WFM’s World War Project
WFM’s World War 2 Project touched over 2000 residents in the area and involved a radio broadcast, a theatre tour round local schools, interviews, features and music. We have created a local archive of memories never to be forgotten.
We wanted to collect a local archive of information so we began this project by interviewing over 200 pensioners from the Wythenshawe community about their stories and experiences of World War 2. This audio of memories formed part of our WW2 broadcast.
We then commissioned local writer, Jane Barnes, to write a play based on some of these memories called “A Film In Our Own Backyard”
The play was performed by professional actors and toured 10 primary schools in Wythenshawe. Over 900 pupils saw this production.
Our reporter then revisited the schools to record the children’s families’ experiences of WW2.
The play was also performed at the Imperial War Museum and at St Francis Church so that the pensioners, who donated their memories to this project, could see the final product.
We were interested to look at what life may be like now if we had lost the war so we commissioned writer, Jane Barnes again to write a radio play on this subject called “What If”. We also Interviewed historians on the subject.
The radio play “What If?” was recorded at a radio studio in Salford. 14 volunteers took part in the production. 8 of these were new to WFM.
With all the audio we had collected including the plays, 5 x one hour dedicated programmes were produced and broadcast in August in honour of the 60 th anniversary of the end of WW2.
We replayed the broadcast in November for Remembrance week.
We collected so much information, pictures and artefacts that we decided to run an exhibition which toured round the Forum and various community venues and at the My Manchester Event. The exhibition is now with Newall Green High School who are putting it with their exhibition material.
We have produced a 5 disk box-set of the broadcast which includes memories from Wythenshawe residents, the dramas and interviews alongside music of the time.
This project has touched over 2,000 people in Wythenshawe.