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First project meeting

The first meeting for this project took place on Tuesday 13th January 2009 at the home of one of our young people in the Henthorn area.

On the agenda was the Soldiers Project.

This was discussed at some length and agreed for everyone to have a think about this for our next meeting.

Other items discussed that evening were Youth Shelter and how to improve this and the young people were to write to the Ribble Valley Borough Council for a meeting along with proposal for a mountain bike circuit at Edisford Bridge and a Multi Activity facility on Henthorn Park.


The meeting started at 5pm and finished at 6.30pm.

The next meeting took place on Tuesday 20th January specifically to talk about the soldiers project again at a young persons home.

The meeting agreed to support this project and a number of young people agreed to take the lead and combine this with their Duke of Edinburgh tasks for their community work. The meeting commenced at 4.30pm and finished at 5.30pm.

Letter shad also been drafted and agreed and sent by the youth committee to the RVBC on the issues discussed the week before.

Wednesday 27th January saw us having a meeting at the Art and Craft Studio (Old Shawbridge Mills) commencing at 4-30pm and finishing at 6pm.

Various tasks were delegated to the young people which involved researching the soldiers at the Library.  Discussions took place as to who would meet with Mel to help with letters to the Clitheroe Town Council and Ribble Valley asking for assistance.

Other matters such as who should also involved were also discussed with Daniel Dewhurst being appointed Chair person for this specific project.

Tuesday 3rd February Art and Craft Studio meeting commencing at 4.30pm until 6pm. An update was given on how the research was progressing and it wasn't as those who attended had said they had difficulties at the library ranging from couldn't make it or Sue Holden (research librarian) was not on duty (looking back now) this is quite understandable as I now know she works part time and it wouldn't have taken much for the lads at that stage to have thought -go again next time!

It was reported that other partners would be coming on board if not already such as CVS, Lancashire County Council Museum Services, ITzone, Braille.

This was part of those lads doing their Duke of Edinburgh and research needed to be shown to show they were doing this work so this couldn't be signed off as yet for the past few weeks but still plenty of time.

The bid itself was being put together slowly with Mel making contacts with the Heritage Lottery officials.

It was decided to not have a further meeting until the lads reported back to Mel as to how they were doing. It was quite clear at this stage that those girls who were involved in the early stages were not interested and sadly they were in fact being disruptive to the meetings.

Mel was still wanting to give the girls an opportunity but problems were occurring.

Meetings did take place at the CVS offices which for some reason I am unable to find the dates but Peter Dunn kindly attended, Chris from the Braille and several officials from the Lancashire County Council Museum Services along with Andrea from CVS attended. Our meetings at the CVS Offices saw several young people attending and then the next another set of young people with already a drop off from several others for various reasons.

Several were finding it hard going especially approaching the library.

One meeting saw a teacher from Ribblesdale School attending who offered his and the schools help with this project and the Duke of Edinburgh -neither materialised and this teacher was then off ill for months.

Those involved with the Duke of Edinburgh project were still working slowly away at their research.

A meeting took place at the Art and Craft Studio on Tuesday 3rd March 2009 which wasn't a good meeting and sad to say ruined by several girls and Mel's time was taken up with their various difficulties of their own making.

Some progress had been made by the lads which was good across various aspects and the first draft of the bid had been done.

No support was received from the Clitheroe Town Council or Ribble Valley Borough Council which was appalling. Phone calls were also having to go to the RVBC for a meeting to talk about the Youth Shelter, Edisford area for a mountain bike track and a multi purpose facility for Henthorn Park.

This again was demoralizing for the young people.

It was agreed at the meeting that Mel would have to have meeting with the girls involved along with their parent/s to see why they were causing the difficulties they were.

After a week from this meeting it was settled that the girls would work on other projects with the Tower Hill Youth Action Group on the Play Equipment. Mosaic and Bird and Bat Boxes which was positive and separate meetings were sorted for these again at the Art and Craft Studio.

At this stage contact was being made with Norman our Calligrapher which came through the Ribble Valley Arts Group.

