heritage-lottery-fundCOLNE Town Council has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Colne Commemorates 2016. Awarded through HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will focus on a recreation of the Home Front in Colne around the time of the Battle of the Somme a century ago.

“We’re building on the success of our Colne Commemorates 2014 event”, said Cllr. Sarah Cockburn-Price, chairman of Colne Town Council. “That event focussed on recruitment and the outbreak of war, but this one will have a different feel. We are very grateful to the HLF for their guidance and support.”

colne-commemorates4There will be an outreach project in Colne’s five primary schools during the summer term using Lancashire County Council’s historical re-enactment team. However, the bulk of the grant will be spent on a day of commemorative events on Saturday, July 2nd, 2016 in Colne Town Centre, plus nearby sports’ clubs and allotments. The planned events include a parade and a brief memorial service.

The Town Council’s Events Committee is working with the set building team from The Hippodrome to build an authentic recreation of a convalescent hospital in the original building (Arteology) and trench experience at The Hippodrome. At the Little Theatre, there will be talks about the munitions factories in Colne and short films from the North West film archive.

colne-commemorates2Chairman of the Events Committee, Cllr. Ash Sutcliffe, explained: “We hope to encourage theatre and youth groups to use local contemporary sources to research, write and perform wartime experiences throughout the town. Colne Town Council ran a food kitchen for children during the Great War. We have the original weekly menu and will recreate it. An allotment run by local schools and a youth club will grow typical WW1 vegetables and they will explain about the growth of the allotment movement at this time. We also hope to stage women only sports matches, as WW1 was the time when women’s sport really took off.”



Colne’s Camera Club will, once again, recreate a period photographer’s studio and sell sepia print portraits. Opposite the Town Hall, will be a children’s craft tent with craft activities, including postcards and knitting, throughout the day. In the evening, Colne Town Council has booked The Muni to show the film, The Somme. Local youth choirs and musicians will be invited to provide period entertainment before the film and during the interval.


Through its First World War: then and now programme, HLF is making at least £1million available per year for six years until 2019. It is providing grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 enabling communities and groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.



Colne’s event guide on 2nd July will be the front page of the first edition of the Colne Times in July 1916, with the reverse giving a run-down of all the activities, their locations and timings. In the autumn, the Town Council will host a major exhibition of the primary school children’s Colne Commemorates… 1916 project work at the Town Hall.

Sara Hilton, Head of in the Heritage Lottery Fund in the North West, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £15million in projects – large and small – that are marking this global Centenary; with our new small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in Colne Commemorates…2016 to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people, in particular, to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

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