‘Today I went back to school, 76 years after leaving’…
In December 2018, I was contacted by a lady who was looking for an artist to come in and work with the Mini Vinnies, an association linked to the SVP. They wanted some mosaic murals creating for what will be their new prayer garden in their school playground.
After a few emails were exchanged, it transpired that it was the Primary School which my Grandad, Albert Carney, had attended 86 years ago!
During the planning and preparation of this project, we celebrated Grandads 90th Birthday party in St Wilfred’s Parish Centre which was, at that time, his classroom.
Considering his strong link to the school and also the SVP, I invited him to join us in creating these special works of art with the Mini Vinnies at St Wilfred Primary School.
Over three days, 24 children participated in the mosaic workshop and during the last session they were joined by the guest of honour, Albert.
He came prepared, with his pockets full of school photographs and plenty of stories to tell. From tales about the war to anecdotes about his time at St Wilfreds and kept the children amused with his typical ‘(Grand)Dad Jokes’. He even found some mutual connections with the children’s family, which was no surprise as he seems to know half of Northwich! Not only did the children enjoy his stories, but he was equally interested in hearing about modern school life and was most amused by the fact he could hear children chatting away in the classroom, as 'you'd never get away with that in my day!'.
‘I wondered how conversation would be, but there was no problem.
They were wonderful.’
It was so special to see two generations, 80 years apart, collaborating on something which would not only be a permanent piece of art for the school but which also would provide everybody involved with memories to cherish and I am so honoured to have been a part of it.
'I went back to school today, 76 years after leaving in 1943, aged 14.
I was made welcome by the pupils I was going to be working with, all of them 11 years or so. I wondered how conversation was going to be, there was no problem. They were wonderful.
I was most impressed with their well mannered confidence and enthusiasm with what they were doing. I really enjoyed my time with them
Thankyou to everyone.
I hope I got a 9 out of 10!'
'I enjoyed doing the mosaics, it was really satisfying and calming. I was also really relaxing. Briony was really kind to us and I had a lot of fun!' - Pupil
'We did mosaics and it was really fun because Briony was really nice and so was Albert who is Briony's Grandad! It was also really really calming' - Pupil
'I really enjoyed learning how to lay and cut the tiles myself' - Pupil
'Briony ran a workshop at our school for 3 days .With her explanations, patience, great conversation with the children and with her guidance, we produced the most beautiful mosaics I have ever seen. Thankyou so much!' - Teacher