Littleport Fourteen 1914 – 2014 : event this weekend

logosOn behalf of the Littleport Field Theatre Group I am passing on the below information about this exciting Littleport Fourteen event held this weekend:

 

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You are invited to join us at Littleport Village Hall, 15 & 16 November, 10-4 pm for a fascinating range of displays of artefacts, photos, memorabilia and other items from the Great War. There will be talks and exhibitions, live music from Littleport Lyrics, and a costumed WW1 canteen courtesy of Littleport Women’s Institute.

There will be an exhibition of work by pupils of Littleport Community Primary School, and a display by the Field Theatre Group, about their recent production: Field of War.

The poetry anthology Perspectives, featuring new writing on the theme of the Great War will also be available to buy. All proceeds from the anthology will be divided between the Royal British Legion, Littleport Branch, and Help for Heroes.

Entry to the exhibition is free. Refreshments and disabled facilities are available. We do hope you will join our community for this centenary exhibition.

Littleport Festival Fourteen is funded by the heritage Lottery Fund and Littleport Parish Council. The Perspective anthology and prize is funded by East Cambs District Council.

 

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

 

His-story … her-story …. your-story ….our-story

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Great things have been happening in the old ironmonger’s shop JH Adams in the past few months. The shop has been transformed into Littleport’s one and only dedicated heritage centre. Much sloshing of buckets and frantic mopping, cleaning and dusting has been taking place.

Adams centre cleaning outside

Together with a great deal of paperwork and form filling behind the scenes (not nearly so much fun!).   Much of this work had to take place during filming for The Horseman’s Word, Heritage Lottery Funded film project. The old shop took another step back in time over the May Bank Holiday when it was transformed into an old saddlery shop for the cast and crew from the Field Theatre Group.

A Board of Trustees has been established to over see the formation of the Adams Heritage Centre Littleport into a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation). Simply put, this means that the centre will become a community heritage organisation of, by and for, the community.  It is planned to open the centre open one day a week initially. As well as regularly changing displays and exhibitions highlighting the varied history and heritage of the town and fenland, we are hoping to get stuck in with our community engagement delivery.

As far as we are concerned it means everything. The centre and its contents will be available to all: whether you are a researcher, academic or serious historian, or if you simply want to come in and have a good old gossip! You are most welcome. We will be running family activity sessions.

These include:

# Family craft sessions (making toys and simple craft pieces with parents, grandparents and carers).
# Classic story sessions (for ages 5 to 7): curl up in our story corner and enjoy a selection of spellbinding classic tales from the golden age of children’s literature. Let Winnie the Pooh, Mary Poppins and Toad, Ratty and Mole do the talking.
# Reminiscence and memory sessions for older residents, including dementia sufferers.
# Laugh and learn.
All these good things will get underway … as soon as we have some tables and chairs (we’re working on that one).

And of course, these are just our ideas! We want to hear yours.

We are launching the centre with an open weekend 19 & 20 July, 10-4. We are looking forward to showing Littleport residents what we have achieved so far, and explaining our great plans for this lovely building.

On Sunday 20 July, a WW1 re-enactor will be at the centre all day. Great War Society member Neil Bignal will be talking to the public about the role of an ordinary soldier in the great war.

Adams Heritage Centre Littleport July 2014 open Weekend

We have already received numerous donations of articles from the community. Most poignantly, a memorial board dedicated to WW1 fallen soldiers from Burnt Chimney Drove, has been donated to the centre. The board was rescued on its way to a skip!
It is now in the centre for all to see.

A festival stand for Littleport’s WW1 commemorative events will be in the centre, as well as a wonderful scale model of the old shop created by Trevor Vincent. There will be plenty more to see … but we’re keeping a few things up our sleeves till then!

Best Wishes, Deb Curtis, Trustee, publicity officer, Facebook: Adams Heritage Centre Littleport for full updates and fresh news postings

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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Related posts:

Family Adams shop: a true Fen Treasure Chest

Heritage Lottery FundIn a recent post I highlighted that there have been relatively few HLF-funded projects in The Fens so far. Some real gems have nevertheless been managed; one of these is The Family Adams Project which was delivered last year.

J H Adams, at 17 Main Street in the heart of Littleport, was at the centre of community life, serving residents and Cambridgeshire-wide customers for more than 100 years. Started in 1880, at its height this shop played an international role in the making of the world ice-skating championships whilst also selling all things domestic from screws and rivets, to paint brushes, pots and pans.

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International Skating Match in Littleport. The Adams shop contained numerous skates and skating memorabilia; source: https://www.facebook.com/familyadamsprojectlittleport/photos_stream

Last year, ADeC managed and delivered an exciting project to record the community heritage found in the shop. The project has brought together local people, schools, museums and artists to collect and preserve personal memories, stories and images of the village, creating an unusual public archive in the process. A great range of pictures of the shop and the project itself can be found at the Family Adam’s Flickr photostream site. See many more pictures and other great information on the Family Adams project’s dedicated website.

The below short video gives a good flavour of what the project explored and the authentic remains left in the shop:

Or watch here for the much longer (45 minutes) project documentary film, as previously shown on Community Channel TV:

Following this project, an exhibition is now touring around the county. After first showing in Wisbech, it can now be seen in Ely Library and can also be seen at the following locations:

  • Ely Library 4 March – 25 March 2013 inclusive
  • Denny Abbey 25 March – 6 May 2013 inclusive
  • Cambridge Museum of Technology 6 May – 17 June 2013 inclusive

ADeC’s staff will also be leading on a project for the Ouse Washes landscape Partnership scheme – building on its extensive expertise in community art & heritage projects, they will be creating murals in various communities across the Ouse Washes area – more about this in due course.