90 years of the Woodcraft Folk!

Woodcraft Folk is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a touring photographic exhibition which will be at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum from end February 2 until 16 April 2016 before it moves onto the People’s History Museum in Manchester. Pictures taken through Woodcraft’s 90 year history tell the story of its early beginnings, its close association with the co-operative movement, and its founding principles which have remained fundamental to the organisation throughout the decades. The exhibition focuses on Co-operation: representing equality, working and playing together, and arts and crafts; Span the world with friendship: depicting Woodcraft’s international links; and Education for Social Change: reflecting young people’s involvement in the democratic process, care for the natural world and building a sustainable future. The exhibition opened in London’s City Hall in December and is part of a 15-month heritage project supported by £80,100 of Heritage Lottery Funding and match-funded by Woodcraft groups all over the country to celebrate the 90 years of Woodcraft Folk. One of the project’s lasting legacies will be a permanent Woodcraft Folk Oral History Collection housed in the British Library Sound Archive and on a new Woodcraft Folk heritage website. The website will provide fun ways for people to follow heritage trails to find out about the organisation’s past, and will enable people to add their memories and stories and find old Folk friends! The heritage project has been training volunteer members in oral history, who have learned how to conduct life story interviews which will make up the oral history collection. Volunteers are interviewing members ranging in age from 16 to 94 years to gain a broad representation of life and experience in Woodcraft Folk. They are being encouraged to pass on their newfound skills to other members, especially children who will be able to do their own interviews to add to the new heritage website. Other activities include an archiving project whose volunteer team are now collecting and sorting memorabilia to develop Woodcraft Folk archives. Boxes of artefacts, photos and resources collected throughout the 90 years will be placed in Woodcraft residential centres for children to explore their Folk heritage, and Woodcraft groups are sending 90th ‘birthday swap ‘presents to each other to inspire their fellow members to think about their heritage. Young members will soon be able to work towards a heritage badge, and learn more about the organisation’s past from leaflets that are to be written on its early years, it’s links with the co-operative movement, its involvement in the peace movement, and its work on children’s rights. A pictorial book looking at the Folk’s 90 years to date, a film, and CD of Woodcraft Folk songs are also planned within the heritage project as means for members learning more about the heritage, and think about the next 90 years! Woodcraft Folk is an educational movement for children and young people, designed to develop self confidence and participation in society, with the aim of building a world based on equality, friendship, peace and co-operation. We run hundreds of grassroots education groups in towns and cities across the UK where young people of all ages meet to play games, make friends and learn about big ideas from social justice to climate change through co-operative activities. www.woodcraft.org.uk
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 00:00 to Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 00:00
Rochdale Pioneers Museum