News from the Centre
Telling Our Story: Diseworth Heritage Trust celebrates £7,200 Heritage Lottery Grant
Diseworth Heritage Trust is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) All Our Stories grant, it was announced recently. The exciting project ‘A Thousand Years of History’ and led by the Heritage Trust has been given £7,2000 to tell the story of the Diseworth Parish Church from Mercia to Modern Times.
All Our Stories, a brand new small grant programme, launched earlier this year in support of BBC Two’s The Great British Story – has been designed as an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage. With HLF funding and support, community groups will carry out activities that help people explore, share and celebrate their local heritage.
The popular series presented by historian Michael Wood and supported by a programme of BBC Learning activities and events got thousands of us asking questions about our history and inspired us to look at our history in a different way through the eyes of ordinary people.
St Michael and All Angels in Diseworth is at least 1000 years old. Architectural details show that it was built before the Norman Conquest. Since then it has undergone several phases of neglect, repair and alteration. Diseworth Heritage Trust intends to publish all the information in a new book; to create a complete record of the tombstones, and in collaboration with the Digital Building Heritage Group at De Montfort University, to create a mobile enabled website showing how the church evolved from its humble Saxon origins into the familiar building of today.
The programme and HLF All Our Stories has proved a real hit and now A Thousand Years of History is one of hundreds of successful projects around the UK to receive a grant. Diseworth Heritage Trust will work with volunteers to help them identify the various stages the parish church has gone through to reach the building we know today.
TV presenter and historian Michael Wood, said: “We British love our history, and no wonder: few nations in the world, if any, have such riches on their doorstep, and so much of it accessible to all of us. It is really tremendous that people of Diseworth have been inspired to get involved to tell their own story and dig deeper into their own past. It’s brilliant that so many people are being given the chance to get involved through the All Our Stories grants. Having travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles this last year filming The Great British Story, I am certain that fascinating and moving stories will be uncovered which will not only bring to life the excitement of local history, but will illuminate and enrich every community’s connection with the national narrative.”
Commenting on the Award Nikki Hening said ‘It’s great that we have been awarded this grant and we can’t wait to get started. We love where we live and know there’s so much more to discover about our past. We are all really excited about telling other people about our findings and sharing our heritage and history with them.’
Emma Sayer, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands said ‘ Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of story tellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what this grant will do for the ‘Thousand Years of History@ as they embark on a real journey of discovery’
November 2012 -- EMA volunteers work at the Cross around the Mosaic
EMA kindly volunteered to clear the area around the Cross in Diseworth in readiness for the unveiling of the Diseworth Mosaic by Andrew Bridgen MP.
Unfortunately the agreed day coincided with the heaviest rainfall the village had seen for some time and as the rain poured down Grimes Gate it was agreed the event had to be postponed. Undaunted Kate Hall Community Relations Executive at EMA organised another date. Volunteers from East Midlands Airport spent the morning of 13th February clearing the shrubs from the Cross in Diseworth as part of their Sustainability Champions programme and had a very productive morning despite the snowfall. The programme was introduced as part of the airports commitment to supporting local communities. It is now into its third year and encourages all colleagues to get involved by becoming an Environment, Community or Green Travel Champion.
Our four volunteers were John Froggatt - Cargo and Commercial Bid Director, Bill Blanchard (from Diseworth)- Cargo Key Account Manager, Anthea Hartshorne - Secretary Admin Support and Kate Hall - Community Relations Executive. They were joined by Penny Cureton CSR Administrator who arrived with cakes!
The team worked very hard all morning so a short break was called for after which they became determined to complete the task which carried on through a snowstorm. All the rubbish was taken away by another team and the area around the Cross is ready for summer planting.
Very many thanks to EMA for their continued support for Diseworth Heritage Centre.
15th December 2012 -- Diseworth Diamond Jubilee Mosaic
The weather was mild on the Saturday morning that the Mosaic was unveiled. After the days of torrential rain and the damage to the floors in the Heritage Centre, the sun actually shone as Andrew Bridgen drew the flag off the Mosaic. Much praise has come to Diseworth for the community effort which went into the making of the Mosaic. MP Andrew, County Councillor Lesley Pendleton and NW Leicestershire Officer Goff Lewis were among those present who offered their congratulations to the village for the success of the Diamond Jubilee Year which resulted in a lasting memorial.
The cost of the Mosaic was funded by County Council Shire Grants, NW Leicestershire Grant, Long Whatton & Diseworth Parish Council Grant and sponsorship from East Midlands Airport. The balance of the costs was met by the Heritage Trust and Village Hall funds. Thanks also to John & Margaret Sutton for kindly permitting the Mosaic to be fixed to their wall.
