Lofthouse Park Revisited: Locals and Aliens during World War One

On 10th September 2017, the ‘In the Wrong Place, at the Wrong Time’ team held a free heritage open day for the public at Lofthouse Gate Working Men’s Club. The purpose of the day was to explore the hidden history of Lofthouse Park, one of Britain’s internment camps during the First World War. Now comprising a combination of housing estates, car parks and convenience stores, the site of Lofhouse Park is virtually unrecognisable from its World War One era incarnation. Dr Claudia Sternberg and David Stowe organised the day to provide descendants, local people and World War One history enthusiasts with the opportunity to engage with this difficult and often forgotten history.

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CALL FOR PAPERS The End of the War & The Reshaping of a Century 6th – 8th September 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS The End of the War & The Reshaping of a Century 6th – 8th September 2018

This conference, hosted by the Centre for Historical Research at the University of Wolverhampton in association with the WFA and the FWW Network for Early Career & Postgraduate Researchers, seeks to spotlight the latest research on the events of 1918 as well as the global significances, consequences, and legacy of this watershed year.

Keynotes: Professor Alison Fell (Leeds), Professor Peter Frankopan (Oxford), Professor John Horne (TCD), Professor Gary Sheffield (Wolverhampton), Professor Sir Hew Strachan (St Andrews), Professor Laura Ugolini (Wolverhampton) & Professor Jay Winter (Yale).

We invite abstracts for 20-minute presentations fitting within the conference topic. Therein we encourage international perspectives and seek a range of historical approaches together with cross-disciplinary insights. Suggested themes may include but are not limited to:

  • Warfare in 1918
  • The War in 1918
  • Women in 1918
  • Strategy, Tactics & Technology
  • Victory & Defeat
  • Winners & Losers
  • Peace & (Ongoing) Conflict
  • Revolution(s)
  • Aftermaths, Legacies & Impacts
  • Veterans (Male & Female)
  • Civilians & Consequences
  • Gender, Class, Race & Ethnicity
  • Ends & Beginnings
  • Learning/Understanding the War
  • Commemoration & Memory
  • The Centenary

Abstracts of 250 words should be accompanied by your name, affiliation (if applicable) and a brief biographical statement (c. 100 words). Panel submissions will also be considered.

We welcome submissions from scholars, including ECRs & PGRs, as well as independent researchers, organisations, and community projects. We hope (subject to funding) to offer a limited number of bursaries to assist ECRs/PGRs & community groups to participate.

Submissions should be sent to Dr Oliver Wilkinson (O.Wilkinson@wlv.ac.uk) by 3rd January 2018

Conference registration is expected to open in spring 2018

Keep up to date at the website (www.wlv.ac.uk/1918to2018) and follow on Twitter (@1918to2018)

We Will Remember Them Exhibition

We Will Remember Them Exhibition

William Robinson Clarke WW1 RAF pilot from Jamaica, photo courtesy of the Royal Aero club

LAUNCH EVENT:

Friday 22nd September 6:30pm

New Art Exchange

39-40 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham NG9 6BE

The We Will Remember Them project, funded by the Centre for Hidden Histories, aims to uncover hidden narratives that will strengthen the coverage of under-represented groups in relation to the centenary of the Great War. Empire troops fought in the most infamous battles of the war, including at Ypres and Passhendaele, but the hidden histories of soldiers from the Caribbean and South Asia still need to be recovered and their stories told, not only in scholarly monographs but in other cultural forms too.  Consequently, this project aims to ensure that we try to avoid the real risk that younger generations will conceive of the war as fought entirely by white soldiers.

The research output has been constituted in the form of a travelling exhibition which will facilitate the general public becoming (more) aware of the courage, sacrifice and stories of “Commonwealth” soldiers. The exhibition will tour the East Midlands and London and will launch at New Art Exchange on the 22nd September.

Following the launch, the exhibition will travel to the following venues:

  • 25th-29th September Nottm. County Hall, West Bridgeford NG2 7QP
  • 2nd-5th October Clifton Cornerstone, Southchurch Drive, Clifton NG11 8EW
  • 6th-12th October Bulwell Riverside, Main Street NG6 8QL
  • 12th-18th October Mary Potter Centre, 76 Gregory Blvd. NG7 5YH
  • 18th-23rd October Nottm. Central Library, Angel Row NG1 6HP
  • 23rd-26th October Nottm. City Council, Loxley House, Station Street NG2 3NG
  • 27th October-1st November St Anns Valley Centre, 2 Livingston Rd NG3 3GG

Please contact nottinghamblackarchive@gmail.com for more information.

