F.O.S.T.A. aims to F.O.S.T.A. awareness of the history of the area and to F.O.S.T.A. pride in the village. We have been hosting local history exhibitions, leading guided walks around the village and giving talks and slideshow presentations to other groups for many years.
In 2014, we successfully applied for a grant from the Heritage Lottery “First World War: Then and Now” fund towards our two-year project, “Barrow Hill: A Community Remembers.”
Natascha Engel M.P. reads Philip Larkins “1914” at our Eve of Centenary Vigil.
The project was launched, in the presence of the Mayor of Chesterfield, in August 2014 when local community leaders, residents, relatives of WW1 casualties and school children led a vigil of music, poetry, readings, prayer and reflection.
By November 2014, we had raised the additional funds – with contributions from Chesterfield Borough Council, Staveley Town Council, Hollingwood Residents Association, relatives of casualties and local residents as well as our own fund-raising – to completely restore both the memorial plaque and garden.
On 2nd November 2014, we recreated the village Remembrance Day commemorations of yesteryear with a parade from St Andrew’s Church and a community service of re-dedication at the war memorial. The parade was led by the Cresswell Colliery Brass Band.
Jacqueline Wood had laid the wreath for the Barrow Hill Girl Guides in 1952. She re-created the photograph in 2014, over 60 years later.
Wreaths and crosses were laid by local community groups and service organisations, relatives of casualties and schoolchildren.
We hosted a WW1 exhibition at St Andrew’s Church which included such themes as “Where they lived,” “The Railwaymen,” “Boys at War,” “Railways in WW1,” “The History of the War Memorial,” and many more. The displays have been “on tour” at local venues including the Memorial Club, Staveley Library and local churches, and at events including the Canal Festival and the Staveley Armed Forces and Veterans weekend.
We put forward the village war memorial history as a suitable subject for inclusion in the BBC: World War One at Home project. You can listen to the programme here.
We set up a Facebook page on which the men of the village are remembered on the centenary of their deaths. They are also included in the prayers at St Andrew’s Parish Church on their centenary.
Using our Heritage Lottery funding, we have purchased and fitted WW1 memorial plaques to those surviving houses where our casualties once lived. A map of the plaques is included in our Barrow Hill Heritage Trail leaflets.
With an additional grant from the Chesterfield Borough Council Community Chest, we have been able to combine the WW1 Centenary Trail with our previous historical research, and extensive photographic collections, to produce trail guides. This website will eventually provide a complete history of the village, its buildings and its people to accompany the guides. The official launch event took place on Saturday 9th April 2016 at a Village Open Day.
In 2017, we assisted Kevin Fegan, playwright, with the historical content of the Community Play “Down the Line” which was performed at the Roundhouse, and provided information and photographs for the Roundhouse information boards.
The final stage of the WW1 project was to publish a WW1 “Book of Remembrance.” Copies have been provided to local schools and organisations.
Funds for the project have been raised by FOSTA and supplemented by the kind donations of local people. Grants have been applied for and gratefully received from our sponsors.