The project included: interviews and writing sessions led by Chris Jam and Rick Walker with residents, campaigners, staff and volunteers; a fascinating visit to Bury Polish Club; trips for the Luncheon Club and the Kids Club on the East Lancashire Railway; and poetry sessions at St Lukes Primary School.
The Springs Tenants Co-op Steering Committee campaigned tirelessly, knocking on doors prior to the week-long vote in September 1995. The borough’s first tenant management co-operative was finally voted in with an overwhelming 85% of the votes - with over 60% of tenants turning out to vote in a powerful display of social action.
The transition wasn’t without its difficulty, the Springs estate used to be labelled as a high profile no-go area, with crime, neighbour nuisance, vandalism and drug dealing endemic on the main part of the estate.
The committee and the newly employed staff persevered and over the past 21 years, the area has become a settled, low crime area with a good reputation as a secure place to live.
There is now a diverse community living on the estate: mainly White British, South Asian and Polish who all have their own stories of the area to share. Springs Uncovered aims to commemorate and inform about the heritage of the estate but also celebrate its new heritage.
“This community just decided to take their future into their own hands and create a good space and name for Springs, and that’s just what they’ve done.” (Hayley Baguley, Housing Officer).