Wow, it’s hard to imagine that just four years ago, there we were, at Whitsand Bay Fort on my 40th birthday, preparing for the official Public Launch Weekend for Hidden Heritage to coincide with the National Heritage Open Days 2013 Programme. Yet here I am tying this up not knowing who or just how may people will read this blog, and reminiscing over just how our feet haven’t touched the ground in those four years.
It’s also been a very tough four years, for us all in our personal lives, but thankfully the passion for what we do helps us to get through those tough times, and the support from our friends and supporters just gives inspiration for us to bring you more of the past to life. For you to walk in the footsteps or view from the comfort of your living room, it’s us who spend the long hours, into the late nights and early mornings, hunting for more fantastic history to share. We are just so pleased that our work has touched so many people over the period, via our free public events, our paid tours, and across our social media channels and even in the street. It just makes it all worthwhile to see it make a difference in people’s lives.
Today’s volunteer day began quiet with three people who booked in actually not turning up in the end and the opportunity was not to be wasted, therefore I set to work to clear the doorway to the artillery store in preparation for the WW1 Installation. The dense, compacted shillet and clay like mud make for difficult work by hand but it’s exposing areas of the underground areas that has not been seen for over sixty years in parts. After a good three hours the progress is looking on track for our weekend event but there will be exclusive chance to see before the crowds at pre-booked access all areas tours from this weekend and combining the adults only ghost nights where we have the Paranormal Lockdown….lights off, candles only…
There was no plans to do a celebratory event to mark the occasion this year, however, the Plymouth Military History Weekend in October will now also serve as a belated Anniversary Bash for us too. This fantastic event will be free entry, with minimum donations for guided tours of newly opened areas of Whitsand Bay Fort’s underground tunnels. To follow the event we have a full programme of events right the way through until Spring 2018 to keep you warm and entertained throughout the Autumn and Winter.
Instead of a series of blog posts charting the last four years at Hidden Heritage, we have out together a timeline of events that actually date back a little further to include the original idea to bring the then project to life. That timeline does not give any indication into the difficulties faced building the foundations for an asset to the community, not just locally but the global community with our reach and diversity in research.
!!!!!THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!!!!!
Keep reading this week for further updates!!
This year we decided to have a break from taking part in the nationwide Heritage Open Days programme that happens each year, instead opting to take the opportunity to visit some attractions on our doorstep in Cornwall. With a train crazy three year old toddler in mind, the chance to visit a working toy and rail museum for free was not going to be missed and off we set for the journey to Redruth armed with picnic, cameras and excitement. The weather being truly British and bouts of rainfall were not going to ruin our visit and our destination of Moseley Train and Toy Museum at Tolgus Mount, close to Redruth.
For now I shall let the photos do the talking;
The first Plymouth Military History Weekend takes place 6-8th October, 2017 and ironically it’s main venue is actually a defensive fortification on the Cornwall side, overlooking the City and Devonport Dockyard. Whitsand Bay Fort nestled atop the Rame Peninsula, is also the Base of Ops for Hidden Heritage, with our last two major events attracting more than 1,500 people and hundreds more visiting for guided tours each year. Our partnership with Whitsand Bay Fort has brought the history of the site back to life and it’s coming up to our fourth year with new elements of a small museum we have created with the finishing touches still to add that take in the history of the fortifications around Maker Heights, Rame, Plymouth along with the Heybrook Bay, Bovisand and Wembury areas also.
Why the need for a dedicated Military History Weekend?
Well, the answer is a good one. A lot of different individuals, authors, groups, and general human explorer have all helped to uncover Plymouth at war via the landscape, buildings, stories and records, but much has been lost, and we hope to find out more to share with you all along the way.
Why is the main location of the event not in Plymouth itself?
No venue in Plymouth was suitable enough due to budget restrictions, and the location selected has facilities for all the family, with accommodation, swimming pool, bar and restaurant, indoor and outdoor displays making this the ideal all-weather venue. 2018 will be sited within Plymouth itself subject to licence being granted.
