Sharing Heritage: Tewkesbury Museum celebrates a £9,400 Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.

Tewkesbury Museum has received a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage grant, it was announced today. This exciting project, ‘Memories of Ashchurch’, led by Tewkesbury Museum, has been given £9,400 to to tell the story of Ashchurch Army Camp, and find out more about its remarkable history and its influence on the town of Tewkesbury.

Tewkesbury Museum collects and preserves objects of relevance to the history of the area covered by the town and surrounding villages. With an emphasis on voluntary support, our exciting new project will give the community a chance to discover the rich, colourful and sometimes troubled history of Ashchurch Army Camp.

This oral history project aims to collect memories about life, work and the Army at Ashchurch. We will hold reminiscence workshops and event days, interviewing people with a connection to Ashurch Army camp, both military and civilian. Your stories will be at the heart of this project.

‘Memories of Ashchurch’ creates exciting new opportunities for Volunteers, who will receive Oral History Training, learning new skills in researching and documenting our interesting local history. Volunteers and staff will work together to produce fascinating educational resources for both young and old alike. If you would like to volunteer with us, please get in contact with the staff at Tewkesbury Museum.

Commenting on the award, Curator, Maggie Thornton said ‘This project will give a unique insight into the history of the camp and its influence on the town of Tewkesbury. I am very excited to be working on this project, I’ve always been interested by the relationship between the American Soldiers based at Ashchurch and the local population of Tewkesbury in the Second World War. ‘

Volunteer Graeme Kilgour said ‘after volunteering at the museum for around 4 years, I have been entrusted to run this project with Maggie. I am very excited to learn about the history of Aschurch Army camp, having heard stories about it all my life. I look forward to sharing these with the community. This project creates a great opportunity for people to volunteer at the museum and learn new skills. I am very excited!’

Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “The Ashchurch Army Camp is an important part of the local history and heritage of Tewkesbury. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, members of the public will get the chance to explore and preserve the heritage of the army camp through the ‘Memories of Ashchurch’ project, focusing on the relationship between the army camp and the town. This will lead to a permanent exhibition at the Tewkesbury Museum, along with learning resources and events.”