As children were travelling on the coach to the swimming pool one day, we passed the waste ground that was the site of the former British Insulated Callender Cables factory and they started asking about it.
We got in touch with Prescot Museum, which arranged for some former BICC workers to come in to school and talk to the children. Their stories were listened to with rapt attention and they showed photographs of work and social life.
The museum worked with Year 5 pupils over two weeks as the children researched the factory's history from the late 1800s to today. At its peak in the mid 1970s more than 14,000 people worked there. As some of the former workers said, "Prescot was the BICC and the BICC was Prescot".
Our school won a pound;5,000 BT Schools Award, which enabled us to make a short documentary film with interviews and archive footage. The children learned camera and editing skills with help from Knowsley's City Learning Centre and Prescot Museum used drama re-enactments to make four short films which the children acted in. One of them was about how the factory was camouflaged during the war and another about the extensive social clubs that were a feature of working life at BICC.
We held our film premiere at the site of the former BICC works canteen, now the local leisure centre. We also worked with the International Centre for Digital Content at Liverpool John Moores University to build a website with archive photographs and stories of working life at BICC.
The Prescot Museum project was on a national short list for the 2004 Gulbenkian Museum of the Year Award. Some of the children now visit the museum in their spare time and the school is planning another project on Victorian watch making.
= Year 5 teacher, St Mary and St Paul's Primary School, Knowsley
Memories of BICC: www.lmu.livjm.ac.ukbicc Prescot Museum: www.biccwasprescot.com