Living in the past gets team an award

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RUNNING some special activities to take their peers on a journey into the past has landed a group of Northumberland young people a prestigious award.

The Heritage Big Brother Crew was the group dedication category winner at the second annual Northumberland’s Finest Awards, which took place in Linden Hall.

Last summer, 35 teenagers spent a week at Featherstone Castle, near Haltwhistle, to learn about how people lived in the 1940s, which included military and music elements.

They dressed, worked and lived as people did during wartime and modern comforts such as television sets, mobile phones, computers and convenience foods were strictly off-limits.

All the activities were researched, planned and carried out by a steering group of young people, mainly from Morpeth.

This followed a similar number of youngsters going to the venue some months earlier to spend a week experiencing the lifestyle of the 1840s. The crew members also staged their own version of the Morpeth Olympics, which was a professional annual wrestling and athletic event that ran from 1873 to 1958.

These events were part of the Time Travel Northumberland project at Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives that aimed to increase interest in local heritage among young people.

And it also received an accolade at the ceremony – the award for outstanding achievement. Funding for the project was provided by NE-Generation, the Legacy Trust UK regional programme.

Creative mentor and project coordinator Juliet Hardy said: “Everyone who took part really enjoyed the experiences that were organised by the Big Brother Crew.

“Being involved in the crew has changed their lives and they have made career pathway choices based on what they did. It was a huge commitment for them, so I’m really pleased that they achieved this recognition.”