On Father's Day, Sunday 19th june, we ran a workshop in my home town of Maltby, South Yorkshire.When we visited Rotherham (the borough of which Maltby is part of) in April I thought this would be the closest we would get to coming to Maltby, the pit town where my family have lived for over a hundred years. After meeting Labour Councillor Jennifer Andrews at a recent exhibition held in the Edward Dunn Memorial Hall in Maltby about the history of the important pit town (Maltby Colliery is one of the few remaining working pits in the country) we soon agreed to host a workshop in the same venue - the very place where my Grandmother used to volunteer to help run 'Luncheon Club' for the local Pensioners.
I was surprised to feel more anxious about this date more than any other event on the tour because of the huge personal history I have with the place : my Great Grandfather ran a Pawn Shop there before the Great War, my Grandad was friends with locally born Cricketing Legend Freddie Trueman, my Mum went to Maltby Grammar School which became Maltby Comprehensive when I attended it, to the newly named Maltby Academy now being the school attended by my school friend's children.
We took many interviews with the people who came which included old school friends, family friends and people who had simply heard about us from the great marketing campaign Jennifer put together : an interview with myself for BBC Radio Sheffield and the front cover of the Maltby News.
Like always, we asked participants to highlight the pluses and minuses of the place they lived.
Maltby dwellers clearly hold their sense of community with fierce pride and people were happy to talk about how there was a renewed sense of optimism and progress in a locality that has suffered recession and controversial political turbulence long before the national banking crisis.
I spent the first 19 years of my life in Maltby and therefore every place we have been has been informed and can only have been compared to Maltby in my head so, clearly, this event was undoubtedly one of the most personally profound dates on the tour and I'd like to thank everyone who attended, participated and helped make it happen.