Breaking the Mould - 2023 Culture Grant

We were incredibly fortunate to work with Wakefield Council once again for our 2023 Culture Grant: Breaking the Mould – The Story of Alice Gostick. The project was to tell the life and story of Alice Gostick, and we focused on her time teaching at Castleford Secondary and the incredible impact she had on her students, Henry Moore, Albert Wainwright, Arthur Dalby and so many more. We also got to explore the eccentric T. R. Dawes as headmaster — which became a particular favourite for our audiences.

Our researchers, Helga Fox and Helen Wilby, left no stone unturned in looking at Alice’s life and the school. We had some amazing trips, including to Wakefield’s Archive Centre, Wakefield Museum’s Stores, and to Castleford Library. In each place we saw a little more about Alice and her students’ lives. It was like a treasure hunt, and the finds just kept coming! 

During this time, we were also delivering pottery and painting six workshops at the Ridings Shopping Centre, the Cluntergate, and at Queen’s Mill Castleford.  We delivered painting workshops while the amazing Jasmine Pottery Studios helped people learn the art of pottery painting, just like Alice! 

Meanwhile Steven was busy working on the script for the play we would be showing at the Cluntergate Centre in Horbury and Queen’s Mill Castleford. We then began an intensive 6-week rehearsal process in January of 2024. Here are some photos of that process, including our student volunteer actors from the Mechanic’s Theatre , Wakefield College’s performing arts classes. 

The feedback we got from our shows was phenomenal, particularly in Castleford where we heard from people that Alice fighting for Henry’s art education was eerily similar to stories from their own families. 

We weren’t done yet though! We still had a zine and blue plaque to unveil at the incredible Castleford Library as the culmination of our work, and we did just that on March 2, 2024! That same day, we held a zine workshop, a volunteer read us their Alice poem, and we talked about all things Alice. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Below you can find a more detailed photo of the blue plaque! The blue plaque will now go to Castleford Academy where it will take its place on their visitors entrance. 

As part of our grant we also made a zine, and we are thrilled to now make that zine available online so you can read it. We are also working with our libraries partners to make the zine available through their systems.

Skip to content