Great news! We have received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £39,700 which means that the Whitworth Park Community Archaeology and History Project is now up and running.
This is a joint project led by the Department of Archaeology at the University of Manchester, in partnership with The Manchester Museum, the Whitworth Art Gallery, the Friends of Whitworth Park and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre. We are aiming to uncover some of the fascinating history, archaeology and biodiversity of Whitworth Park through a two year community project. This means that we will be involving members of the local community as volunteers to help us in the excavation as well as in the all important post-excavation analysis.
Even those who don’t want to get their hands dirty are invited to help, and we will be recording a number of oral histories from anyone who has any interesting stories or information about the Park, whether from the Second World War, the political rallies of the 1970s or even more recent history.
At the moment we are busy planning our first excavation season which is due to begin on the 5th September and will run for two weeks. The dig will be run by the University and the digging will be undertaken by a number of our undergraduate students, as well as schoolchildren, students and adult volunteers from the local community. Our students are excited to be getting their first taste of digging, and we are getting in touch with our local community and school groups in order to see who will be joining them in this exciting first part of the project.
The dig won’t be all work however, so if you would like to find out more or to share your stories of the park, then come along to our open day on Saturday 10th September. We will have a range of activities available for all ages so it should be a great day out for the family. If you are unable to make this then we will also be running guided tours every lunchtime at 1.30pm throughout the project. We hope to see you there and in the meantime, check back soon for the next post.