Campbell College - Men Behind The Glass
Living Legacies Project Officer, Michelle Young has just completed a successful series of creative and interactive drama workshops with Primary schools across East Belfast as part of Campbell College’s Men Behind The Glass project – a major restoration, education and community engagement initiative supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and focuses on the archives of this historic school.
The Men Behind the Glass involves a cross-section of schools and communities throughout East Belfast. The project, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has been inspired by the WW1 heritage of the College and focuses on the photographs of 126 pupils and one member of staff who lost their lives in WW1. These pictures which are embedded in the Edwardian wood panelling in the College’s Central Hall have been deteriorating over time and the project is working with the Public Record Office in Northern Ireland (PRONI) to preserve and digitally restore the images while researchers work to uncover the real-life stories of the men – their personal family lives and their military service.
Mukesh Sharma, MBE, Committee Member for the Heritage Lottery Fund explained the importance of this project as “an exciting opportunity to open up the archives of Campbell College whose pupils played a key role in both WW1 and WW2. It offers the chance to pay respect to those lives lost but also to involve the whole community - encouraging everyone to tell the stories behind not just these 126 men, but all the men from East Belfast who made the ultimate sacrifice in WW1.”
Crucial to The Men Behind the Glass project is the engagement with other schools and the wider community and this January, Living Legacies Michelle Young was employed as the Creative Engagement Manager designing a storytelling and drama initiative which was delivered in Schools throughout East Belfast and the Bangor area.