Keep up to date with all of the goings on with the Salt Brook Heritage Trail, Hatton here
The Story of the Salt Brook Heritage Trail
The project began as an idea suggested through local consultation over the expansion of the Nestlé factory ten years ago. In the top five, of over forty, requests and suggestions from the community was a ‘heritage trail’. In 2013, People Express was invited to join the community group working in partnership with Nestlé to reroute the bridlepath, as the factory extension was under construction. Members of the group saw an opportunity, the landscape was already affected by construction so why not include the heritage trail idea as part of restoration work?
Over the next two years People Express ran several community consultation workshops with people of all ages, to develop and explore ideas about what the trail would look like, what it might represent and if it would benefit the village. The idea was popular, and there was an overwhelming sense that there was little or no recognition of just how important Hatton’s industries had been, and in some cases still were. There was also a huge surge of love for the village, as people shared their stories of why they moved to Hatton (mentioned twice in the Doomsday Book!) and why they are happy and proud to call it home.
A local committee was formed, called ‘Friends of Salt Brook Heritage Trail’, and in 2016 together with Hatton Parish Council, Nestlé and People Express, over £100,000 was secured for the project from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and South Derbyshire District Council’s Community Partnership Scheme. Nestlé also agreed to match-fund the project and to contribute the public use of their land to the Trail.
The committee set up and ran the project themselves, but they had help! The project included:
- Oral history training from East Midlands Oral History Archive
- Historical research training from professional historian Philip Heath
- Artist mentoring and support with artist recruitment from internationally acclaimed sculptor John Newling
- Glass making workshops for emerging artists by Alx Creations.
Oral Histories film
Over Thirty people who worked in the industries were interviewed and this material was used to inspire the designs of the chosen artists. You can view the full film here:
The project had a very strong community engagement programme, led by People Express, that used the arts and participatory workshops to offer children, young people and adults of all ages the opportunity to create their own artwork, whilst they learnt about the project and the history of the village. The committee set up two public events, the first included showcasing the oral histories film, and the second was an opportunity to meet and take part in workshops with the commissioned artists.
Meet the Salt Brook artists
Graeme Mitcheson has been creating stone sculpture since graduating from Loughborough College of Art in 1995. He undertakes a wide variety of work including major public art sculpture, smaller private commissions, memorials and lettercutting work. Graeme has work sited in the public realm all over the UK including sculptures in Belfast, Northumberland, North and South Wales. Graeme also runs stone carving courses and workshops in schools. In 2016 one of Graeme’s works at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire was shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Art.
Rachel Carter creates woven sculptural pieces using resistant materials such as cast bronze and eco-fibre. Trained at The University of Derby in Applied Arts, she mixes her love of art and design with her passion for the environment. Inspiration for her work comes form geometric patterns found in flowers and plants and the English countryside. Nature creates beautiful fluid shapes and these find their way into Rachel’s sculptures. In 2012 she was selected by Yorkshire Sculpture Park to show her hand woven work alongside Jaume Plensa in the Kyiv Botanical Gardens, Ukraine.
Alex Blakey of All Creations creates beautiful, handcrafted glass and is one of the UK’s leading glass artists. She works on a large range of both small and large scale glass works. The work Alex creates is focussed around the concept of memory, collection and preservation. She feels that history and memories create a human connection to both objects and spaces. Much of the work combines the stunning qualities of glass with the natural beauty of stone, wood and cor-ten steel.
Dan Rawlings is a contemporary British artist born in Watford in 1979, he grew up in Essex and currently lives and works in Gloucestershire. A sympathy for unloved and forgotten relics and a fascination with nature’s resilience have inspired him to create visions of a world where man’s impact is being slowly reclaimed by nature. Dan considers no technique or substrate out of bounds in achieving his intended results but is probably best know for his manipulation of metal and light, conceived with intricate hand-plasma cutting. Recently he has been introducing sign painting and motion to his works. Notable projects include the sculpture ‘nature delivers’ based on the wreckage of a ford transit van and the huge ‘mighty oak’, based on a 16 ft farm yard silo constructed for the affordable art fair’s 15th birthday in Battersea Park. His signature works cut from vintage hand saws can be found in collections around the world. Most recently, Dan has exhibited work as part of the SITE Festival in Stroud, Gloucestershire.