Over the last year, The Heritage lottery fund has supported young people across Shoebury link up with sheltered housing schemes to explore their town then and now!
The young people have looked at the following areas;
Shoebury Garrison – to explore the site and bring our heritage to life. A significant area of history and a conservation area right on the doorstep. They went on a series of 5 historical walks exploring the characters and buildings that have built the heritage of the area. Topics and stories covered in the walks included;
Sir Richard Rich of Rochford Hall ‘The villain of the century’ , The Tudor and Stuart Villages, Puritan history, The smuggling and wrecking practices in the 1700s, The local Workhouse, Poor Laws, Military expansion in the 1840s, the establishment of the Garrison, Military experiments, testing and World Wars, Characters of Shoebury, Famous Visitors, Shoebury Folklore. There is so much history packed into the town that 5 walks failed to encompass all that was to be shared! We were supported by the library and local historians to support the club in delivering this aspect of the project.
We linked up 4 schools with 4 sheltered housing schemes in Shoebury and have organised hourly weekly visits to the scheme or out in the community for 10 weeks. We brought those who were interested together in each scheme to produce the artwork for a further 10 weeks in an hourly session. We looked at archives to discuss significant objects and items of the history of the town. This included newspapers, ration cards, photographs and historical artifacts that brought the talks to life and helped spark discussions for our focus groups. Each week we used a themed talk for the focus groups, concentrating on a specific area of interest. The talks centered on the following areas. The Garrison Town, School then and now, World War 1 & 2, Leisure and Work. We used these themed talks to explore commonalities and differences between the age groups. We will also displayed an exhibition of material at each sheltered housing scheme that further engaged the residents who are not part of the focus groups.