The Big Draw – Out of Africa at Portland Basin Museum

On Wednesday 26th October, Tameside Cultural Services provided a free day of cultural activity in partnership with West African Development at Portland Basin Museum, Ashton-Under-lyne. Lauren from the 100 Moments team dropped in for a visit and she reports back here…

“Portland Basin Museum is a great hidden gem. Located in Ashton-Under-Lyne just off the beaten path and right next to the canal, it is housed within the restored nineteenth century Ashton Canal Warehouse.


It is filled with lots of interesting and digestible information, with a great participatory hands-on element and super friendly and helpful staff. The exhibitions there teach you about the history, people, industries and events that have shaped the local area. There’s loads to do at the museum from walking down the old Victorian streets of Tameside, to trying your hand at old machinery, to having a go at one of the Museum activity trails provided. It’s also a lovely place to wander in and around – grabbing a coffee from the café and taking in the nature, artworks and information points at the canal side outside – where walking & cycling routes are well sign-posted & promoted!

There is a great calendar of family events on offer at the museum, the one I visited was the Big Draw – Out of Africa. This was led by West African Development who work with local communities in Tameside with an aim of integrating people from different backgrounds and minority ethnic groups to break social barriers improve the quality of life. They seek to raise people’s self-esteem by organising cultural events like dancing, drumming, sports and arts activities and provide information on training, health and social care, crime reduction, employment, benefit advice and volunteering opportunities.

As well as learning about their local history, lots of children took part in activities learning about African culture and history – they could have a go at making an African tribal mask, handle & learn about some real African artefacts, take part in an African drumming session and draw some Adinkra symbol inking.


As well as the physical, emotional and educational benefits of taking part in these creative activities – events like this are a fantastic way of promoting cross-cultural understanding, empathy and community cohesion with the children taking part – which is an incredibly important thing to do in my eyes!”

Big thanks to Tameside Cultural Services for sharing their moment!





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