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Posts by Ed Head

Try Reading - a celebration case study

Posted Wednesday 5 March 2014 by Ed Head

We are pulling together good news stories of things that happened during the Try Reading project.

This video highlights some of the events, displays and exhibitions that took place in Wigan and Leigh. We were lucky that the video artist, Michael Wray of Zemap, was available to cover this in a concentrated few days. With more time and resources we could have made similar videos across the whole of the North West and Yorkshire regions - so many great high-quality events happened and so many people were enriched and inspired by the experience.

Our thanks to everyone who took part in the making of the film.

Until You Try

Posted Friday 6 December 2013 by Ed Head in Libraries

On Saturday RLWC2013 ended with the Final at Old Trafford. Try Reading is also drawing to a close, but it's not over yet! On Wednesday we had an event to thank all the people who have been involved in the project and celebrate the amazing achievements. We will be blogging about those over the next few days and weeks. 

The highlight of our event was our last writing commission for Try Reading. We commissioned the renowned performance poet Tony Walsh - also known as Longfella - to create a piece that connects reading, libraries and rugby league. Watch the video of Tony performing Until You Try.

You can also read the poem and more about Longfella.

Stay with us a little bit longer to hear about all the great things that have happened during Try Reading.

Semi Final from the couch

Posted Saturday 23 November 2013 by Ed Head

I didn’t get to Wembley. Tom Palmer got my tickets. I’ve had a rotten cold – man-flu, actually – but thanks to BBC I got to see it with Lemsip (other brands are available) at my side.

I was spared the rantings of Loudman and expensive fish and chips. And I’m not sure that I could have coped with the outcome. Man-flu has high emotional side effects.

Now that I’ve had a few hours, and a couple more hot drinks (I’m developing a slight addiction to the blackcurrant variety) I can reflect back on what was, after all, fantastic rugby. Truly world class.

I’m thinking:

  • It’s a game of 80 minutes – not a minute shorter.
  • It’s a fast game. Fortunes can change on the turn of a sixpence.
  • When it’s at its best (and this was the best) every second counts.

It’s best to BE THERE but - credit to the BBC - seeing the action up close and with expert commentary is a great experience too.

The faces of the England players at the end said more than ten thousand words about why it’s not just about the taking part. Disbelief and broken dreams. And you just know that it will live with them forever.

And how can a team like New Zealand believe in themselves enough to know that even at the last gasp (TV is great for the gasps) that it’s still all to play for?

I can understand why Tom couldn’t find the heart for any more blogging today. It hurts.

But I keep coming back to the fact that NZ kept going and kept focused. England played a top class game, imaginative and relentless. I really thought that NZ had met their match. But they remembered that it’s a game of 80 minutes. You could call it luck. But that would be to deny that they have also trained and played all their life for that moment.

I started thinking what it would have been like to be a NZ player – Johnson to be precise – when you’ve evened the scores just seconds from the hooter. Only the kick to seal it. Nerves of steel – a lifetime of practise – and self-belief. Respect.

Great tournament, England. Be proud.

Wigan Warriors - congratulations!

Posted Sunday 6 October 2013 by Ed Head

Congratulations to Wigan Warriors on their 30-16 win over Warrington Wolves at Old Trafford last night. Now, Try Reading doesn't take sides and we really appreciate the support that both teams have given to our project and to libraries and to reading. Thank you to both sides for a great match; Wigan were down 6-16 at half time so you can imagine the excitement of the second half as things turned round.

WiganOldTraffordThanks too to the supporters, out in number and filling Old Trafford with sound and colour. Great to see the best of rugby league under the lights of that great stadium. This isn' a match report - you can read those in the papers today and the RL press in the coming week - Tom Palmer talks about these in his blogs. (You can also see highlights of the match at 5pm today on BBC.) If you were there and have a view on how things played out then Contact Us and we'll add to our Try Reporting area.

Wigan won the Challenge Cup back in August and are only the third team to take the double.

World Cup

Public Libraries Supporting
Rugby League World Cup 2013

Lottery FundedArts Council England

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