The centre is located in the restored former St. Peter’s School (one of the first free schools in Wales), which is a great setting when you consider the work the centre still does with schools. It’s because of this work that a new project was launched at the heritage site. The aim?… to improve the visitor experience for the younger crowd, it’s an ongoing process one aspect of which we were delighted to take part in, that of the new Tell Tale Trail.
The Tell Tale Trail and U-Turn Rounds
We were contacted by Gareth Kiddie who was designing the Tell Tale Audio Trail, he hoped to use our U-Turn Rounds as the audio points for this project. The trail was to be installed around the grounds of the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre and consists of a number of life size Cor-ten Steel figures depicting children playing in the schoolyard as they would have when the building was a functioning school, there’s also a silhouette of the children’s teacher.
Each silhouette has a tale to tell (which is where the U-Turn Rounds come in). Visitors explore the site and wind the U-Turns located in each Cor-ten figure to hear various engaging audio messages, some of which even ask the younger listeners to join in with a game or two!
Cor-ten Steel is a trademark of ‘Weathering Steel’, it’s designed to form a stable rust-like appearance once exposed to the elements for a period of time, this eliminates the need to paint the steel and ensures an aesthetically pleasing finish will remain.
Where Cor-ten is designed to weather with the elements, the U-Turn Round is designed to hold up against them! The weather resistance and durability of the U-Turn, coupled with the interactive aspect of its wind-up power made it the ideal choice as the outdoor audio point for this project.
Audio Recording and Editing
The audio uploaded to each listening point was scripted by Gareth and recorded/edited by us. We were happy to go back to school for the day and work with children of various ages, as well as an actor playing the part of their teacher. The content recreates a range of situations including children playing marbles, girls singing, the school teacher telling the students it’s time to come in and a boy reading.
We then edited and uploaded the audio content to each U-Turn Round prior to installation by a third party.
The resulting ‘Tell Tale Trail’ adds a fun interactive element to the Blaenavon Heritage Site and we hope it will be engaging and entertaining children for years to come.