One Photograph Album

Book Page Front Cover

Intriguing isn’t it?

In practical archiving terms we’ve now got an item and this would be recorded on a list, given a number and put away somewhere safe. That would be the end of it, job done. But for us at MPA that’s not enough (oh no, this is where the relentlessness/masochism starts) we really want to be able to share our stories with you and that’s where the blog is coming in.

There are times when I find things in the archive that are so lovely instead of squeaking and doing a little happy dance, I stay quiet and keep them to myself. Just to revel in the moment of being the first person in 40 or 50 years to see something and appreciate it. In a way to take that small bit of time to fall in love with it. I want these pictures on my walls at home, but then again, I want so much of the archive on my walls I’d have to get a bigger house! This photo album is one of my favourite things so far. I have very little information about it, no date or place, but what’s inside is just too gorgeous,   I have to share it with you. Just you though, because you’ll get it!

Pull out pic 1

They went on a trip! On two gorgeous double decker buses.

Pull out pic 7


Pull out pic 2


Pull out pic 3


Pull out pic 8


Pull out pic 5

I absolutely hate clowns but this has to be my favourite!


Pull out pic 6


Pull out pic 4


Pull out pic 9


Now I’m going to try and let you into the secret of how my mind works. The only clue I’ve got in these photos is the writing in the sand  ‘Drama Workshop’.  Now rightly, or wrongly, I automatically link it to other items in the collection about Drama Workshops. Like this poster…


Drama Workshop Dark Green

This shows that from very early on Mid Pennine Arts saw the importance of not just bringing quality exhibitions and shows to the area for people to watch, but also providing a chance for, particularly young, people to make and take part in the arts. It might just be wishful thinking on my part but I like to imagine that one year in the mid 1970’s these kids got the chance of a seaside trip.

The aim to provide Drama Workshops/Youth Theatre experiences continued. This example from 1985 shows a teenage Julie Hesmondhalgh (girl jumping on the right) of Coronation Street and more recently Broadchurch fame.

Acting school at Moorhead High - with Julie Hesmondhalgh - Lancs Evening Telegraph - 12.8.85

I don’t believe that anything we have here in the archive is a one off stand-alone object. To me, quite aptly as the Pennines is a collection of industrial cotton towns, every item weaves itself into the story of the whole. MPA’s 50 year story which grows every minute of every day.

As always your memories are an important part of that story too. Did you take a trip on the ‘Load of Mischief’ bus? Do you recognise anyone in the amazing pictures or did you take part in a Drama Workshop?

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Please email me.

Thanks Fiona




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