The shortest month of the year feels like the busiest for some time. For the last week our feet have hardly touched the ground. Here’s how it’s been with the project in the past five days:
Morning - Very excited to meet some fabulous, although pretty nervous looking, second year Art and design students from Liverpool John Moores University presenting the latest designs for the installation. Can’t tell you how impressed me and Tony Wailey were with their work and their proposals. As you can see from the image, it is designed to suggest a stokehold on a ship, while carrying as much information as possible, including many archive items, in a way that is accessible to all ages. It will also, through the use of the pipes, include a ‘soundscape’, suggesting the noise of the sea. The next stage is a mock up, and then on to the build.
Evening - The Archive volunteers met again on Monday evening. Led by Tony Wailey and Val Stevenson, the group got down to the task of cataloguing and indexing the artefacts we have collected. This is now the key task required to get everything in to place for the opening of the archive exhibition at Liverpool Central Library in May. Great work by the group, and something we will be continuing with each Monday evening at LJMU’s Aldham Robarts Library, Maryland Street, 6pm, every Monday.
Evening - On Monday night we also had local actor, Paul Duckworth, with us. He took time out from his rehearsals for the new Everyman Theatre’s opening play, Twelfth Night, to record the voice over of George Garrett’s Voice for the short film. We have been granted the use of a state of the art recording booth from LJMU for this work – much thanks to them for that.
Tuesday 25th: Mike Morris travelled over to Nottingham with Chris Chadwick from The Hatch TV - http://www.thehatch.tv/, to film Professor John Lucas. John pioneered the research and discovery of neglected and forgotten working class writing, and was the main mover behind the publication of Michael Murphy’s excellent collection of George Garrett’s short stories. John, although retired is incredibly active with his own writing, and also as a publisher with his ‘Shoestring Press’, through which he publishes a huge amount of memoir and poetry. He’s the type of person you could chat with all day, extremely knowledgeable, generous with his time, and also with his thoughts on George Garrett’s work, which he regards very, very highly.
Wednesday 26th: Almost disaster, but Alexei a trooper. In the midst of lots of prep for Thursday – finalising the script for the voice over recording, working out locations, etc., Alxei Sayle emails to say he’s been in bed all day with a heavy cold…but he’s still coming on Thursday to record the VO with us. Hallelujah!
Thursday 27th: Me, Wes storey, Chris Chadwick, Tony Wailey and Stuart Borthwick (WoW Trustee and LJMU Programme manager), recce at the Redmond Building to finalise details for the day. Me and Tony then get down to Lime Street to meet Alexei off the train. Quietly spoken, suffering with cold, but no doubt delighted to see us, we whisk him back up to the Redmond building and, by way of grabbing coffee and water, get straight into the recording studio. He’s surprising clear even with his cold, and it’s a take in just over an hour. Happy days. We do the inevitable shot down at a very windy Albert Dock, and get him inside for a warm lunch. I’m sure he was disappointed to leave us, but he did look rather relieved to be getting back on the train. And not one ‘hello John got a new motor’ gag from us all day.
Friday 28th: I wrote this blog, and sorted all the receipts. As you do. Roll on the weekend!