Future of the Past is a project that worked with 13 partners across Lincolnshire with the aim of creatively engaging young people with heritage.
Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, and made possible by National Lottery players, this two-year project brought together a range of key partners working together from the university, cultural, arts and heritage sectors delivering projects across Lincolnshire.
We worked with seven heritage sites across Lincolnshire to look at how they could make their collections and stories relevant to 11-25 year olds.
We worked with musicians, artists, performers and film makers to bring stories of the past alive and relevant for future generations.
Rebecca Fawcett, Producer of the Future of the Past project outlines the aims, partnership and strengths of this heritage project for Lincolnshire.
St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Gosberton – This magnificent village church dates back to the 12th and 14th century, with a spire reaching 200ft, giving amazing views of the surrounding countryside. It has many memorials there, including a life size effigy of a local knight and his wife, dating all the way back to around 1300 AD, as well as visible Norman remains, and Saxon history. Truly a rich heritage site!
As part of the Future of the Past project, Liz Lenten from Scarlet Records, along with the local community, organised Septemberfest Gosberton! A whole weekend of family fun and performances, including live performances Friday night, a family fun day on Saturday, and a special live performance by Martin & Liza Carthy on Sunday.
“I enjoyed the live music on the Friday night and the drumming workshop on the Saturday. The live performance by Eliza and Martin Carthy on Sunday was good too” – young person.
St Clement’s Church, Grainthorpe – St Clements is a beautiful and imposing Marshland church, and has been at the centre of Grainthorpe village near Louth for 800 years. St Clement’s has run successful Arts Festivals in the past but this is the first project that endeavoured to focus on working with young people to make their site more accessible and relevant. We worked with St Clement’s Church, offering free workshops and development days for 11-25 year olds, an opportunity to get creative and engage with local heritage.
To find out more about St Clement’s Church visit: www.stclementsgrainthorpe.co.uk
In November 2021, a two day event, called St Clements Inspires, was designed to utilise the beauty and rich heritage that St Clements Church holds to inspire and prosper creativity from the local community and young people from Grainthrope Junior School. As part of the work, the project produced its own graffiti, which was projected onto the Church walls, and there was an original composition, ‘Organ Damage’ produced with Audiojunkie and Colin Reed.
Young people’s reactions to the project included:
“I enjoyed having a look around the church and investigating its beauty.”
“The church was from the 17th Century and had graffiti on the roof! I found the artwork in the church mesmerising!”
“I liked the organ and graffiti because the graffiti showed ships, feet and hands and the organ was really cool to play and look at.”
“I enjoyed the organ because it made lots of wonderful sounds! We even got to have a go!”
The Police Museum – The first woman police officer, Edith Smith with arresting rights in the UK, worked at the Police station that is now home to the Police Museum and Old Nick Theatre, Gainsborough.
Slip of the Tongue – Theatre project with the Police Museum.
Our first Future of the Past project has completed and has been a great success.
Shooting Fish Theatre Company has been working with 15 young people at the Old Nic Theatre to create a play based on the stories they have discovered at the Police Museum. The play they have developed, Slip of the Tongue, is set in rural Lincolnshire in 1934. Their play is the story of Ethel Major, a tormented and bullied wife who couldn’t take it anymore. She decided to take matters into her own hands with the help of some corned beef and a secret key.
Young people on this project worked with professional scriptwriters and director, took part in theatre workshops over several weeks and have now created a 20-minute play that will become part of the display at the Police Museum where visitors will be able to download a radio play version and discover the story of Ethel Major for themselves.
Slip of the Tongue was performed outside Trinity Arts Centre as the curtain-raiser for No Picnic on 29th June 2021.
Young people’s reflections on the project include:
“I enjoyed learning how to be a better actor and how to adapt to playing a character with a different personality to me because it was fun to experience how to live in a different lifestyle. I learnt that I have a voice and that I can come up with good ideas if I try.”
“I enjoyed acting and working on the script as well as getting to know the other cast members.”
“I liked the improv scenes at the end because we started a conversation about character backstories and storylines we could follow.”
“It was fun and good to meet new people.”
To find out more about The Police Museum visit: www.gainsboroughtheatrecompany.com
Sleaford Museum – It was envisaged that this project, facilitated by Paradigm Arts, would provide advice, guidance, support and deliverable activity focused on increasing participation and engagement with and for young people. Sleaford Museum has celebrated its 7th year since opening its doors and occupies a unique place in the town of Sleaford. The museum itself is housed in an Edwardian toilet block situated at the south end of the High Street. Sleaford Museum aimed to ‘Share our Stories’ and was the focus for the initial engagement with cohorts of students from the 3 main secondary schools in the local area. The project aimed to focus on young people’s reactions to visiting the museum as it currently stands – how its collection is presented and accessed, how the resources the museum has developed can be used in schools and from an external point of view how does the museum present itself.
Mark Bamford, Chairman of Sleaford Museum highlighted the opportunities the project would have for the young people to get involved with the heritage of Sleaford town. He explained that the project would enable Sleaford Museum to raise its profile amongst young people and provide them with a sense of the cultural heritage to which they belong; and provide their voice in future offers to young people in the area.
Young people commented:
“I enjoyed seeing the current museum and location we had to work with and being able to create initial thoughts and ideas on what the space could be turned into. It was originally an Edwardian toilet block- which interested me greatly in being able to bring the evolution of the building into our ideas. Helping to enrich others within the community appealed greatly to me which allowed me to see that taking interest in such projects is a great idea. I talked to professionals in the field of art about my ideas and the project which gave me further confidence in interacting with those I don’t know.”
“I enjoyed talking through possible initial ideas and ways to approach the project as it made me excited about different outcomes we could create. I liked that we were given all responsibility in the planning and would be provided with the support to turn our designs into reality. I learnt some of the history of the area and found it interesting to compare photos of the past with how it looks today.”
To find out more about Sleaford Museum visit: www.sleafordmuseum.org.uk
Baldock’s Old Mill, Bourne – Baldock’s Mill is the only remaining mill in the town and is over 200 years old. There is a permanent exhibition of Raymond Mays the famous racing driver and another exhibition about Charles Frederick Worth the famous Paris designer of perfume and haute couture. We worked with Bourne Civic Society on this project in partnership with Paradigm Arts.
Young people’s reactions to the heritage site include:
“I enjoyed the Bourne Racing Motor section. I have learned that I am a lot more interested about local history than I was before the event.”
“I enjoyed the extensive collection of Raymond Mays artefacts that I saw that held relevance not only to Bourne but to the UK/ Worldwide motor racing history. I am interested in fashion too after looking into the Charles Worth collection.”
“I enjoyed seeing all of the Charles Worth outfits and how they were created.”
To find out more about Baldock’s Milll visit: www.bournecivicsociety.org.uk
Museum of Lincolnshire Life – The Museum of Lincolnshire Life’s rich and varied social history collection reflects and celebrates the culture of Lincolnshire and its people from 1750 to the present day. Exhibits illustrate commercial, domestic, agricultural, industrial and community life.
To find out more about Museum of Lincolnshire Life visit: www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/museumoflincolnshirelife
Anya from the Museum of Lincolnshire Life highlights the impact that the project will have for the site
We’ll Meet Again Museum – An award-winning World War Two Home Front Museum, based at Freiston Shore, near Boston. We have been working in partnership with young people from Boston to develop and make a permanent creative interpretation about the collection that is relevant to them.
To find out more information visit: www.wmamuseum.co.uk