We identified a range of ways to enable individuals and small groups to get involved:
A – as an “active CRV” or as a small group, with a focus on a specific local area to help create a map, with additional information and description of life in the area between 1650 and 1850
B – as a “specific interest CRV” researching and sharing information about specific aspect that may* be related to this story: e.g. Barmouth’s international shipping links. * even ‘dead ends’ are useful to get the big picture
C – as an individual “Reader” or online researcher
D – as a Member or Organiser of one of the ‘History and Heritage Reading and Research Groups’
E – as a “CVR Advisor” if you are a local historian interested in supporting this project
F – as a “Project Promoter” volunteering to take story of the project to local organisations and agricultural shows.
G – as a registered “Story Teller” representing the project to share the story/findings with local WI’s and Merched Y Wawr groups, Rotary and Lions Groups, Schools and Colleges, Young Farmers and others. We will create a list of “Registered Storytellers”
H – as a “Creative Contributor” exploring ways to tell this story using your skills e.g. as a spinner weaver or dyer.
I – as a “Creative Writer” presenting the research findings in a short story or poetry
J - as an Academic Historian with an interest in this aspect of history.
K – or discuss any other way to be involved!
We invited prospective volunteers to register their interest using the Feedback form on the project website.
Unexpected outcomes from the project
Lisa Y Gabbert – PhD focus:
Lisa attended the conference held in July 2019 at the Museum of Wales to explore ‘Clothing the Enslaved in the Eighteenth Century Atlantic’. On her return to the US she confirmed the focus of her PhD studies, inspired by the story of the community research volunteers she met from the ‘From Sheep to Sugar’ project. Check more about her focus HERE.
Welsh author and well known journalist, Angharad Tomos, was inspired to use the story of From Sheep to Sugar to base her next Welsh language novel for teenagers telling the story of a your African girl enslaved in Jamaica.
Emily Laurens plans to explore the place where several stories intersect:
the history of Welsh wool transported to colonies in the 17th and 18th century to clothe slaves;
today's extractive modern textile and garment industry;
the moment of sustainable utopia in early 20th century Welsh textile production.
Emily Laurens will work with a group of collaborators and the National Wool Museum to interrogate these ideas with a practice-driven approach and decolonising mindset.
In re-examining these histories, the artists will unpick the forces of colonialism, ecocide, racism, sexism and capitalist power.
Sept 2020 A podcast on 'Welsh Plains' is being prepared by a Sony subsidiary called Broccoli Content and is titled 'A History of British Slavery in 101 Places'.
THe researcher said: "I came across the Welsh Plains cloth story and instantly wanted to make sure we told it (especially given I'm from the Marches area!). We'd love to interview you about this"