Replica tanks, street theatre and commemorative dance for Great War MK

For the Fallen

For the Fallen

How about seeing a bit of theatre in a full-size replica 1st World War tank? Or watching a commemorative dance with hand-made banners? Or perhaps participating as an Old Time Music Hall audience – letting the performers know what you think of their acts! New music from young musicians, new film shows of the Great War era, extraordinary installations and exhibitions – all these are part of the Great War MK project about to explode on the Milton Keynes community.

Great War MK is a collaborative project led by the Arts & Heritage Alliance Milton Keynes (AHA-MK). It explores the impact of the First World War on the communities of Milton Keynes – an area now covering six towns, 41 villages and 1/4 million people – through research, commemorative events, participatory learning activity and community workshops. During 2015 Great War MK will be presenting events and opportunities for people to explore and commemorate the lives and the stories of the Great War.

With funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and seed-funding from MK Council, this project brings together various arts and heritage organisations, which are all exploring WW1 themes and using different methods to tell stories. The partner organisations are: Cowper and Newton Museum, Deanshanger Village Heritage Society, Festive Road, Independent Cinema Milton Keynes, Living Archive, MK Gallery, Pepper’s Ghost Theatre Company, Westbury Arts Centre through support from MK Heritage Association: Bucks Constabulary Museum, North Crawley Historical Society and Simpson History Group.

Great War MK aims to work with people of all ages and abilities, providing opportunities to take part in workshops, and activities are now developing. To find out more see our events page and Facebook or follow @AHA_MK #GreatWarMK on Twitter. You can also hear more about the projects on our Vimeo page.

Alongside these events, Great War MK is also putting a call out to any community groups or individuals that want to be part of this large-scale project: we want you to create and donate your very own hand-made poppy to be added to a WW1 banner. Using the sewing template found here (or by knitting or crocheting), we are asking for as many people as possible to create a poppy that will be included in banners used as part of an act of commemoration in July at Campbell Park. To find out more please see the blog.

Marion Hill, author and Chair of the Great War MK Steering Group says: ‘Even after a hundred years, the Great War continues to move and inspire – and with the wealth of talented people that we have here in Milton Keynes, we look forward to so much more to reflect upon – because Milton Keynes does it differently!’

The stories of Milton Keynes in WW1, of those that went off to fight, those that stayed behind and of those that did not return will be commemorated through this project and we invite all residents of Milton Keynes to remember them with us by attending a workshop or event, making a poppy or by volunteering with us.

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Free #GreatWarMK Banner Making Workshop

Banner Making Workshop

At Westbury Arts Centre, Shenley Wood / Saturday 14th March 2015 / FREE

Banner Workshop flyerThe workshop is suitable for all levels of ability, from beginners interested in learning
textile skills, to those with advanced textiles skills.

The workshop will be run by Vinny Stapley, a textile artist and teacher, who plans to work with a wide range of groups within the Milton Keynes community to create hundreds of Banners to commemorate those people who served in The Great War.

The Banners made will form part of a procession of Remembrance and a Dance Performance in Campbell Park in July 2015.

Vinny will come in with some materials, but it would also contribute to the project as a whole, if participants were able to bring in old WW1 photos or other mementos of family members to discuss and maybe integrate copies of these into their own banners.

For Further information and to book a place please contact: Caroline Malone at Westbury Arts Centre via getinvolved@westburyartscentre.co.uk or 01908 501214 for more information about the arts centre please see: http://www.westburyartscentre.co.uk/


Here are some images of banners already made during this project: