Rare headteacher's log book inspires war project for South West Burnley

Sgt Colours leads a workshop at Cherry Fold
Sgt Colours leads a workshop at Cherry Fold
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The cultural and social history of South West Burnley during the First World War is to be celebrated in a new project.

The project’s inspiration comes from a daily log book that was kept by the headteachers of Hargher Clough Mixed School (formerly Westgate Infants School) during the war and was discovered when the school was demolished.

It hopes to identify living relatives of the families mentioned in the log book and the families of soldiers from Burnley who fought, aiming to collect and record their stories, sharing them with future generations, along with the log book, as a real and living history of the time.

Stoops Community Centre, Cherry Fold School, Burnley Youth Theatre and West End (Burnley) CIC will work together on the project which was launched at the school where pupils took part in workshops.

The workshops were led by David Tisley, a leading archivist from Lancashire Archives where the log book is kept, who demonstrated effective research methods and showed pupils how to gain historic evidence.

They did this by looking at maps and historic resources that demonstrated what life was like for children and families living in their community and within Burnley during the First World War.

Co-ordinator Chris Keane said: “I was thrilled to see how involved the children were in each of the sessions. They really brought the journal to life and enabled our children to understand a little more about the period. I can’t wait for the next steps on our shared journey of discovery.”

Louise Harney, from Burnley Youth Theatre, said: “Over the next ten months this project will give the young people and volunteers involved an authentic perspective of life in South West Burnley during the First World War.

“We’re looking forward to working with Cherry Fold School and the wider community exploring more of the stories from the log book and bringing them to life through the creative process of drama, making it an exciting and educational journey for all involved.”

The Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting the project.