Tor Bridge High
Bickleigh Down Primary
Monday 18th July 2011 - Tor Bridge High
The all-day Estover event was the only Big Arts Festival event that found itself truly on the wrong side of the weather gods. Last year, courtesy of our partners The National Trust, it was located in a sun-baked Plym Valley meadow, this year...it rained!
After an early morning ‘pitch inspection’ it was clear that the field was going to be too wet to use and with more rain threatening we switched to plan B. This was to relocate to Tor Bridge High and specifically The Soundhouse, the growing campus’s renowned music and community facility. Thanks to the Soundhouse’s Dave Perret and Tor Bridge’s Antonia Texidor (and many other understanding staff) lessons were re-located, equipment and artists housed and gazebos erected outside for activities that just couldn’t take place indoors.
When the children from Leigham, Thornbury and special guests Bickleigh Down Primary Schools arrived we were able to swiftly arrange all 142 into mixed groups that were just as quickly allocated to the different activities. These included woodland skills and craft with the National Trust, environmental art with Nick Ridley, shadow puppets with Stiltskin, circus skills with Emerge, steel pan with Tor Bridge students, dance with Ali Selway and sport with Plymouth Sports Academy. Much imaginative use was made of Tor Bridge’s small copse and Emerge’s circus skills dodged showers and switched venues inside and out according to the weather.
In addition to the activities everyone also had the chance to view work created by families who participated in Barefoot’s Aim Higher funded ‘Family Futures’ project, including beautiful batik banners which the parents and children produced with final workshop leaders Stiltskin. Several of the participants also came along to take part.
After four cycles of intense workshop activity - interspersed with lunch - everyone gathered in the theatre to watch performances by all three primary schools, including drama and song. Finally, after a mass transfer of everyone to the Soundhouse auditorium, we all enjoyed three numbers from the amazing ‘Mixed Up’ steel band; a fitting end to a great day - despite the weather.
Rhys Thomas- Emerge
(Plymouth Sports Academy)