Gateways' Community Heritage Researcher Dr Sam Carroll has provided oral history training for volunteers on the Home Fires project which commemorates the First World War in Newhaven and Seaford.
Home Fires is part of the First World War Centenary Partnership, led by the Imperial War Museums, and will explore the impact of the conflict on the lives and families of local Newhaven and Seaford people at the time and for generations to follow. It will provide creative opportunities for all members of the community to engage with their local heritage, learn about the First World War, and gain a better understanding of the impact of conflict and about issues facing
serving officers and their families today.
Home Fires will culminate in an exciting, large scale theatrical experience at Newhaven Fort 18th-21st March 2015 with music, dance, sound installations, film projections, professional performance and mass community participation. This new co-production between inroads productions and Zap Art was written and conceived by award winning, Lewes based writer Sara Clifford, directed by Terry O'Donovan, produced by Veronica Stephens for Zap Art and Sara Clifford for Inroads Productions. Artistic collaborators include video projection artists, Shared Space and Light, designer, Gem Greaves, musical director Pat Power and sound designer Thor McIntyre Burnie.
Home Fires - play synopsis:
Newhaven, September 1914. When Clara’s husband Joe is called away to serve, they both believe he will be back in time for Christmas. But things are no longer as they were, and society is changing – there’s a strike in the soldiers’ training camp in Seaford, and in France, inexplicably, the British army seems to be losing. By November, as the generals frantically call up volunteers to send to the front, Clara clings to the old ways, even as everything is crumbling around her…Based on local people’s family stories of the Great War, this new site responsive promenade play, draws on text, sound and visual projections, to create a haunting story of love and loss.
Home Fires includes school and community workshops alongside the oral history training for volunteers. The creative team will work in collaboration with Newhaven Fort and other local history organisations, such as East Sussex Records Office, Newhaven History Society, Sussex Archaeological Society, Seaford Museum and University of Brighton as well as local schools , colleges, armed forces veterans and other community groups to create a project which will highlight the heritage of the towns and villages in and around the South Downs National Park area and tie in with the nationwide First World War 1914-1918 centenary commemoration events.
Home Fires is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and grant funding from The Armed Forces Community Covenant Scheme, South Downs National Park Authority Sustainable Communities Fund, East Sussex Arts Partnership, Newhaven Town Council and Seaford Town Council.