Cash boost will help to tell war tales

A village group has secured more than £9,000 for a special First World War-themed project.

Belford Community Group (BCG) has been awarded the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for the Belford: A rural area at war initiative.

Belford Hidden History Museum, which is part of BCG, will work with theatre group Belford Players, including its young members, to tell the story of the village and its residents during the conflict.

As well as visits to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers Museum and the Northumberland Fusiliers Museum, project participants will delve into archives and capture personal perspectives on the conflict.

The research will inspire a series of talks and open days and a rolling exhibition at Belford Museum will take a look at the impact of the war year by year.

Some of the key themes will be the effects of recruitment and conscription, employment opportunities for women, the role of hospitals and convalescence facilities and the war’s lasting legacy.

The theatre group will provide a creative insight by re-enacting some of the memories and stories uncovered.

The Belford scheme is one of four in the North East to receive a share of more than £38,000 from the HLF. The others are in Blaydon, Bishop Auckland and Gosforth.

Ivor Crowther, head of HLF North East, said: “The centenary of the war presents an opportunity to ensure personal memories, some of which are now a century old, are understood and remembered by future generations as a defining part of our history.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re delighted to fund each of these projects through our First World War: Then and Now programme.”