BiBi Blog forty

It’s been a bit of a quiet time after all the excitement. A group of us are helping to put everything back and to get everything organised for finishing our project.

We all feel that we have all gained so much from being a part of this , it’s been a once in a lifetime experience and we all have benefitted so much.

BiBi Blog thirty –nine

I have been helping some mums and their children who are at the local school to talk with them about how we all got involved in the central ward heritage project. The children were genuinely interested and said that it sounded like such a good idea. I think I helped them to think about heritage in a more interesting way.

BiBi Blog thirty –eight

The Exhibition has been moved to the Library and we all went down to help set up the posters and the booklets. The library lady told us that many people have been in to look at the exhibition and that there has been a lot of interest.

The project booklet looks really good. We feel really proud of being part of making that booklet, all of us are really feeling a sense of achievement.

BiBi Blog thirty –seven

The Exhibition has been really well received we have had a few enquiries about how we all came up with the ideas and it’s been good to talk about our involvement. We got a really nice photograph in the Newspaper about our launch.

I have volunteered to write up some comments and feed back from the residents about our project. I feel good that I can take on this responsibility.

BiBi Blog thirty –six

It has been quite a different kind of week, following on from the launch of the exhibition we have all been discussing how everything went.

We have been having some group discussions to reflect on how the project has been running, what has worked and what has needed to be made right, All that information has been collected by the project workers and now we are having a sort of end of project discussion.

You know it feels really sad that the project is coming to an end!

BiBi Blog thirty –five

Oh what a wonderful day. We had the launch today of our exhibition over 50 guests gathered in the market hall. The deputy Mayor and Mayoress came along and did the official ribbon cutting ceremony. The poem was read out and we also presented the embroidered plaque that we have been working on.

Everyone was pleased and impressed.

BiBi Blog thirty –four

The annual event today was fantastic, although guess what we had snow again!! However we had over 170 people who came along and there was music and dance and we got to talk about the central ward heritage project.

Some more good news we have rescheduled the launch of the exhibition for next week- hooray

BiBi Blog thirty –three

Our launch had to be postponed because we had so much snow!!!

I could not believe it so disappointing. We all worked so hard to get everything ready. Some of us were going to say a few words and also help to welcome all the guests but alas it was not to be. We will try to rearrange the launch soon.

However I am busy with Aawaz annul event because we are going to put together a display about our project and we will be doing a small presentation about the project.



BiBi Blog thirty –two

Here is the poem that we have written:

Our ward central Ward, Central Ward Our Home

All of us young and old

Black and white, hot and cold

Mix of belief mix of races

Diversity unfolds

Our ward central Ward, Central Ward Our Home

We take the good with the bad

We take the nice and the sad

Our neighbourhood has seen many changes

Some we agree with others we don’t

But one thing is for sure this is where we belong

Our ward central Ward, Central Ward Our Home


BiBi Blog thirty -one

Wow today we all got together to have a look at our booklets that we all help produced!

We all felt so proud.

A few of us have been working with the project workers to produce a poem and we are going to do a recital of the poem at the launch of the exhibition.

We have also completed the hand embroidered plaque that we designed and have created.

Everything is ready for next week when we will be attending the launch with the Deputy Mayor and other important guests.

BiBi Blog thirty

We are looking at evaluation of our project, considering what we have learned and how well have we managed to achieve what we have set out to do.

There were some very interesting conversations. All quite positive, because for many of us this has been a real learning experience. I would definitely look at history and heritage in a different light, not find it boring, Oh No this has been such an interesting project and I feel that I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to get involved.

BiBi Blog twenty-nine

We have finalised the little booklet that we are producing to accompany the exhibition and to share with everyone how all residents have worked together to participate in the heritage project.

The booklet is going to include some of the photographs that I have taken around the central ward. I am really excited and look forward to seeing the booklet printed.


BiBi Blog twenty-eight

It has been all go the past few weeks. I am so sorry we have been so busy that we did not get around to updating the blog!

The exhibition is finally ready and being put up in the market hall as we write this. The ideas came from all of us that having a washing line with clothing is so iconic. During all our interviews and discussions with the residents we heard how washing lines used to be hung up in the back streets. How the back streets were just as clean as the front of the streets.

We are so looking forward to the exhibition.




BiBi Blog twenty-seven

We are still learning and improving and putting plans together to collect information.

We are recording and saving interviews by using our learning from the training that we did with Prof Casson.

The history of the ward is very interesting and every session I attend it is so informative.

