Silk his­tory pupils to star on Chi­nese TV

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

PRI­MARY School pupils will fea­ture in a doc­u­men­tary broad­cast to an au­di­ence of one bil­lion peo­ple af­ter a visit from a Chi­nese film crew.

The pro­duc­tion team from China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion (CCTV) vis­ited Mac­cles­field to film a doc­u­men­tary about the town’s silk her­itage and its links with China.

Dur­ing their visit the crew, from Bei­jing, filmed at Prest­bury Church of Eng­land Pri­mary School where chil­dren are work­ing on a project ex­plor­ing the cen­turies-old his­tory be­hind the silk trade.

The crew also filmed at the town’s Trea­cle Mar­ket, and at the Silk Mu­seum and Par­adise mill.

The footage from Prest­bury Pri­mary School will be aired on the broad­caster’s chil­dren’s chan­nel – the equiv­a­lent of CBee­bies – around June 1 to mark In­ter­na­tional Chil­dren’s Day.

Han­nah Hague, a teacher at Prest­bury, said: “It was a real thrill for our pupils to be filmed for tele­vi­sion in China. They have shown great en­thu­si­asm for learn­ing the silk his­tory of our town and this has re­warded them for all the hard work they have put in.”

An­other strand of the doc­u­men­tary, due to be broad­cast on May 18 to co­in­cide with the coun­try’s ‘One Belt – One Road’ in­ter­na­tional trade con­fer­ence, will fea­ture an in­ter­view with Ron Smart, of R A Smart silk print­ers in Bolling­ton.

In its hey­day, Mac­cles­field saw some 70 silk mills oper­at­ing, all con­tribut­ing to an in­dus­try that em­ployed more than 15,000 peo­ple in mills and weav­ing sheds around the town.

Coun­cil­lor Hilda Gad­dum, whose fam­ily-run busi­ness once had of­fices in China and con­tin­ues to op­er­ate as silk mer­chants in Leek, said the doc­u­men­tary is a per­fect op­por­tu­nity to cham­pion Mac­cles­field as ‘the end in and of the Silk Road’ – an ancient trade route from the East to the West.

She said: “This is a great op­por­tu­nity for Mac­cles­field to build on its strong links with the silk trade in China.

“Mac­cles­field is viewed by many as the un­of­fi­cial end to the silk routes from the Far East to Europe and the fact that we have com­pa­nies con­tin­u­ing to pro­duce silk prod­ucts here is some­thing of which we should feel truly proud.

“They cel­e­brate the most eastern part of the Silk Road in Xi’an. I think now is the time to cel­e­brate Mac­cles­field as be­ing the most western point.”

The visit by CCTV was fa­cil­i­tated by the Manch­ester China Fo­rum, Cheshire East Coun­cil and Gra­ham Bar­row, a Bolling­ton-based her­itage and tourism con­sul­tant who is pro­mot­ing the con­cept of Mac­cles­field as the ‘end of the Silk Road’.

Prest­bury CE Pri­mary School teacher Han­nah Hague with pupils Natasha Old­ham, Bruno Smith-Lo­mas, Tom Har­g­reaves, Ge­orge Ack­er­ley, Han­nah Rout­ley and Ly­dia Ell­more, plus the crew from China TV

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