Ockbrook and Borrowash Heritage Society: Unexamined lives

As part of Ockbrook and Borrowash’s ‘Unexamined Lives’ Heritage Lottery funded project, the two villages commemorated the First World War over the weekend of 13 and 14 September 2014 as part of the national Heritage Open Weekend Scheme.

The Anglian parish churches of St Stephen’s and All Saints’ joined with the Moravian church to organise the weekend. The centenary of the First World War was the theme for 2014 with a host of activities designed with families in mind.

During the war, the Moravian Lecture Hall functioned as a Voluntary Aid Detachment hospital and during the weekend was the venue for an exhibition, featuring the settlement at war; with photographs, artefacts and a Minister’s diary from the extensive Red Cross and Moravian archives. Including the  strange tale of a ‘German spy’ in the hospital.

The Moravian Settlement Singers provided ‘Wartime Entertainment’ in the Moravian church on Saturday, which was based on accounts found in original Moravian records of concerts that were given in the Settlement throughout the Great War. Other activities included a quiz, designing a poppy and a competition to dress up as a character from the village in 1914. Throughout the whole weekend the Moravian church was open for quiet reflection.

Sunday events focused on St Stephen’s church in Borrowash with a history of the choir and singers performing pieces from the 1914-18 era.