ALL OUR STORIES - The London Launch

A Heritage Lottery Funded Programme

By Lynda Manning

On Thursday 22nd November 2012, at the Museum of London, Dame Jenny Abramsky, chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, announced that over 500 projects across the UK would be sharing an investment of £4.5m.  Individual grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 were being distributed to all kinds of successful bidders, including local history groups, and residents' associations through the Fund's All Our Stories programme.

These grants seem to have struck a chord - perhaps it reflects the wonderful community spirit of the Olympics - but clearly people of all ages and backgrounds and lottery players themselves want to look into and celebrate what has shaped their communities over the years.  We have been bowled over by the response and the great news is that we have been able to find the money to support so many fascinating projects.  We're looking forward to hearing more about the colourful stories that emerge; they will create a unique picture of these islands at an important time in our history.  Dame Jenny Abramsky

The grant programme was developed in association with BBC Four's history series The great British Story: A People's History, presented by the historian Michael Wood. 

Photo:Michael Wood kindly posing for me with two ladies from the Swansea project "Why is there a Chinese community in Swansea?"

Michael Wood kindly posing for me with two ladies from the Swansea project "Why is there a Chinese community in Swansea?"

Lynda Manning

Both Michael Wood, and Carenza Lewis (The great British Story and Channel 4's Time Team), were on hand to talk to representatives from successful projects and inspire them. I was happy to accept an invitation to attend the London launch on behalf of Hadleigh & Thundersley Community Archive (while other members of the group were announcing the success of our bid to the local newspapers).  

Amongst others, I met volunteers from the Fenland project: The Fenland in Roman Times, who were particularly eager to speak with Careza Lewis about their forthcoming landscape archaeology survey. It was great to see fellow "East of England" bidders so enthused!  In fact, the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement as Michael Wood explained how humbled he felt helping the villagers in his series {http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/2010/09/michael-woods-story-of-england.shtml} discover the beginnings of their own village, Kibworth in Leicestershire and how it brought them together as a community and became a positive force in their lives.  As he wished all the projects "good luck" with their endeavours, he did admit that The Lost Pubs of Chapel Street, Salford was a project he felt particularly drawn to!

Because funds have been awarded to applicants working at a "grass roots" level, a support package providing expertise from local universities  and The Media Trust has been put into place. 

To read more on this story and find out about other successful bids go to: http://www.hlf.org.uk/news/Pages/AllOurStories_HLF_investment.aspx

Meeting Carenza Lewis has since produced a new and dynamic role for the H&TCA, in assisting with the Big Dig in Daws Heath in June 2013. Click here for more on this and other "behind-the-scenes" activity in our All Our Stories project.

This page was added by Lynda Manning on 13/02/2013.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

It was a great day, as Lyn says. As the leader of 'Cambridge Community Heritage' (one of the university teams supporting 'All Our Stories' groups) I would agree that it is a fantastic programme - the enthusiasm, vision, energy and commitment of the groups we're working with is amazing. Now that projects are starting to run as we move into 2013, it's great to see this all converting into activities which are bringing people together, and revealing, recording and relaying new infomation about our shared pasts. Hopefully, HLF's new fund, 'Shared Heritage' which they've launched today will enable groups who missed out this time round to get invovled in the future.

By Carenza Lewis
On 19/02/2013