Autumn 2018

Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

South Gloucestershire Second World War Stories

South Gloucestershire Council Cultural Services are delighted to have been awarded funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund for a South Gloucestershire Second World War Stories project. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will explore the impact of the Second World War and growing up in the post war period.

The project started in April and we have undertaken the following:

Researched Second World War collections held by South Gloucestershire museums. These have been used to inspire reminiscence sessions for older people to share memories, recording particular stories through further interviews. We have booked 60 reminiscence sessions (last on the 31st October), which are being delivered in care homes across South Gloucestershire. Feedback from these sessions has been very positive and some interesting stories have come to light.

Barrage balloons (Courtesy of Bristol United Press).

We have booked 15 venues to host the touring exhibition which will run from February to September 2019. We are still working on the exhibition, but it will have six themes from Raids to war work. After the exhibition ends, the panels will be available for venues to use.

We are also in the process of organising 18 community events, the first of which will be at the Avon Valley Railway 1940s event on the 22nd/23rd September. We are also marking the start of the war with a big event at Aerospace Bristol on the 7th September 2019. This will mark 80 years since the start of the war.

We have started to create a small collection of short films with stories from people who lived and worked in South Gloucestershire during the war. These will be published over the coming months.

We are planning to also share the project through schools workshops in 2019.

The project is well under way and we are very much enjoying hearing the stories and meeting people who lived during that interesting time.

Thank you to all the museums, heritage centres and Gloucestershire Archives who have so kindly given their time and shared their collections and knowledge with us.

Hellen O’Connor - Project Co-ordinator, South Gloucestershire Second World War Stories


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