We are interview people who have attended Hyndburn Park School during 1960s, they mentioned about the school nursery, the infant and secondary school. You know it was quite a shock to find out that there was no school uniform during the period 1960-1970.

BiBi Blog twenty-six

Outdoor activities this week we are saving history and it is fun

Never thought that going out to see things from olden days and present history could be that interesting.

Myself and a small group of ladies arranged to go out and walk around the central ward to take photographs for our project.

We took photographs of old buildings, some houses, the Mosque, and the Church.

We have collected lots of interesting photographs and we are also collecting historic pictures.

BiBi Blog twenty-five

Putting ideas together for our upcoming event

Had fantastic session at Aawaz this morning, with very artistic trainer Saba. I attended with about 20 other ladies to discuss ideas about our exhibition for the Central Ward heritage project.

We had a really good discussion, lots of ideas it has been an amazing time and we are working hard to bring ideas together and to get ready to make our exhibition attractive and exciting

Some of the ladies started to draw their “olden days memorable things”.

We talked about memories of living in Central Ward, and what they want to share.

It is good to see the ladies coming up with lots of ideas and sharing their special memories.

BiBi Blog twenty-four

The last few weeks have been so busy we have been meeting lots of people, some have been enquiring about our project others are asking if we would like to talk with them about their experiences of living in the ward. Quite a few people have said they want to talk to us a small group and just want to share their memories they are not keen on being recorded on audio or video.

We are looking to see how we can now arrange those discussions.

BiBi Blog twenty-three

I can only describe the recent weeks as putting practice into action!

After training and the full briefing session with project officers we are busy putting everything we have been learning by doing the practical.

I have to admit we are very nervous and anxious, and we have had lots of discussions around the questions we are asking, how we may need to ask follow up questions and how we can actively listen. We are meeting those people who have agreed to participate and be interviewed. We really appreciate their cooperation and support

I have to say we are all quietly excited as well!!

BiBi Blog twenty-two

And this week it has been so hard trying to help out working alongside the project worker who is now tying up to record all the interview details. We had a meeting where we discussed how the interview should be recorded as a written record of the interview needs to made.

I didn’t realise how much hard work is involved in preserving the heritage.

BiBi Blog twenty-one

We actually carried out the very first real life interview with a local resident. I accompanied the small group of us who went along to this resident’s house.

I watched and I paid attention to everything and it all went really well.

We were shown some old family photographs of this resident’s family.  I felt very important and so much privileged to have been part of this experience.

BiBi Blog twenty

We have been putting together another display to show what we have done so far. You know its amazing that our project only started in September 2016 and we have already found out so much information and facts about our ward.

We are starting to do the interviews with local residents and I really want to be involved so we are all practicing using the tape recorder and how to ask the questions. We all get a bit nervous when trying to phrase certain questions.

We have also attended training sessions about how to actively listen. it is important that when I interview someone I listen properly, concentrate and so I can then ask the most appropriate questions.

BiBi Blog nineteen

We have been planning for the community event that will take place beginning of July . This will involve lots of heritage activities. We are designing a heritage photo frame. The idea is that we are going to ask all visitors to a have photo taken with this frame.

The Mayor of Hyndburn is also coming along so it is with great excitement that we are working away.

I have also been to visit the Harris museum in Preston. A small group of us went down accompanied with the project workers and the volunteers. It was really interesting to see how history is preserved so well. The Harris is such a grand building with two floors of exhibits. we walked around taking our time and trying to understand everything.  I have never been to Preston so this was quite an experience for me.

BiBi Blog eighteen

This week we all put together another presentation we compared old pictures with current ones. Looking at buildings, places and people.

By Looking at the pictures you can recognise how things changed over the years. Compared to how things are now what a big change

We had a great discussion around this presentation. It was a great collection of photos

It was nice to find our streets on the map.

We all enjoyed learning about the changes in Central Ward.

Good session, good company, had a good laugh

Looking forward to the next session.

BiBi Blog seventeen

Another week when we have been searching history. Can’t believe most of the building in Central Ward were built hundreds of years ago.

We found out about When the first trams came to Accrington? How much it cost to build the tramway?

Trams first came to Accrington in 1886 and the building of the tramway cost £30,000 plus £15,000 for the engines and equipment. Working expenses were expected to be nine pence per mile; therefore an annual profit of £2,570 was predicted!

BiBi Blog sixteen

It was pointed out this week that whilst I had indicated that I will do a weekly blog, it has really been more of a fortnightly blog. I am sorry about that but you see there is so much that we are all doing on the heritage project that we all get caught up in the excitement. I will try my best to blog more often.

