The Story so far...

Project aims
Cottingley & Bingley
Image Gallery
Film Gallery
Artists & Funders




Telling Tales: Project Partner Report – Bradford Museums and Galleries, Luke Owens

“Bradford Museums and Galleries were invited to take part with ‘Telling Tales’ from the very start, working with the Education Department at Bradford Industrial Museum to gather information, resources and ideas. The partnership was set up to provide background information and images on the development of Cottingley throughout time. This meant accessing the Bradford Heritage Recording Unit archives to source quotes of mill workers from the first half of the 20th Century, which would later be used in the performance pieces. The C.H. Wood photo archive was also used, gathering aerial photographs of Cottingley to show how the village had at one time been a handful of houses, and then a collection of streets before becoming ‘the village’ it was today. Using the archives meant that we were able to provide the project participants with accurate and specific social history of the people that had lived in the area.

The museum education team supported the week-long summer taster week, providing the historical context and getting involved with the students’ dance practice. In addition we facilitated the videoing of evaluation sessions with the students and their surveying of their family members.
Once the weekly project began the museum’s Education team had the opportunity at the start of each session to sit and introduce students to the theme or skill, including the work and social side of Victorian Britain, how Bradford has grown and changed over millennia as a result of immigration, to learning practical skills such as interviewing and questioning techniques.
The first outing from Cottingley Cornerstone centre by the Telling Tales project was to Bradford Industrial Museum to see a recreation of the industries that brought Bradford all the wealth and power of the Industrial Revolution. A large part of this was concerned with the textile industry, so in the afternoon there was a practical workshop where each of the students made t-shirts inspired by their visit. These t-shirts would then be used in performances as a unique hand made uniform.

One of the strengths of the Telling Tales project was Ascendance Rep’s dedication to historical accuracy. Resources for students were contributed to the project with the appropriate information, images, quotes and costumes. With great skill they were able to take all the different ideas and information and turn it into a series of very creative sessions that engaged participants on multiple levels.”


Day of Dance, Telling Tales Finale

“Well done guys. Nowhere have we been able to participate – all ages and abilities! Thumbs up!
Thank you, Ascendance Rep, for being brave enough to open up the day to "all ages and abilities". There are not many organisations open enough to try the whole inclusive approach to any activities, never mind dancing!!! So, quite a joy to find something that we were ALL able to try and enjoy together.”
Lizzie Leadbeater, who accompanied two young adults with learning disabilities.

“Wonderfully co-ordinated and choreographed workshop. Inspirational coaching and support from Ascendance Rep.”
“Fantastic! Cool!, “I had a terrific time” “Uplifting and totally enjoyable.” “It was very fun” “Ab Fab!”
“Exciting” “Fab, fantastic, cool, awesome!”



“All the children really enjoyed and participated well in the dance sessions. The theme they worked on complemented the work done in school through creative partnerships”.
Yvonne Heaton – Shipley Primary School

“As a school, we enjoyed working with you on this project.”
“The project themes and approach were different to anything we had done with the children in school before.”
“Involving the parents was great – those that came along really enjoyed it after their initial apprehension!”
“We felt it worked better with the older children as they were able to grasp the concepts and instructions more easily than the younger children.”
“The children particularly enjoyed the music session you delivered – they said this was 'great fun, really different, fabulous, and interesting”

Ann Clayton – Cottingley Village Primary School

“I enjoyed making the garden because our imagination went wild!”
“I liked been interviewed.”
“I really enjoyed making instruments out of junk. I also enjoyed making the human drum bit.”
“I really enjoyed the workshop today because it was very energetic and fun – that’s why I enjoyed it!”
“Today I enjoyed making the garden. I also enjoyed telling the story of our object.”
“I enjoyed making the garden and playing the fun games. I made the path and the apple tree.”

Youth Group Participants