What is Special Delivery?
Special Delivery brings together primary school children and adults residing in care homes or independent living units to explore the art of communication, inspired by source materials held in the Suffolk county archives.
A programme of creative sessions, led by professional artists, encourages participants to compare and contrast different generational and cultural approaches to communication, from formal letter writing to the artful use of an emoji.
Unable to meet face-to-face, participants exchange snippets of information and news, gradually building up an image of each other and creating stories that are informed as much by what is left out as by what is shared.
Special Delivery took place in Bury St Edmunds during the autumn term 2020, via a combination of Zoom sessions and posting in specialist archive materials – making it a very Special Delivery indeed.
The project then moved to Lowestoft, where we have just completed a programme of sessions with residents at Hildesley Court and Year 5 pupils at Pakefield Primary School.
In Spring 2022, we will be working with two more care homes and primary schools in Lowestoft, before moving on to Halesworth, where we will be looking at a collection of letters written in the early 19th century by members of a wealthy merchant family that lived the town.
In addition to a literacy resource for use in schools, Special Delivery will create films and stories for use in Suffolk Record Offices and museums.
You can see the films created thus far under the heading Films and Publications below.
Who is Special Delivery for?
Special Delivery is for children from partner primary schools and residents from partner care homes / sheltered housing schemes in Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds and Halesworth.
When & Where is Special Delivery happening?
Special Delivery began in September 2020, delivering to students from Abbots Green Academy, Bury St Edmunds, with support from the Theatre Royal Act Your Age theatre group.
Sessions were delivered via Zoom, and materials – including archive boxes, specialist writing pens and other preservation-grade equipment – were posted in to the children, making it all a very Special Delivery.
After a short break due to lockdown restrictions, the project has just completed a second programme of sessions to residents at Hildesley Court and pupils at Pakefield Primary School.
Sessions were delivered face-to-face, although the two groups of participants were not brought together; it is hoped that we might be able to hold a joint celebration event later in 2022.
In January 2022, we will work with Roman Hill Primary School and Britten Court Care Home and Oulton Broad Primary School and Broadlands Care Home; these sessions will be delivered in an appropriately COVID-19 secure manner.
Candida Wingate on 01986 873 955 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Films and publications:
In Lowestoft, we are using a collection of letters sent to the local newspaper and now archived with Suffolk Record Office as inspiration for our creative sessions.
Watch and listen to participants in Lowestoft, as they reveal what they enjoyed about exploring these letters and being part of Special Delivery.
One correspondent to the newspaper was Jessie Stockdale, who described her work as a ‘tweenie’. Watch the creative interpretation of this letter, as told by our artists Lynn Whitehead and Caitlin Howells.
Read a web page copy of Jessie Stockdale’s letter to the Lowestoft Journal about being a maid
In Bury St Edmunds, we created a unique story, based on the Dunkirk Letters, which you can watch, along with a creative activity and a brief introduction to the Suffolk Record Office in Bury St Edmunds, presented by their Community and Learning Officer, Hannah Salisbury, in the video below.
Special Delivery has been made possible by generous funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Lowestoft Rising and the Association for Suffolk Museums.