Category Archives: Projects

Honley Feast Parade 2017

We have loved being part of the Honley Feast Parade in collaboration with Rhythm Sticks.

With a  nod to the history of Honley Feast when the day would start with a circus parading through the streets Katie Mallard from Rhythm Sticks led a samba band wearing hand-made costumes-(lions and giraffes ) and children from Farnley Tyas school (elephants) through the streets and to the Honley Feast site. They looked and sounded fantastic!

Photo courtesy of Sandie Nicholson
Photo courtesy of Sandie Nicholson
Photo courtesy of Sandie Nicholson
Photo courtesy of Sandie Nicholson
Photo courtesy of Sandie Nicholson

And it was lovely to have on of the Giant Jackdaw puppets- originally made for Holmfirth Arts Festival- flying about again…

Thank you to everyone who got looked fantastic!

Photo courtesy of Sandie Nicholson


Unity Day, Leeds

A great day full of energy and creativity at Unity Day in Hyde Park, Leeds.

Supporting University of Huddersfield and their Rotor project  we offered children and families the chance to get creative with cardboard  and  to visualise their community by drawing each other.


Thanks to the School of Art, Design and Architecture at University of Huddersfield for inviting us along!

Holmfirth Christmas Parade

Another lovely project  for our children and young people- the Holmfith Christmas parade takes place on 26th November at 4.30 and will be shimmering and glittering with gorgeous icy crowns, Jack Frost masks and wonderful capes depicting wintery scenes.

The children and young people have embraced the opportunity to create sculpted wearables and to represent winter through shape, colour, form, imagery and surface.


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Our pre-school children relished painting on the cloaks and needed no direction to explore different ways of applying the paint:

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Whilst our Drawing for teenagers group made some fantastic drawings of the Jack Frost masks:

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Our 11-16yr olds took a range of approaches to painting their cloaks  abstract, patterned, traditional:


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A great project to unleash individual creativity but to also create a wonderful sense of joint purpose and common goals….  Can’t wait to see how the costumes will look when all the children and parents parade together through Holmfirth…look out for our Jack Frosts glowing eyes!


The Children’s Art School is expanding into Huddersfield town centre bringing more opportunities for hands-on creativity to more children and young people in Kirklees.

We are very pleased to announce that we have secured funding from Kirklees Councils Arts in the Neighbourhood scheme for a 6 month residency in Huddersfield’s Byram Arcade starting in January 2017.

The organisation already provides art clubs and workshops for children and young people as well as creative days for school groups in their studios at Hope Bank Works, Honley.  ‘We aim to promote and provide high quality art education for children of all ages’ says Director Chloe Williams. ‘From our Little Art Club for 2-4 year olds to our Drawing Course for teenagers and adults we have art clubs and workshops for children and young people of all ages’.

The organisation became a registered charity in May 2015 and now has 70 children a week taking part in regular hands on, creative activities.

What did your children make with their hands today?

“We are committed to promoting the value of art education for developing innovative and creative thinking skills and for developing self-confidence and well-being in our children and young people. There is an increasing concern about the amount of time our children and young people spend on screens and how they are less and less connected to their physical world.’”

Chloe says she is concerned about the myth that art education is unimportant and has no purpose. “Art education is a crucial part in the ongoing success of our creative industries. The Children’s Art School aims to unlock children’s creative potential, practical capabilities and individual problem solving skills necessary for designing, making, innovation and manufacturing.”
Chloe stresses that Art Education is not about encouraging all children to become artists or designers (although the creative industries do generate £8 million per hour and is the fastest growing sector of the British economy) but is also about equipping children with creative thinking skills that will enable them to be successful in all areas of their lives and in any career.

The 6 month residency at Byram Arcade will focus on working with local children and young people from age 3-16yrs to create a range of 2D and 3D collaborative art works which explore the history, culture and visual environment of Huddersfield, a town shaped by the creative industries. Art works created will be exhibited in a variety of spaces around Huddersfield. Earlier this year the organisation was responsible for creating paintings which now hang along the river in Holmfirth and were part of the team that created the visually spectacular Holmfirth Arts Festival Creature Carnival Parade.

“We are really excited to be setting up a space in the beautiful Byram Arcade, where we are sure creativity will flourish.”

The clubs to be offered at Byram Arcade include Little Art Club (2-4year olds), Junior Art Club (5-7yr olds) Intermediate Art Club (9-11yr olds) and Senior Art Club (12-16year olds). Some clubs will be after school and some will be part of the Saturday Art School. There will also be workshops in the school holidays.

If you are interested in what The Children’s Art School can offer your children or if you want to book a place on one of their clubs you can contact us via email- or through social media at   or @artinholmfirth.



Hope Bank Project

All our groups have been busy imagining what Hope Bank Pleasure Gardens must have looked like

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Little Art Club have created flowers for the garden and a train for visitors to ride in..



and have used printing techniques to create a train track…


Intermediates have been drawing carousels using charcoal and collaged characters into them





While Seniors have created a huge backdrop showing the layout of Hope Bank pleasure gardens and created costumes to set the period..



Join us on October 29th to find out more and imagine how it once was at Hope Bank.

Hope Bank project

“Wanted – your memories of Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds”

Family Open Day – Saturday 29th October 1pm-4pm

We have been working with Holme Valley Sharing Memories group to create a range of artworks to support their open day  inviting residents from the Holme Valley to share their memories of Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds near Honley.   


The event will give people an opportunity to find out more about the history of Hope Bank and bring any objects and stories along that might be of interest.  There will also be plenty of activities for younger members of the family including opportunities to dress up, drawing and puppet making.

Sharing Memories staff will be on hand to record anecdotes of interest and local film maker Gopal Dutta will be capturing people’s stories on camera.

