We focused on the Second World War, which ended in the summer of 1945, 75 years before the start of our project. The summer of 1945 was one of celebration. All over the country, communities came together on VE (Victory in Europe) Day to mark the moment with vibrant parades and street parties, but it was also a period of contemplation. Whilst many rejoiced at the prospect of peace, years of air raids, rationing, hunger and displacement had been hard.
During Rise from the Rubble, Project Lead Cat Foley helped us to explore different creative ways to engage with the history of the Second World War. Items from English Heritage’s WW2 Collection at Dover Castle were used as inspiration to create artwork and poems. Formby Beach, which is local to Nugent, was where D-Day landing soldiers of the King’s Regiment trained. Some of the group visited the beach to hear stories about the soldiers, investigate the Blitz-rubble, and to try out photography. Drawing on the ‘Rise from the Rubble’ VE day spirit, we also learned vintage dance moves and ate VE-day style food like spam sandwiches!