PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE
by Simon Slater and Joseph Hancock
This project was about so much more than the words, music and performance shown above. During our research so many people brought us photos, diaries and memorabilia that had been dug out of boxes and closets. There is no real time to organise it all but here it is, with some of the little treasures separated out
The DOWNHAM REMINISCENCE GROUP ARCHIVE was rescued by our project. The group, in its original form is now defunct due to lack of funding and, more importantly, the online hosting of its archive could not be renewed. We have pledged to host it here for as long as we can.
One of our interviewees told us when we met her that she had a massive book about the war written by her Grandad that she would bring in when we did the actual interview. When we returned she sheepishly presented us with THE WAR DIARY OF PRIVATE G. DOUGLAS. She was so sorry that it was smaller than she had remembered, and was pretty sure it was rubbish and we would not be interested. How wrong could she be! The tiny diary is an incredible record. From the addresses of comrades, that appear to be crossed off as they are killed, through the score charts for trench bridge games, passed the entries themselves and to the moment where the handwriting drastically changes reflecting the writers injury, it is an irreplaceable and evocative insight into life on the front.
Another of our interviewees was a keen historian of the Bellingham area and through exhaustive research at The Lewisham Archive has put together an incredible HISTORY OF BELLINGHAM IN PAPERS.
And finally all of the photos we took, including pictures of the memorabilia people brought us, is brought together in out PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE IMAGE ARCHIVE. It includes medals, squad photos, maps, news clippings and many, many, many other incredible and individual objects that all help to make up the World War One Heritage of Downham and Bellingham.