Malmesbury 2040 Jackdaw Collaboration

Crowdsourcing a collective vision for Malmesbury


2020 was a year unlike any other in modern history. For many it was (and continues to be) tough and tragic, but the lockdown for many has been a silver lining.

We unified to support and provide food for the vulnerable. We relished the opportunities to cycle freely without worrying about traffic. Events previously exclusive became inclusive through their online presence. The High Street became our life blood and we shopped to support our local businessmen and women. We appreciated our local environment more than ever.

However, as life has slowly shifted back once again, it has had the simultaneous effect of bringing to the surface the fault lines that run across our communities, our nation and our planet. The desire for long term change oozed from these crevasses.

What if we harnessed this desire for change to paint a picture of what life could be like if we took all of our learnings from this past year or so and used it to build the future of our collective dreams over the next twenty years?

This is Project Malmesbury 2040, a reverse time capsule if you like, and it’s exactly what we aim to do.

We want to crowdsource a collective vision of future Malmesbury through the lens of an edition of our loved local magazine, the Jackdaw, from the year 2040, if we all rose to the challenge of tackling social inequality and the climate and ecological emergency to shape our town into a safe, just, inclusive place, fit for centuries to come.

We need you, our community (anyone who lives, studies, plays or visits the wide Malmesbury area), to help us bring the story of our future to life, through short and long articles, poems, pictures, artwork, photographs, letters and any other medium you like. All contributions in any form and from people of any age are welcome!

The only requirements are that you create from the perspective of being in the year 2040 with a positive and uplifting outlook. Anything is possible. Use this as an opportunity to let your brain free, daydream and to ask, “what if?”

Some questions to inspire creative thinking…What will Malmesbury look like? What does it feel like to be a part of the Malmesbury community? What can we see? What does our environment look like? What has remains and what has gone? What will occupy the spaces in our High Street? What do we take part in, in the evenings and at weekends? What do we celebrate together and how? What will it smell like? What will it taste like? What will we have achieved together? What news and issues would we be talking about?

For example, you might write as the leader of the community fridge project highlighting recent success, or as the co-creator of a thriving new science festival announcing the line-up of local contributors. You might be a local photographer showcasing the annual tree planting event or the artist-in-residence at the Abbey House Gardens, giving us a behind the scenes access into your latest collection

The hope is that our community edition will be a call to action that inspires local change for the better.

Our 2040 edition of the Jackdaw will distributed in the Spring/Summer of 2021. As a “mini-issue” depending on the number of entries we receive, it may not be possible to include all contributions, however we do hope to run an exhibition in parallel (which could be virtual), showcasing all the contributions we receive. There will be an element of editorial oversight, to ensure the content of the magazine reflects the style of the Jackdaw.

Please email your questions and contributions to by 19th April 2021.

We can’t wait to see what the community creates!