Blazing a trail in Bellingham

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Children from Bellingham Middle School have recently premiered their film "Take the Lead" to much acclaim. The film is the culmination of two projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is the result of a collaboration between the Heritage Centre in Bellingham and Bellingham Middle School. The children involved worked closely with filmmakers Marc McKiernan and Vicky Jones from Haltwhistle Film Project. Children planned, and shot the film, and the editing group also learnt how to use some special effects during post-production.

A tremendous effort! So creative; really something to be proud of.

Congratulations to all involved

John Grundy 

Marc and Vicky:

David Walmsley, Education and Curatorial consultant to the Heritage Centre, said, "It was an inspiration to see how the children explored the Centre's many different themes and animated the collections so creatively using the Carriages as their 'journey'. For four days the Heritage Centre was transformed into a studio, full of blue screens, green carpet, blackouts sound and video equipment, lighting and miles of gaffer tape."

Headteacher, Dafydd Jones, who supported his pupils in one of the filming days said, "Over the past three years our school has developed a sound working relationship with the Heritage Centre and our children have benefitted from some fascinating creative learning opportunities."

In addition to the film pupils from Bellingham Middle School have produced a trail around Bellingham created by children for children. David Walmsley said "The creation of the trail required the children to look closely at what's around them, examining their own surroundings and analysing their own heritage. They devised the route, took the photographs and researched the stories of the places and buildings they agreed should be featured. The real challenge was to condense and present the text in less than 50 words – a cause of much anguish and frustration."

A specially commissioned illustrated map was produced by celebrated Northumberland artist, David Hall, whose stunning natural history prints are currently on show at the Heritage Centre.

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