Digital Arts & Creative Technology

Tales of the Town

This June SHIFT commissioned artist ensemble One Five West to create interactive curiosity cabinets across Bollington, located at Clarence Mill, the rec, Market Place, St John’s Church and the viaduct.

Each cabinet contained memories of people in the town that related to themes such as community, work and play.

Artists Sophie Bullock and Anna Horton Cremin, together with local anthropologist Zak Tanamli, conducted interviews with local Bollington residents to catch a glimpse of how life in Bollington has changed over the years, and what the future looks to be. The ‘Tales of the Town’ exhibition was a nostalgic look into the lives of people in a town that prides itself on its heritage, industry and community spirit. The stories capture the days when Bollington was famed for spinning the finest cotton, being an ounce over the scales resulted in headless jelly babies in the sweet shop, and local legend Dr. John Coop pioneered the popular Bollington Arts Festival.

The map shows the location of the cabinets. Inside they contained old photographs, objects that related to the recorded stories (such as cotton reels and old medicine bottles), newspaper clippings and more. When brass plates on the cases were touched, the stories were played aloud so the audience enjoyed looking, listening, and exploring sites in the town.

This project was funded by Innovate UK, and supported by SHIFT and Cheshire East Council.