Cycling tour with an artistic twist

NRHNBE111025C1, Sally Newham and Sally Lemsford have just completed a tour of derbyshire on thier bikes.
NRHNBE111025C1, Sally Newham and Sally Lemsford have just completed a tour of derbyshire on thier bikes.
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Art can come in many forms – on a canvas, on the corner of a street, in a theatre, on the pages of a book .

But for local artisans Sally Lemsford and Sally Newham, it came on two wheels.

NRHNBE111025C2, Sally Newham and Sally Lemsford have just completed a tour of derbyshire on thier bikes.

NRHNBE111025C2, Sally Newham and Sally Lemsford have just completed a tour of derbyshire on thier bikes.

The pair spent September travelling Derbyshire armed with a ‘mobile museum’.

But the trailer, which unpacked was not full of trinkets and ornaments of yesteryear – it was empty, ready to be filled with your stories.

They traversed the county simply talking to people they met as they wore bright red home-made costumes.

And once they had met people they asked them to write them a story small enough that it would fit on a luggage label.

NRHNBE111025C3, Sally Newham and Sally Lemsford have just completed a tour of derbyshire on thier bikes. Getting tins ready for geotagging.

NRHNBE111025C3, Sally Newham and Sally Lemsford have just completed a tour of derbyshire on thier bikes. Getting tins ready for geotagging.

Starting in South Normanton, the pair harvested tiny tales from close to 100 people, passing through most of Amber Valley, Eam, Dronfield, Shirland, Matlock and much more on their way.

The whole point of the exercise funded to the tune of £1,000 by Derbyshire County Council, was to spread a feelgood factor around our towns and villages, they said.

“We like working in open places,” said Sally Lemsford, a former teacher from The Forge, Codnor Park. “We like talking to people and creating situations for people to think about their own lives.

“We were asking people to tell us things about their own history – that’s where the museum bit came in.”

Children as young as five through to pensioners filled in a luggage label with a funny or interesting story to go in the museum.

In Swanwick, the pair met a boy who wrote them a story of how he helped save a lost dog from a nearby golf course.

An ex-policeman from the Butterley Park area told a spooky tale about how, while on duty in the 1960s, he claimed to have seen an apparition of a black cat appear from a ‘sphere of light’.

In total the two Sallys gathered around 80 stories.

Now the pair plan to spread the collection via a form of social networking.

They are ‘Geocaching’ them - a trend which sees people hide items in a hard to spot location and post its co-ordinates online for others to find.

The finder then replaces the object with one of their own.

But the stories, Sally Lemsford says, were only part of the reason for the pair’s adventure during September. The trip, she said, must have made hundreds of people smile.

“We gave people pleasure just by seeing us,” she added. “Let alone letting them know what we were doing. It was a moving piece of art. There must have been hundreds of people who saw us and enjoyed seeing these two women cycle around with a trailer which said ‘fantasy museum’ on it.”

Sally’s dubbed the pair’s fantasy museum cycle tour as a way of taking exciting contemporary art to people who may not readily encounter or participate in it.

If you want to know more about their tour of the county, head to their blog http://2sally4th.blogspot.com.