"A Norfolk Songline"
“As you walk the Peddars Way you find yourself becoming more and more aware of all the others who have trodden the same ground, whether they be Stone Age hunters, Roman soldiers, Saxon settlers or Medieval pilgrims.
But remember that you, walking in your time, are as much a part of everything that surrounds you as any other traveller has been.
All the past that has led to your moment in time is held like a great secret in the landscape that surrounds you.”
Hugh Lupton. (Storyteller)
A Norfolk Songline was a multimedia arts project inspired by the Peddars Way, a 46-mile Roman Road stretching across Norfolk and now part of a National Trail, which overlaps with the ancient Icknield Way
The idea of a songline comes from the Australian Aboriginal belief system, in which each ancient track is the score of a vast, epic song, whose verses tell the stories of how the landscapes and its landmarks came into being.
In this project, Hugh Lupton created a Songline for Norfolk, using story, poetry, image and song to evoke the landscape, history and geology of the Peddars Way.
Liz McGowan created a series of temporary sculptures on the Peddars Way. She took her inspiration from the straight Roman road and the curve of the land and how man and the land had interacted over the generations.
During 1999, the communities of Hockam, Saham Toney, Necton, Great Massingham and Brancaster were involved in the creation of exhibitions and performances to celebrate their particular place on the Peddars Way. Workshops in schools involving art, storytelling and music led to performances for the local communities.
Other artist involved were Helen Chadwick who wrote the music to Hugh’s words, Sian Croose and. Jane Wells
This has been recorded on CD and in a book.
There is also a teachers pack available to schools.
The visual, spoken and sung record has inspired the design of five sculptures by Tom Perkins that act as permanent waymarkers on the Peddars Way.
The Book and CD are available from Hickathrift Books 01263 733061
Please see an overview of the songline here.