Accessible Document

To complement the With Our Ears the the Ground publication we’ve added a large print text document in .pdf format of the text from the book which we hope will be useful for people who wish to use a text to speech screen reader or read onscreen.

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Final Publication

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We have just received the first bound copy of our publication for With Our Ears to the Ground; a project by Proboscis commissioned by Green Heart Partnership with Hertfordshire County Council to explore peoples ideas about community. The project focused on four very different types of community in order to get a broad range of opinions across the county.

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I’m really excited to see the final version and especially happy with the middle tracing paper insert of scenes and people Orlagh and I encountered during the project. The book draws together the multiple layers of ideas and experiences we found across the different communities we met in Watford, Stevenage, North Herts and  Broxbourne and it is designed to reflect the many ideas and voices we encountered. It is organised in the six themes of Transport, Movement, Listening, Community, Getting Involved and Perceptions the emerged during the project. The book contains drawings, photographs, quotes and writings. It can be read in any direction and you can interweave the pages of the three sections  as you read, to find new perspectives.

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The With Our Ears to the Ground book, will go to selected libraries in Hertfordshire. The publication draws together the multiple layers of ideas and experiences we found across different communities and it is designed to reflect those ideas and voices.

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We have a small number of copies please contact us if you would like to acquire one.

We have also published the main chapters as Diffusion eBooks –  books to download print and make up published using Bookleteer.  Booklets to make, carry in your pocket, browse in your own time, rather than read on screen. You can download them here.

First publications

In advance of the publication of the With Our Ears to the Ground book, which will go to selected  libraries in Hertfordshire, we have published the main chapters of the as Diffusion eBooks –  books to download print and make up published using Bookleteer.  The With Our Ears to the Ground book, will go to selected libraries in Hertfordshire, we have also published the main chapters as Diffusion eBooks –  books to download print and make up published using Bookleteer.  Booklets to make, carry in your pocket, browse in your own time, rather than read on screen.

The publication draws together the multiple layers of ideas and experiences we found across different communities and it is designed to reflect those ideas and voices.

You can download the books here:

Transport
Download
A4 US Letter 2.1MB

Movement
Download A4 US Letter 2.6MB

Listening
Download A4 US Letter 2.3MB

Community
Download A4 US Letter 2.9MB

Getting Involved
Download A4 US Letter 3.5MB

Perceptions
Download A4 US Letter 3.1MB

In mid 2009 we (arts organisation Proboscis) travelled around Hertfordshire meeting over 280 people from Watford, Stevenage, North Hertfordshire and Broxbourne. We set out on an autumn day to drive up through Cheshunt, Broxbourne and Hoddesdon, over to Ware and Stevenage then Letchworth, up to Ashwell, down to Pirton, Hitchin across to Watford and back to London. It was a journey through old and new; market towns, new towns, agricultural land and urban centres. In the weeks that followed we put our ears to the ground and got to know Hertfordshire and its communities through the stories of its people. We researched urban centres, towns and villages and travelled through the county in cars, trains, by cycle and on foot, on narrow lanes and motorways.

We talked to people in groups, individually, inside, outside, in pubs, cafes, community centres, libraries, at home and at work. We gathered their opinions and experiences of their communities, what it’s like living in their neighbourhoods and what gives them a sense of belonging. These experiences, whilst locally specific, are relevant to Hertfordshire as a whole. We met people between the ages of 5 and 94, from many cultures and backgrounds, from small organisations, schools, community groups, urban centres and rural villages. We captured their views through informal conversations on the street, hosting a stall at the local market and visiting community groups. We ran a creative workshop with a youth group and collected stories through other activities and events. From this research emerged the six themes of Transport, Movement, Listening, Community, Getting Involved and Perceptions, which now form the basis for the project publications.

Herts Memories

Thought people might be interested in seeing information on this website- a community archive. There’s lots of information from all over Hertfordshire, from a wide range of people. It’s another dimension to the info which we are capturing through With Our Ears to the Ground. http://www.hertsmemories.org.uk

Commuting

We spent this evening at Broxbourne Station stopping commuters to ask them about communities and commuting. Its an odd thing to stand outside the station for 2 hours during the evening rush; there are long periods of almost complete stillness intterupted by very sudden gushes of people pouring out of the station so fast that you only need blink and they’d be gone. So we had to work fast to stop a few and persuade them to speak to us after their long days work. Many people told us they had a strong sense of community and links to their community despite working away from the area; people valued the fresh air and someone explained that Broxbourne feels like the beginning of the countryside, like the beginning of what is outside London.

Rain, roundabouts, friendly faces and a good pub

Orlagh and I made a trip last week to explore some of the parts of Hertfordshire we are going to be working in on this project and set out on a dark rainy summers day with a car to drive up through Cheshunt, Broxbourne, Hoddesdon up to Ware, over to Stevenage then Letchworth up to Ashwell, down to Pirton, Hitchin and back to London. Its an interesting tour through old and new, through medieval market towns, new towns and the original art deco garden city, through many diverse communities. From the UKs first ever roundabout to many other roundabouts large and small.  On the way we stopped by the Youth Connections Skatepark in Stevenage and went into Bowes Lyon House to chat to Suzanne Rider, Anna Pilipow and David Jackson of the Hertfordshire Music Service who gave us a warm welcome and talked about their lives and experiences of living and working in Stevenage and Letchworth.  Our discussions ranged from the famous Black Squirrell to town planning, communities and corsets to what its like to come to live here from abroad and what it was like to grow up in the area.

We headed on to them meet Mark Lee, Grace Houston and the Chells Manor Youth Club. Their enthusiastic welcome was great at the end of a long rainy day and we planned a session to head out and map and explore their area. Then we headed back through Pirton and the friendly Fox pub before a very wet wander back through Hitchin at night and then home.

Alice