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A Town Called Home: Lives from Away, Neighbours of Today

A Town Called Home is a new free exhibition by the Equality Practice presenting the stories of people from all over the world, who have come to North East Lincolnshire to live and work since the 1950s. Thanks to National Lottery players, this new exhibition highlights the talent, the entrepreneurial spirit, the work ethic and the contribution that migrants have made, and continue to make, to our community.

Jill Wilson and Tracy Todd, founders of The Equality Practice Ltd, a social enterprise based in North East Lincolnshire, were funded by a £59,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to manage this project.  They gathered 45 stories from migrants who have made this area their home since 1950 through to March 2018.  Participants’ ages range from the youngest story teller aged 15 to the eldest, at 88.

The stories, often humorous, express how people felt when they first arrived: their first impressions, what they found unusual, and what they found really difficult.

“That brown stuff, gravy, what’s that all about?” (Kareen Bennett, Philippines)

It allows the wider community, often used to hearing, and even participating in the denigration of the area, to see the town through fresh eyes.

“If you could only see this place through our eyes, we chose this place because of all that it has to offer!” (Thelma Hairwadzi, Zimbabwe)

The free Exhibition will launch to the public on Saturday 2 February 2019, from 10 am-4 pm in the Muriel Barker Gallery  at the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, Alexander Dock, Grimsby.  It will run until 30th June 2019. (Note, Museum is closed on Mondays)

Jill Wilson / Tracy Todd from the Equality Practice Ltd said: “We would like to thank all of the participants who told their story and helped to make this project a wonderful experience and a great legacy for North East Lincolnshire.  Never before have the stories of migrants been collected in this way. It’s been a great project to deliver alongside volunteers from the Hidden Heritage Steering group who helped out; guiding, advising, planning throughout.”

Cllr Gaynor Rogers, Cabinet member for inclusive communities, said: “This is a fantastic project, and I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition when it opens. North East Lincolnshire is a place where we’ve always welcomed people from other cultures and places into our communities, long may that last.”

Most of the stories will be made available in audio and/or transcript format, some have been filmed, all are collated in a catalogue.  These will be made available at the Grimsby Library Archives, (which goes back to the 13th Century), after June, 2019. There is also a short film which will be show at the exhibition, and a book which will be available from the Fishing Heritage Centre.

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