With the Heritage Centre out of action that day, the Parish Church very kindly granted permission for the reception to be held there. Many thanks to those who helped fix the Mosaic on the wall, set out and serve hot drinks and mince pies and also gave their time washing up and clearing up afterwards. It was yet another example of community support. Many thanks to all.
12th October 2010 -- Big Switch Off
A very successful Big Switch Off event was held at the Diseworth Heritage Centre on Tuesday 12th October 2010. The event was supported by the ‘Friends of Thringstone Group’ and the RCC (Leics and Rutland). The event was one of several Big Switch Off Events being held around Leicestershire and Rutland during 11th and 17th October 2010 and was held on a ‘drop in’ basis between 10 am and 6pm. Free refreshments were sourced locally from The Manor Organic Farm Shop and Bakery of Long Whatton.
The intention of the event was to raise awareness of climate change, energy efficiency and measures that can be taken to save energy and water, and help to reduce carbon emissions.
Visitors included Steve Darling of DEFRA who is based in their London office, and Richard Windley the East Midlands Housing Enabler. There were approximately 70 other visitors including Mrs. Woffindin, the Head teacher of Diseworth Church of England School, staff and pupils. They entered into the spirit of the event by walking to it, others cycled!
Jon Sketchley of Hermitage Radio, broadcast live from the centre between 2pm and 5pm, and North West Leicestershire District Councillor John Legrys conducted interviews on air with Nikki Henning (Chair of RCCTrustees and member of the Diseworth Heritage Group), Nita Pearson (Friends of Thringstone Group) Gillian Squires (North West Leicestershire District Council) and Jo Ling (Community Development Officer for the RCC).
The ‘Smoothie cycle’ demonstrated by Jo Ling, proved to be very popular with visitors of all ages. ‘Pedal power’ as opposed to electricity was used to blend various fresh fruits into very palatable smoothies! The RCC had a number of interactive activities at the event including a mini wind turbine, solar water heater and photovoltaic panels to demonstrate, in addition to a bulb library with free issue light bulbs and ‘Climate Change Awareness’ quizzes.
Severn Trent supplied a ‘hook a duck’ game, targeted primarily at children, which promoted water saving advice. Each duck caught, had a number on the base that correlated with a numbered photograph. Once a duck was caught, the player was asked whether the image shown was wasting or saving water. On a similar theme, the RCC were displaying an image of a house with a variety of energy saving and energy wasting images- the children were encouraged to identify good and bad examples of energy efficiency with smiley face images and to explain their choices.
Gillian Squires of NWLDC was promoting the Green Footprints Challenge, and gave suggestions on ways to reduce domestic waste; her aim was to raise awareness of recycling schemes and to encourage greener living. The Wattson home energy efficiency metre on the NWLDC attracted a lot of attention too. The metre has been proven to save up to 20% on household energy bills, it indicates domestic energy consumption in watts.
The Mark Group provided advice on ‘whole house’ energy efficiency including cavity wall, and loft insulation, and solar hot water.
The ‘Friends of Thringstone’ display, gave plenty of ‘green’ examples of what can be achieved by a community group working together to improve their environment. The group were recently awarded with the RCC’s Silver ‘Community’ Award and Gold ‘Cleaner and Greener’ Award. The RCC hope that as a result of the event, they will be able to build the capacity of community groups like Thringstone and encourage more volunteers to carry out more environmentally focused projects.
2nd May 2010 -- An exhibition of the history of Diseworth
Images and different types of articles were put out showing the history of Diseworth.
28th September 2009 -- Exhibition held to accompany the Long Whatton Maternity Hospital Reunion
An exhibition of WW2 nursing and other period memorabilia was staged at the Centre to mark the Reunion event held on the weekend of 26th and 27th September, for "war babies" who were born at the Maternity Hospital operating at Long Whatton House. More details of the weekend's events to follow -- here are some pictures from the exhibition.
9th September 2009 -- Diseworth coins on display at 'Romans in Leicestershire' talk
A capacity audience at the Centre heard Peter Liddle, the (semi-retired) Community Archaeologist from LCC, talk with great enthusiasm about the history of Leicestershire before and during the Roman period. He showed that the popular misconception that the Romans did very little in Leicestershire was patently not true, by demonstrating the wide distribution of towns, roads, villas and settlements throughout the county during this period. Pictures of the amazing finds from various sites set the scene for the "local interest" spot - Liz Jarrom described the finding of a hoard of Roman coins on one of their fields, how she watched them emerge from the soil, and the connection she felt with the person who lost them some 2000 years ago. A selection of them were on display during the evening, and the sight of shiny Roman silver really put the history of DIseworth in context. Our thanks to both Peter and Liz for bringing history alive !
