Devon's Multicultural History

Read more ...LISTENING TO HISTORY: MULTICULTURAL HERITAGE EXHIBITION

A new exhibition exploring and celebrating the multicultural heritage of Okehampton will open at the Museum of Dartmoor Life on Monday 26th October 2020, before being displayed around the town as an exhibition trail during the month of November 2020.

The exhibition marks the culmination of an 18 month project run by Devon Development Education and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots focuses on the diverse communities of Tiverton, Okehampton and Bideford, aiming to raise awareness of the vital contributions that people of different heritages have made to the towns throughout history – including today.

In Okehampton, the project has involved over a year of dedicated work by a team of community volunteers, and has included two focuses: historical research and oral history interviewing.

The team used archive materials such as old newspapers, property records, and historical photographs to unearth a wide range of historical stories which demonstrate the breadth of Okehampton’s past. Amongst other stories, the team have uncovered tales of Napoleonic Prisoners of War, local MPs and landed gentry who were compensated for the ownership of enslaved people and a range of groups who were offered safe refuge in the town.

One particularly significant research story is that of the World War II Polish Naval Camp, the remains of which can be found today on the site of the Rugby Club. An important record of the Polish Navy in Okehampton is a publication written in Polish called ‘The Book’. It was a gift to the Town Council from the Polish Naval Academy, and is currently being translated from Polish into English by a volunteer.

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Listening to History

A talk exploring diversity in Tiverton’s history from its early medieval origins to later visitors and settlers.

Tuesday 20th October 7pm to 8:30pm on Zoom

The project team will share a collection of stories from different periods, using the Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life archives to illustrate the wide range of people who have travelled to Tiverton from places such as the Americas, Indies, Slovenia, Italy, Vietnam, Kenya and Hon Kong.

Email dde@globalcentredevon.org.uk for further details

Read more ...LISTENING TO HISTORY: MULTICULTURAL HERITAGE EXHIBITION OPENS IN TIVERTON

A new exhibition exploring and celebrating the multicultural heritage of Tiverton will open at the Museum of Mid Devon Life on Thursday 1st October 2020. The exhibition marks the culmination of an 18 month project run by Devon Development Education and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots focuses on the diverse communities of Tiverton, Okehampton and Bideford, aiming to raise awareness of the vital contributions that people of different heritages have made to the towns throughout history – including today.

In Tiverton, the project has involved over a year of work by a team of volunteers and Coordinator Lizzie Mee. The team used old newspapers, church records and photographs from Tiverton Museum archives to conduct research, unearthing little-known historical stories which connect Tiverton to important histories involving enslaved people, Bristol merchant communities and international travel.

The project has also been collecting and recording the voices of contemporary Tiverton residents, through conducting oral history interviews. Voices captured include Mac Ahmed, who runs the Nawab restaurant in Tiverton (pictured here with Lizzie Mee), Anthony Nderitu (Tiverton High School teacher) and Kumari Northam, the owner of Ceylon Curry House. 

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THE POLISH NAVY IN OKEHAMPTON

Monday 23rd November 2020 6.30pm – 8:0pm

Join us to hear from specialist researchers about the Polish Naval Camp and Resettlement Centre: an important part of Okehampton’s WW2 history.

To register for this event, please email dde@globalcentredevon.org.uk.  The Zoom meeting link and joining instructions will be shared the day before the event.

Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots: Devon’s Multicultural History will focus on the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME*) history of three very different Devon towns: Tiverton, a semi-industrial town near to Exeter; Okehampton, a rural market town and gateway to Dartmoor; and Bideford, a significant port in North Devon.

Through the project, we will support teams of local volunteers to explore and share the rich and diverse history of their communities. Through archival research and oral history, the project will uncover untold stories of BAME* residents past and present. This will include stories from European or other people from abroad who have moved and settled in the towns, and from Black British citizens and other British citizens who have a different culture, faith or ethnicity from the main population of the towns.

At the end of the project, we will share the stories we have discovered through public storytelling events in each town. A dedicated website will provide a permanent digital archive, making the rich and fascinating stories of our participants accessible to anyone, anywhere. We will also develop teaching and school resources, to share the project content with young people across Devon.


Updates:

In July, we appointed the Project Coordinator, Nicole Redfern, based in the DDE office in Exeter. We also appointed a Community Heritage Co-ordinator in each of the 3 towns:  Lizzie Mee, who is based in the Tiverton Museum, Laurel Miller, based in the Ockment Community Centre in Okehampton, and Rose Young-French, with a desk at the CVS in Bideford.

Current opportunities:

Project Admin Volunteer

We are looking for an organised and dynamic person to help us with the admin and social media for the project. Please see the job description here.

Oral History and Research Volunteers

We are looking for oral history and research volunteers in Tiverton, Bideford and Okehampton. Please see the flyer here for more details.

The project will provide full training for volunteers in the required skills: research using archives and the internet, oral history interviewing and story-telling skills.

Other skills?

Do you have other skills you’d like to offer the project (eg. sound editing, video editing, transcription)?  Please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!

Please email Project Coordinator Nicole Redfern on nicoletosfor@gmail.com if you have any questions regarding any of the roles above.

DDE will pay for travel and out of pocket expenses for volunteers.

Partners:

This project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other funders. 

We are delighted to be working with community groups and museums in each town, including our heritage partners: Tiverton Museum, The Museum of Dartmoor Life in Okehampton, and the Burton Art Gallery and Museum in Bideford.

Privacy Policy: The policy is available here

For more information contact DDE or Nicole on nicoletosfor@gmail.com

*We use BAME to mean members of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, migrants from anywhere in the world, and British people with heritage from other countries, cultures or faiths.

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Welcome!

...to Exeter's Global Centre, the home of Devon Development Education.

01392 438811
dde@globalcentredevon.org.uk

Announcements

Christmas Appeal 2020: Seeds, suckers and training in sustainable agriculture - provding long-term help for the families who received the food parcels

The Telling our Stories, Finding our Roots (TOSFOR Devon)

Due to the lockdown, plans for the exhibtions in Tiverton, Okehampton and Bideford have been paused - see website for details. However the talk "The Polish Navy in Okehampton" will go ahead on Monday 23rd November at 6:30pm via Zoom - email dde@globalcentredevon.org.uk to register. 

We have put the Zoom recordings of the Black History Month and World at Six events on YouTube

DDE's weekly Newsletter has links to current news items, videos and events.

You can find details of our work in the DDE Brochure and the new Food for Thought leaflet.

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