THE WELCOME COLLECTIVE
We spent 2019 getting to know our communities.
We invited Photographer CJ Griffiths to document our activities and write a few words about the process.
Words and photographs by CJ Griffiths
Welcome Collective, the name is apt, the local pub when I was a child was called The Welcome Inn. I grew up in that area of Marton in Blackpool. My grandparents from elsewhere moved here in the 70’s to try their hand at running a guest house – my mum missed her parents so much that she moved here too, dragging my dad along; they bought a semi-detached house on a cul-de-sac close to the new Co-op and accessible bus routes off Halton Gardens.
I learned to ride my bike down that road and walked to school every day via Burton’s Biscuits, my brother told me the workers used to give him liquorice allsorts but I was never that lucky.
My grandparents were a big part of my life growing up taking me to Fleetwood on rainy Easter weekends to ride the ferry across to Knott End and buy an Ice Cream. These stories do not just belong to me though, I have met a few whose families ran a guest house in Blackpool, or who were taken to Fleetwood to marvel at the docks as a child, or listened to their friends dad talk about market gardening or their step aunt who ran away with the circus and married a juggler.
What skills these people could teach, to grow, to perform, to cook?
In May 2019 LeftCoast’s Welcome Collective set about the ambition for communities across these areas Fakefleet and Haweside to explore and share new skills: I saw the callout – I grabbed my chance.
New memories and experience to be made – I was there. Now I know my brother is a huge music fan, a single dad of four, I volunteered him…..”This, I thought is what memories are made of”….He was resistant it’s true, but I know that if this happened, a band playing in my brothers house, the memory could stay with my nephews and niece forever. The date was arranged – we prayed for no rain.