We were certainly not sure how many people and memories or just what might be brought to the surface by our invitations to our first public event – the SHOW & TELL day at the Burton on 20th March! Preparations were made; tables and chairs arranged, exhibits displayed, pens, notepads, cameras and voice recorders at the ready, questionnaires and forms printed, workshop organized and refreshments laid out - and fear not, we were most pleasantly surprised…
a warm and enthusiastic gathering at the SHOW & TELL day (TDC 2013)
Along with two past Bideford Black miners (Gerald Ford and Ron Pither) and two past secretaries of the company (Jenny Shepherd and Valerie Horrell), relatives, artists and interested parties steadily proceeded into the room all with stories to share. Much tea and many biscuits were consumed as a small but energetic gathering developed around the tables recalling tales of the mines, meeting work mates and friends from years past, memories bubbling happily in the air.
Gerald Ford and Ron Pither sharing memories, with Paul Lewin’s wonderful Bideford Black drawing of Bideford Bay in the background (TDC 2013)
Artists sharing experiences of using Bideford Black (TDC 2013)
On the day we collected a wealth of stories, contributions and connections, and even a number of artefacts – an original pick and a miners lamp, as well as the promise of a pot of Biddiblack made by the old paint shop on Kingsley Road. Over the coming weeks and months we will try our best to post them on the blog and follow them up to be included in the final display and archive but for now those of us who took part will not easily forget the warmth and enthusiasm shared on the day.
the miner’s lamp and pick kindly donated to the project on the day (TDC 2013)
Many thanks to all who made the effort to come along and who contributed in whatever way. We are looking forward now more than ever to see just how the project develops and to sharing our memories with you all…