South Gloucestershire has received £60,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its ‘South Gloucestershire and the First World War’ project, which includes a touring exhibition that will visit Bradley Stoke for four weeks from 1st September.
The First World War Centenary project will involve local community heritage organisations working with South Gloucestershire Council to improve public engagement with the anniversary.
The district council will be coordinating a range of activities which will help communities to access and interpret the First World War heritage held by local organisations.
To mark the declaration of war in 1914, the project has created an exhibition which shows the impact of the war in this area and how communities were changed in other countries with which South Gloucestershire is now twinned. The exhibition will tour public venues in South Gloucestershire to engage directly with local communities.
As part of the project, an engagement officer from the council will work with community heritage groups and both formal and informal learning groups providing guidance and training for volunteers. In addition, South Gloucestershire twinning associations will liaise with their counterparts in other countries to obtain material to contribute to exhibitions delivered by community organisations.
The exhibition was launched on Wednesday 23rd July at the Tesco supermarket in Yate. Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council Cllr Howard Gawler presented the opening address, Deputy Store Manager Steve Baker spoke on Tesco’s behalf and Vice Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Robert Bernays OBE also attended and gave a speech.
Cllr Gawler said:
“We are grateful for the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to fund the development of this essential project which will provide a central base for the many centenary projects which are happening throughout South Gloucestershire. By working with the many heritage organisations in the area, this project will ensure that the centenary is commemorated locally and show the effect of the First World War on individuals and communities in South Gloucestershire.”
Tesco’s Regional Corporate Affairs Manager Jack Pearson said:
“We’re delighted to be hosting the exhibition and to be supporting the centenary project. We know how important it is and hope that customers will find it interesting and insightful. We hope that by hosting the exhibition as many people as possible will be able to see it.”
The official opening also featured poetry readings which included recitals of ‘Aftermath’ by Siegfried Sassoon and the ‘Hawkesbury Hospital’ by Sergeant E Rex, along with a performance of period songs by local singer Rachael Hunt.
The exhibition will remain at the Tesco supermarket in Yate for four weeks before moving on to the Tesco store in Bradley Stoke for a further four weeks, after which it is available for other venues in the area.
For more information, visit: www.southglos.gov.uk/ww1
Photo: Vice Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Robert Bernays OBE (left) and Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council Cllr Howard Gawler at the launch of the ‘South Gloucestershire and the First World War’ exhibition.
This article originally appeared in the August 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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