All Our Stories - a Heritage Lottery Fund Programme

The project for Hadleigh and Thundersley

A hectic week in July 2012 saw Hadleigh & Thundersley Community Archive (H&TCA) finish a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)* on-line application form for a new grant.   By November, we had (almost) forgotten about that HLF All Our Stories programme when news arrived:  SUCCESS!  

Linking with the national launch, our local press release of 22nd November included: "We will use the grant to support local history fairs, encourage local people to share recollections in text and pictures, support schools to help children develop an informed appreciation of the rich seams of historical and current activities underpinning local society and help develop their civic pride. A number of publications, including history and walking maps, a book of rare old postcard views, a history of Hadleigh School and a book of Hadleigh, Thundersley and Daws Heath Memories are all jostling in the pipe-line."    

Photo:Checking the postcard book

Checking the postcard book

Lynda Manning

For a report on the HLF's 22nd November London event: click here.  All successful bidders keep public records of the progress of the project itself, in our case using a blog at: click here. Visitors of the blog site can opt to get news of regular updates.   
Even more informal and wider ranging is the Twitter feed of James (Cunning) Murrell.   Try the Twitter link on the home page.   

Background to  All Our Stories  This small grant programme (now closed) was launched in 2012 in support of BBC Two’s The Great British Story.   Series presenter and historian Michael Wood, said: “We British love our history, and no wonder: few other nations in the world, if any, have such riches on their doorstep.  It is tremendous that the people of Castle Point are inspired to tell their own story and dig deeper into their own past.  It’s brilliant that so many people are being given the chance to get involved through the All Our Stories grants.  Having travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles this last year filming The Great British Story, I am certain that fascinating and moving stories will be uncovered which will bring to life the excitement of local history.”    

Photo:Click for the blog site

Click for the blog site

Background to South East Essex Community Archives (SEECA)
Following the continuing success of a pilot archive started on Canvey, a group of six archives {Laindon, Billericay, Wickford, Benfleet, Rochford and Hadleigh & Thundersley} was initially funded by an HLF grant in 2010, through the inspiration of Sue Hampson of Essex Libraries and Debbie Peers of the Essex Record Office. Each of the SEECA archives works in ways suited to local needs, so  people document recollections and images, supporting research into events, people and places in the history of their area using text, pictures and recordings.  

Uniquely amongst the six, H&TCA attracts large gatherings for public presentations and needed additional space.  The (now defunct) Museums, Libraries and Archives Council made a grant sufficient to cover the cost of renting a small office in Hadleigh Old Fire Station.  By developing a wider audience for local heritage and culture through participation, the H&TCA volunteer editorial team helps participants develop their community; informing the future by making history today!    

Photo:Click for Cunning Murrell

Click for Cunning Murrell

General guidance on the archive
Perhaps you know someone who has lived in Hadleigh, Thundersley or Daws Heath for fifty years or more? Maybe your family lived locally for two or more generations and has a story to tell?   If you have moved into Hadleigh and Thundersley more recently, you can research the history of your new home.  To use the website, click on "How to Contribute" on the Home page for details on uploading your own words and pictures.
Drop-in sessions are held at Hadleigh Library on the second Saturday of each month between 10.30am and noon. To contact H&TCA editors at other times, e-mail 

*Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Using money raised through the National Lottery, HLF sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historical places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, HLF has supported 33,000 projects, allocating £4.9 billion across the UK. Website:

This page was added by Nick Turner on 17/05/2013.