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£10,000 boost helps Beaminster Museum tell its story
COME AND JOIN US: Beaminster Museum volunteers left to right: Brian Earl, Maureen Stollery, Arnold Shipp (project leader), Jenny Cuthbert, Marcus Chambers and Duncan Harris
BEAMINSTER Museum is one of the first groups in the country to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories grant.
The museum’s project on the flax and hemp industry in the town and surrounding villages over 300 years has been awarded £10,000.
Hanging by a Thread: Our Flax and Hemp Heritage aims to ensure that the remaining traces of the industry are documented and displayed for future generations.
All Our Stories, is a new small grant programme launched earlier this year in support of BBC2’s The Great British Story and is designed as an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage.
With Heritage Lottery Fund support, community groups will carry out activities that help people to explore, share and celebrate their local heritage.
The series, presented by historian Michael Wood and supported by a programme of BBC Learning activities, inspired a way of looking at history through the eyes of ordinary people.
The flax and hemp industry was at its height at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, when it employed several thousand workers in the area and was fully as important in local life as agriculture.
This project will engage Beaminster Museum’s volunteers directly with the community, to stimulate further active interest and involvement by others.
The results of the work will be shared with the community through a new permanent section in the museum, publishing a narrative on the history and a series of other initiatives and events such as talks, walks and presentations.
Commenting on the award, Marcus Chambers, chairman of Beaminster Museum, said: “To secure this grant is a truly outstanding achievement by our volunteers led by Arnold Shipp and we are all looking forward to pursuing this challenge with enthusiasm and vigour.
“But this is not just about the museum. Although it is the museum that has secured this award, we see this as a community project.
“We aim to give people in Beaminster and the surrounding area an opportunity to get involved in this exciting initiative to find out more about their heritage and what has made the area and its people what they are today.
“And we will be actively seeking out people and other organisations to help us in this quest.”
TV presenter and historian Michael Wood said: “We British love our history, and no wonder: few nations in the world, if any, have such riches on their doorstep and so much of it is accessible to all of us.
“It is really tremendous that the people of Beaminster have been inspired to get involved to tell their own story and to dig deeper into their own past. It’s brilliant that so many people are being given the chance to get involved through the All Our Stories grants.”
Windfall to make bells video
WHITCHURCH Canonicorum Parochial Church Council has scooped an All Our Stories grant.
Its project, A Tale Of Two Bell Towers, has been given £10,000 to make a video documentary about the restoration of the church bells in Whitchurch and Chideock. Whitchurch and Chideock villagers will be working with Bridport-based Watershed PR to make a video documenting the highs and lows of the bell restoration in the two churches, St Candida and Holy Cross, and St Giles.
Project organiser Betsy West, from Ryall, said: ‘The restoration of the two sets of bells in the two churches has been an epic event in the lives of both villages.
“It’s great that we have been awarded this grant so we can record what the bells mean to the people who live here, past and present. We love where we live and we are all really excited about telling other people about our findings and sharing our heritage and history.”