‘Cottonopolis’, a great topic but how are we going to do it? A cry from the members of Greater Manchester Network. This challenge was taken up by the focus group, Tony Pearson, Maggie Simms and myself, Jenny Carley. We organised a full day of workshops designed to help members to concentrate their ideas. Over 70 members registered to attend the workshop. The Keynote speaker, Dr Mary Searle – Chatterjee from Lancaster U3A spoke about ‘Lancashire Textiles and the India connection’.
When they registered, participants chose break out group from the following topics: Textiles and fabrics, Urban drawing and photography, Inventing Manchester, Social and family history, Creative arts, Transport and social conditions or the International dimension. Then to work, each member attending two sessions.
Each workshop concentrated on selecting a topic, then onto who, when and how one could take their idea forward, what resources they needed and what possible would be the outcome. Many ideas flowed. At the end of the day all participants gathered together to share their ideas. The ideas ranged from ‘Looking at the life story of mill owners houses’ to ‘looking at why Godfrey’s Cordial was sold’ who made it and why.
A representative from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) attended. The focus group are now working with MMU and plan to further this collaboration. The participants have gone back to their U3As to spread the word!