Watford Live! festival get £7k lottery boost

Street dancing at the Watford Live! festival

Street dancing at the Watford Live! festival

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Watford community arts festival Watford Live! has received a grant for almost £7,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to record wartime and post-war memories of the town’s residents.

The Sharing Heritage grant will aid the Watford Live! Memories Project, which is set to work with the West Watford Community Association and the West Watford History Society to record remembrances of life in Watford during wartime and post-war 40s and 50s.

The project has been awarded £6,800 to work together with the local residents to preserve these memories, and the in partnership with Watford Museum to develop an audio archive programme to be made available to the public.

Festival director Fran Kershaw said: "We are extremely pleased that we have been awarded this grant and we are looking forward to getting started.

"We have lots plans for the use of the material we capture, and hope to engage with people of all ages who will learn more about Watford of the mid 20th century, or might be encouraged to participate and to contribute their own memories to the town’s new archive.

"The day to day experiences of residents are as much a part of history as the headlines of that era, and it’s important to recognize the importance of maintaining a link to those experiences."

Watford Live! is an annual arts festival held in and around the town which "celebrates the creativity and dynamism of its residents, groups and organisations".

The festival lists as its aims to extend the art forms and skills in the town to the benefit of the local community and provide educational opportunities.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Eastern Region, said the Sharing Heritage funding programme helps people across the UK explore, conserve and share all aspects of the history and character of their local area.

He said: "Sharing Heritage is a wonderful opportunity for communities to delve into their local heritage and we are delighted to be able to offer this grant so that Watford Live! Memories Project can embark on a real journey of discovery.

"Heritage means such different things to different people, and Heritage Lottery Fund’s funding offers a wealth of opportunities for groups to explore and celebrate what’s important to them in their area."

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