Cirencester commemorations

Cirencester commemorations

Army barracks families

Cirencester’s three heritage cornerstones: New Brewery Arts, Corinium  Museum and the Parish Church, working in conjunction with Cirencester Archaeological & Historical Society (CA&HS), will create exciting exhibitions, learning opportunities and events designed to bring local histories out of the archives and into the lives of the people of Cirencester in 2014 to mark the centenary of the First World War. Project themes include:

  • Education: New Brewery Arts and Corinium Museum will be combining heritage and craft in First World War days for local schools and families from the Duke of Gloucester Barracks. The museum is also devising new First World War education sessions and experience boxes for schools to use long after the end of the commemoration;
  • Exhibitions: From May 2014 Friends of Cirencester Parish Church are creating a Timeline in the Church – a changing display showing the key events leading up to and during the war alongside stories of how life was changing for the people of Cirencester. They will also exhibit poppies created by local children. From July 5th New Brewery Arts, with acclaimed wire work sculptor Celia Smith will curate ‘The Feathered Aviator' – a beautiful new exhibition  inspired by the homing pigeon, wire communications and trench craft, bringing history to life in a uniquely creative way. Flocks of birds created in the schools and the barracks will add to the exhibition.
    From 16th August an exhibition at the Corinium Museum: Cirencester Archaeological & Historical Society will illustrate the impact of the First World War on Cirencester, bringing material from Gloucestershire’s archives and museums together with stories and contributions from the community to create a picture of Cirencester during the war.
  • Events: Travel back in time - Friends of the Parish Church are putting on a Commemorative Concert with MJ-UK Music and Arts on 8th August and, on 7th November, a First World War Silent Film Show with a live, improvised organ score by Anthony Hammond. 31st July and 1st and 2nd August Cirencester School of Acting will be performing 'Same Time Next Year' a new play written by local writer and director Christopher Denys OBE.

There is also HLF funding for local research and heritage training.

Annie Gould from New Brewery Arts said: “ We are absolutely delighted that the partnership’s  commitment, expertise and vision has been recognised. We are really excited to create ‘The Feathered Aviator' for Cirencester Commemorates. The award from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable so many truly memorable experiences for Cirencester during this centenary year whilst leaving a legacy for the town into the future.”

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, the Head of  HLF South West, Nerys Watts, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £47million in projects to mark this global Centenary; with our new small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in ‘Cirencester Commemorates’ to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

Notes to editors

About New Brewery Arts 
The centre for Contemporary Craft in the Cotswolds, open all year round, New Brewery Arts is a charity which provides an enriching programme of exhibitions, classes and events to enable everyone in the community to see, take part in, and learn about craft.

Further information

Annie Gould on 01285 65718, email: