Community project brings history of Turvey together, thanks to new funding

All Saints' Church, Turvey.
All Saints' Church, Turvey.

The rich history of Turvey is to be brought together for the community thanks to lottery and parish council funding.

Turvey History Society has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the project.

Together with a grant of £2,000 from Turvey Parish Council, it will enable the society to develop a local history website and walking tour app, featuring village voices.

The project aims to develop a community website over the next year which celebrates the life of Turvey and its people both past and present, and to create a walking tour of the village in the form of an app featuring village voices.

The project will stimulate research into the rich history of Turvey, whilst also ensuring the future storage of any ‘history in the making’ in the village.

The new site will feature a timeline, an interactive map, and pages documenting the community’s research into the story of Turvey through its buildings, landscape and lives of its people.

A particularly exciting part of the project is ‘Village Voices’, which includes new oral history recordings from residents, as well as newly digitised clips of voices which were recorded on audio tapes in the past. These will feature on both the website and the Walking Tour app.

In addition to funding the development of the website and walking tour app, the grant, and the parish council funds, will pay for volunteers to be trained in the skills they need to update the site and to make the oral history recordings.

Turvey is a village rich in heritage dating back to the Beaker people and there is great interest in its history. Projects to record the oral histories of villagers have been undertaken for some years.

Recently a community play (www.bellsofturvey.co.uk) was written using archival research into the village in the nineteenth century, and was enthusiastically received by sell-out audiences.

Historical material relating to the village is widely dispersed and there is no single reliable information source available for villagers - and interested visitors - to find out about the history of their village. Some documentary evidence relating to the village’s past has sadly been lost, for lack of a place to save it.

By involving the local people in researching and documenting their village’s past, Turvey History Society aim to give ownership of Turvey’s past to the community, and to enrich their understanding of where they live.

John Warwick, chair of Turvey History Society’s Steering Group, said: “We are delighted to have received this support from the National Lottery and Turvey Parish Council. We now look forward to the challenging but exciting task of creating our website and working with the community to bring together the history of the village for present and future generations.”

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF, East of England said: “We’re delighted to support Turvey History Society in celebrating and documenting its heritage. Thanks to National Lottery players, local people will be able to explore the history of the village through the new website and walking tour app.”