Stories from the Horseman’s Mouth

Heritage Lottery FundIn terms of heritage, it is all happening in Littleport! Recently, I reported on the now completed HLF-funded project which resulted in the documentation of the remarkably well-preserved Family Adams shop in Littleport – see here for the previous blog post on this.

The shop window at the old Family Adams shop currently displays images, artefacts and information for a new local project: ‘The Horseman’s Word’, which aims to research the golden age of the Fenland Heavy Horse. Recently, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a grant to the Field Theatre Group in Littleport to carry out this project.

The Field Theatre Group’s project ‘The Horseman’s Word’ will bring together a range of people, researchers, archivists, historians, film makers, curators, photographers and heavy horse experts. In this, the Field Theatre Group will work closely with ADeC over the next 18 months to deliver this exciting new project. ADeC is also a key partner in the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme. The Field Theatre group’s project has clear links to the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme.

HMW Outside the Bull Public House junction Wisbech Rd and Camel rd

2 men and cart, outside the Black Bull, Wisbech Road, Littleport. Image courtesy of the Littleport Society.

The Fenland area has a rich heritage related to horses and horse keeping; heavy horses in particular have helped shape the land as we experience around us now.

horesmans-postcard-wright

Saddlery, Main St, Littleport, 1912 Image courtesy of the Littleport Society.

The project aims to shine a light on the unique relationships between horses and Fen Folk, also uncovering myths, folklore and magic associated with the horses. the project focuses on ‘the golden age’ of  the heavy horse between c1850 and 1950.

A series of community history gathering workshops will be held in Ely (20 & 27 July), Wisbech (29 June and 13 July) and Prickwillow over the next couple of months. Do come along and share your stories and artefacts; they may well find their way into the documentary DVD, touring exhibition and online archive which will be created as part of the project.

Find out more about the community workshops here:

final flyer cover HMW

The official launch of the Horseman’s Word project is coming Saturday, 1 June, 2-5 pm, in Littleport Village Hall. There you can meet the project team and be entertained with songs and stories from the golden age of the Fenland Heavy Horsemen. Find out more about this event here.

The Field Theatre Group has got very good experience in community projects. One of their previous projects, Common Grounds, resulted in film showing a range of stories, focusing on land workers and Fenland life at the turn of the last century. Another interesting production was Landlines, the Field Theatre Group’s multi-media touring production, incorporating actors, film footage, music, poetry and songs to bring to life the Fen landscape, its people and places. Learn more about the work of the Field Theatre Group here.

Want to know more about ‘The Horseman’s Word’? Click on the below image, which is taken from the Horseman’s Word’s flyer:

final inside flyer jpag

Related posts:

Proudly Presenting: Our Themes!

Heritage Lottery FundWe have just finalised our themes for the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme. As you can imagine, quite a bit of brainstorming and discussion have gone into producing this, but – following recent approval of the final draft by the Project Board – we are now able to show everybody the themes that will be guiding our work.

Why do we need themes? From the start, it was clear that all partners felt that we needed themes to help focus everybody on what we want to achieve. It is, in fact, a logical development from our vision and strategic aims and objectives for the scheme.

As the landscape of the Ouse Washes LP area is far less known, understood and appreciated than other landscapes in the region – as set out in this previous post -, it was thought that the themes would also provide the partnership with an important tool to tell the ‘stories’ of this landscape, and help getting people to understand what this landscape is about.

The themes will:

  • Help our partners to develop their projects in more details;
  • Guide the way we will promote and deliver events throughout the scheme;
  • Help communities to find ways of engaging with the landscape’s heritage through the scheme’s projects and events;
  • Guide the way we want to promote the landscape and its heritage;
  • Help in the development towards a clear legacy for the landscape.

We are very curious to hear from you, our audience, what you think about our themes; do let me know. Ok, here they are, our 5 themes:

Themes

More details are provided in the below PowerPoint file, setting out: our five themes, with further explanation given, as well as a range of example subjects we feel could fall under each of the themes:

Themes PP_May 2013