Coalville Market, sounds, lights and the Famous 50! Local people and businesses have come together to help us create this immersive experience. (In less than 10 days with very little budget!)
Starting with the mining heritage of (most) of the Famous 50, progressing into the trenches of WW1, with a chance to pop into the Thinking Booth to hear some of the poetry that has been written, leading into the main exhibition area you will have a chance to explore the Famous 50 in a unique way.
All you need to do to turn this idea into a reality is turn up..
We are looking for people that can help steward on the evening..
Please share and spread the word. There is only only chance as the exhibition closes on the Saturday after.
Watch this space for future plans..
Thanks to year 6 Hugglescote Primary, Darren ‘The Graffman’ artist and the Famous 50 we were able to create minature art keepsakes to give away in the community.
Using the recycled spray paint cans the children completed their piece of art, wrote their unique label- one for each soldier- and left them in the community at specific locations using the Famous 50 map in Coalville Market.
To decide where to hide them they all researched one of the Famous 50 using census information and extracts from the book 50 Good Men and True written by local author Michael Kendrick and had a visit from local historian Clark Robinson.
“The children really engaged with this project – its brought their research to life and there was real purpose behind it” said their teacher.
Literacy, history, pshe, geography, art and design, are just some of the subjects covered without the children really noticing. Now they are seeing their soldiers get new homes all over Coalville – with people uploading their finds to our Coalville Heroes Facebook page.
So far 10 out of the 50 have been found. There are 40 more out there….
People ask us, what is it you do? For ages we didn’t have the ‘elevator pitch’ rolling off our tongue…
We do now… ‘we are a creative community exhibition team that delivers a whole load of other things as well as really unique exhibitions’
If you want more information about our exhibitions or the other stuff we do, please get in touch!
See what the BBC said about our exhibition… they also sent a film crew who did a live broadcast at lunchtime followed by a longer broadcast in the early evening East Midlands Today programme.
Coalville’s wooden WW1 soldiers depict ‘Famous Fifty’
The wooden soldiers were painted and decorated by members of the public
Life-size wooden soldiers representing 50 men who fought in World War One have been decorated and put on display with a trench in their home town.
The “Famous Fifty” were specially selected volunteers from the Coalville area of Leicestershire who went to fight on the Western Front in 1914.
Due to their mining background many of the men became tunnellers, but only 22 ever returned home.
Organiser Julia Burkin said the project has brought the soldiers back to life.
Hundreds of people in Coalville decorated the wooden cut-outs after they were sent to schools, colleges and other organisations, for the exhibition at the Market Hall.
People were also encouraged to find out about the lives of the men and speak to living relatives.
Ms Burkin said: “[The project] has been more than just about decorating cut-outs, we’ve been living, breathing and sleeping the men’s stories.
“It brings it home what war feels like.”
Organises said the project has brought the soldiers back to life
The idea of honouring the men came from a book titled Fifty Good Men and True by Michael Kendrick.
He told the BBC that following the deaths of so many soldiers in August 1914, “tough, hardy” volunteers were needed and Coalville was selected as the place to find them.
They marched off from St John the Baptist Church, in Hugglescote, to the train station in Coalville, with thousands of people cheering them, Mr Kendrick said.
“In the main they were kept together for several months, but obviously every now and again one of them would get shot or shelled.”
Only 22 of them returned home after many had been used as tunnellers – some were entombed at Vimy Ridge during the Battle of Arras, in 1917.
The Famous Fifty exhibition will be in Coalville Market Hall until 2 December.
Julia and Deana are at this exciting Convention in Manchester!
After an interesting start to the days activities, and some nice pastries, they were soon taking part in the workshops
The workshops attended included
- Community Health and Wellbeing
- Start Up Funding
- Kindred Spirits
In the evening there was a book launch by Steve Wyler titled In our Hands – a history of community business followed by a play which incorporated much of the timeline in the book!
We met some really exciting contacts [we won’t embarrass them online] but suffice to say they now have our emails of introduction!
We will update again tomorrow!
We were really excited to share with you the fact that we were nominated for two prestigious awards…. the Innovation Category for our super duper pen racer and local hero map, a fun and interactive way to download lots of heritage facts whilst racing a pen around a track, avoiding penalty points!! This game has proved invaluable at community events, in schools and to promote local hero activities. Imagine 8 players, a timer, race against your competitors… shouting out facts as you go!!
We were so excited to be part of the line up!
We were also lucky enough to also be nominated for the Engaging Young People Award – this was for our work with young people; they were actively encouraged to help produce a heritage film about Coalville in North West Leicestershire. The film gave young people the chance to research local heritage sites, script writing, filming and editing. Whilst the funding we hoped to secure with the film failed to materialise this time, we were so very proud when it was selected as one way which we use to engage with young people.
An award made to a charity or community group that can demonstrate excellent community engagement. Must be taking place in Leicestershire or Rutland and the impact of the work needs to be evident in the 12 months prior to the end of July 2017.
Shortlisted – we were so pleased to have been recognised and wish One Kegworth all the best as they took the prize this year!
The Hero Project CIC, Coalville
The Hero Project is a community interest company formed by Julia Birkin and Deana Wildgoose to carry on North West Leicestershire District Council’s Coalville Project’s Coalville Heroes activities. Coalville Heroes has three community engagement themes: Heritage Heroes, celebrating the achievements of local people such as George Smith who campaigned for the rights of children and women in the brick industry; Food Heroes, which introduced a community growing space and kitchen; and Future Heroes, to help young people make a difference to their town.