Meadows to Meaders

In light of the latest developments regarding Covid-19, we have postponed our Meadows to Meaders performance to a time that is safe for our participants and audiences.

We are still collecting stories from people who have lived, worked and grown up in Southmead for our accompanying exhibition celebrating romances and unions from all the cultures that make Southmead what it is today.

If you have memories to share then we would love to hear from you.

Episode 3: Love on the Mead

Meadows to Meaders, 2017, photo copyright Paul Blakemore

1,2,3…1,2,3…Will Mark Meaders ever learn to waltz?

Where did Vera Meadows get that hat?

And why is Carol breaking and entering the Reception in her wedding finery?

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England and Bristol City Council we are delighted to be working again with partners, Southmead Development Trust and Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company on a third episode of Southmead’s own community soap opera, Meadows to Meaders that tells the true stories of those who have lived, worked and grown up here. We have written the script together, building on the wonderful characters and script created originally by Bea Roberts.

The cast regularly come together and share stories of their own or explore ones we have collected from local residents and as everyone is talking and laughing over old times, a narrative emerges and our script starts to take shape.

Meadows to Meaders 3: Love on the Mead will be set in the 1970s, but we will be popping back to visit 1940s and 1950s Southmead to hang out with American GIs, practice our cha-cha-chas at Gloria’s School of Dance and enjoy a bit of friendly football rivalry between Rovers and City.

This time around there will be a wedding on the estate and Bertel Martin is working with the community to co-curate an accompanying exhibition celebrating weddings and romances from all the cultures that make Southmead what it is today.

Ticket prices for the performance will include a slice of wedding cake courtesy of the fabulous Travelling Kitchen.

The cast of Meadows to Meaders 3 have been sharing their stories about 1970s Southmead,

See behind the scenes
Setting it up together

Thanks to funding from Bristol Libraries Innovation fund, we will be getting together on Tuesday afternoons to make our own costumes and props with theatre designer, Katie Sykes.

Everyone is welcome to join us for these free activities being held in Southmead Library and help to ensure that the cast will look their very best for the wedding of the year.

Previously in Meadows to Meaders

Read all about the second episode in this special edition of The Mead

And there’s more:

  • Listen to some of the stories we have collected that reveal another part of Southmead’s history and hear recollections of cows being herded along Ascot Road, memories of the first Teddy boys and one of the area’s longest serving residents remembering how she tricked an Air Raid Warden into a spot of gardening.
  • Watch films capturing memories of the early years of Fonthill Road School, the Baptist Church Youth Club and that take a peek inside some of the first houses to be built in Southmead.
  • Go behind the scenes and see how Meadows to Meaders evolved, with interviews with the stars and choice extracts from the very first episode of everyone’s favourite Southmead soap (below).

Check out

https://www.facebook.com/meadowstomeaders for updates or contact Ruth Myers on ruth@locallearning.org.uk

In addition to the documentary that tells the story of the project we have also created a report that includes images and quotes from participants and audience that you can download as a pdf here.

Project menu (click the images below)

Community Research

Meadows to Meaders began with a series of community research workshops at a launch event on Ascot Road, a visit to the Bristol Archives and at the 50+ Forum. This page presents a gallery of images that were collected at these events.

Memories

We collected many memories throughout the project that led to four films made by Calling the Shots and pupils from Orchard Secondary School and a series of audio recordings made by Tot Foster of Wildman and Herring.

Stories of Southmead

Using all the material that was collected during the project a booklet was produced with members of the Southmead community through a series of writing workshops. This booklet is available for free from several venues in the neighbourhood and includes recipes collected by Travelling Kitchen.

Soap Opera

The community performance of the Meadows to Meaders soap opera on Ascot Road in July 2017 was the culmination of months of work with the Bristol Old Vic Engagement Team. A gallery of photos taken by Paul Blakemore at the event are available to view on this page.

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