Letters linking young and old on display at Norwich library

16 May 2017

Pupils from a Norwich primary school have joined forces with a reminiscence group to produce a display in the city’s main library which showcases their creativity.

The Labyrinth of Lost Letters illustrates the inter-generational work of year five pupils from Lakenham Primary School and the local Time Travellers group who meet to share life stories and experiences.

The exhibition, part of the Flying Shop of Imagination scheme, is on display at Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library until 26 May and details the art of letter writing between the two groups. The children were encouraged to write letters about their lives to share with the Time Travellers who then replied. 

The project is supported by Arts Council England, co-ordinated by Anna Brett, and led by writer Belona Greenwood and artist Kate Munro.

Few of the children had ever received or written a letter to anyone and the project encouraged them to experience postcard and letter-writing as something special, an art, whereas, the older group already steeped in the culture of post had little trouble putting pen to paper.

The letters are intimate and moving from adult and child alike – capturing lives and reflecting personalities on the page. There are plenty of postcards, too, offering a sense of place through poetry. 

The project hopes to keep the letters between young and old going. There is a website for The Flying Shop of Imagination which will continue to support the project and its letter-writers. New work can be posted online and shared with all.

“The project has been hugely moving,” said Belona. "It doesn’t take long before what is uppermost in a child’s life comes out and the Time Travellers have shown wonderful commitment to share their life experience and wisdom with the young people.

“This project couldn’t have taken place without the support of Lakenham Primary School and the superb library staff who inspired and instigated the project. “

The display can be viewed during the library’s usual opening hours. Find out more about the library service here.

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