Share your flood stories in arts project

The Landlines and Watermarks programme will take place throughout the summer
The Landlines and Watermarks programme will take place throughout the summer

People from the local community with personal stories from the devastating 2015 Boxing Day floods are being encouraged to tell their tales to the creative team behind a new arts programme.

Landlines and Watermarks is a creative project that tells the story of a valley and a people shaped by water.

It will take place throughout the summer and culminate in a weekend of music, performance and celebration in late September.

The project is looking for more than 100 local people to take part as singers in the choir, musicians in the band, backstage crew, costume makers or community volunteers. There will be a drop-in workshop at St Martin’s Methodist Church in Brighouse on Thursday, June 8 for anyone who wants to get involved.

Calderdale Council leader, Coun Tim Swift, said: “The flooding in Calderdale was devastating for our towns, but it also brought our communities together in a show of resilience. Now, almost 18 months on, we want to proudly demonstrate how our towns have recovered, and show people across the country that Calderdale is well and truly open for business.

“As part of the Flood Fund, the council made a commitment to commission a series of cultural events throughout Calderdale in response to the flooding. The diverse events as part of Landlines and Watermarks will help to support our local communities and businesses and show how strong and vibrant our towns are.”

Landlines and Watermarks has been commissioned by Calderdale Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale from Yorkshire-based company 509 Arts and is supported by Arts Council England.

The creative team in charge of the project will feature experienced creative minds. The team is headed by 509 Arts’ director Alan Dix and includes award-winning playwright Mike Kenny, composer and twice UK Theatre Award winner Richard Taylor and choir director Em Whitfield Brooks.

CEO of the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Steve Duncan, said: “Landlines and Watermarks is part of a series of events and initiatives the Community Foundation are proud to be part of and to fund, helping to create a positive legacy for Calderdale residents, charities and businesses affected by the 2015 Boxing Day flood.

“Thanks to the incredible generosity of so many people, both locally and further afield, we continue to support those directly affected by the flood helping to improve resilience from future flooding and we have been able to fund this fabulous arts project.

“I am confident Landlines and Watermarks will be very special.”

Personal stories, anecdotes and recollections from local people based in flood-hit towns will flow through the Landlines and Watermarks programme which will include three main elements, a community folk opera, six new creative commissions and a mass gathering at The Piece Hall in Halifax, which will re-open this summer.

The Brighouse workshop will take place at St Martin’s Methodist Church on June 8 at 6.30pm.

For more information, visit www.landlinesandwatermarks.org.