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Archive for September, 2015

Special Knowle West TV series draws to a close

Over the summer months Made in Bristol TV has been broadcasting a weekly show about Knowle West TV, a series of programmes that were first shown on Bristol Channel, a community cable TV initiative that operated from 1973-75.

Bristol Channel was set up by Rediffusion, at the time the UK’s largest cable company, and it reached 23,000 homes in Bristol via Rediffusion’s cable network in 1973. Knowle West TV was one of the programmes: local residents were trained to record footage and just over 21 hours of local material was produced. From discussions about the women’s liberation movement and the 1974 General Election to music from local bands and street interviews, the films provide a fascinating and witty insight into life in Bristol and Knowle West in the 1970s.

The half-hour ‘highlights’ programmes on Made in Bristol TV are broadcast every Friday on Freeview channel 8, Sky 117 or Virgin 159, and are presented by Josh Ellis. As a result of seeing the programmes, over 30 people have been in touch with us to share their stories and memories.

The final episodes of the Made in Bristol TV series will focus on four Knowle West residents – some of whom still live in the area today.  Bryan, Steve, Lorraine and Robin all saw things they recognised in the 1970s footage – and one of them remembered Bristol Channel first time round!

Our collaboration with Made in Bristol TV is part of the wider Knowle West TV project, where we’ve been working with the Know Your Bristol project at University of Bristol and Bristol Record Office to bring the 1970s footage back to our screens.

Tune in to Made in Bristol TV on Friday 18th and Friday 25th September to hear their stories.


Forgotten Toys workshops in Knowle West

After a few weeks of rounding up toys, games and stories on our ‘toy trike’ and experimenting with our discoveries in The Factory, we invited the public to get hands on with the Forgotten Toys Compendium and have a go at creating new games and characters.

On Saturday 12th September KWMC and Ludic Rooms brought the Forgotten Toys to Knowle West Fest at Filwood Broadway for an afternoon of experimentation. Local residents of all ages joined in the remixing of old toys to create new characters and games. Together we dismantled toys to discover how they worked, rebuilt them in new forms and experimented with their new functions. We took advantage of the last of the summer sun to begin to create new outdoor games through reimagining the toys for a new purpose.

On Wednesday 16th September we hosted a Circuit-Bending workshop with Ludic Rooms for the young people from Creative Hub. The aim of this workshop was to demystify battery powered toys by opening them up and taking a peek at how they looked inside the plastic. Often whenever toys with electronic functions stop working they are relegated to the back of cupboards and attics, or even the bin. Once we saw how the circuits were made we were able to learn how to fix them. We were even able to rewire them for an entirely new function, giving an old redundant toy a fun and exciting new lease of life.

Keep up to date with the project as it unfolds on the Forgotten Toys blog.




The Factory hosts a Big Toy Hack

On Friday 4th September, along with Ludic Rooms, we hosted an open day of experimentation, research and development at The Factory in Filwood Green Business Park. A number of curious experts of Play came along to the session, where we mixed up circuit-bending, street games, craft and digital fabrication.

The day began with a discussion of the aims and the ideas behind the Forgotten Toys Compendium before launching into a character creation exercise. Dolls and action figures were taken apart, jumbled up and glued back together again; kinetic functions were investigated and repurposed; elaborate stories were created around the construction of these new characters. After lunch, we then embarked on the collective construction of a water feature using old plastic toys, wheels from toy cars and water balloons.

Our next Toy Hack will take place Saturday 12th September. From 10am we will be at KWMC as part of Bristol Open Doors Day, then from 1pm we will be at Filwood Broadway for Knowle West Festival. Bring out your old toys and help to create new games!

Follow the project as it unfolds on the Forgotten Toys blog.


Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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