Jack Lockhart

Jack Lockhart

Interviewed on 07.07.2011

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[TRACK 1]

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

This is Year 6 Colden School, 7th July 2011.  We’re talking to Mr Lockhart, aka Jack.  So Jack, how long have you lived in Colden?

 

JACK LOCKHART:

Well I don’t….I live in Blackshaw Head, and I’ve lived there for about…..twelve years at that address.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Have you lived anywhere else?

 

JL:

I’ve lived in Charlestown and Jumble Hole, and Exeter, in Devon.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Where were you born?

 

JL:

I was born in Burnley.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

How does it differ…..how is it different from Colden?

 

JL:

Burnley?  Oh Burnley’s quite different from Colden.  It’s in Lancashire for a start, and it’s….it’s a mill town and it’s…..it’s got a Tesco’s.  Colden hasn’t got a Tesco’s, it’s not in Lancashire, and it’s…..it’s a rural area rather than a town.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

What took you to Exeter?

 

JL:

I went to Exeter to….to go to college there, to study there.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

…….what did you study?

 

JL:

I went to art college in Exeter and did Fine Art.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

………can you describe your earliest memories?

 

JL:

My earliest memories……I have some very hazy early memories of living in Burnley, where we lived until I was two, and I lived on a rubbish tip in Burnley; we lived in a caravan and I can vaguely remember some foam mattresses in a shed and playing on them, bouncing up and down, and then the kind of general layout of the place…..and I remember a picture of some parrots.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

………can you describe your school days?

 

JL:

My school days….well I…..I started out at school in Luddendenfoot, that’s another place I lived as well – Boulderclough – sorry I forgot that one, in Luddendenfoot, in a school called Blackwood Hall which isn’t there any more, it’s houses now, and I went there until I was eight and then I went to Hebden Royd School, so I moved schools at the age of eight and moved house, moved into the area here, and I think….yeah, generally happy school days, and then I went to Calder High as well, so three main schools in my school days…..I’ve got a lot of memories of them, but……I think as well as going to school in my school days I used to play outside a lot and play on bikes and play in the woods a lot.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

What was your favourite subject in school?

 

JL:

My favourite subject in school depended on the teachers at the time I think, partly….I think I had favourite teachers rather than favourite subjects perhaps, especially when you go onto secondary school and you get to do lots of different….meet lots of different teachers and lots of different subjects, so….but I always liked English and Geography and…..Art and Designing, sort of DNT, sort of making things.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Did you have to do homework at your school?

 

JL:

Yeah, I don’t remember at Hebden Royd having to do any homework, but I remember at Calder High having to do homework, yeah, and I think…..I spent a lot of time, especially when you get later through the years, when you get into the fourth and fifth year I remember having to do quite a lot of homework and at weekends too, having to do homework.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

What were your family like?

 

JL:

What were my family like when I was at school?  Well until I was thirteen I was an only child, and then when I was thirteen I suddenly had a sister, so…..that was a big change….my mum worked, and still works in Bradford, and my dad works, or did work, with theatre companies in Halifax.  He used to go off on tour sometimes and I’d stay with my mum, so sometimes when I was growing up, it was just me and my mum, and then my dad stopped touring as much and my sister appeared.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

How was your primary school different to Colden?

 

JL:

It was lower down the hill…..it…it had a church attached to it which Colden doesn’t have……it has a river going underneath the playground which Colden doesn’t have – well it might have a little stream I suppose, the Colden River goes underneath the playground there…..I guess in some ways they might have been quite similar.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

What school did you go to?

 

JL:

Which….Hebden Royd….well Blackwood Hall, which is in Luddendenfoot, till I was eight, and then Hebden Royd.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Did you ever go with a theatre like your dad?

 

JL:

Yeah, yeah, I did, yeah, I still do that now.  I work with a theatre company that’s based in Manchester and we’ve got a giant inflatable pig that we do a show inside, and we go off touring with this pig, taking it to…..all over the place, a giant forty foot long pig.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

What is the most interesting place you’ve been on a theatre?

 

JL:

Oh……..oh I don’t know….I went to this place a couple of weeks ago that was a circus in France that was like a council circus that was built in the end of the eighteenth century, and it was opened by someone called Jules Vernes, it was the Circus de Jules Vernes, and we had to eat our dinner in the elephant stalls where the elephants had their dinner……that was quite…..that was an interesting one.  Lots of interesting places, lots of interesting….arts festivals and stuff like that.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Where did you used to go on holidays as a child?

