met has been friendly and talkative.
  • The bridges are important to Runcorn people and the thought of a new bridge brings some hope.
  • There are a lot of interesting shops still in Runcorn.
  • Runcorn used to be a thriving shopping destination which people would travel to.
  • People park in Runcorn for the day and travel elsewhere this blocks up parking for Runcorn shoppers.
  • People like the outdoor market.
  • There are a lot of people in Runcorn with great knowledge and interest in its history.
  • Shutters down in the day make the centre look closed. There are two very different economies, night and day.
  • There are a lot of waterways.
  • The Brindley is well loved.
  • Its hard to walk around the outside of Runcorn and to work out how to get back to the old town.
  • Pavements around the edges of the old town are hard to find.
  • Cafes seem to do ok in Runcorn.
  • The only remaining industry in the area is chemicals, all the tanneries have shut down, maybe due to the invention of rubber soles on shoes.
  • The air quality is probably better than it was in the tannery days.
  • There are no shoe shops or clothes shops in Runcorn any more.
  • Big shops won't come to the town because the shops are too small.
  • Runcorn had a lot of pubs due to the seamen who travelled through.
  • Runcorn used to have a lot of churches.
  • People used to come to Runcorn to take the waters.
  • Everybody we have met has been eager to get involved.
  • The local shop owners are all proud of their place in Runcorn and want to ensure that it carries on into the future.
  • There are a lot of missing shops including those which have been knocked down.
There is an awful lot of good in Runcorn old town, the good seems to focus on its people and their dedication. The bad seems to be around the derelict spaces and the systems which make it hard for the economy to thrive. It seems to me ( And remember I'm just a humble artist) that the power of the people's energy can be used to create a new vibrancy to the spaces. I've worked in Runcorn on and off for about 13 years now and I've never had issues with getting people be they kids or older people involved, this is unique to places like Runcorn.

As always comments very much welcome be they in agreement or against.

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