His-story … Her-story …. Your-story ….Our-story!
You may have noticed that there has been a great deal of activity in the old ironmonger’s shop JH Adams in Main Street over the past few months writes Deb Curtis on behalf of the Trustees of the Heritage Centre.
The shop has been transformed into Littleport’s one and only dedicated Heritage Centre. Much sloshing of buckets and frantic mopping, cleaning and dusting has been taking place, together with a great deal of paperwork and form filling behind the scenes. (not nearly so much fun!)
Much of this work had to take place amid filming for The Horseman’s Word, a Heritage Lottery Funded film project. The old shop took a real step back in time over the May Bank Holiday when it was transformed into the old Wrights Saddlery shop for a film crew from the Field Theatre Group.
The Adams Centre held its first open weekend on the 19th and 20th of July. Littleport residents and visitors had a chance to see what has been achieved in a remarkably short time. Visitors viewed the many displays and items donated so far, including the magnificent scale-model of the shop, barn and forge, created by model-maker Trevor Vincent for the Family Adams Project. And our specially created unique confectionary brand (Sweet Fanny Adams!) was a sell-out!
The weekend was a great success, with over 300 visitors. The Trustees enjoyed showing off the beautifully restored interior and new facilities, and outlining their many exciting plans for this lovely building.
On the Sunday, a WW1 re-enactor was at the Centre all day talking to the public about the role of an ordinary soldier in the Great War. We have already received numerous donations of articles from the community. Most poignantly, a memorial board dedicated to WW1 fallen soldiers from Burnt Chimney Drove has been donated. Astonishingly the board was rescued on its way to a skip!
It is now in the Centre for all to see and pay their respects.
It is planned to open the centre one day a week initially. As well as regularly changing displays and exhibitions highlighting the history and heritage of the town, we have many other exciting plans up our sleeves. We hope to run a variety of family activity sessions, including, traditional craft sessions, classic story telling, and reminiscence and memory sessions for older residents.
The Adams Heritage Centre will also play a central role in the Littleport Festival Fourteen series of commemorative events scheduled for October and November.
Residents can look forward to a scrumptious Christmas shopping treat with our Victorian-themed Christmas Craft Fayre. In addition to providing an excellent opportunity for some local Christmas shopping, the Fayre will showcase the talents of all those marvellous crafty creators from our community.
Plans are underway to transform part of the premises into a mini shop, stocking high-quality craft items, postcards, photographs, books, and art pieces, on a fenland theme. These will be produced by talented local artists and crafters.
We will also be holding regular sales of good quality, pre-loved, books. The Trustees will host an international speed-skating festival with exhibits and talks in February, and of course, these are just our ideas! We want to hear yours.
Of course we need you, the community, get involved with our many and various exciting plans. If you would like to help in bringing this wonderful old building back to the heart of the community, please get in touch.