The Bleach Packers
Updated: Jan 19
Look at the black and white picture
if you had a job as a bleach packer
in Widnes and Runcorn
you were elite, a fleet of top trumps
one lump of salt or two?
Credit: Louise Fazackerley
Picture credit: Catalyst Museum
Rachael Prime was asked to work upon the Halton Borough Council heritage project, funded by the Heritage Lottery all based around the Bleach Packer workers of Widnes and Runcorn.
The creative director on the project was the amazing artist Lou Chapelle who worked with young people from Halton as well as creative practitioners also based within the borough.
Rachael ran two workshop sessions with fashion students from Cronton College, who developed and designed the costumes to be used within the final piece. Focusing on the original materials that the Packers themselves would have used to project them from the chemicals, the pieces were created using cotton fabric, brown and white paper and white cardboard.
The costumes were then used as part of the dance element with the dance students also from Cronton College. Their movements became restricted due to the costumes giving some idea of the conditions the Bleach Packers worked their sometimes 128 hour week.
The final pieces involved the multi disciplines of costume, music, poetry and filmography then went on display at Runcorn Shopping City and Tesco in Widnes.
Runcorn Shopping City 10th Jan - 16th Jan
Widnes's Tesco 19th Jan - 23rd Jan
More Info on the project visit Lou Chapelle's website - www.louchapelle.com
Creative director Lou Chapelle
Film-maker Tim Brunsden
Costume designer Rachael Prime
Choreographer Sharon Graham
Sound artist Wendy Smith
Poet Louise Fazackerley
Augmented Reality Laurie Cooper
Dance: Caitlyn James, Eleanor Williams, Ellie Shaw, Emily Banks, Jessica Moss, Olivia Boardman, Phoebe Fletcher, Rhianna Murphy, Rowan Craske
Costume design: Bethany Hogg, Sophie Ambler, Sophie Robson, Ellie Mclean, Chloe Spyrou, Mia Lucas
Choir and narration: Chloe McCartney, Sophie Royle, Melissa Royle, Wolfie
Digital sounds: Alyssa Mae Connely, Declan Fishburn, Lewis Murdoch
Poetry: Alex, Alistair, Liam, Molly, Oscar, Wolfie, Zephir, Louise, Paul
Promotion and AR: Luke Hamilton
Special thanks to:
Project director Steph Davies
Project co-ordinator Ruth Darling
Youth facilitator Rebecca Ainsworth
Louise Nulty at The Studio
Sharon Graham and Sandra Brown at Cronton Sixth Form College
Judith Wilde and Diana Leith at Catalyst Science Centre and Museum