Newport Parish Council have been delighted with the public’s response to the ‘Newport Living History’ project. This fascinating new Parish project is recording people’s memories of family and social life, initially focusing on the Orchard Street and Church Litten areas. Displays were held at the Riverfest event and at the Lord Louis Library and there was an amazing buzz amongst the attendees as photos and documents sparked a range of memories. Thanks go to the Lord Louis Library team and the Isle of Wight Council’s Archaeology and Museums & Heritage for their support.
The event at Lord Louis Library also received a distinguished guest in the form of Bill Shepard, local historian and Honorary Freeman of Newport.
Photos of pubs, family homes and businesses, many of which have now disappeared, brought forward a fund of anecdotes. Kelly Wetherick, lead officer for the project, said: “There was a fantastic response from everyone who joined us and it was great to hear personal stories and gems such as one gentleman who recalled his time as an apprentice builder working at the Brickwoods Brewery site. He distinctly remembered having his first taste of beer with a free pint a day being the allowance for the builders – his head was spinning the rest of that first day!
This response shows a ‘want’ in the community to tell these stories and document them, bringing them into the public eye. It’s really hoped that future funding will be obtained to develop and expand this project to cover the whole Newport area.”
Anyone who would like to become a volunteer to help with research, provide their own contributions or take part in future workshops and events is asked to contact Kelly at email@example.com