Readers of The Lost Art

Mapping the Necklace – Our Contribution

February 6th, 2007

Dott 2007 logo

The Readers of the Lost Art are participating in the Mapping the Necklace Project in the Durham Necklace Park in 2007. The following description of this project is taken from their website:

“The Durham Necklace Park – 12 miles of stunning riverside environment – is a new project funded to draw together a series of existing spaces and places along the chain of the River Wear, stretching from Finchale Priory to Sunderland Bridge, with Durham’s city centre as its fulcrum.

The project, part of Durham 2020 Vision has been created with the help of local people, who have felt increasingly isolated from their own outdoors and wanted to reclaim their river, paths, heritage and environment. Much that is precious, unique and fascinating already exists along these twelve miles. What has been lacking is a way of joining up these assets, of engaging local landowners and working with the Park’s vibrant communities.

The Necklace Park is enabled by historic rights of way: public paths and bridleways: and is based on “deals” amongst landowners, agencies and local people. The Park opens up access to the previously inaccessible, unmapped, hidden, derelict or private and to explore and celebrate.”

One of our members, Ronan, is keeping a blog about our contribution to the project on its website. Below is his first entry: 

“The Readers of the Lost Art are a group of oddballs and misfits who are drawn to Newcastle’s Literary and Philosophical Society every fortnight by a common love of comic books (or ‘graphic novels’, for those with delusions of maturity). When asked whether we would be interested in Mapping the Necklace, our thoughts turned for inspiration to those comic books with a strong sense of location. Most notable among these was Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell, ostensibly a story about Whitechapel’s 1888 Jack the Ripper murders, but also a study of the city of London itself.

Moore uses principles of ‘psychogeography’, developed by writers such as Iain Sinclair, to weave together associations of placenames, historical evidence and stories, fiction and legends, into a work which gives a sense of the city’s spirit. Our aim for Mapping the Necklace is to perform a similar exercise with Durham City and the Necklace Park. We are therefore going to ‘map’ the stories associated with Durham, teasing out tales and associations to form the basis of a comic book which gives a feel for the spirit of the place.

Our researches have already begun, and we have already homed in on one or two stories which have captured our imaginations, and I hope to write about some of these in a future blog post. For now, our team is looking for people who could help us with our project. We are looking for artists and writers who would like to unleash their imaginations upon Durham’s rich history, as well as anyone with specialist knowledge of Durham’s history, legends or folk tales. We are also seeking people interested in joining in with research.

More information to follow, but i hope that whets the appetite for now…”


You can follow Ronan’s blog here: The Readers of the Lost Art – Mapping the Necklace.

You can find out more about the Mapping the Necklace Project here: Mapping the Necklace.

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