 

JL:

I used to go up to Scotland a lot because my mum’s family are from Scotland, so that was a regular…….a regular trip, and I remember going camping in France, and…….occasional trips to Majorca or somewhere like that you know, sort of…..self-catering holidays….never went outside of Europe, never been outside of Europe.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

What was your first job?

 

JL:

My first job was at Gordon Rigg’s and I was…..doing very menial tasks, like sweeping floors and putting hanging baskets together.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

What is your job now?

 

JL:

I work freelance now and amongst other things, work at the Media Museum in Bradford and I work with schools; I come in to do workshops and learn about animation, and theatre stuff.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Have you ever worked with Colden?

 

JL:

I have, I’ve come and done an animation workshop here last summer, just for a half day, where I worked in that room up there, so you’ll know better than me which class that is – whose class is that again?  Who’s in that room?

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Miss Fox.

 

JL:

Miss Fox.  I worked with Miss Fox’s younger half of Miss Fox, in fact were any of you in…..you were not in that group were you?

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

No.

 

JL:

No.  Miss Fox’s group.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

How does Colden compare to the other schools you’ve been to?

 

JL:

Ah well….I’m very happy, because my son comes here as well and I’m very happy that he does because it’s just such a beautiful setting, a nice place to….if you’re gonna spend a lot of time somewhere you might as well spend that time somewhere beautiful, and I work in lots and lots of different schools and in lots of different areas; some of them are very poor areas in the cities and some of them are very posh schools that have their own helicopter pads and things like that, and…..this….this is ideal I think, an ideal situation.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Have you always liked the countryside?

 

JL:

Yeah, yeah, I’m happier in the countryside than in a city.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

If you hadn’t worked at the theatre, what job would you have liked?

 

JL:

Oh…..well………I’m not sure really…..I did want to be different things at different times; there was a while when I was just leaving school and I thought I wanted to go into advertising, but everyone said ‘no, that’s a bad idea’ so I kind of…..have come to agree with them eventually, it’s a very different world…..and at one point I wanted to be a policeman cos I thought no-one could tell me what to do, and I think after a while I thought ‘I’ll be in the army’ for some reason; I grew out of that……..

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Are there any jobs that you want to do now?

 

JL:

I’ve still lots of things I’d like to try, to do; being freelance I don’t feel like I’m that fixed in what I do, so I feel like I’ve got flexibility to try out different things.  It’s nice to do manual work sometimes, you know, something quite physical, making things; I’d like to….grow some, you know, grow more food and…..build my own house, so I don’t know if that’s a job as such, but you know, there’s lots of things I’d like to do.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Have you got any advice for the children leaving school?

 

JL:

……for the people leaving Colden this year?

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Yes.

 

JL:

…..have a good summer……and…….just kind of make the most of it really……don’t be scared of what’s coming next, and look forward to meeting lots of new friends and……good luck.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

If you were going out for a meal, where would you go?

 

JL:

Oh I would go for a curry, and I’d try and find an interesting curry house I hadn’t been to before…..somewhere like Bradford probably.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Do you go to restaurants?

 

JL:

I don’t go to restaurants very much, but I do….I have got more and more into finding good curry houses……because they’re quite cheap; I couldn’t afford to go for a…..to restaurants very much.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Have you got any hobbies?

 

JL:

I……..I like cycling…….playing with computers…….and……nothing…..not sort of typical hobbies really, I don’t know…nothing that I really think of as a hobby….just activities I like to do.  Maybe I should get one.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

What changes have you seen over the years at Colden?

 

JL:

…….well I’ve only really started spending more time over here since my son’s been at school here, so in some ways I don’t think it’s changed…..although I’ve visited it before and I don’t think it’s changed – there’s not that much that’s changed really……it seems like.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Do you think Colden is a safe place to live?

 

JL:

Yeah…..yeah.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

If you could go to a different continent where would you go?

 

JL:

…….

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Or would you go at all?

