Birmingham Hippodrome launches creative heritage project to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Birmingham Blitz

via Amy for Birmingham Hippodrome

2,241 Reasons To Remember: Birmingham Hippodrome launches creative heritage project to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Birmingham Blitz

In November 1940, just five days after the Coventry attack, Birmingham suffered three nights of consecutive bombing. 800 people lost their lives, thousands were injured and 20,000 civilians were made homeless.

A photograph of bomb damage to Temple Row,taken from Lewis's, during WW2. dated: 10-04-1941. Photographer: Public Works Department. Ms-4616-(2013/140)
A photograph of bomb damage to Temple Row,taken from Lewis’s, during WW2. dated: 10-04-1941. Photographer: Public Works Department.
Ms-4616-(2013/140)

This year, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of this tragic event families of all ages have the chance to be part of a major creative learning project culminating in a special light and sound installation by award-winning arts organisation Metro-Boulot-Dodo.

Presented by Birmingham Hippodrome, 2,241 Reasons to Remember will bring together archive images from the Library of Birmingham, oral history from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery as well as work created by members of the public attending special workshops at the theatre and in schools across the city.

Graham Callister, Birmingham Hippodrome’s Director of Creative Programmes, said “Although the Hippodrome escaped a direct hit the surrounding area didn’t and many bombs were dropped in the Southside area, with one hitting the public baths in Kent Street. We felt it was important to help remind families today of what happened 75 years ago, discover how thousands of children were evacuated and understand the devastating damage inflicted on the city during the Birmingham Blitz.

A photograph of bomb damage in Selwyn Road and Gilbert Road during WW2. dated: 28-07-1942. Photographer: Public Works Department. Ms-4616-(2013/140)
A photograph of bomb damage in Selwyn Road and Gilbert Road during WW2. dated: 28-07-1942. Photographer: Public Works Department.
Ms-4616-(2013/140)

Graham continued “The installation will be free to visit and situated in a key location associated with the Birmingham Blitz from 19-21 November to commemorate the 2,241 people who tragically lost their lives.”

The light and sound installation will feature hand-made lanterns forming the bricks of a bombed terraced house with projections of the devastation and audio from people who experienced it all those years ago.  Families are invited to help with the lanterns at a series of FREE workshops:

  • Help Us Remember – FREE Half-term workshops. No booking required.
  • Venue: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome
  • Dates: Mon 26 – Thurs 28 Oct 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm
  • Workshops led by professional visual artist Sophie Handy creating a series of lanterns which will be an integral part of the illumination event
  • FREE Lantern workshops will also take place at Birmingham Hippodrome on Sat 24 and Sat 31 Oct 10-2pm
  • The theatre has also teamed up with professional theatre company, Highly Sprung to offer a special Half Term Residency from Mon 26-Fri 30-Oct 10am-3pm for children aged 9-16 years. During the week children will learn drama and physical theatre techniques as they explore what happened during the Blitz and the impact it had on children their age. £50 pp. To book contact Birmingham Hippodrome Box Office on 0800 338 5000.
A photograph of damage by a landmine in Burlington Road during WW2. dated: Nov-1940. Photographer: Public Works Department. Ms-4616-(2013/140)
A photograph of damage by a landmine in Burlington Road during WW2. dated: Nov-1940. Photographer: Public Works Department.
Ms-4616-(2013/140)

2,241 Reasons to Remember will also see free drama workshops take place in schools across the city.

2,241 Reasons to Remember is funded by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Southside BID, Birmingham City Council and The Limoges Trust.

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