Other meetings were taking place in smaller groups during this period.

A meeting is recorded as taking place at the CVS Offices on Tuesday the May at 3.30pm but again was very short due to several of the main young people not attending again for various reasons.x

Wednesday 20th May 3.45pm Meeting CVS offices

A few young people turning up. Mel informing those attending that another meeting had taken place with Heritage Lottery officials and more work needed on the bid this time to widen the scope of the project to include a Film/DVD for each young person and sound recordings to be included along with interviewing local residents who lived through the war as well as possible veterans.

The lads reported back that even though they had written again to the RVBC they still hadn't heard anything back.

Mel agreed to telephone the officers himself and set up a meeting for the lads.

Friday 4th June 3.30pm Meeting Emporium.

Good turn out. Coffees on Mel!

Bid had been done again and shown to the group.

Several lads handed in their work done on the soldiers but only a few words put down and poor photo copies. Needs to be done again.

Photographs had been developed and printed following cameras given out some time ago to take pictures of the War Memorial -Castle and Clitheroe. Poor pictures and mainly of young people messing about. Not good to say the least and Mel expressed his disappointment. However, the lads who had take these photographs were no longer with the project and other cameras were given out.

Apologies were given and reasons given ranged from my mates took the thing off me to it was used at a party etc.

A meeting had taken place with RVBC officers following Mel's call and they gave their apologies but staffing was short etc etc.

Utter rubbish as far as Mel was concerned but at least they agreed to meet the lads led by Daniel Dewhurst.

Nothing could be done to the Youth Shelter and they had no idea of what was to happen to the land at Edisford Bridge and no money could be found to help with a Multi Recreational facility at Henthorn in addition to it detracting from the facilities at Roefield.

Lads felt it had all been a waste of time. Mel to still try and bring the mountain bike circuit up at every opportunity in meetings that he attended.

Those lads now signed up fully to the DofE project to go back to the library and research the list of soldiers given to them.

Wednesday 17th June CVS Offices 3.45pm Meeting.

Several partners came together for this meeting with several young people for an update. Mel informed those present that the bid had gone in to the Heritage Lottery.

Basically nothing more could really happen until the bid had been accepted and either approved or thrown out. Mel did mention that even if thrown out he would still try to do at least a Remembrance Book and this was supported.

The retired Dr Rev Peter Shepherd again gave his apologies and still not been able to make a meeting with the one that he could being postponed.

Lads still researching and Mel reporting that he now had several girls involved although younger in years than the original group.

Several meetings took place at the Art and Craft Studio during July and August-small working groups on the progress being made on the soldiers with information coming in slowly. Due to holiday commitments and the Duke of Edinburgh project along with activities virtually everyday in the summer holidays the soldiers project was put on hold along with the Heritage Lottery also having made several contacts with Mel seeking more detailed information which was given to them each time. This bid was taking a considerable amount of time to get right.

Heritage Lottery were keen on a celebration of the project take place involving the Local Authority and Mel had reservations about this concerning their original lack of interest but agreed to a Celebration at the end of the project which he had planned to do but not really involving the Council.

A letter was also needed from the Lancashire County Council Museum Services stating that they were supporting this project as it wasn't just enough to have their names down as a partner on the document.

In early September word came through from the Heritage Lottery that they were now fully considering the bid and no practical work had to be done on the project. It had been fine to have done initial research on the project to present to them as it was.

On Tuesday 15th September at the Art and Craft Studio 4-6pm

The ten lads who did their practical DofE work throughout the summer made their presentations on their chosen topics which went well and ranged from Roman History, Farming, the rivers to fish in and around the Longridge area. Eight of these lads had been involved with the soldiers project over the past six months and had handed in their research on the soldiers as requested although taken longer than was expected. Three agreed to continue to help with the web site and two others on the filming, Braille and Remembrance Book. The other lads said they would help as and when they could.

Discussions took place that in view of their impending examinations and studies next year May/June it would be important to encourage the younger members to get involved.

