Three year programme to celebrate Knowsley’s history launches

Published on: Wednesday, 15-April-2015

The first in a series of community projects to build an archive that celebrates Knowsley’s history and heritage, and preserves it for the future is about to get underway.

In all, nine projects will be delivered over three years after Knowsley Council secured a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to develop the Archive Resource for Knowsley (ARK).

The first project will see Kirkby University of the Third Age (U3A) charting the changing character of Kirkby over three key decades in the town’s history.

Kirkby U3A came up with the idea after attending a session at ARK. They will trace the history of the town during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, charting its change from a rural community to its development as a “new town”. Anne Levey, Chair of Kirkby U3A

Anne Levey, the Chair of Kirkby U3A, said:

“We are very excited about being involved in this project as we all have a love of history. We want to trigger people’s memories, re-capture lost history and show the younger generations what Kirkby used to be like. We hope the project will encourage people to have pride in their community.”

All the community projects will run for twelve weeks and Knowsley Library Service is recruiting volunteers to get involved in the nine projects.

Matthew Ashton, Assistant Executive Director (Public Health and Wellbeing), said:

“The Library Service is extremely excited at the prospect of helping local people to get involved in the preservation of Knowsley’s history and heritage. We hope there will be lots of residents who will volunteer as there’s a great range of proposed themes for future projects and many different ways to get involved.”

Volunteers will have a variety of roles to choose from, including taking photographs and creating historical re-constructions and exhibitions, to supporting young people on educational visits and working alongside adults with learning difficulties in arts sessions.

Proposed themes for future projects include the Huyton internment camps of World War II and more general themes such as the history of Knowsley’s music and sport.

Volunteers are also needed for the ARK itself to catalogue and digitise existing historical collections, and those that are produced as a result of the community projects, to help create an online resource that will be accessible to the public.

If this is something you would like to be part of, either as a volunteer, or it might be that you would like to put your own memories on record, then please contact ARK on 0151 443 4291 or jane.owens@knowsley.gov.uk for more information.

Caption: Anne Levey, Chair of Kirkby U3A, in the archive (ARK)