Sponsored, supported and facilitated by the Paisley Development Trust, young people were the key drivers for Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697 in 2012: creating, visioning and driving the project while experienced artists, historians, archivists and multi media trainers supported them in a mentoring role.
The young people uncovered unexpected findings about the links between the “witch hunt” of 1697 and the rise of the textile industry on which Renfrewshire’s wealth was based. Crucially, they discovered the power of the myth of the horseshoe and the powerful symbolic act of replacing it was incorporated into the project. The task now is to carry out further research into the textile history, its origins around the events of 1697 and the way it underpinned the flourishing of Paisley and Renfrewshire in the 19th Century until its decline in the 1960s as well as to spread the findings as widely as possible in the community through a touring exhibition.
Our core young people are now sharing their findings with schools throughout Renfrewshire (supported by a CfE approved learning resource)
The original young members of the team have now formed a separate organisation (a SCIO) and are represented on the board of Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697. Three are serving on the committee.
This project involves engaging with many locally based individuals, groups and organisations as well as different public, private and voluntary sector bodies in the area.
As the project develops, the young people have recruited other young people to join the team. The final event will be based in the town centre and will involve the schools and groups the exhibition has visited as interactive participants.