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St Helens residents invited to travel around the borough as part of a treasure hunt with a difference

St Helens residents invited to travel around the borough as part of a treasure hunt with a difference

by Culture Liverpool

This summer, Heart of Glass is inviting residents to take to the streets for a treasure hunt across St Helens as part of an arts project called Street Hunt.

Described as a kind of “visual crossword puzzle”, Street Hunt is a treasure hunt where the riches are road names: a story emerging from the page and a chance for St Helens residents to win up to £6,000.

From Saturday 9 July, individuals, families and groups will be able to collect their Street Hunt book, in order to start their search. Participants must look for the road signs shown in photographs in the book, where the vital name of the street is blanked out.

The aim is to figure out the missing names and add them to the book. The street names reveal a poem and participants can use their local knowledge, and clues in the photographs and the poem’s emerging story to help them.

Originally planned for April 2020, Street Hunt had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. This time the organisers are partnering with community bookshop The Book Stop, who will be selling Street Hunt books. Books are available to pre-order from today (16 June) via heartofglass.org/uk/street-hunt

The first person to submit a correctly completed book with all the right answers wins. The more people that play the game and join Street Hunt, the bigger the prize. There’s a guaranteed minimum prize of £1,000 and a maximum of £6,000 if all the books are sold.

Artist Joshua Sofaer created the project. He worked with Heart of Glass previously on the Your Name Here project (2015), which saw the renaming of Ravenhead Greenway Park as Vera Page Park. For Street Hunt, Joshua travelled across the borough to find street names he could craft a poem from and took photographs of the street signs as clues. Joshua previously ran the project in Colchester and Norfolk. The winner in Norfolk was a nurse who did it with her partner. They used the money to go on a holiday to East Asia.

Artist Joshua Sofaer says:

“It’s wonderful to see this project being realised nearly two years after it was originally planned. It was a pleasure to be able to  to travel around St Helens, discovering more about the town and the wider borough. There are all sorts of interesting stories to be discovered in the streets and their names. How well do you know St Helens?”

Kat Dempsey, Executive Director at Heart of Glass says:

“The past 2 years have demonstrated just how important it is to get out and about to connect with our communities and enjoy our green spaces. We’re thrilled to welcome Joshua back to St Helens and to see this fun, creative project happen. With lighter summer evenings and (hopefully!) warm weather ahead, Street Hunt will be a fun family-friendly way for anyone to explore St Helens, be creative and be in with a chance of winning up to £6K.”

Nik Loewe The Book Stop Manager says:

“The Book Stop was established in November 2021, as a hub for the community and independent bookshop, and we’re so excited to partner with Heart of Glass and be part of this inspiring art project. Our vision is to inspire people through reading, and can’t wait to see how people in St Helens respond to this poetic treasure hunt!”

Key information:

  • Books can be pre-ordered from 16 June at www.heartofglass.org.uk/street-hunt
  • Books will be available to collect (or buy if not pre-ordered) from The Book Stop, Bridge Street, St Helens from 10am, Saturday 9 July and are priced £6 each.
  • The winner is the first person to successfully complete the poem and hand in their book. While the competition ends here, everyone is encouraged to carry on the hunt and complete their books for the fun of it!
  • A total of 1,000 copies of the book will be printed and the sales of the book will contribute to the prize fund (maximum prize fund of £6000 if all the books are sold).
    Full rules and T&Cs will be available at heartofglass.org.uk/street-hunt 

Joshua Sofaer is an internationally renowned artist working across art forms in collaborative and participatory ways. He previously collaborated with people in St Helens on Your Name Here, a project commissioned by Heart of Glass. The project gave anyone with a connection to St Helens the chance to  nominate someone to be commemorated permanently, by having a park in St Helens named after them. The result was Vera Page Park.

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