Culmination of war project to go on show in town centre

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A heritage project looking back at the First World War is to take over a town.

Parts of North Shields town centre will be transformed on Thursday to mark the culmination of the project exploring the impact of the war years on local shops and high streets.

The event takes place between 1pm and 3pm as part of ‘Business as Usual’ – a Heritage Lottery-funded volunteering project delivered by North Tyneside VODA, which has been exploring the impact that the war had on local businesses and their staff in North Shields and the surrounding area.

Taking place in Northumberland Square, Howard Street and St Columba’s Church in North Shields, the event will feature work created by TyneMet College students who have been researching topics such as rationing, recruitment and the role of women, plus displays of old photographs, news articles and other memorabilia collected as part of the project.

Shop windows will be transformed, there will be re-enactments by living history organisation, Time Bandits, and the chance to enlist and find out if you’d be eligible to sign up for the war effort.

VODA’s Jo Woolley, who is coordinating the event, said: “The war had a real and lasting impact on local businesses and our high streets – this event will be a fun and interesting way to showcase what we’ve learned and share some of fantastic work the young volunteers have created as part of this project.

“We’d still love to hear from anyone who can remember anything passed down from their families or friends from between 1914 and 1918 and we’d encourage them to come along on the day and join in.”

Events include stalls by a number of organisations that VODA has worked with on the project, including Remembering the Past, Resourcing the Future, Time Bandits and the Tynemouth First World War Commemoration Project.