29th June 2009 -- Long Whatton Maternity Hospital Reunion event details available
This event, to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Opening in September 1939, will be held on 26-27th September 2009 at Whatton House and Diseworth Heritage Centre. The exhibition at the Centre will include war time memorabilia, featuring hospitals and medical care. The outline programme for this event can be found here
17th June 2009 -- Scarecrow Festival and Open Gardens Weekend
The Centre opened for refreshments and to allow visitors to the village to view the Centre's facilities during this event on 13th and 14th June. Hot beef cobs were served by Malcolm Mitchell.
5th June 2009 -- Lecture on the Griswold Knitting Machine, Retired Residents bench unveiled
A talk and demonstration by Ivor Swift, Director
of JA Swift Ltd of Hathern drew a capacity audience to the Centre on
5th June. Ivor brought two Griswold knitting machines, and explained
how the 'cottage industry' of sock making survived well into the
20th century due to demand for high quality local products.
The Centre now has its own Griswold machine, kindly donated by Ivor
and which is on now on display.
You see more pictures of the event here and watch a short demonstration of the Griswold on a video here
You can also read more about these fascinating machines here.
At the end of the talk, the new Diseworth Retired Residents bench was unveiled in the Sanctuary Garden at the rear of the Centre, and immediately put to good use!
14th May 2009 -- Shepshed Building Society support Diseworth Heritage Trust
Shepshed Building Society is delighted to confirm that it has presented a cheque for £636.36 to Diseworth Heritage Trust. The cheque was presented to Peter Miller, Treasurer and the Trustees by Karen Freer of the Society on Friday 24th April at the newly renovated and re-opened Diseworth Heritage Centre.
The payment represents an amount due under the Society’s Affiliation Sponsorship scheme for the years 2007 and 2008. Greg Williamson, Chief Executive of the Society said, “The Shepshed is delighted that the Trust has participated in the Affiliation Sponsorship scheme. The scheme provides income for groups who have their members open savings accounts at the Society.” Martin Hening, Chair of the Trustees, added, “We are very appreciative of the support given by the Society and this latest donation will help us with our future planning.”
You can find details of how you can support the Trust through the Affiliation Sponsorship scheme here
18th April 2009 -- Dedication Service
A dedication service was held on Saturday, to mark the spiritual handover of the Heritage Centre, as the formal Diseworth Baptist Chapel, by the sister Baptist church in Kegworth. The service was led by Pastor Paul Phillips.
16th April 2009 -- Museum Forum meeting held at Centre
The Leicestershire and Rutland Museums Forum held their AGM at the Centre on Thursday. A capacity audience heard a short presentation about the restoration of the Chapel, and exchanged information on forthcoming events at each of the member museums.
Pictured above are Robin Clarke, Museums Development Officer and Councillor Ruth Camomile
7th April 2009 -- Official Opening by Lord Lieutenant for Leicestershire
A bright Spring morning greeted members of the Heritage Trust and our guests for the Official Opening of the Centre by Jennifer, Lady Gretton JP, Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire. Also in attendance were representatives of the sponsors and the project team. After a short speech, congratulating everyone on a successful restoration project and wishing the Centre success for the future, Lady Gretton unveiled a commemorative plaque in the Main Hall of the Centre. A buffet lunch was served to musical accompaniment, and visitors had the opportunity to view the Centre's facilities and garden.
30th March 2009 -- DEFRA Minister visits the Centre
Huw Irranca-Davies, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (whose brief includes policy areas such as the natural and marine environment, rural affairs and wildlife), selected Diseworth Heritage Centre for his meeting on 30th March with senior members of Leicestershire Rural Partnership to discuss Rural Proofing. The Minister asked for a tour of the building and about its history and how the restoration was funded.
He congratulated those who had made it possible and said it is a fine example of conservation and restoration of a disused building for the benefit of the community. Lesley Pendleton, Chair of the Leicestershire Rural Partnership (second right in the group above) led the discussion, accompanied by two assistant directors of Leicestershire County Council and the Rural partnership Manager Louise Driver.
March 2009 -- the Centre is completed !
The restored building has been handed over from the builders and is
now being made ready for the official opening in April. Those
interested in making bookings for the Centre should contact us by
email at this time.
You can read other news from the Heritage Trust here