More details will be released weekly here;
Tours of Whitsand Bay Fort – Tours of Mount Edgcumbe – Cold War Nuclear Submarine Tour – Naval Base Museum Tour – Boat Trips – Authors Philip Photiou, Laura Quigley and more TBC – Shadows of Our Past Exhibition – Plymouth at War – Rame at War – Palmerston Fort Tour – HAA Gun Battery Tour – Cold War Bunkers – WW2 Airfields – Dunkeswell Memorial Museum – The Plymouth Blitz Project – Cyberheritage – Cornwall Regimental Museum – Exercise Tiger – D-Day – Churchill’s Secret Army – Homefront to Battlefront – Anderson Shelter Recovery – RAF Mount Batten – German WW2 Display – Flying Display TBC (weather permitting) – Viking Living History Camp and Combat Displays – Trench Display
This annual event organised by Cornwall Military Vehicle Trust has been growing in numbers each year and today’s weather certainly helped attract the crowds to Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park. Various eras of history were represented, from medieval to Cold War, Vietnam and D-Day, and impressive display from all the living history camps around Barn Pool and the Lawns.
Like ourselves, they are all nuts about history, military history in particular and bring the past truly to life with passion and timeless hours spent looking after kit and preparing for events like this, often having to brave the good old English downpours hat we often receive, so with that in mind get out and support these great events and remember those who sacrificed their lives in all conflict.
It’s been a closely guarded secret, and now that the Summer is finally in full swing we wanted to make the most of the later part of the season by putting together a full selection of ‘Secret’ tours. After all, once upon a time many of the places we go were once highly secretive establishments under control of the Admiralty and War Department. The ‘Secret’ isn’t just in the location, it’s also in the tour itself as you will find out and elements of these very tours will be available to all local schools, colleges and universities for educational visits thereby fulfilling our roles and passing on the knowledge to a wider generation.
From Plymouth at War, to the Industrial Age and way back into times of Woolly Mammoth to Plymouth Under Siege during the English Civil War, the Romans trading in the area and the destruction from World War II, preparing for the Cold War and reconstruction of the Blitzed City. Learn how the Rame Peninsula is dubbed Cornwall’s Forgotten Corner, and has a wealth of history, haunted tales and hidden gems of heritage just waiting to be rediscovered….by YOU!!
Every day throughout August and September we have something on to whet your appetite and we have exclusive tours of Whitsand Bay Fort and Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park that have been put together especially for 2017. A host of paranormal evenings and ghost walks with two options will be ‘happening’ – the family friendly walk and the adults only version that extends past midnight and into the early hours taking in hundreds of years of history, walking in the footsteps of the creators of the landscape around us steeped in stories of tragedy, sacrifice, desperation and crime.
Take a look at our Event Bookings Page by clicking the box below
Welcome to the online home of Hidden Heritage, a wealth of information brought to you by a passionate team of people who love to bring the history to life our heritage, discovering new evidence and uncovering amazing new stories that can be passed on to future generations to learn from – until we discover it, all history is hidden from us. Be it from reading a book in school, to visiting a heritage centre or museum, or listening to stories from parents and grandparents about childhood memories, the generation of the Second World War of course, sadly diminishing at a high rate due to age.
Our base is located in South East Cornwall, overlooking what could be argued as the greatest maritime city in the world, and certainly one of, if not, THE most historic cities in the world and our second base – Plymouth! The Rame Peninsula itself, also steeped in great history and a wealth of stories to go with it. Our time now, for the team at least, is to promote and conserve the history and heritage around us, passing on that knowledge then to the next generations, so on and so forth.
After almost a four year foundation built, the Hidden Heritage Blogs begin here, since all previous works and posts have been via Facebook and Twitter only. Now it’s time for us to settle in and drop some fantastic features, exclusive stories and imagery from locations around locally, nationally and also international, all from our base here exploring the globe and discovering new countries, but at the mere touch of a button linked to the World Wide Web. Guests from Worldwide will also be making a visit in the near future, securing trade and friendships like those over the last few thousand years.
I hope you enjoy what is to come and welcome any feedback, or support in any way!