What a Treat ... project wins grant

The Shiremoor and District Children’s Treat in 2014 promises to be the best ever after organisers won a £38,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to explore and document the event’s history.

The Treat has been a fixture on the calendar for local children for 107 years, with more than 1,000 people each year taking part in a range of events.

The grant will fund a unique project, to be delivered in partnership with North Tyneside Voluntary Organisations Development Agency (VODA) and Remembering the Past, Resourcing the Future.

The aim is to create an audiovisual history of the event, including a film, photography exhibition and a magazine.

Young people and local volunteers will be involved with the project by assisting with the research and collection of Treat memorabilia.

By looking back at the history of the event, the project will research the evolving traditions over time, including how the activities and participants have changed.

The project will also record the changing involvement of the community, miners and marching bands.

Through the research, and by producing an accessible record, it is hoped the future of the event will be secured.

Volunteers and supporters are needed, particularly in the new communities in North Tyneside, to ensure the Treat can be enjoyed by children for generations to come.

VODA chief executive Lisa Goodwin said: “It is fantastic news that the Shiremoor Treat project has been selected for funding.

“The project will explore the fascinating cultural traditions of the Treat, which involves people of all ages from across North Tyneside.”

Chairman of the Treat committee, Michael Green, said: “We’re delighted to have won funding to explore the unique history of the Treat.

“There are over 100 years of individual memories, photos, film footage, memorabilia and documents which we need to collect and bring together.

“Many of the memories are very personal so it will be fascinating to be able to share people’s thoughts and favourite experiences.

“The Treat is a great source of local history and heritage, and it’s really important that we record some of that before it is forgotten.”

Kath Smith, project manager of Remembering the Past, Resourcing the Future, said: “This is one of the most exciting projects I’ve been involved with for a long time.

“So many people have expressed an interest in contributing.

“It feels like the tip of an iceberg because we haven’t even formally started the work.”

Anyone with memories of the Shiremoor Treat who would be willing to get involved with the project should contact Laura Watson by emailing laura.watson@voda.org.uk or calling (0191) 643 2637.