This project is delivered in association with Renaissance One

Impact: Reflections on the COREL Project with Dr Nick Baron and Culture Syndicates

Led by Dr Nick Baron, The COREL Project (Curating Online Resources for Engagement and Learning) has been working with the Life Lines community group in order to develop an easy to use and accessible online platform for presenting textual materials. A work in progress, it is hoped that the final platform will enable the display of documents held by archives, libraries, museums or private collections. In the course of developing specifications and a prototype of the platform, the COREL project worked with World War One era documents contributed by Life Lines members as well as materials from the University of Nottingham’s Sir George Buchanan collection. As part of the co-productive elements of this project, Nick employed Culture Syndicates, a Nottingham based Heritage and Arts consultancy company. This was in order to assist with building the relationship with Life Lines and organising key activities like focus groups. I caught up with Nick and Charlotte Pratley, Director of Culture Syndicates. We discussed the contribution that companies like Culture Syndicates make to the co-production process between universities and community partners.

For Nick, companies like Culture Syndicates provide an invaluable service in acting as mediators between academics, heritage organisations and community partners. This can be in terms of negotiating the different project aims of each partner as well as understanding different conceptions of ‘impact’. Logistically, they can also be effective by suggesting prospective partners and acting as the convenors of activities such as meetings and focus groups. Nick also adds that companies like Culture Syndicates are additionally important in helping diverse partners find that ‘common language’ and mutual ground of shared interest which is essential to effective university and community collaboration. In acting as a third-way mediator, they have the potential to neutralise potential hierarchies of cultural power. In short, companies like Culture Syndicates can advise academics as to how best to communicate with community partners, while they can help community partners to be confident in articulating their views to academics.

Agreeing with many of Nick’s comments, Charlotte added that a challenge to co-production in practice can be the fact that, “Operating methods can be very different between community groups and universities, so academics need to work consciously, understanding that communities’ needs and ideas should drive the project. Failing to do so can result in tokenistic projects that can fulfil the impact agenda without creating meaningful change.” Culture Syndicates aim to provide this bridge between academics and community groups, making sure that essential practicalities for public engagement are in place. Whether that’s venue accessible parking or clarifying academic terminology ahead of public meetings. For as Charlotte notes, “Co-production is an exciting way of joining academic practice with community need and ambition, empowering communities to use the resources provided by universities.”

 

 

Impact and Events: New Play at Lakeside Arts tackles a ‘Hidden History’ of the 1916 Easter Rising

On 7th October 2017, Lakeside Arts will be hosting a performance of the Centre for Hidden Histories sponsored show, ‘The Sherwood Foresters of 1916’.  Developed with Professor James Moran (English, University of Nottingham), Professor Fintan Cullen (Art History, University of Nottingham), theatre director, Sarah Stevenson and performed by Year 9 students at Hall Park Academy,  the play seeks to uncover the hidden narrative and the unheard voices of the Sherwood Foresters who fought during the Easter Rising of 1916.  Of the significance of this research project in uncovering a difficult and provocative ‘hidden history’ of the First World War, James commented:

James appearing on BBC Radio Nottingham to discuss the Sherwood Foresters project, 26 June 2017.

“Our research examines the legacy of the Sherwood Foresters who fought during the Easter Rising in Dublin. These men, from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in the English Midlands, suffered the greatest casualties of the British regiments involved in the insurrection, and participated in the firing squads that executed the rebel leaders. Yet the public and artistic memorialising of these English soldiers is not widely known, and our interdisciplinary work tells the unfamiliar story of what happened to the Sherwood Foresters after the fighting of Easter Week ceased.”

Devised and rehearsed through a series of five workshops at Hall Park Academy, the performance of the play will start at 7.30pm in the Djanogly Theatre.  Tickets are free from Lakeside Arts but booking is advised.  The play is suitable for those aged twelve and above.

Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street, Dublin) after the 1916 Easter Rising (Wikipedia Commons).