Unsung Heroes Community Project
Unsung Heroes is a project by Cohere Arts in partnership with Suffolk Archives, Asset Education and Britten Pears Arts, supported by Heritage Lottery Fund. The aim of the project is to engage children with their local heritage by developing skills in archive research, songwriting and performance.
Developing skills and knowledge: history, research, creative writing, music, performance.
Promoting social & emotional development: collaboration, communication and confidence
Improving health and wellbeing: promoting connection to place, building a sense of belonging for individuals, schools and the wider trust community
Expanding experiences of culture & the world: the ideas and actions of everyday people can contribute to societal change including social mobility, technological innovation and policy
Project activity in a nutshell…
May 2023 - 15 x Y5 children Ringshall school attended a heritage workshop at a Suffolk Archives site, children to share learning with their class/year group
Jun 2023 - These children then took part in a songwriting workshop in school led by a visiting Cohere composer. Our Composer was Francis Goodhand.
Jul 2023 - Francis produced a song and resources for each school based on the songwriting workshop and the archive visit.
Sep 2023 - Tom Appleton, Choral Director, visited Ringshall school to teach our now year 6 children the song.
Oct 2023 - 4 x Y6 children from Ringshall School met up with other children from across the trust to rehearse together as a choir.
Nov 2023 - The Asset Education choir to perform a concert at Snape as part of the 10 year anniversary of Britten Pears Arts’ Friday Afternoons project.
Dec 2023 - all resources added digitally to Suffolk Archives online collection.
Ringshall song is called Heroes (Widow Waspe)
This song, written by Francis Goodhand with children at Ringshall Primary School, was inspired by a 1955 newspaper article from the Daily Herald. The article talks about the plight of East Anglian farmers being forced to pay a tithe (or tax) on their crops (in the form of 10% of the crops) despite poor harvest and financial hardship. The song celebrates a 70 year old widow, Mrs. Waspe, who stood up to authorities and refused to give any of her crops, becoming a hero of her rural community. A shorter version of this song is used as our Unsung Heroes Theme Song.
Francis led a songwriting workshop with the then year 5 children before putting together their ideas into a song. Click the link below to hear the song.
Tom Appleton - Choral Director
Tom Came to Ringshall in September 2023 to teach the children the song and give the children lots of amazing singing instruction.