Updated: Aug 3, 2021
While working in my new studio shed on the farm, I have continued to gather photos from people in my village as well as take photographs, to help move the project forward as a part of my DYCP Arts Council funding.......I asked the owners of the farm if they had any photos. The family, the Tydeman's have lived and worked at Broughton Hall farm for nearly 100 years. During that time there have been changes but in some ways things remain the same - there have been dramas but they have been overcome. One such incident came to light when Sam, the latest Tydeman to take the farming reins scanned in an archival medium format negative into a mobile phone app that revealed this photograph of when the nearly burnt hall burnt to the ground.
The damage looks extensive so like many similar old houses, I assumed, admittedly without. asking, it was a chimney fire. Sam's dad David had given me a ceramic object found on his farmland that I/we assumed was a chimney pot or a part of one at least, so I set to work, for the first time bonding an image to a circular shape - which was inevitably tricky and I messed up a couple of times. I was overjoyed when it actually worked and shared my good fortune with a couple of bods on the farm who then insisted on quizzing me on 'how I did it' and wanting to come into my shed. for lunch to 'watch how you do it'....even following me into the ladies loo to try and 'win me over' lol, which I actually found rather intimidating .... but I digress.
Anyway, at another time I was chit chatting with the Mills brothers who are farm workers, life long Stonham residents and very decent people and it turns out the damage to the house wasn't made by any thing as common-place as a chimney fire but by a 'brooder box', used for hatching chicks when there isn't a mother hen to do they honours. Anyway the box was being kept in an upstairs room. Back in the 1930s pre full lecy such devices were fuelled by paraffin and sad to say the tiny birds or at least eggs were accidentally cremated along with a large portion of the hall. Such an odd tale I decided to make a rough little film about it in imovie. I had no sound at the time so decided to write a 'ditty' about it........'a brooder box full of chicks caused a fire in the sticks'.....then asked Sam if one of the younger Tydeman's could read it for me as a voice over.............I was wowed by his sons confident tone, sent to me as a Whatsapp clip, - he really isn't very old at all and recited it perfectly......so I decided to put in a bit more effort trying to communicate the tale in Premier Pro....see what you think - it is going to be the way forward with the next pieces too, so get used to some Gilly rap: )).