The Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a heritage project, ‘A History of Learning’ to celebrate our south west centenary.
A History of Learning focuses on the heritage of the Workers' Educational Association in the South West. The project will present the story of the WEA as a social movement in the south west of England from its origins at the out-break of WW1 to modern times.
The project will explore how Victorian ideals of self help, self expression, liberalism and education were promoted WEA and taken up by ordinary people from Dorset to Gloucester, Bristol to Penzance: tin miners, railway workers, farriers, H.M. Forces, and simply interested individuals.
How people were inspired to achieve scholarships to Exeter and Oxford, as well as the noted tutors, including authors: Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, Anne Treneer, John Burley, and many other academics from art, botany, literature and the sciences who inspired local people to seek out new knowledge.
The project will run locally in each of the South-West region's counties: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, as well as in Bristol, with free courses and informal study groups.
We are looking for volunteer learners to take part in our informal free courses and study group or to work independently to help us catalogue and make accessible WEA archive records, collect oral history memories, research places associated with WEA and help create an exhibition, a heritage booklet and digital content providing a learning journey for new audiences.
We are also interested to hear from heritage bodies, voluntary and community groups who would be interested in hosting one of the heritage courses we will be delivering or the exhibition.
The project begins in March with the aim of running courses and workshops from April. For further information, please contact Wendy Coward WCoward@wea.org.uk or Gill Keniston-Goble GKenistonGoble@wea.org.uk or our regional office via 01392 457 300.
For further information on the charity, please visit http://www.wea.org.uk/