A GRANT of £3,250 has been awarded to Yate Heritage Centre to help the town mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War One.
The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund will be used for a number of events which start today at the centre to remember those who died in the Great War and the impact it had on the area.
They include this Saturday's centenary day, a two-month exhibition on the history of Yate and Sodbury people during the conflict and the publication of two booklets in September on its effect locally.
Cherry Hubbard, education assistant at the Church Road centre, welcomed the grant.
She said: “This is such a great boost to the work of the heritage centre and for bringing alive the First World War for local young people and the community at large.”
The war made a big difference to Yate, bringing modern industry to the area, including factories with dominated the town throughout the 20th century.
In the exhibition, which runs from today until September 13, visitors can discover stories about those who lived through the war and see a number of donated artefacts.
On Saturday, the centenary day starts with a parade leaving Yate Shopping Centre at 10am for a short service at the St Mary’s Church lych gate at 10.40am, to be led by Yate rector, the Rev Ian Wallace.
Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb will then officially open the day’s activities.
Visitors will see a period tank and an ambulance of the time, learn about British and German military life and hear about the work of medics.
Community heritage officer, David Hardill, said there would also be period performances from Westerleigh Brass Band, a British Legion choir, folk singers and storytellers, with a wartime display set up in the church.
Yate mayor Wully Perks and his wife, Mary, will be taking part in a peace festival in Yate’s twin German town of Bad Salzdetfurth during the weekend but urged as many people as possible to get involved in the day.
He said: “Over the miles our thoughts will be with you on this day when we remember and never forget the supreme sacrifice of those who gave their lives that we have the freedom we have today.”
In total, South Gloucestershire has received £60,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the First World War centenary projects around the district.
Yesterday (Wed) an exhibition opened showing how communities were changed in countries with which South Gloucestershire now has twinning links.
It can be seen at the Tesco store in Yate for four weeks before moving to the company’s Bradley Stoke store for a further month.