Children and young people from schools in Seaton have been hard at work over the last few months creating a set of 14 banners to display in the town centre and along the sea front. The banners designed for the seafront are inspired by the landscape, geology and wildlife of the Jurassic Coast, and were produced by pupils from Axe Valley Community College.
The town centre features banners made by children from Seaton Primary School, which explore the rich heritage of the town of Seaton. The project was an initiative of the Seaton Visitor Centre Trust and has been keenly supported by the Jurassic Coast Team with funding from Devon County Council and a recent financial contribution from the Jurassic Coast Trust.
In total, over 120 pupils from the two schools took part in creating the original artworks, working with the artist Jane Witheridge, who was commissioned specially to lead the project, and Dr Anjana Khatwa, the Jurassic Coast Education Co-ordinator, who developed the banner themes with the pupils. Anjana said ‘this has been a fantastic opportunity for young people in Seaton to gain a greater understanding of the amazing heritage of the coast and community on their doorstep, encouraging them to value their surroundings and contributing to a strong sense of identity within the town’
The original banners were produced by batik painting on silk, before being digitally scanned in order to produce weatherproof copies to display around the town. These banners were then installed on Seaton lampposts during June, with a grand launch event held at the Town Hall on 3rd July. Julie Richens from Seaton Visitor Centre Trust said ‘There was standing room only at the evening reception to celebrate the completion of the Seaton Banner project. The Trust members decorated Seaton Town Hall with the original banners and set out refreshments for the guests, speakers, pupils and their parents. More than half of the pupils involved were able to come, in person, to receive their certificates from Jane Witheridge, the artist who had worked with them to create the banners.’
During the evening there was an overwhelming demand for the newly created merchandise depicting the banner images, with a range including greeting cards, bookmarks, bags, t-shirts, table mats and coasters – and even teddies wearing the designs! For more information about the banners, photos of the event, the activities of the Seaton Visitor Centre Trust and the available merchandise, please see their website
Ben Wyer , SWRDA Programme Officer.