Research

Memories of Mr Seel’s Garden

Chris Speed

autonomyConnected Communitiesdatadesign in actionvalue transactions

The Memories of Mr. Seel’s was an AHRC Connected Communities Pilot Demonstrator Project

The aim of the Memories of Mr Seel’s Garden project was to engage with the rich and complex history of food across the city of Liverpool through a collaboration between a broad range of partners with a shared interest in time, food and community engagement.

With all the current interest in growing food locally, including long waiting lists for allotments and many new community ‘Growers’ groups, we explored the history of local food in Liverpool to see what other surprises might be lurking around Liverpool. Dairies in Chinatown? Pig-farms on Mossley Hill? We wondered whether knowing more about where we used to get our food from might inspire other radical ideas about where we could grow our food in the future.

Volunteer and academic researchers used a combination of research methodologies – oral history, archive research and site identification/ documentation – to build up a multi-layered picture of the changing nature of food systems in Liverpool. The data gathered from each of these activities is now available from this web page and also fed into a variety of creative projects.

http://www.mrseelsgarden.org

Project Team:

Michelle Bastian (Principal Investigator), University of Manchester

Alex Hale (Co-Investigator), RCAHMS

Chris Speed (Co-Investigator), University of Edinburgh

Alexandrina Caroline Buchanan (Co-Investigator), University of Liverpool

Niamh Moore (Co-Investigator), University of Manchester

Frances Downie (Community), Community Consultant / Activist

Duncan Shingleton (app developer), University of Edinburgh

Chris Barker (web developer), University of Edinburgh

The project was a collaboration between Transition Liverpool, Friends of Everton Park and the Friends of Sudley Estate, as well as academics from Liverpool, Manchester  and Edinburgh. The main aim of the project is to explore how engaging local communities with the changing patterns of urban food production might contribute to current grassroots efforts within Liverpool to raise awareness around current food issues.

The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and are one of ten Pilot Demonstrator Projects aimed at showcasing the distinctive approach of the new Connected Communities research theme.