lets talk about @shitchester : looking back

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The idea for a filmed discussion came about me when 2 of the team and I were sitting in Becnicks drinking sweet tea, admiring the merchandise and sitting on a long 3 seater blue couch.  It seemed a bit far fetched at the time, but Becnicks were keen to be involved as were a number of speakers and long time followers of the account. Despite a few unfortunate drop outs, ( Chris from Chemistry Lane was a real blow). We were lucky to get a professional host in Rob Jefferies, well known from his work with Cheshire Phoenix and with the loan of a camera tripod from Sam Ryley a basic but competent technical set up. I had provided Rob with a few basic questions covering the history of the account, the controversy over the name and implications for the future.

On the panel we had John Murray, Tiffany Elliot, Daniel Schott. Kate Northcott. In the audience and also key contributors were Ben Hultim,John McNamara and Carrie Elizabeth Sarah Hyndman


In part one , Rob asked the panel how they became aware of @ShitChester .As noted in the past the account itself was started as a private joke between friends. I stayed behind the camera and was not involved in leading the discussion and was impressed by the eloquence of all involved. Memories were stirred of the Mike Jones incident, the mug I sent to the editor of the Chester Chronicle and the countless friends made along the way. John McNamara spoke of the general appeal of the account as a great way of keeping up with events across Chester. Media pro Kate Northcott also impressed, no doubt boosted by the odd glass of Prosecco.

In part 2 John Murray spoke of his joy at being depicted in Lego, and Kate spoke of using the twitter to meet up with “her people” and “bringing some interesting people together” For me that’s the best legacy, the friends and contacts made and being invited into so many interesting worlds. “Everybody here this evening, I never would have met , if it hadn’t been for the account” Carrie said, noting the community appeal of the site. The discussion moved onto “the name change” … Rob noted that  “you wouldn’t change the name of a baby after 18 months”. This was then followed by Daniel Schotts, detailed exploration of the meaning of the word “shit” Kate argued that the name should be changed to open it up to a wider professional appeal but Tiffany viewed the name as superficial. Does the name matter at all ? “Are we looking to Coldplay it up to the max” Dan asked.

In part 3 Rob asked the panel about whether SC was at a crossroads- should the name be changed to commercialise the account. John Murray spoke of how the account has sparked debate about Chester life and engaged with both citizens and civic leaders. The final question mused on whether the account represented Chester as a whole or whether it was an outlet for one individual’s thoughts and feelings:

excuse a bit of shaky camerawork, it was a fascinating privilege to listen to everyones points of view. Moving forward I intend to take the filmed discussion a step further with a youtube based Chester chat show. Got some good guests lined up for late November and if it goes well hopefully we can keep moving forward, engaging and informing via the twitter and beyond.

Massive thanks to everyone that took part, the superb host Rob and Becnicks for staying later to enable us to film


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