The untold stories of Bournville’s working class people will be told for the first time thanks to funding from Historic England.
The new ‘Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class History’ scheme was launched by Historic England earlier this year. It aims to support community-led projects and further the nation’s collective understanding of the past.
Community and heritage organisations were invited to apply for grants and Bournville Village Trust is one of the organisations to successfully be awarded a grant of £9,400.
The Birmingham-based community trust will use it to run a community-led project called ‘Building Bournville’ which will unlock untold stories and hidden histories.
India Wilson, Heritage Officer at Bournville Village Trust, said: “We are so pleased to have received this grant. The funding will provide the community with a unique opportunity to explore their heritage and guide the direction of research based on their experiences and interests.
“This exciting project will broaden our historical knowledge of Bournville and its surrounding areas and uncover new stories of working class people in Bournville.”
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “Heritage should be for everyone. I am delighted that we are able to provide funding for this project through our Everyday Heritage Grants, which will help to bring our collective and shared history back to life.
“These grants will enable people to tell their own stories, in their own way, and connect with others in their communities through a shared understanding of their local heritage.
“The histories of castles and great houses and their inhabitants are well documented, but we know far less about our everyday heritage. From council estates, pubs and clubs, to farms, factories and shipyards, these are the places where most people have lived, worked and played for hundreds of years. We want to explore these untold stories and celebrate the people and places at the heart of our history.”
By researching the industrial history of Bournville, the ‘Building Bournville’ project will draw attention to the underrepresented stories of Bournville’s working class people and its surrounding areas, developing the traditional narrative of the historically significant area.
The project will provide an opportunity for people in the community to guide the research and explore avenues of their own local history, whether that be the histories of the builders of Bournville, people who worked on the canals and railways or residents who lived and worked in Bournville during its industrial peak.
Research will be shared with the community through workshop sessions delivered to schools and community groups so they can gain a deeper understanding of their own heritage and local history.
Community responses to the research will also be collated and used to create an anthology of stories and presented at Bournville Heritage Open Day in 2023.
Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories is one of many ongoing cultural projects that Historic England is delivering in order to shine a light on the diversity of the nation’s heritage.