This week the Trust welcomed the first members of the team who will be making the Coffin Works come to life as a heritage attraction.
Nicola Prestage of Tiger Features and Kate Green of Kate Green Photography are community film-makers. Working with young people and the Trust’s volunteers and staff, they will be making three short films about Newman Brothers. One film will be about what it was like to work in Newman Brothers coffin fittings works. It will be based on the reminiscences of former workers in the factory, using archive material of interviews with Newman Brothers’ employees shot shortly after the factory closed in 1999, and new interviews and filming which will be carried out over the coming months. A second film will focus on the machinery in the factory and the manufacturing process. As well as filming at the Coffin Works, this will involve filming at other locations and factories in the Jewellery Quarter where similar machinery is still in use. The third film will be about funerals in different faiths and cultures.
Carl Plant and Ben McManus of bITjAM are specialists in digital and creative technologies. Their brief , working closely with Nicola, Kate, young people and our volunteers, is to create four tours of the Coffin Works which will be loaded onto site-based iPads. There will be a young person’s tour, a British Sign Language tour, a family-orientated tour and a tour focusing on the architecture and conservation of the factory. They will also be exploring with us creative ways of using technology such as ‘augmented reality’ to bring the Coffin Works to life.
If you know anything about Newman Brothers that could be useful to us, or if you know somebody who used to work there, do please get in touch!
The new appointments have been made thanks to an AIM Biffa award. We had numerous tenders for the work, many of them excellent, and the appointments were made following a rigorous selection procedure.