 

JL:

I don’t know…..so many choices, so many choices……I would like to go to…….the United States, have a look round there; I’d like to go to…..oh a continent……North America…..I’d like to go to them all really….if I had to pick one to go to next……yeah, maybe North America.  It’s a hard one.  It’d be great…..it’d be great if work could take me there, or somewhere [laughing].

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

What are your views on pollution?

 

JL:

On pollution?  I’m against it…….and…….I think it’s……something we’ve to be careful about really isn’t it, and …..but…..it’s not easy to change it sometimes.  We perhaps need a big……a big change to change the….to change how people……how people pollute things through convenience……yeah, but it’s not a good thing.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

……………how do you help the environment?

 

JL:

………..that’s a tricky one…….if a stream looks clogged up I’ll try and unclog it, keep everything flowing in the right direction….scraping some drains and gulleys….I look out if…..if you see rubbish out I’ll pick it up……..sometimes you can try and get involved in…..you know sort of…..getting people to think about different ways…..being its friend……and hopefully have a positive effect on it.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Do you recycle?

 

JL:

Yeah I do recycle.  I go to the tip at Eastwood, and sort the bottles out for when they come, like they did this morning.  I had to go out last night in my pyjamas with carrier bags full of cardboard and it was raining.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Are you worried about your global footprint?

 

JL:

Yeah, I guess…….bit of an issue.  Yeah, you don’t want to….be causing more problems than you’re solving……….any more questions?

 

TONY WRIGHT:

Is that the end of your questions?

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Yes.

 

JL:

Okay.

 

TW:

Well I have one or two which I’ll ask, and if you would like to join in and ask follow up questions, then feel free to follow up.  I wanted to talk about your education really and the creativity side of things.  Your father was in the theatre, so you were raised up with creative people presumably.

 

JL:

Yeah.

 

TW:

Can you tell us a bit about what he did, and why you made the choice to study Fine Art and not Theatre?

 

JL:

Well……I’m just trying to think what the first part of that was.   Yeah, I guess I have grown up around creative people like a lot of people have in this area, and…….my parents’ generation sort of were kind of…..doing a lot of interesting new creative work so I grew up around a lot of creative people and you know, although I did go to ordinary schools there was other parts of kind of education and creative education that I was involved in when I was very….from a very young age, mainly being surrounded by creative people, and…..so……the sort of theatre companies that we were involved with were more……more like visual artists than theatre types really, so it was creating events that happened in places

 

TW:

What companies were those?

 

JL:

IOU and Welfare State, and…..going to communities and make events happen that were art events, so I kind of grew up in that culture really, and……yeah, I did think for a while I might go into advertising and stuff but people kind of went ‘no, you don’t know yourself that well yet to make that decision’ and I was kind of happily steered into…..just carrying on doing that same kind of work really, in a family business.

 

TW:

And what did you study in Fine Art, I mean did you study painting or sculpture or 3D?

 

JL:

No it was a mixture of sculpture and video and….digital art really, digital sort of things, film making sort of things.

 

TW:

I see.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

When you were younger did you ever think you were going to be an artist?

 

JL:

…..I kind of….I suppose the role models were there for it to be likely I think, so it was….it was…..it was always possible, it always seemed possible, it was always likely and possible because most of the people I knew were artists.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Did anyone in…..aside from your dad, did anyone inspire you to go in to…..?

 

JL:

It’s hard to think of people in particular, I suppose…..you go to see….if you see a show or a theatre show or something like that, and you think ‘oh that’s amazing’ and then you kind of think ‘oh I’d like to have a go and do something like that’ so, lots of people, I would say lots of people inspired me……and the things that they made, and the things that they made inspired me to try and make something better, you know, or as good as…..as that.

 

TW:

And what theatre companies have you worked with?

 

JL:

I work…..at the moment I work with a company called Whalley Range All Stars who have various shows and……and it’s mainly the pig show that I work on, and I’m like a farmer who’s inside a pig…..we’re looking after all the animals, and shearing sheep and growing…..growing plants and things like that, and all the audience have to look inside the pig, but I also work with other theatre companies; I’ve sometimes worked with Horse and Bamboo, who are based in Waterfoot, and another company called Folkbeard Fantasy who are based in Devon, who do lots of things with film, video and theatre.

 

TW:

So what’s your expertise then?  Is it building things or writing the scenarios, or videoing it or...?

