The Noisy Yard Workshop, 2017                                   
Est.1761, Salford City Council’s
Bridgewater Canal Project


The Noisy Yard was a series of workshops devised and delivered by Curious Things for The Bridgewater Canal Trust. Working with groups of Year 5s from primary schools in North Manchester, we created workshops that explored the Science Week theme of 'Change' but asking groups to create Noise Poems looking at key stages in the development of Worsley Green.

The session began with story telling, three stories that set the scene of Worsley Green as farmland in 1760, when the mines were opened later that decade and mid-1800s when the Worsley Green had become a busy work yard full of factories and industry. After the stories we lead some theatre games to get some energy going in the room and then we organised the school groups into 3 smaller groups which would take a period each and produce a Noise Poem exploring that era. We ended the session by sharing our noise poems and recapping the key periods of change that we had looked at throughout the session.

Inspired by the experimental noise poetry developed by Ernst Jandl, Curious Things chose to use Noise Poem because, after a small demonstration, they are easy to understand for young groups and also give an opportunity to focus clearly on the changes that took place on Worsley Green.

The workshop was a success with the groups leaving with a clear understanding of how the area has changed throughout history as well as inviting groups to use their imagination and creativity to engage with sometimes complex ideas.

Children loved being totally creative... Every child performed and, more importantly, thoroughly enjoyed the session!
— St Marks CE Primary
Working with Curious Things was a fantastic experience. Harry and Lenni’s approach to the brief was very creative, innovative and accessible. The primary school children responded with enthusiasm and thoroughly enjoyed the sessions. It was clear that the children were able to develop a good level of understanding for the heritage of Worsley Green, something that was due to the joy and sparkle that Harry and Lenni brought to the subject.
— Kate Charnock, The Bridgewater Canal Trust