Middlewich Town Council has received £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through their Sharing Heritage programme, for an exciting project, ‘Middlewich and the Great War’.Kerry Fletcher (Heritage Development Officer for Middlewich Town Council), Bernice Walmsley (Middlewich Town Mayor), Ken Kingston (Middlewich Royal British Legion), Dave Thompson (Events Manager for Middlewich Town Council), Keith Simpson (Head-teacher of Middlewich High School), David Leathwood (Middlewich Show Society), Joy Leathwood (Middlewich Vision), Caroline Beechener (Head of History, Middlewich High School) and Allan Earl (Middlewich Heritage Society and Local Historian).
Led by the town council, the project focuses on schools, community groups and residents coming together to commemorate and increase our understanding of the Great War era.
The project aims to explore the Great War and its impact on the community by setting a challenge from the town’s Mayor and Middlewich Town Council to local schools and community groups. This challenge will be a framework of ideas linked to the ‘Roll of Honour’ and background research carried out by Middlewich heritage officer, volunteers and local historians looking at town life and the War effort.
The project will consist of schools and groups taking ownership of the different parts of the project such as the serving armed forces; the role of the Red Cross, the war at home, and Great War battles that Middlewich men were involved in.
Each part will be developed by the different groups and the results brought back together again in a large scale exhibition on 4th and 5th October 2014. This means the information gathered is safeguarded for the future as each part is explored in different ways and the resulting methods shown to the wider public. Chosen forms could be poetry, media, interpretation boards, artwork or drama pieces.
Commenting on the award, Kerry Fletcher, heritage development officer said: “It’s fantastic that we have the support of Heritage Lottery Fund. This guarantees that the project isn’t just delivering a weekend of commemoration, but involving and supporting people of all age groups in the community producing exhibition materials about what the Great War means to them. It’s an opportunity to explore, examine roles of the era and learn new skills, which we are very excited about”
Caroline Beechener, head of history for MiddlewichHigh Schoolsaid: “Support from the Heritage Lottery Fund will facilitate a great opportunity for Middlewich young people to work together on a lasting project for the community.”
Explaining the importance of the HLF support, the head of the HLF in the North West, Sara Hilton, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £15million in projects of all sizes that are marking this global Centenary enabling communities like those involved in Middlewich to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local people to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”