Pupils delve into history of Hillfields

June 26 2019
Pupils delve into history of Hillfields

PUPILS at Minerva Primary Academy have been finding out about the history of their area as part of the Homes for Heroes initiative which celebrates 100 years since the first council housing was built in Hillfields.

The school has teamed up with community organisation Local Learning which is delivering various projects aimed at exploring the history of Hillfields and the people that have lived and worked there over the last century.

Working with most year groups at Minerva, Local Learning has been inspiring pupils by getting them involved in activities such making pinhole cameras, designing homes, junk modelling and meeting members of the community to share memories.

Year 6 pupils were taken out to explore the local area and its history and even took part in an interactive street theatre tour. Year 5 pupils also went on a tour of Hillfields before returning for a Sharing Memories tea with members of the community.

Ruth Myers, from Local Learning, below, said: “Pupils were all excited about the opportunity of getting out of the classroom and learning about their shared heritage.

t was a lovely atmosphere at the school and something that we hope to repeat.”

Ruth Myers

Year 4 worked with Laura Welti from Bristol Disability Equality Forum to explore the accessibility of their school, before heading off to Bristol Archives to look at architectural drawings of the original houses in Hillfields.

Armed with their new-found knowledge, pupils then came up with their own designs for fully accessible houses suitable for the people of Hillfields today.

The name Homes For Heroes comes from a speech delivered by Prime Minister Lloyd George regarding British troops returning from the Great War.

He called for a “country fit for heroes to live in”.

The start of the first major era of council house building followed the 1919 Housing and Town Planning Act, known as the Addison Act after Christopher Addison, the then minister of Health and Housing. Funded by the Arts Council, Heritage Lottery, Heritage Schools and Bristol City Council, the Homes for Heroes initiative, which also includes Sea Mills, will continue into 2020.

Future plans include a community tapestry map of Hillfields with Bristol artist Carmen Garaghon, an intergenerational cookery workshop, and writing workshops to create a legacy booklet for the community.

The project will culminate in June 2020 with a re-enactment of the 1919 architectural competition which was held to design the first council housing in Hillfields. It will be performed live in the heart of the area in the style of a reality TV programme.