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Droitwich Library celebrates First World War history project

Published Thursday, 16th June 2016

A local history project to research Droitwich's Home Front activities during the War at Droitwich Library, is hold a Celebration Day on Saturday June 18th.

The Great Blackberry Pick has been co-ordinated by Droitwich Library, part of Worcestershire County Council's library services.  It has involved keen local historians and budding history detectives from four local schools undertake local research into the role of the community during the First World War.

Through the Library, local school children have completed the research and are now ready to share the experiences of Droitwich's children during the First World War and how the people of Droitwich and the surrounding area supported the war effort.

The Great Blackberry Pick Project has been supported by the Heritage Lottery and involved getting the children picking blackberries, and other local fruit and vegetables, in order to learn about the work of school children in the war, when fruit picking played an important role in helping to tackle food shortages and rationing. The fruit picking has provided a tangible starting point for children to explore the many roles that their historic counterparts played during the upheaval of the First World War, from growing vegetables to sewing to collecting conkers that were used in a component of shells and bullets.

However, some of the research uncovered in both official records and personal memorabilia piqued local interest into finding more about Droitwich during the war.  This saw more people getting involved to look a bit more deeply in to role local people and the community played during this time.

James Robertson, Library Customer Advisor, said: "To mark the culmination of the Great Blackberry Pick Project at Droitwich Library, we will be holding a celebration event showcasing the work produced by our four partner schools, Hindlip, Ombersley, Tibberton and Wychbold First Schools, along with some fascinating research from local newspapers, national censuses and other documents from 100 years ago uncovered by our volunteer researchers and the WWT staff at Lower Smite Farm. 

"There will also be blackberry syrup made to a First World War recipe to try from 10:30 a.m. on the day, a family quiz with Worcestershire World War 100 prizes to be won, and a Chatterbooks Reading Group session at 2 p.m. for 7 – 12 year olds.  It promises to be a great day with lots to see and do."

Anyone interested in coming along, should contact Droitwich Library in person, on 01905 822722 or on Droitwichlib@worcestershire.gov.uk.