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Train of Thought Blue Monday

Please read previous posts 'Train of Thought', 'The Story of Train of Thought' and 'The Making of Train of Thought" for further information about this project led by our studio artist Claire Pitt.

Date: Monday January 16th (Blue Monday)

Blue Monday is 'supposedly' the saddest/most depressing day of the year, but really it's a marketing ploy used by travel agents to get holidays booked. Normally we wouldn't jump on those bandwagons, but 'Train of Thought' is a project designed to get you talking about Mental Health and we decided to use the day as a vehicle to encourage people to come to the launch. It also gave Claire the opportunity to listen to a lot of New Order, and their track 'Blue Monday' when planning the event (interesting reason behind the naming of that track title). Hat tip to Lauren for suggesting the date - which actually worked for everyone when booking in dates, and if you ever plan events, you know how difficult that is.


Venue

So we had the date sorted for the launch, now to find the perfect venue. As a group (meaning Weaver Community Arts Group and the other collaborators involved), we discussed a few different possibilities to showcase the project, from Crewe Heritage Centre to local markets. Our ambitions were constrained by time and budget, so we had to keep the search local (for now) and had heard about Runcorn Train Station having a community space available (their former First Class Lounge).


This led to a brilliant chat with Nathan from It's Good 2 Talk, who currently uses the space on a Monday to record the 'Getting on Track Together' podcast (listen live from 9am to 11am) and on Friday they host a drop in space 'On the Right Track Together' (from 12-6), all are welcome on Friday to drop in and chat. Nathan kindly agreed to co host our launch, and invited us to join the podcast.


So on Monday the 16th January 2023 'Train of Thought' was launched at Runcorn Train Station.


Podcast

The day started early with the setup of the train, so that Nathan and Junior could set up the podcast. As well as some beautiful music from Nathan and Junior, Gail Coxon and Peter Coates, from this project, where invited to talk about their involvement.


Once the podcast had finished filming, it was time to open the doors and invite the public in to experience the 'Train of Thought'.


You can follow It's Good 2 Talk - on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube


Train of Thought - a look up close at the details

If you are interested in the making aspect of the project, you can read 'The Making of Train of Thought' and if you are interested in knowing how it came about, you can read 'The Story of Train of Thought'.

Avanti West Coast

Avanti West Coast's Community Champion at Runcorn - Laura Warwick, has spearheaded the change of purpose from former First Class Lounge to Community Space. Along with Station Manager Simon Brooks, they made us feel very welcome! It was such a wonderful space to hold events, we will definitely be using the space again! (hopefully).

Community Thanks

We would like to thank all the brilliant community organisations and local residents that came to visit our launch - it was so good to see so many people throughout the day.

Big Thanks

Weaver Community Arts Group

We would like the biggest thanks to go to Weaver Community Arts Group for having the ideas and enthusiasm for this project - Please get in touch if you would like to know more about the group (they are currently open for new members, but are a referral only service, for adults). They currently meet weekly on a Tuesday, at Grangeway Community Centre, Runcorn.


Gail Coxon

Gail worked with the group to develop their ideas and vision around what the various lands should look like, and then brought them to life, you can have a closer look at the process by reading 'The Making of Train of Thought'.


You can find Gail on Facebook, Instagram and Website

Millie Chesters

Local Illustrator Millie Chesters developed a series of illustrations, based on the words written by the Weaver Community Arts Group. These were used to create the story board displays. - You can see these illustrations over on 'The Story of Train of Thought'.


You can find Millie on Instagram, Twitter and Website


Lauren Quayle

Lauren joined us at the launch event and documented the whole day from the filming of the podcast to the public facing afternoon of conversations with community groups and members of the public (all images used in this blog post).


You can find Lauren on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Website


Claire Pitt

Our Studio Artist and Director (here at Hazlehurst Studios) Claire Pitt coordinated this project, which is a legacy of her work at Culture HQ.


Culture HQ

Culture HQ was a temporary art gallery and workshop space during Halton's year as 'Borough of Culture' in 2021. This is an annual initiative from the Liverpool City region Combined Authority and will return to Halton in 2025. As well as hosting a year long programme of exhibitions and events, it also became home for some community organisations and a conduit for local artists to feel more connected to Halton's cultural networks. All the artists involved with this project connected through meeting at Culture HQ, either attending events, exhibiting work or running workshops. Thanks to funding from Halton Borough Council, Culture HQ remained open till March 2022, allowing groups like Weaver Community Arts Group to stay connected to the local community and develop this Train of Thought.


This Project was initially funded by Halton Borough Council and we are now looking into the What Next? We would love to develop some resources to go along with the actual train, so that other groups/organisations could use it as a conversation starter around mental health issues.


Contact

If you would like to know more about the project, then please contact Claire Pitt via email info@hazlehurststudios.co.uk

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