I have also had two people ring us at Aawaz from Leeds to say that they read my blogs and that they may consider doing a heritage project similar to ours in their own ward. I am so pleased that the word is spreading.

So this week we have been working again with the artist Saba to learnt how to take and save photos for our project.

It is an amazing experience to think that we are saving local and current history in pictures.

Myself and group of five other ladies with Artist Saba, all went on a photo walk. we went down to the streets, took photographs around the ward for our Central Ward heritage project.

Thank you so much to Aawaz for organising this wonderful training.

BiBi Blog Fifteen

This week has been another very interesting week for us all. we have been down to the Library . We are learning more and more each time we visit. its not easy you know trying to look back at facts and figures over the past years.

Talking to our group six of the ladies all feel that they have become much more confident at taking on different tasks and also about talking to others about our project.

BiBi Blog Fourteen

What a fantastic day we had at Aawaz. We met the artist who is going to be working with us on our project. Her name is Saba.

Saba organised a day’s training for us in leraning about the use of media.

I thought it was an amazing topic to learn. Many of us use watsapp and Facebook but we were not fully aware of how to make sure everything is safe. We had some very interesting discussions.

The interpreter lady explained everything in Urdu and Punjabi as well so it was good that everyone understood and could take part fully.

BiBi Blog Thirteen

Another really busy and interesting week. We have learnt some more interesting facts:

In the bygone days there was a nurse who used to come to your house for a Tuberculosis check, we were so surprised to hear that fact, I know this is not the case nowadays.

My friend found out that their house used to be a shop. The first mosque in Accrington was a little terraced house in Willows Lane.

Do you know every week we get to know something new, facts that we did not know before. I am really find each of our discussions, meetings, visits and the project so very interesting. I am really enjoying being part of this project.

BiBi Blog Twelve

We have started to collect information about those people who are interested in being interviewed. Our steering group met together and have devised a list of questions that we would like to include. Now we are practicing asking the questions.
I have also been practicing taking some notes in case we need to do that with some of the interviewees.

Whilst we are all looking forward to this interesting phase of our project, I have to admit we are all a little nervous as well.

BiBi Blog Eleven

This week we decided to take a look at “Health” we are keen to know more about what health facilities were available to the residents in Central Ward over the years and how things have changed and developed.

Were there any hospitals or health clinics in the Ward?

What treatments were available?

What procedure was there for emergency services and how that compares to what is available now?

We also looked at the common illness and diseases?

We talked about TB (tuberculosis), scarlet fever and pneumonia as these were very common in Central Ward and most of the participants knew someone who had suffered from these illnesses.

I learnt a lot especially about the diseases and illnesses, I had never heard of scarlet fever before.

BiBi Blog Ten

This week we had an informative and fantastic Visit going along to the Accrington Library to continue the research and to collect more information about the houses in the ward. We wanted to know:

How old were these houses?

When were they built?

We have also started to look at more in-depth questions such as Who first build these houses? Who were the first residents?

We were able to locate an old planning application for a house in Tremellen Street in the ward.

There were some pictures that we found from the bygone days, old archive photographs and newspaper cuttings from the central ward were also very interesting.

All in all a very good morning spent working in the Library.

BiBi Blog Nine

I thought I should write about our Central ward Heritage steering Group. There are about 10 to 15 of us who are all really interested and about 6-8 of us who are now regular members of the steering group. We meet monthly and we discuss how the project is progressing.

We ask the project worker to present her report to us and we then look at how all the work meets with the action plan that we had put together.

I must say I found the first few meetings a bit daunting because I was nervous and felt shy. I didn’t want to speak too much but Aawaz manager and the project worker have been so good they have helped me and the other ladies to feel more confident and to learn how to present our questions, how to bring any points of discussions etc.

As a steering group of residents we have been looking at the residents of our ward, who has lived here the longest may be for past 25, 30 or 40 years or so. Theses residents we feel are best placed to participate in our project because they can give us information and views about how they think things have changed.

I am learning so much.

BiBi Blog Eight

Central ward heritage training with Fiona Casson -What a training day at Aawaz. Myself and 12 others plus Aawaz team attended the training. We were all a little nervous but the trainer Fiona was so lovely and we had an interpreter who provided information in Urdu and Punjabi so everyone really understood everything that was said and discussed.

The trainer was amazing she really knew her stuff, I wish I can one day also stand up and present information confidently like her. We all thought her style of delivery style was brilliant. She engaged us all and made the day interesting, funny and informative.

We felt like sky news reporters. We interviewed one another with the latest tape recording equipment. The machine picks up every word spoken and everyone enjoyed listening and laughing with each other, looking at our individual interviewing techniques. This we feel is a taste of things to come.

