We have prepared some guide information for teachers. This accompanies additional material, most of which is now included in this website, and together these created a pack to aid to research topics or ideas for class sessions.
Middlewich and the Great War
Contained in this pack are examples of research or topic ideas for class sessions. The pack also has some information on Middlewich itself during World War One and signposts for further research and information as well as contacts for help. Contents include:
· The Great War Community Exhibition – the original idea
· Mayors speech - on the Project launch
· Middlewich Timeline draft – As we know about Middlewich so far, we will ensure that we have a clear timeline available for the exhibition and will be making use of Imperial War Museums exhibition resources to print and mount the general War timeline. This will ensure that people can see the general pattern of the war and when significant changes or battles took place. Doing this allows us to be more versatile about the type of projects people can or want to do.
· War Memorial in the Bull Ring – One of the memorials in Middlewich - there are four more, ICI’s cenotaph on Brooks Lane, Memorial in St Michael and All Angels, on the wall of Ours Sanitary Ware, Cledford and in the Council School.
· Opening of the War Memorial from Allan Earl’s book pages 155,156
· Example pictures from Middlewich 1900-1950 by Allan Earl
· Wheelock Street dated around 1905-1915 – Postcards were a popular form of communication between families, especially of town scenes.
· Roll of honour booklet, sample pages. Listing of the fallen, injured, servicemen, and honours received. (kept at Chester Record Office)
· Certificate given to all who served from Middlewich – kept by Middlewich Heritage Society
· The Cheshire Hunt Poem by C F Lawrence – Town Clerk for Middlewich Urban District Council (MUDC), wrote poetry for commemorative booklets and to raise money for the Church Bazaars. He also wrote short stories and history of Middlewich (not always correct!)
· Recipes written by Mrs Wilkinson from 1889 onwards – very little chance of recipe books being printed let alone afforded, generally women wrote down their own recipes passed down the generations or given by friends. (donation from Allan Earl)
· Fred Bunn Senior unloading at Weston Point docks – This image is probably around 1930’s but this type of stone / building materials were carried regularly on the canal system. (donation from Fred Bunn)
· Christmas Poems for Middlewich Boys 1917 – booklet produced by the MUDC, written by C F Lawrence to raise funds for the war effort and comfort for the men fighting. – (kept at Chester Record Office)
· Painting example ‘The Mud of Flanders’ – Artistic expression of Soldiers and war artists capturing the actions of war, some more literal than others. (image scanned from material loaned by Mr & Mrs Cunnion)
· Industry at War, ICI, example study. – Industry played a vital role, in our area ICI was one of the most revolutionary in terms of experimental weaponry and scientific advancement, not just of warfare but discoveries which shaped our world as we know it today.
· Example from the Middlewich Urban District Council minute books – Minute books are records of council or parish meetings held in Wartime and illustrate the kind of day to day running’s of the town along with national directives and reported casualties which were not yet printed in the papers. Councillors personally visited the bereaved families. (kept at Chester Record Office)
· Potters and Sons pair of working boats moored with the family on board, taken around 1920 – permission from Fred Bunn
· Sample of Wartime posters, this are collected by local Historian Allan Earl
· Red Cross War Records for Mrs Kay, record supplied by the Red Cross, Mrs Kay was awarded the OBE for her work with the Red Cross in Middlewich, especially for the hospital on Brooks Lane.
· Extracts on the Middlewich Hospital – what do we know about the Red Cross hospital so far? Information supplied by Allan Earl.
· Examples of teacher’s resources on line (BBC) – There are many websites looking at teachers resources for the Great War - here is one example. A list of some of the others is below.
· Cartoons from the front (image scanned from material loaned by Mr & Mrs Cunnion)
· 1/4 Battalion diary record, South Lancashire Regiment. – donation from a Middlewich Family, war records can also give us accounts of various battalions in action, in rare occasions personal diaries exist giving the first person account of war.
· Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Joseph Arrowsmith – this example shows the type of information held by the War Graves Commission, there is also a guide to the cemeteries which are helpful if a visit is possible.
· The Shropshire Union Fly-Boat Project – Details on Saturn the Fly-boat, this is already booked for Middlewich Schools and will for next year carry the WW1 theme through the sessions. Details are below for bookings.
Useful contacts and resources
Kerry Fletcher, Heritage Development Officer for Middlewich Town Council.
Co-ordinator of the Middlewich Great War Project. Tel: 01606 841379
(The person above is also on the steering group of Cheshire East WW1 Commemoration Programme, so is the contact for Cheshire East partners involved in various WW1 events through the area.
Middlewich Town Council is also joined in partnership to Imperial War Museum North)
Dave Thompson, Events Manager and Jonathan Williams Town Clerk are on 01606 833434.
Online resources and teaching services/information
Chester Record Office
Imperial War Museum
Chester Military Museum
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
There are plenty of websites going up with WW1 material but perhaps the BBC and IWM are best because these will link into the TV and Radio programmes which get to a wider audience. IWM has received a large amount of funding to deliver a WW1 project out to schools and the community; they have produced some exhibition material for community events which we will use in October. We signed up as a partner to IWM so we can access more materials and can work with individual schools on resources, visits and helping towards a Middlewich Archive which will be deposited with IWM (and at Middlewich) after the events we run in the Town. It is therefore vital that all projects are recorded in some way either photos, scanned copies of work, social media or filming projects.
