image of WWI veterans

Up for Arts Cumbria has been awarded funding to host a series of commemorative events and intergenerational pottery workshops involving local residents in Dalton-in-Furness. This ambitious new partnership project will facilitate a unique programme of memorial events over the forthcoming four months. The largest and most visible element of the programme will over 100 ceramic poppy plaques created by local primary school children alongside members of Age UK. Students will be able to play a part in preserving local heritage, deepen their understanding of how WWI affected soldiers and the families they left behind.

This thought provoking new project will be a collaboration between Up for Arts, BBC Radio Cumbria, Dalton Town Council, Age UK Barrow, local artist Adrian Newham and students from four primary schools in Dalton and Newton. The workshops will give participants the chance to combine arts and history as they soak up cultural heritage and play a part in preserving local stories and creating a lasting legacy for the generations that follow them.

Through this work, local residents of all ages will have the opportunity to learn about soldiers’ contributions, hear rarely told stories of how neighbours were affected and initiate conversations about the experiences of local families. 

This project is being generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and builds on extensive research by Dalton’s former mayor Ann Thurlow. In 2014 she felt moved to find out about the stories behind the deaths of all 178 men named on the town’s war memorial. These findings led to local residents displaying poppy postcards on every house from which a soldier left but did not return. It also inspired Dalton Town Band to begin an extraordinary Last Post marathon, sounding the call at the Dalton War Memorial on the anniversary of each soldier’s ­death. This project intends to finalise this work by creating a legacy of enduring markers throughout the town.

Residents who live at an address which was once home to a fallen WW1 soldier should have already received their invitation to be involved in this commemorative project. If you have not received an invitation or confirmed your participation contact the Town Clerk at Dalton Town Hall immediately on 01229 464 000 or email - [email protected]

To keep up with the latest advancements in this project follow UpForArtsCumbria on Facebook. There will be recorded features, interviews, discussions, newly-commissioned WWI inspired poetry and a live BBC Radio Cumbria broadcast at the Dalton Community Centre on 1st November, where the team from the Cumbria Archive Service will be on hand to help people trace their own WW1 connections and family history. The programme will explore the men who gave their lives protecting their country, the peace movement and the changing role of women.

For the latest news follow UpForArtsCumbria.