Life Goes On end of project event
The 'Life Goes On' Project & The Wednesday Group
The Life Goes On project came about when ‘The Wednesday Group’ – a group of men and women, largely retired and living here in Nottingham; who had met regularly on Wednesdays and explored, researched and enjoyed working together on an earlier heritage project - ‘The Problem of the Poor’.
Members began to think about the group continuing and if so what the focus should be? Given the many events taking place commemorating the first World War, the group though that it would be interesting to bring a much more everyday focus to WW1 here in Nottingham. Rather than look into the military side of things with battles, soldiers, victories and deaths, the aspect which we felt was interesting was how ordinary everday people, like us, continued with their lives, what was it like, how were they affected, what kept their spirits up and helped them to cope. And so the Life Goes on project was born and several members met and worked up a plan and submitted an application for support funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
On successfully being granted funding, The Wednesday Group advertised for new members to get involved and then continued to meet on weekly on Wednesdays to explore the subject. Members were interested in different things, such as music, cinemas, sport, cycling and walking. Others were more concerned to learn about the life of those left behind with soldier recruitment and training, DORA restrictions, men leaving for the front and women becoming more actively involved in the workforce but also how did they continue in the face of the overwhelming losses, food shortages, blackouts, deprivations and suffering.
The Wednesday Group met for approximately 6 months and as well as undertaking their own individual research, visited the Nottingham archives both to study documents there but also attending talks and events. Visits were made to the Imperial War Museum in London, to a music hall, to Trent Bridge cricket ground and archives, as well as to a traditional Panto at Christmas in Loughborough. Speakers were brought in to inform the research and subscriptions to British Newspaper Archives allowed members to read and learn from everyday reporting of events and books, films and music of and about WW1 were viewed to gain understanding.
The research findings and conclusions have led to three different ways of presenting our findings:
- Presentation event - at Non Such theatre in Nottingham where friends, invited guests and members came together to hear songs of the time sung by the People’s Choir and the Pearly Girlies along with presentations by group members of their research – see the photos of the event
- Publication – this short booklet will bring together written pieces from all of the group members and will be distributed for free to libraries, friends and interested groups due a grant from the Nottingham Local History Association.
- This Website – this seeks to give the background to the group and the project, share it’s finding and conclusions; as well as make it possible for those who do not know about the project to access the materials via an internet search.
We also would like to express our thanks to Alison Montgomery who worked tirelessly as the co-ordinator of the group, arranging speakers and visits, providing the various resources, supplying endless encouragement and support and patiently guiding us all through to achieving our initial aim. Many many thanks.
- Main Image: The end of project event for Life Goes on © The Wednesday Group