So what is available for schools?
The funding we have received is to be spent with schools and community groups who join together to commemorate the Great War in their own way. Each has a differing age group, way of working and delivering outcomes, so it’s important that each school or group does a project that means something to them. My role is to co-ordinate, supply help in terms of resources and training as well as having a pot of money to pay towards each project. I will of course be speaking individually to people in order to discuss projects and what will be involved, as these will be wide-ranging.
We will obviously need some help with this, so I will be asking for any work that we can show at this stage and will also be asking for the programme design to be finished.
The plan at the moment is to:
· Discuss possible projects and outcomes with everyone on an individual or group basis, we need to understand methods of delivery, remember that visitors to our exhibition would want information in different ways. What do your pupils think about their project and how they want the audience to see it?
· I can signpost people to information and link into Cheshire East’s wider programme via the steering group, this way I can feed ideas and progress through plus network with others who may be able in turn to help us.
· Outside organisations already wanting to work with us are Clonter Opera Theatre, Crewe Lyceum, Health and Older People – Arts Officer from Cheshire East
· Chester Record Office will come out to Middlewich Library to deliver a training session for teachers and any community group leaders. This training illustrates the information available, how to access these, ideas for projects and images available for school sessions, plus much more… This session is more likely to take place on Wednesday 8th January, when the public are not in; we can start the session at 3.30pm for approx. 1 hour.
· I can also arrange for local historians and members of the local Heritage Society and Middlewich Royal British Legion to come into schools to help with the local history side of things.
· Middlewich Library has a local section which has copies of Allan Earl’s book Middlewich 1900-1950 and I have a copy here in Victoria Building. The Library also has computers that you can book, they have free access to Find my Past and Ancestry for you to use.
· I will also arrange access to 2 further research websites via my office and centrally at Middlewich High School which can also be booked onto, these will be Forces War Records and Ancestry. Please be aware however that these sites have a habit of charging extra for certain things, if this information is important to the project then please go through myself first as I may be able to find the same information elsewhere.
· Chester Military Museum has a fantastic display and excellent education service suitable for primary schools, comes complete with a WW1 trench that children can walk through. I will be able to pay for classes to visit Chester Military Museum; transport will have to be paid by the school.
· IWM North at Salford is more fitting for an older pupil age group from my point of view but will worth taking groups around because they have unique ways of displaying information and looking at various aspects of the era and conflict so ideas can be gained from a visit. I will be able to get discounted tickets for this visit and will subsidise transport costs.
· Saturn, the restored Fly-boat would have been working for King and Country on the canal networks and the volunteer crew can take you back in time to how the canals were worked, the types of cargos, destinations and life living on board for the people brought in to work the waterways.
· We are looking to provide a re-enactor to help with class sessions, especially primary level as the impact of seeing someone in full dress and in character would be a great way to introduce the subject. The re-enactor can come in full dress with items to illustrate his life during the Great War, I have a couple of people in mind but if anyone already uses someone then let me know if you’d rather stick with someone you know. Again costs for this visit are covered by the project. I will need to know a.s.a.p. from schools who want this option as these people get booked up quickly.
· The drama sessions planned are booked through Middlewich High School and the timings etc. have already been sent to you, I would urge you to be involved in these sessions as again they touch on various aspects of the war and enable pupils to explore roles more thoroughly than class based work. Pupils will be selected from each school to perform over the weekend and a special viewing for families.
· A display of pupils work will go up at the Town Hall over the event.
· For sustainability we would like to produce a permanent sculpture, a modern day memorial to be placed in Middlewich. For this we will look at works produced for the exhibition and start to work with concepts for the sculpture that comes from the pupils at the High School. The idea is that we look for additional funding to get an artist in to work with the pupils designs to produce a final design concept that the town can vote on. We would then work with Cheshire East to get the sculpture made, installed and arrange a grand unveiling for 2018 peace commemorations.
There are a lot of opportunities here for schools to work with professionals, gain unique skills, be able to work with the community as a whole and experience what it is like to have work on display and be able to communicate about how this feels and what they have learned.
I understand the pressures within the school on timetabling and that the Great War is not a primary subject and that’s why I’m willing to meet up with each individual school on a regular basis to help with sessions however big or small and work out the best way forward.
· The Town Hall is being handed over to schools and the community groups over the 4th & 5th October weekend; we have a stage with a PA system and lighting. This can be used for drama, dance pieces, singing or poetry recitals etc.
· We have display boards and areas of floor space for displays.
· We have display cases for objects to be placed in
· Sound systems to play CD’s if work is recorded
· TV and DVD equipment to show films made or researched newsreels etc.
· Access to printers
· Tables for displays, promotion, computers etc.
For any advice or information please contact Kerry Fletcher in the first instance. For guidance only, I also enclose the current work plans for the weekend so teachers can see what is proposed over the weekend and how to fit in.