It all started when Rita invited her neighbours round to her front room to talk about what could be done to improve things for the children in the neighbourhood.
A few people got involved and that led to a public meeting at the school and a whole host of ideas as to how the neighbourhood could be improved.
That's when Heads Together got involved...how could we get the talking out into the community, bring people together and question, in an imaginative way, what the streets were for. The first On the Streets weekend in 1994 was designed to do just that: what we would come to call a creative consultation.
The early work in the Methleys was done without any external funding; in fact for very little money at all. Any money that was needed was raised in the traditional ways: selling tea and cakes, raffles, that kind of thing.
The Methleys are a neighbourhood of just under 300 houses built in the first decade of the 20th Century (Methley Drive, Methley Terrace, Methley Lane...). Creating a new sense of community was paramount; particularly to reflect the changes in the community as it moved from being a white working-class community to a multicultural place where it was possible to find someone in your street who could fix your gutters and someone else who could design your website.
Recognising the potential of that community self-sufficiency was one of the keys to moving the neighbourhood forward
How important it is to find ways for everybody to feel involved.
Some people would never dream of going to a meeting, but are brilliant at baking cakes for a street sale. And the teenagers? Well...painting one of the gable ends with white paint got them all excited. "Can we be usherettes? asked Clinton on the night of Screen on the Wall. There was only one possible answer and they all rushed off to get torches and spent a brilliant evening handing out popcorn and showing people to their 'seats'.
Those teenagers were the same ones who went down to London a couple of years later and launched the Home Zone campaign in the House of Commons. They were also involved in making their own films for Screen on the Wall one year–have a look at Mind the Road
Do you want a play area in the Methleys?
Where should it be?
Various answers including... In all the streets and outside my house
Methleys Street Quiz 1994