Digital Animation A local history project

A collaborative project with Wigan Archives & Leigh Local Studies and St John's CE Primary School, Leigh. Using digital animations skills to recreate 'A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner'. The Archives team worked with families to explore our mining heritage and create a stop-motion animation film.

Following a training session the families set to work using archive images and Lego.

The aim of the project was to introduce new audiences to the Archives, use archive collections to inspire creativity and allow families the chance to work together and learn new digital skills. In addition, a Curriculum Plan was to be produced for using with future projects. The finished film would be showcased at a premiere event and used across social media and the local press to promote the Archive and Local Studies service.

Each day began with a visit to the Archives.

The project was run over two days with additional time factored in for preparation and editing the finished movie. Each day began with a tour of the Archives followed by a training session at school and animation time. Each day ended with a showcase of the movie scenes each family had created. The project ended with a premiere event at Leigh Turnpike Gallery with the support of Leigh Film Society. Footage used in the movie was kindly arranged by the North West Film Archive.

The project was very successful, enjoyed by all who took part. Comments from feedback include :-

"Really enjoyed the day! Great resources and staff support"

"Really enjoyed spending time with my son in school"

"I think the lads and Dads projects are a great idea. Thank you to everyone for their hard work! Can’t wait to see the final movie"

Evaluation & Impact

The Archives, School and participants found the project a valuable activity to: promote the archives, use archive collections, up-skill parents using digital technology for education, show teaching professionals how the archives can be effectively used across the curriculum, involve local families in a history project and work collaboratively with other heritage organisations.

21 families took part on the animation days - 21 children and 21 adults. 80 people attended the premiere event.

As at 5th May 2017 statistics show:-

  • Youtube views of the film - 214. Comment, "I love it. Great job to all involved."
  • Facebook - 4 posts relating to the project reached a total of 6360 users. The posts were shared by Liverpool & South West Lancs History Society. Comments on Facebook - "Absolutely brilliant! Our children had a magical time. A huge thank you to Wigan & Leigh Archives" - Deputy Head of St John's CE Primary School. "Shared with an ex-miner who will appreciate this".
  • Twitter Impressions - 1709
  • Instagram - 90 likes/views

Wigan PR team released a press article that was posted on their own website news page, Bolton Journal website and appeared in the Leigh Journal local newspaper. Lancashire Mining Museum would like to show the film as part of the exhibition.

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