We all agreed that it is not easy to interview someone. You have to think quickly and tailor your questions to meet the person’s circumstances, you have to listen very hard. Well a Reporter’s job is never done and we are all looking forward to get on with the interviews that are planned for in the coming few months.

BiBi Blog Seven

Another fantastic and informative session. This time we discovered just how big the houses are in central ward. The houses in Willows Lane appeared quite small but in reality they are so big. The rooms are double sized and M Bibi said that you could happily seat a large family where as in newly built houses there is not much room.

Another resident commented that breakfast time used to be fun twenty five eggs for breakfast for three families who shared one home. There was much laughter and happiness. She says despites what may be seemingly cramped conditions it was such pleasure for the families living together.

Today in newly built modern homes it is hard to imagine three families living together. Let alone 25 eggs for a breakfast table!!

We discuss the different types and size of houses in Willows Lane, Steiner Street and Blackburn Road.

SM showed off to the class that she has three bathrooms.

SB said, she has one toilet outside and one bathroom inside.

We all enjoyed learning together and listening to each other. Good sessions, good company, had a good laugh

Looking forward to learning and doing more.

BiBi Blog Six

Good session- we did a shopping trip down memory lane. We did not know that there were so many shops in Accrington, many of the shops the other residents have grown up with!

It was a shopping delight

We have also started to look at Accrington Grammar school. I did not know that there used to be a grammar school in the ward. No there are some houses in its place. It makes me wonder what a shame that such a historic building was done away with and now there are some houses.

BiBi Blog Five

Myself and five other ladies, all local residents have decided to explore we are interested in looking at the history of Accrington Victoria Hospital.

When it was built and who actually built it?

We had a walk down to the hospital and looked at the old buildings (some of the building looks new but some is old buildings). It was good to look at the brick work, the style of the windows, the doors the roof panels. You know I had never really thought about all this technical detail. I mean you walk past a building and you know it’s there but not really thought beyond that. But what a lost opportunity if only I had someone like Aawaz talking with me about heritage then I would have paid more attention.

We have found out by doing some basic research that the hospital was built in 1899. So this hospital is over a hundred years old.

BiBi Blog Four

What a great topic, this week we have been looking at Accrington Grammar school.

I did not know that there used to be a Grammar school, in our ward, imagine that? We are really interested in finding out who were the young people who went to that school? What did they have as their lessons? And what was their weekly schedule? So many questions in my mind and our group has been talking about this and we have a long list of things that we would love to find out.

BiBi Blog three

Another lovely day, another fantastic session

I had such an interesting time today at Aawaz. We looked the History of Accrington Town Hall.

This is such an epic building in the town.

We learned when the town hall was built and by whom? We talked about the purpose of building such a hall. We looked at the pictures of the old Accrington town hall and compared it to how it is today. What a difference between then and present day.

We are going to attend a workshop to learn how to take simple and clear photographs. I can’t wait because we will then have the chance to take the photographs ourselves.

BiBi Blog two

Hello how are you all, you know prior to getting involved in the heritage project I never really thought about heritage and where I live. The facilitators are so good and their unique delivery makes it so interesting as well as giving me the opportunity to learn more about my neighbourhood. We have been looking at the houses in our streets how and when they were built and who first built them. We looked at a layout of a house in Steiner Street and noted that the bathroom was missing, instead there was an outside WC. There was also a coal shed outside. Imagine how it would have been in those days?

I am looking forward to the next few weeks we are going to go the local library and we are planning to do some research about who are the residents who have lived in the ward the longest amount of time.

So exciting times ahead!

BiBi Blog one

Hello my name is BiBi. I am a resident of Central Ward. I and my friends are doing a project looking at the history and heritage of our ward. I got involved after attending information sessions that were run by Aawaz in our street where we heard what it means by heritage and we realised that we know nothing really about our street and then started to think about how exciting it would be to look back over the last 100 years.

So here I am. I am learning to use IT and along with two other residents we will do our best to share with you all about how we are doing and all the exciting details. Hope you will keep looking us up to read about our adventures!

My first group discussion with Aawaz and 8 other residents was quite a nerve wracking experience, but I enjoyed an interesting Heritage session at Accesspoint. There were many new things to learn. We had a lively multilingual discussion around the heritage project. We asked each other if we knew anything about the streets and the history of where we live. The project worker asked us why Steiner Street is called Steiner Street? You know I never thought about that! Someone talked about the connection between Platt Working Mens Club and Platt Industry.