Mel agreed to do this and supported by the lads who had passed their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

From this meeting it was agreed that Jake Kay be nominated to go forward to the County DofE Awards to represent this group with Daniel Dewhurst as their nominated number two. Both for outstanding voluntary work in the community especially Jake Kay. Jake was also nominated to represent the group for the LACYP Awards which he actually won following extensive interviews and alter went on to the High Sheriff Awards evening and was Highly Commended.

During September ands October Mel informally tried to keep everyone in touch with what was happening but very little due to no word back from the Heritage Lottery.

Clitheroe Youth Forum meetings were taking place mainly at the Art and Craft Studio especially involving the younger members who were being given small sessions on the Soldiers project.

In mid to late October Mel received word that the Heritage Lottery were going to support the project but again no real work or practical aspects had to be undertaken until even more paperwork was completed. This took Mel ages to sort out ad double/treble checks were made on every aspect of the project. The final word still had to be approved.

For anyone else starting on such a campaign seeking funding you really need a long-long time to do such things.

Third and last one for 2009. Audit Trail as you needed of sorts.

I got the telephone call on the 2nd October from Heritage Lottery from memory or around that point but again still no practical work to be done as letters needed to be sent back and forth for the next month or so.

This in fact took some time with even a longer period before agreement to pay the advance payment which arrived in mid to late November 2009.

This still needed a further period of paperwork to go back to the Heritage Lottery.

A meeting took place at the Art and Craft Studio on Friday 20th November of the Clitheroe Youth Group especially the younger ones to give them more information on this project and for an updated brief to Daniel Dewhurst and several of the older lads.

Mel spent some time emailing or ringing the partners to tell them of the good news. No official publicity launch was to be done until early in 2010 again until all the paper work had cleared.

This paperwork process is a long a difficult process -well for me anyway and when one considers just how long ago this started you really need to give yourself two years.

The first practical Website meeting took place at the ITZone on

Tuesday 8th December with Peter Dunn informing the young people what would need to be done to create the website, information and who was to do what. Daniel Dewhurst agreed at this meeting to take the lead on the website and Arron and Michael Tomlinson on the Logo/Design and helping put the soldiers information on. Don Starkie and Jordon Rose the Second World War in brief summary -somehow! Jake Hummer and Michael Tomlinson on the Braille and Calligraphy. Zac and his group to be trained on what was needed on more research as part of their involvement and hopefully as part of their DofE if they go down that route.

The girls who didn't come to this meeting were to be trained and brought up to speed and introduced when ready and likely top take place at the main Clitheroe Youth Meetings after Christmas. My thanks got to Peter, Norman and Chris for attending.

It was agreed to open this up to those men and women who lost their lives across the Ribble Valley especially on the web site.

Detailed information on each soldier was also to be listed as well as other Clitheroe Youth Forum activities.

The Royal British Legion to again be contacted.

For this project to be filmed. Mel to action and to look locally.

ItZone Meeting Wednesday 16th December 2009 4pm.

A progress up date was brought to the meeting -very little to be frank.

The lads have a lot to do.

Time goes so quickly and it was already becoming apparent that several lads having promised to do things were not doing the work.

Mel had to do another rethink and this time emphasis would now switch to the younger members.

Arron, Daniel and Michael still involved with Jordan and Don still on the fringes.

2009 had been a long haul and not just for the Soldiers project but we were getting there.

My thanks go to those young people who did do positive work during 2009 and more to follow in 2010.

My thanks got to Peter Dunn, Andrea Duckworth, Norman Kelly, Chris Tattersall, Lancashire County Museum Services, Heritage Lottery Fund, Beryl Taylor at the Art and Craft Studio and to Kay my partner for again putting up with me being distracted away on this project and many other activities involving young people.

My hope for 2010 is that this project is accomplished and due respect is given to those who died from Clitheroe fighting for their country and freedom and represented in the Remembrance Book, Web Site, Braille Book and film and any other aspects of this project.

Mel Diack M.B.E


Clitheroe Youth.