Archive for January 17th, 2011

Liverpool is helping culture to thrive

January 17th, 2011

Museum of Liverpool

Liverpool City Council is laying the foundations for an even stronger cultural community.

Working in partnership with Merseyside ACME and Liverpool Vision, free business advice will be available to cultural organisations to give them the skills and expertise they need to succeed.

The Creative Growth Initiative will be led by business expert David Parrish, a creative, cultural and digital sector specialist, who will pass on invaluable advice and guidance on how to make organisations self-sufficient in these tough economic times.

Enterprises are offered a confidential business review and will be given help in areas which could benefit them – from marketing and business plans to fundraising strategies and hints on how to become more entrepreneurial.

This project forms part of Culture Liverpool’s Fit for the Future programme which focuses on bringing together organisations and their expertise to develop the city’s cultural strategy. The city council’s cabinet member for Culture and Tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We want to do everything we can to give cultural organisations the tools to survive.

“It’s important for them not just to rely on short-term funding but to become self-sufficient and sustainable in their own right.  I encourage as many organisations as possible to make the most of the free expertise on offer which really could help their business to bloom.

“Every organisation needs to prepare to weather the economic storm, and we want to help them to do this as we know how important culture is to this city.”

Photograph © Copyright Eirian Evans and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


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Pupils will learn about tree surgery when heritage park is pruned

January 17th, 2011

On Wednesday, January 19th pupils from Moorpark Junior School will see tree surgeons remove a dying cherry tree from Burslem Park, as part of preparation work for its £2million restoration.

Around 30 children from years five and six will watch professional tree surgeons climb, remove branches from and take out a diseased section of a cherry tree.

This is part of a raft of planting and pruning work being carried out by Stoke-on-Trent City Council ahead of a £2million scheme later this year to restore the park’s pavilion and buildings, its Victorian terracotta fountains and the rose garden.

Councillor Terry Follows, cabinet member for the environment, said: “The children will be given a demonstration of how professional tree surgeons climb trees in order to get to problem sections. They will also see part of the trunk of the cherry tree removed to reveal the extent of the disease, and to help count the rings to see how old the tree is.

“The tree unfortunately needs to be removed because its crown has decayed, and it is dying. It is a mature tree and is about 20ft tall. It is one of a number of trees which needs attention, but as part of the work, we will be planting over 70 new trees and around 35,000 new plants.

“This is a great experience for the children to be a real part of the work that is going on at a park which is right on their doorstep.”

Over the coming weeks, tree surgeons will continue to prune some trees, and remove those that are dead, dying, dangerous or diseased, or are impacting negatively on buildings and structures.

The work will help to open up views and spaces and restore the park’s historic landscape to how it was intended when it first opened in the 1890s.

Councillor Follows added: “The work is being handled very sensitively, and a great deal of preparation has gone in to identify the trees involved. The park has a total of 535 trees, and we will be planting new species, such as three types of oak, as well as thousands of plants and bushes that will provide habitat for local wildlife and improve the look of the park.”

Pupils from Moorpark Junior School have also put forward designs for a new sculpture in the park, which will be considered when the restoration work begins in the coming months.

Headteacher Jackie Pakes said: “We only have a small Tarmac play area for our pupils, so Burslem Park is our outdoor classroom – we hold sports days and party in the park community events there, and go into the park for geography lessons.

“The park is an important part of school life so it is wonderful to be involved in this work.

“As well as seeing tree surgeons at work, the children are taking part in a podcast competition, with junior reporters interviewing some of the tree surgeons, the urban park ranger and members of the Burslem Park Partnership. It is a great way for pupils to gain first hand practical experience and improve their skills.”


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Education in Newcastle from the middle ages to the 19th century

January 17th, 2011
Orme’s English School 

During the Middle Ages the church provided education. Doctors and lawyers were trained in monastic colleges. The sons of noblemen and wealthy merchants were sent to boarding schools attached to abbeys. Parish priests taught in village schools and every town had a grammar school. In Newcastle-under-Lyme the Dominican Friars ran schools for girls and boys.These schools closed when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. Church of England clergymen, who replaced the Catholic priests, refused to reopen them. The few schools opened in Elizabethan England were established by merchant guilds, town councils or private citizens.

A trust was created by Thomas Alleyne to build schools at Stone and Uttoxeter. Newcastle’s borough council erected a boys’ school where fee paying pupils were taught reading, writing and arithmetic. On April 9th, 1602, Thomas Clayton founded a charity that enabled the school to employ a graduate with a bachelors degree from Oxford or Cambridge to teach 30 poor boys free of charge.

During the 17th century James Cowell founded a Dame School where the schoolmistress, Jane Fernihough, taught 80 poor children.

In 1692, the boys’ school became a grammar school when William Cotton gave it the money to pay a teacher to teach Latin and Greek. Thirteen years later in 1705, Edward Orme, a clergyman who had been headmaster of the grammar school, established a charity school where boys received an elementary education before being apprenticed to skilled craftsmen. The school, which had 30 pupils, was housed in the Presbyterian Meeting House near St. Giles’ Church.

After rioters attacked and set fire to the meeting house in 1715, a school was erected on land adjacent to the churchyard. Orme’s School was the only school opened in Newcastle during the 18th century. When the Charity Commissioners visited the town in 1825 they found all the schools run down and neglected.

There were only 20 pupils attending the Dame School where 75 year old Mary Fox was the teacher. Too old to teach, Mary looked after the children while their parents were at work. The school closed when she died in 1827. The grammar school was housed in a small badly ventilated building between Hassell Street and Brunswick Street. When they visited Orme’s school, the commissioners discovered inefficient administration and financial irregularities. They closed the school and its trustees became involve in Chancery litigation that lasted 20 years. New trustees were appointed in 1845. The old school was sold and an elementary school for 150 boys, called Orme’s English School, was erected, at Higherland.

Copyright Betty Cooper 2010

Photograph © Copyright Kerry Widdowson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.




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Culture Helps Liverpool Survive Recession

January 17th, 2011

Despite the recession, culture is bringing money into Liverpool, which became a World Heritage Site in 2004.

Figures published by the city council, show the number of visitors is increasing and that they are spending more money than in previous years.

Last year the Mathew Street Music Festival attracted 320,000 visitors who spent £20 million. Africa Oye, a celebration of African culture, had 50,000 visitors and brought in £1.3 million. Another money-spinner was On the Water Front, an attraction that made £1.2 million from its 65,000 visitors.

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “These figures are fantastic and show that, despite the fact that money is tight, culture continues to play an important part in people’s lives and if we can deliver events and festivals which inspire them, they will continue to come and spend money in the city.”


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