The event is part of a project called ‘Pleasure Park Stories’, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Members of Sharing Memories, who are all in their 70s, 80s and 90s,  have been uncovering the history of Hope Bank and talking to other groups in the area about their memories of the pleasure grounds.

Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds was the brainchild of John William Mellor, a farmer who bought the land in 1895 and set about transforming what he called a ‘howling wilderness’ into a pleasure park.

By 1906 there was a merry-go-round and a miniature steam train and visitors paid a penny to go in plus extra for the rides.

At its peak, in 1948, the attraction drew crowds of up to 50,000, nearly five times the then population of Honley itself.

In the first two decades of the 20th century it was home to huge dances and brass band contests, some of which were reported to be very acrimonious. Churches and working men’s clubs organised special ‘chara’ trips to the grounds from all over Yorkshire, and trains and trams were used to transport visitors to Hope Bank for their day’s amusement. In winter the grounds opened for skaters to use the frozen ponds.

The pleasure grounds included two boating lakes, ornamental gardens and flower beds, a novel bicycle railway, a zoo, tea rooms, donkey rides, miniature railway, indoor roller skating rink a shooting gallery and many more attractions, including a helter-skelter.  Hope Bank finally closed in 1955 and Brook Motors, a factory which made electric motors, was built in its place.

Project Manager, Sally Brown, is keen to gather as many local anecdotes as possible:

“Because Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds was such a significant attraction in the area, of which virtually nothing remains, we want to capture the stories of people who remember visiting  either Hope Bank or other pleasure grounds from  their youth.

“Our group is based at Hope Bank Works so it seemed fitting to try and record the history of the place before it’s too late – many of the residents who have strong memories of Hope Bank are now in their late 80s and 90s.”

As part of the Open Day stories will be recorded and a short film will be made for next year’s Holmfirth Film Festival.  There are also plans to do a performance of some of the memories captured and produce an education pack for local schools.

Sharing Memories uses the arts, memories and life experiences as a spring board for projects with older people, schools and the wider community.   For further information about the group’s work go to or call Sally Brown on 01484 968551

Creature Carnival Parade

WOW! What an amazing day!
We are so proud to have been a part of the Holmfirth Arts Festival Creature Carnival Parade..

The Children’s Art School provided the ‘Bird’ section of the parade- here they all are pre-parade but ready to go!!


Little Art Club and Juniors were ducklings hatching out of eggs:




Whilst their grown ups were brilliant as  parent ducks!




Our intermediate and senior groups were  jackdaws..



With seniors helping to create the 2 large jackdaw puppets..



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as well as this enormous and beautiful heron ( with a little help from the fabulous Handmade Parade of Hebden Bridge of course!)





Each group adopted their own special moves for the parade.. here’s the herons being herons…!


and here’s our Wednesday after school group in their amazing 3D ducks and masks…



I am so proud that we were a part of the parade. It gave our young artists a chance to show off their skills and to be an inherent part of a live creative event that was inclusive, exciting and spectacular. It drew people together in the most wonderful way and there was no-one who was involved (participant or spectator) that wasn’t blown away by it! I particularly loved how the usually self-conscious teenagers forgot to be embarrassed and were as swept up in the event as everyone else and were thrilled to get the opportunity to parade around the ring at the finale at Sands.

A big well done and thank you to everyone involved and for all our children, young people and parents who so willingly came on board and put in loads of hard work…

….see you there next year I hope!

(you can see a film of the parade here: )




Ebb and Flow paintings

Ebb and Flow paintings installed!

The paintings for our Ebb and Flow project have been installed along the river wall underneath the Picturedrome..and they look amazing!

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They were up just in time for the Holmfirth Folk Festival  so have been seen by thousands of people!

The river area in the centre of Holmfirth is an area that residents and local businesses have been keen to imprprove. The paintings will be in place for at least 6 months thanks to Peter Carr at the Picturedrome.up

Ebb and Flow Finale

What an amazing end to our Ebb and Flow project! Our young artists (11-13 years old), having produced the most wonderful drawings and paintings, took part in a ‘happening’ which combined projections of the artworks with improvised music, sound and readings of their flow of consciousness poems.




Led by the amazing Charlotte Watson and Victoria Garbutt the participants really engaged in the experience and blew us away with their ability to develop the connections between their visuals and with spoken word and music.

Ebb and Flow paintings

EBB and FLOW continued…

 The paintings for this project are now finished and they are WONDERFUL!


A group of  10-13 yr olds have, in only 6 weekly sessions,  experimented with materials and concept in order to create large scale paintings to be hung along the river wall in the centre of Holmfirth.

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Our young artists met John Holt, an artist who is particularly interested in the concept of Flow.  They explored the fluidity of paint through pouring, splashing and  spontaneous/accidental mark making. They selected marks, drips and splashes to repeat and apply in a more controlled way. They used drawing to explore ‘flow maps’ and connect accidental marks and drips. They explored colour and applied an understanding of colour theory.

Alongside the visual explorations the young artists have explored words and developed poetry through streams of consciousness with performance poet Victoria Garbutt and have explored sound and rhythm in response to their drawings, paintings and poetry with musician Charlotte Watson.

The young artists have shown themselves to be really open to new and sophisticated ideas and have embraced the spontaneous elements of the creative process allowing themselves to discover and exploit the potential of the accidental and uncontrolled and they have learnt to make creative decisions about these discoveries.

I am so proud of all they have achieved:

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We have one week left when, using projections of the paintings, perfomances of the poems and music, the young people will take part in creating an art installation.

The paintings will be exhibited  in the centre of Holmfirth along the river wall for several months and will be a fantastic visual addition to Holmfirth.

A big thank you to Art in the Neighbourhood (Kirklees) and Arts Council England for the funding for this project.