In a mutigenerational project – Let Me Tell You a Story – Halton Borough Council has been working with older people to find out some amazing stories from the past.

Through our library outreach activities, staff have worked with isolated people in care homes, community groups and the home library service.

Let Me Tell You a Story

In the four-month project, inspired by novels in the BBC list of “100 Books that Shaped the World”, particularly Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, they told interesting stories from their pasts, stories that illustrate the changes between society now and then.

The tales have included a man who joined a song and dance troupe and played the London Palladium and a woman who remembers sheltering from the bombs during the war.

Halton Libraries commissioned local artist, Millie Chesters, to interpret the stories through illustrations and local writers to write poems on some of the conversations, on how life and society has changed since they were young.

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Libraries, Cllr Phil Harris, said: “The result are an online exhibition, featuring the art, writing, participants’ voices and local photos, available through the Libraries’ website now.

“We will be promoting it on our social media and showing it in care homes and schools, once we are able.”

Once libraries are open again, we will show the exhibition on the screens and in the autumn, we will be producing a physical exhibition of the work and touring it round our libraries.

This will be a chance, as well, for the participants to meet each other and the artist and writers, as all communication during the project has been by phone and virtual meetings.

In 2019 the BBC launched “100 Books that Shaped the World” list and the national libraries sector won a bid to put on events that mirrored the list across the country.

Then Covid arrived and many events had to be postponed or went digital.

They opened the funding to other authorities in September 2020 for digital events and Halton Borough Council was successful.

There’s more information here:

The Booklist

Millie uses her traditional drawing skills to make GIFs, animations and digitally rendered illustrations. Follow her on Instagram @MillieChesters #Haltonreads