The Essex Girls Story
This website and films were created by the Signals Media Arts Centre Youth Film Club.
This project came about as a response to the ongoing Essex Girl stereotypes in public perception. ‘Essex Girl’ has become a derogatory term and is not all harmless fun. Being labelled as unintelligent because of the county you live in can be unpleasant and we have heard many stories where young women on their first day of collage or at job interviews have been laughed at and made figures of ridicule.
This project hopes to change some of the misconception of Essex Girls and reclaim the name.
Signals worked with over 45 young people aged 11 to 25 years old from across the Essex to make films depicting the true heritage of Essex women, from the persecution of the witch trials to the fight for equality.
This project helped the young people explore their local heritage, develop new skills and create an online resource that will appeal to other young people.
Essex Girls was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund -Young Roots programme.
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “Essex not only saw more witches hanged in the seventeenth century than anywhere else in the country, but the county was also home to the Ford Dagenham strikes of the 1960’s when women workers went on strike for equal conditions. It is fantastic that through our Young Roots grant programme this project will enable young people to question the ‘Essex Girls’ stereotype by exploring this incredibly rich and varied history of women in Essex.”
The project took just over a year to make and provided the opportunity to go on an archaeological dig, visit museums, source archive material, re-enact scenes from history and interview historians, experts and members of the public.
Signals Media Arts Centre is an award winning digital education charity providing a base for independent filmmaking and digital media education. It provides resources and training for everyone to enjoy, understand and participate in digital art, film and media.
In particular Signals works with young people and disadvantaged groups helping them achieve and develop new skills through creative activities. www.signals.org.uk
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 36,000 projects with more than £5.9bn across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk
About Signals Youth Film Club
Signals Youth Film Club is a weekly after school club (costing just £3.50 per week) for young people interested in developing practical digital skills, such as filmmaking and animation. If you are aged between 9 and 19 and are interested in getting involved check out our website or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You don’t need to have any experience and we are always on the look out for new members.