Historic Droitwich:its streets and people
09 November 2013
The Dodderhill Parish Survey group announced at the AGM on 9th November that it has been granted £35,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting new project, “Historic Droitwich: its streets and people”. Led by volunteers from Droitwich and nearby local communities, the project will focus on analysis of some of Droitwich’s older surviving buildings and research into their inhabitants to unlock more of the history of this unique town and its links to the salt industry, which dates back to the Iron Age and lasted into the 20th century. The group carried out an earlier HLF-funded project on Dodderhill parish, culminating in the launch of a website (www.dodderhillhistory.org.uk) and the publication of Dodderhill Through the Ages in September 2011.
As one of the outputs of the new Droitwich project, a dedicated website for Droitwich’s history will be set up. Local residents and other interested people will have the opportunity to participate in on-the-ground activities and in training on how to record old buildings.
Commenting on the award, Lyn Blewitt, Chair of the Dodderhill group, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund again and are confident the project will contribute greatly to knowledge of the heritage of Droitwich. By involving local residents in practical work this project should both increase the spread of awareness of the town’s unique past and engage local people in the future management and conservation of our heritage. We are most grateful for the endorsement of Droitwich Spa Town Council, Wychavon District Council’s Conservation Manager, Droitwich History and Archaeology Society and Droitwich Spa Civic Society among others.”
Reyahn King, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “Local volunteers will have a real opportunity to help uncover facts about their town’s history, and so help shape future decisions about their heritage and how best to conserve it.”
Andrew Brooker-Carey, owner of Star Yard in the High Street, welcomed the news and commented: “The interim recording work done 2 years ago on this 16th and 17th century building showed it was nearly burned to the ground during the Civil War. Knowing this gives me an astonishing feeling when walking round the building now, and makes us remember that Droitwich too was
directly affected by a major war in the past, which is relevant in the context of Remembrance Day. I look forward to the results of this new project, and particularly to tracing the owners of the building during the past 500 years.”
Paul Karakashian of the Droitwich Building Preservation Trust said: “I am very pleased that the HLF grant will enable further analysis of Priory House in Friar Street, one of Droitwich’s oldest and most impressive timber-framed buildings which the Trust owns, as this will build on the work already carried out in 2011. This type of research and analysis is not only of great interest to the owners of older buildings, but also extremely useful when renovations or alterations are being considered.”