‘Lowestoft is so passionate about its history:’ Joy as heritage project is shortlisted for national award

The Grit project celebrates at Lowestoft Maritime Museum after being shortlisted in the new National

The Grit project celebrates at Lowestoft Maritime Museum after being shortlisted in the new National Creative Learning Awards. Picture: Poetry People - Credit: Archant

A project, which delved into the past and celebrated a town's historic fishing village, has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Poetry People has been shortlisted in the new National Creative Learning Awards for The Grit project – a community-driven words, film and music project about Lowestoft's almost forgotten fishing village.

Led by Lowestoft-born poet and writer Dean Parkin, The Grit project delivered workshops in eight primary schools, reminiscence sessions with residents in six care homes as well as GritFest – a Grit Celebration Day attended by more than 2,000 people in Sparrows Nest park.

The year long project also created a local history teaching resource, new displays about The Grit in the Lowestoft Maritime Museum, and a live touring show 'Pearls from The Grit' that brought to life the characters and stories of The Grit as it toured Suffolk.

Shortlisted for the literature and creative writing award, Mr Parkin who is the co-founder/director of Poetry People, said: 'I'm thrilled that The Grit has been shortlisted for this prestigious award from the many entries the Creative Learning Guild received.

'Nothing would have been possible without the support of hundreds of Lowestoft people, young and old alike. Their responses to the workshops, the celebration day and the touring show have been incredible.

'Lowestoft is so passionate about its history! And now stories about the fishing village are being relished all over Suffolk.'

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The national Creative Learning Awards range across 15 categories, including formal education, the arts and creative business.

The winner in each category will be announced at the Creative Learning Summit in Halifax on March 8. The judging panel includes an Olivier award winning theatre producer and acclaimed poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan.

The Grit was supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, in partnership with the Lowestoft & East Suffolk Maritime Museum and Lowestoft Rising.

The legacy of the project will continue, with plans to hold another GritFest-style celebration in 2020.

Mr Parkin is also revising the best selling book, 'The Grit', which he co-wrote with Jack Rose over 20 years ago. The new edition will be published in autumn 2019, to coincide with a planned second tour of 'Pearls from The Grit' to new venues.

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