Music, murals and Made in Wellington: what we did in 2018
You’ll notice that we haven’t been adding blog posts on here for a long while – but we wouldn’t want you thinking that Wellington H2A hasn’t been busy. In fact, it’s because we were so busy with our Makers’ Town project in 2017-18 (including creating a new website for the town) that our blog-writing on this site went onto the back burner. As we enter 2019, here’s a brief update on what we were up to over the last 12 months:
Charter Day rides again… and an invasion of Morris Dancers
Our annual Charter Day event on the first Saturday of March had to be called off due to the wintry weather, but we were keen to make this a postponement rather than a cancellation. And happily, our friends the Ironmen and Severn Gilders Morris Dancers have us a great opportunity the following month when we doubled up with their Day of Dance. This is something that Morris sides across the region take it in turns to host, inviting each other to their home town for a day of dancing. The Ironmen would usually host their event in Ironbridge, but with the bridge mid-renovation, and after getting such a good reception at our H2A events in recent years, they decided to host it in Wellington instead. Our group is very small and we’re unable to organise more events than we already do, but our hope is that we can provide ‘proof of concept’ and show others that Wellington is a good place to do interesting things. So, when other groups plan events in the town as a direct result of experiencing an H2A event, we’re thrilled.
The Midsummer Fayre and Sounds in The Square
This year’s fayre followed the usual format – around 40 local food, craft and community stalls, performances inside the parish church, outside in the churchyard and down in the Market Square, plus our 1773 costumed procession. Our regular musicians and dancers were joined by first-timers TACT, whose young performers drew a huge crowd in the Square, and folk-rock band Two Blank Pages. There was more music later in the summer with our Saturday morning ‘Sounds in The Square’ performances from Three a Bar Jazz Band, Cool and Uke, The Telfordaires and the Wrekin Inn’s Open Mic’ers.
Made in Wellington: The Makers’ Dozen Mural Trail
After more than 18 months’ work, June saw the completion of our Makers’ Dozen Mural Trail, funded largely by Telford & Wrekin Council’s Pride in Your High Street Fund plus sponsorship from local businesses and crowdfunding. The trail comprises 12 life-size portrait murals depicting some of Wellington’s historic makers – craftsmen, manufacturers and creatives from across several centuries. The amazing murals were painted by artist Paula Woof, whose hundreds of hours’ work are now on display for everyone to enjoy. The trail is accompanied by a printed booklet which we wrote (for free) and which reflects lots of research and writing time – you can get these at Wellington Library and Ken Francis Butchers, among other places. As well as guiding you around the trail and explaining who’s who in the images, it also features a directory of Wellington’s modern day makers.
Made in Wellington website
As part of the funded project, we also created a new website. The technical design work was done by local firm Runtime UK, whilst we produced the text and images. For years, town council members and others have talked about the need for one main website where people can go for info on town events and activities. We hope that this is it. Now that we’ve created the site, the events part will be maintained by the town council, and other content will be updated as and when needed. Like the booklet, it was a fair bit more time-consuming than we’d anticipated, but we hope we’ve come up with a website which shows off the town’s best bits, all around the theme of what’s ‘made in Wellington’. You can visit the website here.
A Christmas Made in Wellington – the town’s first Christmas ad!
Rounding off the year, we produced a short ‘town advert’ which we shared online. It wasn’t really planned – I was in Wellington one Saturday in late November and thought I’d do some filming then play with it on my iPhone editing app. The whole thing only cost £20 (for the rights to use the music on the soundtrack) – so even if you think it looks rubbish, you can’t say it’s not good value! It ended up getting about 22,000 views on Facebook and the town council played it on a loop on their new information screen in Market Square, so it’s probably been seen by quite a few others too.