New funding for Chain Bridge Forge

Geoff Dodd at Chain Bridge Forge. Photo: SG080912-150TW
Geoff Dodd at Chain Bridge Forge. Photo: SG080912-150TW
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Chain Bridge Forge in Spalding has been awarded £10,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for a new project.

Called All Our Stories, the funding will enable the forge to collect stories and memories of ordinary people around the forge and of life in Spalding in the early part of the 20th century.

Chairman of the Friends of Chain Bridge Forge Geoff Taylor said: “I think the interesting thing is that it is about trying to record people’s memories of life in Spalding. The town has changed so much over the last 100 years and it is trying to create an oral history of the lives of people who are now in their 80s and 90s, such as Geoff Dodd.”

Geoff Dodd (right) is the last working blacksmith at the forge, which recently opened as a living history museum.

Geoff Taylor explained the All Our Stories project is part of the Great British Stories programme run by the BBC.

He said forge volunteers would be working in partnership with the University of Lincoln to collect people’s stories and memories, both oral and written, as well as pictures and documents.

He said: “The aim is to record this information before it’s too late. We hope to involve local schools and would like the public to contribute.”

The project will be a year in duration and the results will be visible on a website that schools and the community are able to visit. Geoff also hopes funds will allow the memories to be produced in a printed format.

He added: “We will also include video and we hope this might be of particular use to senior citizens’ homes and people with dementia where connecting with their past can help.”

Photo: SG080912-150TW