Over a four month period in the summer of 2015 Heron Corn Mill went out on the tramp in the local area as part of our ambitious TRAMPING project. The idea had been with us for a while, after discovering that paper making and millwright’s apprentices left the Milnthorpe area to seek work further afield and hone their craft. The project allowed us to get out into the community and spread the word about Heron Mill with a tour roadshow called ‘On the Road’, which we intended as a celebration of traditional heritage and craft.
We commissioned a number of new pieces of work for the project, ceramicist Hannah McAndrew created drinking pots in the style of those used during the 1700-1800’s, and three plays were written on the subject of tramping collectively titled BREAD CHEESE AND BEER. These were presented to the public over three evenings at three venues. The plays – ON THE ROAD AGAIN by Karen Mason, KITTY by Alan Shore and THE DROVER’S RETURN by Iain McNichol – provided an amusing snapshot of life for the humble journeyman as he entered the public houses on his route to find work during the 1800’s.
Textile artist Stella Adams-Schofield also led a series of workshops at the mill to create banners for the roadshow. The banners were constructed from ideas by local people, young people and craftspeople after much research into early Trade Union banners.
As part of the roadshow we visited Arnside Sailing Club on May 4th, Grange Institute and the Keg and Kitchen on May 15th, Ingleton Community Centre on June 19th, Lunesdale Hall in Kirkby Lonsdale on June 29th, Dent Memorial Hall on July 24th, and, the Looking Well Studios in High Bentham on August 29th. At each venue visitors were treated to a Pop-up café, various workshops, children’s activities, talks, flour milling, and bread-making with our Bread of Heron group.