It was late 2012 when Hive community radio station started broadcasting on-line out of Tyneside’s Jarrow Hall. Over the years they took on a number of projects including a new audio drama group who obtained Lottery funding and found a base in Jarrow’s Perth Green Community Centre – Hive Storytellers was born in September 2019.
But when the Covid 19 pandemic hit in 2020 the on line station lost all funding and community contracts, fortunately the group managed to survive the lockdowns by meeting on zoom once a week.
With the radio station closed the Hive Storytellers continued to create new projects and produce a number of audio plays for podcasts on Spotify, Apple and other feeds. With over 2,500 listeners worldwide, the plays covered local Tyneside stories using a mix of fact and fiction.
Rule 55 is a play based on a rail disaster at St Bede’s Junction, Jarrow in 1915. It was written by Lilly Moon from South Shields and Jarrow born Lorna Windham.
Lilly talked about the inspiration for the story…
“I was talking to fellow Hive Storyteller John Caffery one day when he mentioned that his Grandfather was involved in a train disaster at Jarrow. It peaked my interest so I done a bit of research then talked to Lorna about it and we agreed to do something about this hidden story”.
“The project gathered momentum and not only did we write an audio drama, we also put together an exhibition for Bede’s World in Jarrow. We also spoke to A19, the local railway club about this tragic accident who ended up making a diorama model of the train crash, we were very grateful, it was totally unexpected”.
“On the opening night of the exhibition we invited the South Tyneside Mayor and Reverend of the local church St Pauls, she done a blessing. Newspapers and TV crews came and some family members of people who died in the train crash. It was lovely as they met for the first time. We’ve worked on a number of projects now and the local history stories go down really well with the audience”.
The St Bede’s Junction Rail Disaster story will be covered in the next post.
What are you working on now?
“Lorna and I are working on a new series of stories of mystical characters, she has created the characters and we’ve recorded them. They are put on the Woodland Audio Trail at the Lady of the North, Northumberlandia in Cramlington”.
“As people go round the trail they scan a QR code onto their phones that are on the listening posts and hear the stories we’ve recorded. It’s done really well over the summer holidays and we are producing another in November. We’ve had some fantastic feedback”.
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Alikivi September 2022