A treasure trove of memorabilia! Priceless gems! Riches galore! Just a few descriptions of the wonderful materials collected and created by Woodcraft Folk’s 90th Anniversary Heritage Project. The project was made possible through Heritage Lottery Funding and the generous contribution of Woodcraft Folk districts and groups.
The people, practices and places through Woodcraft Folk’s first ninety years have been collected in story, film, photograph, text and song in this remarkable project. And much of this material will be accessible here – on the Woodcraft Folk heritage website. The project has created new ways of learning about the organisation’s past, and in pursuing thinking about its future. The 90th anniversary may only have lasted a year but it has opened an exciting world of heritage possibilities leading to the 100th anniversary in 2025!
The project has engaged members from the youngest woodchip to sprightly 93 year olds in celebrating not only the longevity of Woodcraft Folk but also its continuing values and ethos as a children and young people’s organisation inspired by principles of co-operation, international friendship and education for social change. Children of all ages have been involved in locally-led activities throughout the land in birthday parties, picnics, walks, ceilidhs, pageants, wide games, parades, story telling, open days, badge-making, film showings, Woodcraft Folk ‘antiques’ roadshows, and the occasional cheese and wine party! New skills have been acquired in the collecting of oral histories, new understandings gained in archival search, and new friendships forged in the pursuit of heritage.
As well as plenty cake, camp and ceilidhs, the HLF funded 90th annivery project activities also included:
- Reception at London’s City Hall with partner organisations, funders and past and present Folk members; speakers including our host, Greater London Assembly member Fiona Twycross, newly retired International Co-operative Alliance President, Dame Pauline Green, DFs Kieran Kirkwood and Lily McTaggart, and travel writer and broadcaster Simon Calder.
- A touring exhibition, Woodcraft Folk: The first 90 years, based on the organisation’s aims and principles exploring the areas: Who are Woodcraft Folk, Co-operation, Span the World with Friendship and Education for Social Change. The largely pictorial exhibition includes images through the decades depicting Woodcraft Folk activities and ethos, and how they have changed over time.
- This exciting new website enabling you to explore Woodcraft Folk’s heritage, create your own memory trails with archive material, listen to oral history interviews, watch old films, look at the exhibition, sharing memories and stories with other members.
- Oral History Interviewing. Folk members trained in life story interviewing have collected over 30 interviews from present and past members creating a permanent Woodcraft Folk Oral History Collection in the British Library Sound Archive.
- New montage film using documentary material of Woodcraft Folk through the decades.
- A growing archive of Woodcraft Folk memorabilia including documents, artefacts, photographs, costume. Cataloguing of districts, Folk names, camps, films, banners, never before recorded.
- Heritage boxes filled with gems from the collected materials have been created for Woodcraft Folk residential centres for members to explore the Folk’s past, use for quizzes, resources and games.
- A stunning 90 years Woodcraft Folk book rich in photographs unearthed in the archives and rarely seen.
- Development of a heritage badge to engage young members in looking at past, present and future Woodcraft Folk, with activities aimed at elfins, pioneers and venturers.
- A CD not only containing some of the most potent songs sung through the Woodcraft Folk years but highlighting their history and relevance.
- Folding paper and online ‘prezi’ leaflet highlighting aspects of Woodcraft Folk’s early years, internationalism, and children’s rights.
- Heritage Hands In 2016 exploring Woodcraft Folk’s heritage and discussing aspirations for its future.