Education and Learning events

As part of the Fabric of Our Town project a number of varied education and learning events took place, aimed at a variety of different audiences.

In October 2012 year 5 and year 6 pupils from local Crayford primary schools Haberdasher’s Aske’s Temple Grove, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and St Paulinus Church of England Primary School visited the Red House in Bexleyheath.

The Red House is just one mile from Crayford and was built to be the home of William Morris the famous textile designer. The pupils were given a guided tour of the Red House where they learnt about the work of William Morris and his links to British textiles.

The visit highlighted the strong history that the local area has with the textile industry.

Primary school pupils also partook in landscape painting workshops with illustrator Michael Foreman using the watercolours of William Hubbard as inspiration. Together with local historian Peter Daniel the children were taught about the real stories behind illustrations created by Foreman of the struggles at the Swaisland factory during the 1840s.

Crayford schoolchildren were treated to an interactive drama performance about the Swaisland Block Printers dispute which highlighted the importance of the town in relation to the Swaisland bicentenary. The performance also covered the Swaisland connection to the Great Exhibition as well as Lord Ashley's (later the Earl of Shaftesbury) child labour interviews. Following the drama performance year 6 pupils took part in drama workshops where they were split into small groups to work on a particular scene before creating a final performance which told the story as a whole.

Using the drama workshops as inspiration, a Fabric of Our Town end of project musical performance was devised based on the events that occurred at the Swaisland’s factory between 1842 and 1852. Year 6 pupils from local primary schools will write their own lyrics and use original Chartist songs and poems to tell the story of the highs and lows that happened during this period. The performance will make use of the bicentenary banner created by year 5 pupils from local primary schools.

For adults, talks were given throughout the project on subjects such as the paintings of William Hubbard, the history of silk printing in Crayford and the Crayford Chartists and the Swaisland strikes.