I Saw Silver Shining

Yesterday I was back at J.W. Evans Silver Factory, in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, leading another workshop for English Heritage in this extraordinary place. This time, the entrance was packed with excited children as we hosted a big home educated group, aged from 4 years old to 10, plus their parents and carers. I had a really lovely morning.

First we explored the workshops, the children trying hugely hard not to touch anything! I loved the way their eyes widened at the thought of dust that’s laid there maybe fifty years, and fingerprints on tools laid down and left decades back.

Afterwards I asked the children to each tell me what they’d seen/smelt/felt and thought about the silver factory. I wrote it all down in their words, then edited it (with one bit of my head) while they made tiny books for their own poems (which I helped with using another bit of head). Here’s some tiny books:

At the end of the workshop, the children and I performed the collaborative poem (they did the repeating line, brilliantly, I must say):

In the abandoned workshops
the smells of oil and iron
and on the floor made out of stones
the spanner that was so heavy
but easy for me to pick up

I saw silver shining

It was dark in there
when I swung on the rope
and the weight went up by only this much
I think it was haunted
it smells of dusty oil
I imagine there were hundreds of ghosts

I saw silver shining

Ghosts were behind me
ghosts ready to squish your head
there were wooden bricks on the floor
there was silver hot as magma
dangerous melted silver

I saw silver shining

In smells of oil and rust
and big weights that must be heavy
I saw beautiful candle moulds
I saw shelves of silver moulds
and people used to work hard here

I saw silver shining

One thought on “I Saw Silver Shining

  1. How lovely to be able to create more magic in a place already magical. I lived in the Quarter for five years and left a bit of my heart there!

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