‘Redcar Remembers’: Heritage Lottery Fund awards £10,000 to The Friends of Redcar Cemetery to mark First World War Centenary
Today, The Friends of Redcar Cemetery (FORCEM) have received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project based around the old part of Redcar Cemetery, working in partnership with Laburnum Road Library.
Awarded through HLF’s ‘ First World War: Then and Now’ programme, the project, entitled ‘Redcar Remembers’ will focus on raising awareness of Redcar’s wartime heritage and developing pride in its history through a community project based on Redcar and Coatham cemeteries. The project aims to help local people understand the experience of Redcar residents during the First World War; including the stories of local soldiers, sailors and airmen based in the town.Participants will uncover the stories behind the 16 First World War graves and 36 family graves in Redcar cemetery as well as a further 11 war graves at Christ Church in Coatham.
Pupils from local schools will be trained in historical research by staff at Teesside Archives and contribute to a series of pop-up banners and a digital gallery showing photographs and stories related to the memorials in the cemetery. Together these will become an evolving and accessible record of historical research. The banners will be available for loan to community groups, libraries, churches and schools. Visitors to the cemetery will be invited to submit digital images of memorials, or simply record the peaceful beauty of the cemetery for possible inclusion in a ‘War Walks’ leaflet.
Local historian, John Watson, will be on hand to highlight the town’s links with early military aviation. His book, Ace’s High at Redcar, funded by HLF, features striking images and stories of early aircraft and the work of servicemen and women based at the Royal Naval Air Service Station established in 1915. Visits to places a little further afield such as the Heugh Battery Museum in Hartlepool and The Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, near York, will deepen understanding of life in Redcar during WW1.
Members of FORCEM feel privileged to be given this opportunity by HLF to bring to light, as yet undiscovered, historical information with such relevance to our local community. Dot Ahmed (Group Secretary), said: “We invite all members of the community to come along and share their family stories with us, no matter how brief. They will all form part of an emerging picture of life in Redcar during the First World War. Thanks to the award from HLF, this project is set to inspire a broad cross section of our community, leaving a lasting legacy in the quiet reflective space of Redcar Cemetery’s old section for the benefit of all.”
Head of HLF in the North East, Ivor Crowther, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £45million in projects – large and small – that are marking this Centenary. Our new small grants programme is enabling even more communities like those involved in ‘Redcar Remembers’ to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.
A launch event at Laburnum Road Library on 25th July, followed by in a second event in central Redcar on 1st August will encourage people to share family stories and memorabilia, over a cup of tea and a cake, alongside original artefacts such as part of the wing section of an, as yet, unidentified, WW1 aircraft, discovered in Redcar cemetery by members of FORCEM.
Notes to editors
Members of FORCEM will be attending the ‘Voluntees’ fair at Teesside University on 25th February to offer opportunities to students interested in web design to join us with fresh, innovative ideas.
- Royalties from book sales have been generously donated, by John, towards future restoration of cemetery monuments.
- Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 36, 000 projects with more than £5.9bn across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on twitter @heritagelotteryunderstandingWW1
For further information or to contribute to the project in any way, pop in to Laburnum Road Library or telephone 01642 484142. Alternatively leave a comment on the FORCEM website: www. forcem.co.uk/, contact Dot Ahmed on 01642 478349, or email firstname.lastname@example.org