Theatre company, Fifth Word, based in the East Midlands, has received £75,200 from National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to fund a project that celebrates the changing landscape of Normanton Road from the 1960’s to present day.

This is Normanton will be a project that culminates an original theatre performance and the creation of a brand new exhibition that will launch at Derby Museums, as well as visiting venues across the city throughout 2018.

Normanton is a cosmopolitan area – with Pear Tree Road and Normanton Road forming the hub of this culturally diverse community.  Along both roads are a variety of shops (sweet shops, fabric shops, convenience stores, travel agents) places of worship, schools, restaurants/take-aways and community centres, among others.

Angharad Jones, Project Director for This Is Normaton said:
“We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is Normanton will enable volunteers to dig deeper into the personal stories from people in Normanton and celebrate this rich and changing culture through an exhibition and theatre performance.”

As well as hosting an exhibition at the Museum on The Strand, Derby, Derby Museums will train volunteers to capture personal stories and memories from a range of residents about settling in the area and their customs and traditions.

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said:
“This project offers an opportunity for local people to explore the heritage that is important to their community, and to interpret it in an exciting and creative way. We are pleased that, thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to support this worthwhile project.”

Andrea Mercer, Senior Audiences and Communities Manager at Derby Museums said:

“It’ll be great to work with volunteers to uncover the hidden stories of Normanton Road and Pear Tree Road. We regularly work with volunteers on a number of Derby Museums’ projects and find that it is an incredibly enriching experience for both sides – we learn from one another. My team and I are really excited to work closely with the project volunteers.”

To support the beginning of the project, Fifth Word and Derby Museums are recruiting a Researcher who will be tasked with exploring how the population, landscape and culture of Normanton Road and Pear Tree Road has changed and developed over the years, as new communities have migrated and settled here.

We are looking for volunteers (particularly those who live or have lived or worked in Normanton) who would like to work on the project to uncover the hidden stories of Normanton Road and Pear Tree Road.  Training will be provided for each of these engaging volunteering opportunities so it’ll be a great opportunity to learn new skills.

To find out more about these volunteering opportunities on this project please go to https://www.derbymuseums.org/vacancies