Hello and welcome to Cotton Culture, our National Lottery Heritage Fund project.
Carnivals involve lots of people working with fabric, dying, painting, sewing etc to create costumes. So when Global Grooves moved into Vale Mill we enjoyed the connection with our textile work and that of 100 years earlier when cloth was manufactured in Vale Mill. Signs of the mill’s former use could be seen in the architecture and structures that remained. Large loading platforms, rusting hoists and draughty openings suggested a time when mill workers skilfully transformed raw materials into cloth destined for local and global markets.
It became clear that as carnival artists, we have more in common with our predecessors in Vale Mill than we initially realised. Our work connects us to the thousands of mill workers who liked nothing better than a street celebration, be it a parade, a festival, a procession or a carnival, decked out in their best clothes. So as we create a beautiful space for carnival excellence and an arts venue to bring you the best in creative opportunities, it’s time to unpick some of the threads that connect our work to the local heritage and celebrate the learning in the best way we can – in a Carnival! (Update: This project started just as we headed into the unexpected global pandemic so we had to rethink our plans for a carnival but we’ll be on the streets as soon as we’re able)
Cotton Culture is a creative project that explores how mills, people and traditions combine to create the heritage of the area.
We’ll share our most exciting findings here with you. We invite you to keep popping back here for updates and if you’d like to comment, make any contributions or share your story we’d love to hear from you.