History in the Making

Telling Worcester’s stories through art, literature, photography and zine making  

Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service, Worcester Cathedral’s Undercroft Learning Centre, The Word Association CIC and visual artist Oliver Bliss came together in 2023-24 for an exciting project to encourage Worcester residents to engage with stories of their city.

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History in the Making was a year-long programme of creative activities celebrating Worcestershire’s rich heritage and the voices of underrepresented communities. It resulted in a published anthology, joint visual arts and poetry exhibitions and a poetry map of Worcester’s key community spaces. All of the activities were free, as the project was generously funded by Arts Council England with additional support from Worcester City Council and The Elmley Foundation.

HiTM exhibition 2024

History in the Making exhibition at The Hive in March 2024.

Drawing from the collections in Worcestershire Archives and Worcester Cathedral’s Library, facilitators Oliver Bliss, Gerard Winter-Hughes and Holly Winter-Hughes lead a series of workshops using creative prompts to inspire art and discussion. Reflecting on your own stories of Worcester and relationship with the city was also encouraged. The three partnering venues were Worcester Cathedral, Worcester Archive & Archaeology Service at The Hive and the vibrant Sugar Daddy’s Café. Each of these hold their own special place in the history of the city and helped inform the creative work that was produced during this community focused project.

As part of the project there were tours and supported visits of Worcester Archives and Cathedral library.

“We want residents to establish a deeper connection to Worcester. There are so many rich resources in both the archives and the cathedral library, that show us how people used to live. Part of the project is in helping people understand the wealth of materials available to them, giving them the confidence they need to access them independently in the future.” Holly Winter-Hughes, Chief Executive, The Word Association CIC.

“There is a wealth of stories in the archives, but we know that many people are unsure how to access them or even that they’re available to the public. This project is a wonderful opportunity to delve into Worcester’s past and get creative too.” Nina O’Hare, Learning & Outreach Manager, WAAS.


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