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Norfolk town’s population heritage project receives grant

PUBLISHED: 10:27 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:27 31 January 2018

Charlotte Dickens' family clay model. Picture: Silver Darlings

Charlotte Dickens' family clay model. Picture: Silver Darlings

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A project which aims to explore the history and diversity of a town’s population has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Kevin Hunn's family clay model. Picture: Silver Darlings Kevin Hunn's family clay model. Picture: Silver Darlings

Voluntary organisation, Silver Darlings, has received £10,000 from the HLF to help support their Island Project in Great Yarmouth.

The aim of the project is to explore and reveal the background of the town’s population through a combination of public research and clay modelling workshops.

Yarmouth artists and Silver Darlings partners, Kevin Hunn and Charlotte Dickens, said the project felt like the next logical step for the pair.

Mr Hunn said: “Charlotte and I work well together and have a love of both art and Yarmouth so it felt like the next step was to combine these interests.

Kevin Hunn's family clay model. Picture: Silver Darlings Kevin Hunn's family clay model. Picture: Silver Darlings

“When I was at North Denes School in 1960, I was given a history book containing an image of the famous Hutch Map, which shows Yarmouth as an empty sandbank 1,000 years ago. Today, our town stands on this former sandbank – therefore, the thousands of people who now live here must all have descended from migrants or migrated here themselves.

“We decided to celebrate this wealth of history through individual stories by creating clay models representing these tales.”

Public workshops in research and clay modelling will be held from February 21, with adults and schoolchildren invited to make artwork based on their family stories. The project will culminate in an exhibition from September 10 to 16 in the town’s library, where more than 100 models will be displayed on a seven metre replica of the Yarmouth sandbank.

Mr Hunn added: “Whether your family came to Yarmouth 300 years ago or last month, we would love to hear your stories.”

Silver Darlings is working with numerous partners across the region, including Anglia Ruskin University, and senior lecturer Dr Jeanette Baxter said it was “a very exciting and important project”.

She said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of this very exciting and important project. Yarmouth has a long and rich history of migration, but it tends to fall out of broader public discussion about the town’s past and present.”

Anyone interested in getting involved can email silverdarlingsisland@gmail.com

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