Clever Essex is a Metal project which aims to highlight incredible Essex women and men throughout the ages. We want to de-bunk the contemporary stereotypes of our county by celebrating some of the lesser known, clever, imaginative, resourceful, influential and downright awesome people of Essex’s history who have helped shape the world as we know it.
Did you know that an Essex girl was one of Britain’s first health gurus?
Who invented the unsinkable lifeboat? That’s right, it was an Essex boy!
You can join us in celebrating these brilliant people of Essex’s past. Click here for our online form and share your Clever Essex character nomination with us! Don’t forget, we are celebrating characters from the past, who had connections to Southend and Essex during their lifetime.
To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Borough of Southend, we are on the hunt for 125 amazing characters from the past, who lived in or spent a significant period of time in Southend or our surrounding areas! We want to celebrate inventors, authors, pacifists, doctors, artists, politicians, actors, engineers, architects and more. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
We will be bringing these characters to life at Village Green 2017, on the Clever Essex Stage, presented by Rob Jelly from BBC Essex. Join us on 8th July for loads of fun drop-in activities, games, talks and more as we celebrate our 125 characters!
Want to bring Clever Essex into your school or community group?
Following a mass launch at Village Green in 2014, we have designed a workshop that can be run in schools – or at festivals – and other contexts, that runs as a Balloon Debate!
The debates are feisty and fun – and can convey a huge amount of information and pride about Essex and its brilliance in a very engaging one and a half hour session.
Metal can come and run the debate for you – just call us 01702 470700 or email email@example.com and we can book it in (there is a small cost for our facilitator’s time).
Or you can run the debate yourselves, using our FREE online resources for teachers, schools and anyone else interested in helping to spread the word about the Clever people of Essex.
To run a Clever Essex workshop – you will need…….
An Introduction to our set of 32 Clever Essex characters from the 15th to the 21st Century. DOWNLOAD HERE
Ideas for workshops and lesson plans in schools – DOWNLOAD OUR TRIED AND TESTED IDEA HERE
Resources – TO REQUEST A SET OF THE FACEMASKS TO AID YOUR DEBATE – email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you have fun debating these and many more ingenious, Clever people from Essex.
The History of the Project
Clever Essex is a Metal project that was funded through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
Following a period of research and in-school debates, conducted by Metal with 70 young people from across South East Essex, a long list of 32 relatively unsung, little known, extraordinary Essex lives has been amassed. Through a series of in-school debates at secondary schools in the summer of 2014, we selected eight of these characters to create face masks that were given out at Metal’s Village Green 2014 festival in Southend on Sea. At 3pm from the Main Stage, comedian and local Essex boy, Phill Jupitus asked the 20,000 strong crowd to wear their Clever Essex masks with pride – and give a shout out to the county that produced the ‘father of English Natural History’, inspired Joseph Conrad, started the mass fitness craze and invented the Catamaran – and much more.
Watch the Clever Essex moment at Village Green in 2014:
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