WWI Centenary events in Littleport

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A range of events are happening soon in Littleport, all related to the commemorations surrounding the start of WWI, 100 years ago.

There is a dedicated Facebook page about all the things happening surrounding the  Littleport Centenary events: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Littleport-WW1/1385394928404885

 

First of all, on 1 and 2 November, The Littleport Field Theatre Group will perform its Heritage Lottery Funded community performances of Field of War.

Practitioners from The Field have been working with a mixed-age,  mixed-ability group of residents to create a WW1 centenary tribute in music, songs, poetry and drama. In addition we will be creating a wartime trench set, and we will be utilising archive footage from the Imperial War Museum.The performances are just one element of a series of commemorative events which have been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Littleport Parish Council, and East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Tickets are free for performances at Littleport Village Hall, on Saturday 1 November, 7.30 pm; Sunday 2 November 2 pm & 7.30 pm (the producers would like to advise that the performance is not suitable for young children).

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On 15 November there is a Perspectives poetry competition prize giving event, at Littleport Village Hall, 6.30-8 pm – see leaflet below

Please join for a celebratory evening to congratulate the entrants who have written a selection of moving poems to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to read their poems. The prizes will be presented by the current Fenland Poet Laureate, Poppy Kleiser.

The Littleport Field Theatre Group are launching the anthology ‘Perspectives’ at this event. Perspectives is priced £3, and all proceeds from the sales will be divided between Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion (Littleport Branch).

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Image: Littleport Field Theatre Group

 

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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.

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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:

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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:

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