Project Description

(mp3 – 128 Kbps)

The Al Mobility Story, by The Girls of St. Bernards School, Barrow In Furness, With Ian McMillan And John Hall, 2007-2008.

“Years after his mysterious disappearance, they still talk about Barrow AFC’S Al Mobility, his goal scoring feats, his huge appetite and the sacred potted plant which he always carried under his arm on the field of play during his short but triumphant career at Holker Street.”

The Al Mobility Story was devised and recorded by girls from St Bernard’s RC school at various Al-related sites around Barrow’s ground , with the help of writer and broadcaster Ian McMillan, writer Kate Davis, Teacher / AFC Director David Ingham and SIGHTLINES project Coordinator John Hall.

After deciding to produce a piece about a local sporting hero and the gossip and hyperbole surrounding the small town celebrity , the girls workshopped the character with Ian, naming him by sticking a finger into a local phone book (A1 Mobility vehicles) and forming a multi layered history for him through improvised dialogues and interviews with his friends and family. These , and improvised dialogues by local actors, were recorded around the Barrow AFC ground along with sound effects ) on Edirol and Olympus Dictaphones. The edit was made using Audacity in school and in BIFOCALS premises in Barrow.

Produced during 2007-8 as part of SIGHTLINES, the BIFOCALS Community arts Digital Residency at Barrow AFC , and recorded and edited by John and the girls , the piece was committed to CD-R and broadcast on Abbey FM in 2008. Meanwhile a trawl through the local archives has unearthed an accompanying limited edition scrapbook of clippings and ephemera that put a face to the legend, and provide a taste of the esteem with which this clean man with short spikey hair was held.

Artist’s Biography:

John Kenneth Hall (Chesterfield, Derbyshire 1959) holds a Masters Degree in Art and Design and a B.A. (HONS) in Fine Art. He is currently a self employed artist, resident at Barrow Island Community Primary School and has been working in education and engaged practice since 1989. He is the Artist / Director of The Octopus Collective. From 1992 to 1996 he was a lecturer in the applied arts, at the University of Derby. From 1989 to 1996 he was an art teacher for Derbyshire County Council Community Education Department. From 1990 to 1993 he was an art teacher at Chesterfield College of Art and Design on ACCESS Community Education and A level Courses.