To mark the Centenary of the First World War and increase public awareness of Gosport’s contribution to the war effort, Gosport Heritage Open Days were awarded a grant through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘First World War: Then and Now’ programme to create the project ‘Four Long Years 1914-1918’.
Facilitated by Splodge Designs, a local creative arts company, this project enabled local people in Gosport to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of the people who lived through four long years of the First World War.
Timeline banners, a Great War styled newspaper, informative activity boards and a variety of craftwork including ‘map birds’ were created to capture some of the war stories and local home front news from this time.
The exhibition was originally displayed in the Gosport Discovery Centre. It was also on display during Heritage Open Days 2017 at The Nimrod Community Centre in Rowner. It is now touring various venues in Gosport and is available to be shown to groups, clubs, schools on request by contacting us using the contact form on the right of the page.
Below are the images of the resources produced and links to the aural content.
Pull up Banners
These banners take us through the time line of the great war showing events in relation to Gosport.
These interactive boards, work by placing an activity pen on various areas to hear the narration, there are 48 recordings which you can hear here.
A four page newspaper with stories from the time…
The following are some images from the workshops
How the project unfolded
The ‘Four Long Years’ project was kicked off during Heritage Open Days in September 2016 by holding drop-in craft sessions at Fort Brockhurst. Paul & Clare from Splodge Designs outlined the ‘4 Long Years’ project to visitors and encouraged youngsters to make replicas of ‘fumsup’ mascots to take home. Read more about the ‘fumsup’ here
During January and February 2017 Splodge Designs led the workshops which involved research, learning and making. Participants collected photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and photos of keepsakes, as well as family tales passed down to help them build a clear picture of what life was really like. Plus each group visited a local historical site/museum and had a local expert/historian talk.
A huge thank you to the participating community groups:
- Youngsters at Siskin Junior School
- Residents at Woodcot Lodge Care Home
- Bivol Trust (young people with learning and physical disabilities aged 16-30 years)
- The Gosport Access Group and Disability Forum
The ‘Four Long Years 1914-1918’ exhibition was launched on 8th June with a preview at The Gosport Discovery Centre for the workshop participants and speakers. It is now open for public viewing.
You can also view our previous WWI project, ‘Remembering the Unforgettable’, here
Our findings from all three of our First World War commemorative projects have been gathered together into a single Study Pack containing a hardcopy of this booklet and The Gosport Gazette, also a CD with audio tracks. These are available to schools or any groups who wish to explore our local heritage resource. To further compliment this, all of the creative materials such as textiles, information panels, interactive boards and timeline banners are available to loan on request.
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Our online resources are freely accessible for everyone to enjoy and learn from.