My name is Dr Peter Falconer. I am a composer, sound artist and parafictionalist originally from
Seaton Carew in North East England.
Most of what you have read and heard is not entirely true!
What Happened to Seaton Snook is a "Parafictional" artwork. This is, in short, fiction that presents itself as fact. In the case of Seaton Snook, an artefact may be 90% based on fact or only 10%, but none of it is entirely real or entirely fake.
SO WHY DO THIS???
Why not just create a website about the real Seaton Snook?
It's because I'm using Seaton Snook to tell a story about Community, about the Neglect of the North East, and about the Dangers of Losing Important Cultural Heritage.
Parafiction allows me to include more issues and characters in this story than a simple historical website would. It also allows me to tell it in a more engaging (and fun!) manner. And it does so in a sometimes uncomfortable manner - I have had messages from people upset at having the wool pulled over their eyes. Parafiction gets under people's skin, and this is important.
There’ll be people who might not even have considered that there was anything artistically interesting going on in a north east seaside town like Hartlepool. There absolutely is, and there was back then in the days of Seaton Snook. And for a moment, I hope, people believe it. And once they’ve believed it for a moment, they are forced to consider why they didn’t believe it before. I use parafiction to prompt people to consider this alternative reality themselves, to question their prejudices, rather than just telling them what to think.
In the age of deep fakes and misinformation, parafictional art teaches us to question what we see, to view things from another person’s perspective, and sometimes to imagine how we can be better.
I have appropriated some recordings and images of real people. If you recognise yourself in any of these artefacts and would like to be removed, for whatever reason, please do not hesitate to contact me through the contact page.
Seaton Snook was essentially a part of Seaton Carew - the dunes, the common, and the marshlands in between the main village and the industrial site of the Zinc Works and Copper Smelting factories by the North bank of the Tees. There was a small community of fishermen's huts, houseboats, and a handful of houses built for the Zinc factory workers. There was a tin mission hut and, for a few years, a small school. A comprehensive history of this community was written by former Zinc Works employee Arthur Glendenning (c1937-2015), and his papers can be found at Hartlepool Central Library. I am immensely indebted to his work. I would also like to thank Sue Garrington of Hartlepool Library Services for her expertise, and the remarkable Isobel Lee, whose recollections of holidays on the Snooks were one of the things that kicked this whole project off.
It was never in the slightest bit my intention to mock or devalue the lives of the real people who lived at Seaton Snook.
I hope you have enjoyed your visit, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the project as it continues to grow.
It costs money to keep SeatonSnook.com going, and an artist gotta eat - if you enjoyed looking through the archive, please consider buying me the price of a cup of tea HERE!
For more of my work, please visit my website at www.falconermusic.co.uk