The Lost Village of Aldersley – 2011

The Lost Village of Aldersley Junction

The lost hotel

All that remains of the lost hotel

So much inspiration! So little time! We spent a week with children at the Wildside Activity Centre in Wolverhampton exploring the Lost Village of Aldersley – once a bustling canal junction with a hotel and tollhouse, now a quiet backwater.

The old hotel at Aldersley Junction

The children made a wonderful story animation with Claire (see below) and drama with Pyn. And here’s one of the fantastic poems they created together with Mandy.

Tick tock, dandelion clock by Shannon, Lucy and Fi

Tick tock, tick tock,
Dandelion clock
Every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year,
We all grow older every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year.
We start off as a new born baby, then a toddler, child, teen, young woman, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother.

Tick tock, tick tock,
Dandelion clock
Through the portal leaping back into the past.
Old woman becomes young again as time flies backwards into time,
Tree back to shoot, back to seed,
Swan back to ugly duckling, back to egg,
Giant city shrinks back to village,
Road back to muddy track.

Tick tock, tick tock,
Dandelion clock
First it’s your 1st birthday,
then you are selling clothes because they don’t fit,
then you are buying make-up for your first night out,
then before you know it your life has slipped out of your parents’ hands and you are an adult.

Tick tock, tick tock,
Dandelion clock,
Tick tock, tick tock.

Writing by Fiona

Click here for more poems


The drama and performance work was of an exceptionally high standard. The group took inspiration from our field trip, passing through a time portal to investigate a world gone by. The children worked imaginatively with Pyn to develop characters,  working as an ensemble and eventually performing in and around the Wildside Centre. They wove poetry into their narrative and explored the physical possibilities  of the site, leading their audience on a magical creative journey.

Here are some images of the work

Old Man Storyteller Looks On

Performing Tick Tock Dandelion Clock

Canal Boat Life 1880

For more images and a short film showing some of the performance work click here

Making the animation

Making the animation

Watching their work

Watching their work


It was all hands on deck working with Claire to make this visually rich animation film.  Everyone made a character in the story, and then helped in the process of placing, moving and photographing their characters to make a short stop-motion film. It tells a story of time-travel inspired by the Lost Village of Aldersley.  Click here to watch the film

The project was enriched with natural history input from Sue Shanks and Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, and the project was funded by Kings CE School, Wolverhampton.

3 thoughts on “The Lost Village of Aldersley – 2011

  1. Pingback: Lost Village » Secret City Arts

  2. Having been plotting my family history I found a referance to “BOTTOM LOCK” I soon found out that this refered to Aldersley Junction. Where my great,great grandfather WILLIAM DOWNES worked on the boats along with his son RICHARD DOWNES my grandfather and his sons Thomas (my father)and Kenneth. Unfortunatly Kenneth was killed on the canals helping his father. I was unaware that there was a village in that area so it was so delightful to find referance to it and that someone has bought it back to life after all this time. It has helped me greatly. Thank You all.

  3. Thanks for your comment and for posting the moving story of your uncle. It gives us a glimpse of Aldersley Junction as a real workplace – and a busy and dangerous one at that – the canals as the motorways of their day. We’re glad to have made the link.

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