Partnerships were extremely positive allowing the project to exhibit collected and created items in multiple venues over the three years. Sometimes these referenced specific events or featured items produced through the project as well as community sourced artefacts.
Activities were launched at the annual Picnic in the Park event organised by Charnwood Arts in Queen’s Park in 2014 which that year carried the theme of WW1 remembrance. The project had a big presence with a display and stall with handling items inviting contributions from the locality enhanced with banners created by Charnwood Arts telling the story of the fallen from the surrounding villages. For much of the three years including while the material work was in progress, a standing exhibition explaining the project with text descriptions and photographs was in situ at All Saints Church. This was enhanced by a ‘Discovery Trail’ which invited a walking exploration of the church to uncover, for example, the previous unsatisfactory positioning of the memorials and the Bell Tower tribute to the Taylors.
In 2014, Charnwood Museum encouraged the presence of a project display including consultation information as part of a main gallery exhibition of WW1 related items. This included an invitation to share family or community stories or to take part in project activities like social history research or Tommy Atkin’s Band. Next the Carillon Memorial Museum extended an invitation to us to take one substantial display case as part of an exhibition they had planned for the Local Studies Section at Loughborough Library in Autumn 2014. In position for three months this enabled the project to raise the profile of forthcoming activities and of research that had already started, for example, by telling the story of the Taylor brothers; three died during the conflict, their sister also serving in the Red Cross.
In 2015 the project was further invited by Charnwood Museum to curate a display for their Community Case for two months around Remembrance Day. By this time substantial material had been created or collected and all of it could not fit into the existing space so a second invitation was extended for a two month display over Holocaust Memorial Day in 2016 to include Peace Hangings created by community groups. The presence of their work on view encouraged those same community members to take part in public events involving different denominations and to meet the Mayor of Charnwood. All the Poppies and Peace hangings were displayed at the Peace Vigil in 2015, the Loughborough Mela in 2016 and then at Loughborough Library from January to March 2017 showing how diverse communities had been brought together by the project to explore shared themes.
A collection of ‘handling’ and other items was used multiple times throughout and also engendered a great deal of cross community connections. Many groups were brought together through this process who would not normally have engaged with each other.