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Centenary U Boat Surrender and 80th Kindertransport Festival of Commemoration!

Come and commemorate two historically important events that happened in Harwich and the Stour Estuary through a varied programme of talks, walks, exhibitions, film showings and art workshops from this winter.

The Surrender & Sanctuary project is holding a festival of activities to commemorate the centenary of the surrender of over 168 U Boats in 1918, and the 80th anniversary of the arrival of the first Kindertransport in 1938. The programme consists of two themed weekends (17th/18th November and 1st/2nd December) starting the Saturdays with two event trains from Manningtree station with a carriage of entertainment to start the events in style, then a day of talks from guest speakers and theatre performances in the Mayflower Centre in Harwich and sites in Dovercourt.

As well as the themed weekends, from the 19th November there will be a week exhibition of U Boat surrender watercolours from the Imperial War Museum at The Pier Hotel, never before displayed in Harwich, and a complimentary art session on the 24th November calling on local artists to be inspired ready for an exhibition in May 2019. The commemorations continue with a U Boat and World War One walk in Shotley at 11am, followed by an afternoon parade with entertainment and food at the Harwich Sailing Club surrounding a large 15metre willow U-Boat on Harwich Sea front on 18th November, decorated by 168 flags decorated by the local community representing each U Boat.
Equally, a new Kindertransport exhibition produced in partnership with the Wiener Library will be on display from the end of November, with a winter tapestry project workshop for budding crafters starting on 28th November at the Old Bank Studios to retell the memories of the journey and time in Dovercourt in fabric form. The finale of the Kindertransport programme culminates in a flash-mob style recreation on train stations on 3rd December, with volunteers and actors re-enacting short scenes of the journey taken from original stories and letters. A chance for modern travellers to pause and remember what was happening exactly 80 years ago to thousands of children.

David Cain, Surrender & Sanctuary Project Manager, said “This is a great opportunity for the community to take part and commemorate this fascinating heritage of an important place in history. These two events had a huge impact on the world, and our programme aims to engage all different audiences with the topics with talks, walks, drama, exhibitions, and much more planned.”

The commemoration events are part of a two-year Heritage Lottery Funded Project named Harwich Haven: Surrender & Sanctuary and aims to encourage local people to celebrate and remember their heritage. During 2018 the project has held creative workshops with local schools, provided training and internship opportunities, held film shows with Harwich Festivals and attended local events including Dovercourt Beside the Seaside Day. In 2019 the project will develop learning resources for schools around migration, promote travelling exhibitions including a pop-up U Boat, and commemoration events around local significant figures such as Captain Fryatt, one of only 3 British people reinterned back into Britain after World War One.
The Surrender & Sanctuary Project is pleased to be working in partnership with the Harwich Festival, Wiener Library, The National Archives, and local organisations including the Harwich Society, Mayflower Centre, Parkstone Football Club, Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, and local schools and community groups.

Visit the website for more details of upcoming events and to find out more about tickets for talks and film shows www.harwichhavenhistory.co.uk
To get in touch contact info@nhscic.org or visit our Facebook page: Surrender&Sactuary

 

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