 

JL:

It’s a mixture of……building, making things and animating things, so I make the set for a show, I might have animation as part of it, so it’s kind of creating an animated……an animated space.

 

TW:

So are you talking about puppets?

 

JL :

Yeah including puppets, from puppets to…..computer animation sort of, you know, and making spaces and objects, and performing with them.

 

ANOTHER PERSON:

What’s this pig made out of?

 

JL:

The pig is actually inflatable, and it’s made of……a special material, and it’s got like an inflatable wall so it’s not just….the whole wall inflates and we’re inside that, and the front of it has got a big pig’s head that’s got….the nose moves and its eyes open and close because it’s got like a…..sort of mechanical…..head.  I didn’t make….I can’t take any credit for making or thinking up that idea, I’m just a farmer who’s inside it.

 

ANOTHER PERSON:

And you said the audience is looking into it?

 

JL:

The audience all have to…..to be able to see the show, the audience has to put on a pig’s tail so they’re like little piglets, and they all stand up at the side of the pig next to the pig’s nipples, and then…..the show starts and they shove their heads inside these holes, and from the outside it looks like the audience are all piglets, on this giant mother pig, but actually they’re watching the show that’s happening inside it, so they don’t realise….sometimes they don’t realise that people outside are enjoying watching them…..while they’re watching the show inside.

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

What show is inside?

 

JL:

Well it’s these farmers and it……starts off, we’re asleep under some blankets and then we wake up and then we grow some sunflowers and…..we feed some ducks, puppet ducks, and….shear a puppet sheep

 

ANOTHER PERSON:

So would you do this show outside?

 

JL:

Yeah, we go as a touring

 

ANOTHER PERSON:

An outside show

 

JL:

Yeah, it happens outside

 

ANOTHER PERSON:

So that’s why other people see the piglets?

 

JL:

Yeah, yeah, so it’s…..it either happens at a festival or in a street somewhere or...

 

TW:

Is there any ecological message then to the actual story?

 

JL:

No, it’s not educational, but it does kind of….it’s got a very broad appeal because people have so strong associations with growing food and looking after animals across the world, so I think it appeals to people and…..and it’s kind of got a…a nice kind of rural….sort of…..sort of feel of connecting people back to food and things like that, so it’s overtly….it has no…..it has no message that it’s seeking to leave you with, but it does kind of….people…..people have an idea of, you know, ‘that’s what we kind of naturally do’ or something.

 

TW:

What will you do next do you think?  What will be the progression?

 

JL:

……that’s the big question [laughing] don’t know…..survive!  I don’t know.  Hopefully more…..more….hopefully…..sometimes we do this show, we do about eighteen shows a day because it lasts ten minutes, so hopefully it’s not just that same show for ever, and new and interesting opportunities will present themselves, hopefully.

 

TW:

Are you gonna bring your children up in this creative….sort of mould, shall we say?

 

JL:

……….haven’t really…..got a strategy for that, but it’s probably likely, so hope so

 

ONE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN:

Has the recession affected you?

 

JL:

This session?

 

ANOTHER PERSON:

Recession.

 

JL:

Oh the recession……I think it’s…..I think it’s worrying and yeah, less money around, so……and….perhaps less opportunities for people to see things and to go out and do this pig and…..that kind of work does rely on funding for festivals and things like that, so hopefully, fingers crossed, people will still get…..still want to have festivals like that, or still can afford to…..and hopefully schools can still afford to come to workshops, or afford to rent coaches to come to workshops and all those things – it’s lots of little ways, it…….it erodes your chances to kind of just do what you fancy doing.

 

TW:

The…..the question that was almost said was, how has this affected you, this session today?

 

JL:

Yeah…well you’ve asked some pertinent questions, so maybe it’ll make me think about…..it’s been a chance to think about some things in the past and some things in the future, so I’m sure it’ll spark off some thoughts that may lead somewhere, may lead somewhere….it’s been enjoyable, I’ve enjoyed it.  I didn’t know what to expect, and…..I’ve enjoyed it.

 

TW:

Right well we’d like to say thank you for speaking to us and allowing us to ask those questions.

 

ANOTHER PERSON:

Yes thank you.

 

JL:

Thank you very much, right well, have you got more to do?  Is that done today?

 

[END OF TRACK ONE]

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