Home from the Front is an innovative way of bringing together students, history and their local community through rememberance.
What's it all about?
University Campus Barnsley and Barnsley College Travel and Tourism students launched a major living history project to remember, educate and celebrate the end of World War One (WW1) and the return of those involved to South Yorkshire on Thursday 17 May 2018.
Working with partner Great Place Wentworth and Elsecar, students have been working hard to create a commemoration over two weeks in November 2018, which focuses specifically on the demobilisation of troops, nurses and others at the front line to their homes around the UK between 1918 and 1920.
Demobilisation was the process of bringing home those who had served on the front line, in the heat of World War One war zones, and had lived to tell the tale. The tale of their journey home is a sobering thought, mixed with anecdotes and relief, and recreating these emotions is at the heart of the students' aims.
To achieve an authentic recreation, the students are partnering with Elsecar Heritage Railway and Elsecar Heritage Centre to portray the journey made by millions. To offer a truly authentic experience, steam locomotive No.813, built in 1901 in Leeds, and a six wheel railway carriage of the period, will visit EHR specially for the event from their homes at Kidderminster and Skipton respectively.
It is anticipated that 2,000 people will attend Home from the Front events in November 2018, which centre around students creating an immersive, 45 minute demobilisation experience including a 25 minute train trip using No.813 with talented young actors on board telling the stories of those local people involved in WW1. Explore the site of Elsecar Heritage Centre to see and hear impromptu moments and stories of local people and their 'coming home'.
£16,000 has already been secured through a variety of sources to fund the core of the project, but sponsors and ticket sales will help the team behind the project reach the magical £20,000 mark.
Oliver Edwards, Tourism Management student at UCB, said: “This project will help to strengthen relationships between students and the wider community, and will give practical skills for the future. We’re grateful to all our partners for their help to deliver this innovative project.”
Neil Johnson, Head of Sport, Public Services, Travel and Tourism at UCB, added: "We are delighted the students are leading this new and exciting event. It is a great opportunity for them to put the skills they learn at the university campus into a real-life setting."
Rachel Blake, Great Place Programme Manager, said: "Great Place are thrilled to support this innovative event in Elsecar. It will really bring local history to life."
Graham Noble, local WW1 historian who has been working with Elsecar Holy Trinity Church, went on to say "Researching the lives of local people during World War One has given us a great opportunity to learn about the impact the war had on the village. Through telling the stories of real people we can gain a wider understanding of how the community would have been affected during the demobilisation process".
About our Partners
● University Campus Barnsley (UCB) offers a range of affordable degrees and Higher National Certificates and Diplomas (HNC/Ds) in the heart of Barnsley. See http://universitycampus.barnsley.ac.uk for more information.
● Barnsley College is rated outstanding by Ofsted and is ranked second in the country in the NicDex college league tables. It was named BTEC Apprenticeship Provider of the Year in 2017 and the latest Department for Education research shows it has the happiest students in Yorkshire. It has approximately 10,700 students studying on various programmes including Vocational courses, A Levels, Apprenticeships, Part-time, and Higher Education courses. See www.barnsley.ac.uk or www.barnsleysixthformcollege.co.uk for more information.
● Elsecar Heritage Railway is South Yorkshire’s only steam railway, running steam trains throughout the year and a wide range of events for families and others. EHR exists as an educational charity, staffed entirely with volunteers. The railway connects the sites of several coal mines, from Elsecar to Cortonwood and reflects a period of history stretching from the creation of Earl Fitzwilliam’s iron and coal empire, through nationalisation of the mining industry, to the demise of local coal mining in the 1980s.
● The Great Place project is a three-year partnership between Barnsley Council, Rotherham Council and the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, that will deliver a range of exciting activities inspired by the awe-inspiring Wentworth Woodhouse and the Earl Fitzwilliam’s incredible model industrial village at Elsecar. It is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Arts Council England (ACE) and Historic England.
● Holy Trinity Church Elsecar has been conducting a 5 year project researching the men from the village who fought and lost their lives in the First World War and the impact this had on their families and the close community in which they lived. The church is open to any one interested in family history records every Monday between 10.30am and 2.30pm. ● About Elsecar - A bustling industrial village from the 1700s, Elsecar boomed thanks to its ironworks and thriving collieries, which were often visited by aristocrats and royalty. For 150 years it was the industrial estate village of Wentworth Woodhouse just a mile away and was developed by the Marquis of Rockingham and Earls Fitzwilliam into a model village. The Elsecar Heritage Action Zone project is working closely alongside the Great Place project at Elsecar to research and promote the heritage of the village and surrounding area. Elsecar was named a Heritage Action Zone by Historic England in March 2017 - one of only ten places in the country to gain the special new status.
With thanks to Wybone Street Furniture, Tankersley Manor Hotel, Wentworth Village Shop, Hoyland Tesco and Pen & Sword Books for their contributions.