Lest We Forget - Commemorating D-Day and Life 70 years Ago
Monday, 12 May 2014
School children from Hatch Warren Junior School, Basingstoke have teamed up with older persons with dementia attending Newman Court day centre and Proteus Theatre Company to create a performance based on real life experiences of living during the 1940's and World War 2.
The intergenerational project funded by Hampshire County Council has provided the 30 children taking part the opportunity to learn about life during the 1940's, both civilian and within the armed forces, through direct research and the life experiences of people attending the day centre.
The four week project consists of nine creative workshops led by Proteus where the memories of the older persons were shared with the children and dramatised using music and song. One of the experiences recollected was about the air raids over Basingstoke and the devastation caused through the bombing of Church Square in Basingstoke. Other life stories centred around evacuation, rationing, songs and dances of the 1940's and life as children and teenagers during this period. The project will culminate in a school performance on Wednesday 21 May attended by parents, pupils and people who attend Newman Court Day Centre.
Hatch Warren Junior school teacher, Shirley Davies said: "It is lovely watching the interaction between the children and the older people. The question and answer session produced some wonderful extra details to the memories they had shared previously. The opening exercise of sharing names, ages and favourite sweets immediately relaxed the children and set the tone for the whole of the session. The children found talking to the people attending Newman Court Day Centre a very positive exercise."
Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Cllr Liz Fairhurst said: "There is nothing like hearing about first hand experiences to bring history to life. This project will not only help the children get a real feel for what living in the forties and through a war was like, it will also help create a better understanding between the different generations."