Visit World War One Bunker To Share Your Story

February 2015

During February and March, community arts organisation Head4Arts will be bringing a very unusual vehicle to key locations in the county boroughs of Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly. What looks like a World War one bunker – complete with artefacts and memorabilia is in fact Head4Arts’ transit van, imaginatively transformed in 20 minutes into a mobile studio to raise awareness of First World War centenary.

Local people will be invited to visit “the bunker” to record their family stories, memories and responses to the conflict as part of “World War One: A Valleys View”- a project that has recently received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. With the help of professionals from Breaking Barriers Community Arts, visitors will be able to contribute to a series of digital stories that document the impact of the First World War on Valleys communities. Also, members of the public are being encouraged to bring along with them their own World War One related family heirlooms , such as letters, photographs, medals or newspaper articles, so that these items can be included as part of their story. Experts from the Winding House Museum and Merthyr Tydfil Libraries will be on hand to provide historical information and tips on family research.

The stories collected will be used to create a digital record that preserves the memories and heritage of those who lived through the war. This will be uploaded as an online resource and will be used for display at local museums in order to help more people learn about this important period of history.

This intriguing “bunker van” will start its tour of the local area at the Twyn, Caerphilly and Blackwood Town Centre on Thursday 19th February. It will then visit Merthyr Tydfil Central Library on Tuesday 24th February and the Winding House Museum on Saturday 28th February. On Tuesday 3rd March the van will be located in Treharris Library before ending its journey at Dowlais Library on Wednesday 4th March.

Participation in the project is free of charge and all members of the public are welcome to come along and join in.

HLF Bilingual