In 2023, Lizzie Lovejoy was invited by Redhills (Durham Miners Institute) to work with Sacriston Youth And Community Project [SYCP] on a creative programme of activity which would lead to a performance on the stage at The Big Meeting.
Investigating into the archives, Lizzie poured through slogans, headlines and quotes to learn about the words lingering in our heritage. The young people (8-12 years old) of SYCP, lead by Lizzie, created and co-wrote a series of poems focused on the miners strikes, miners work and mining language.
Inspired by the young people, Lizzie wrote a small collection of poems as well. Four young people from the SYCP read their written works on stage in front of 5000 people, followed by Lizzie Lovejoy's performance.
Since we were small
We were told all
About what culture is, who it's for,
Who can make it and exactly what door
Will keep it from the grubby palms
Of working class children, its only for the calm
Collected, respectable gents...
Well, one day I hope they repent,
Cause their white box rooms
With marble, oils and tapestries on looms
Are a limited view.
Yes, culture can be wonderfully old, but also new,
It's in our shoreline factories
We embody culture,
We live culture
Breathe and exist as culture,
Rich, loud and glorious,
Each working class hand
Has the right to demand
A place in heritage, because we create it
Dish it up and plate it,
In lemon tops, parmos and sausage rolls.
So I will stand and take up my role
As part of culture.
I AM CULTURE.