Heritage Open Days and Walking Tours – what a month!

September has been a brilliant month for The Boys on the Plaque project!


We launched the project into the community with our first public event as part of Heritage Open Days, which was a great opportunity to get the word out about our Boys and invite local people to come and see the plaque and share their stories. Led in partnership with Nicola Benge from Strike A Light, it was a free drop-in for all audiences.

Nicola Benge welcomes everyone to The Boys on the Plaque Heritage Open Day
Nicola Benge welcomes everyone to The Boys on the Plaque Heritage Open Day

It proved to be a relaxed afternoon of chatting, remembering and sharing personal and community connections with the church, WWI and our city. Our Volunteer Research Group was on hand to share their findings so far on our Boys on the Plaque, and we even made some family connections to our soldiers, which is so exciting!!

We were treated to a fascinating talk from researcher and oral historian for ‘War Stories: Voices of the First World War’, Jo Palache, plus an illuminating insight into The First World War in East Sussex project with Chris Kempshall.

Gateways to the First World War‘s Lucy Noakes joined us for a chat alongside their brilliant exhibition which features the project, and project partner Brighton & Hove City Libraries shared WWI resources and images from their collection.

Artist Fiona Edwards helped visitors get creative and make beautiful keepsakes inspired by the day and the memories that were being explored.

And, of course, there was plenty of tea and cake to go around throughout the day!


The following day, local historian Dr Geoffrey Mead took a large group of eager people around Brighton’s historic Lanes. Starting at Fabrica gallery, the tour introduced our Boys on the Plaque before heading into the busy streets of Brighton to explore what life was like during WWI.

Photo by Nicola Benge
Photo by Nicola Benge

Peppered with information about the lives and homes of The Boys on the Plaque, the old fruit and flower market, now gone, came to life! The traders of antiques, businesses of stationers, builders and butchers filled the shopfronts which now sell jewellery and sweets.

The tour was so popular that we added a second one the following Sunday, which also went really well.

What a unique vision into the world that surrounded our Boys on the Plaque. We honestly can’t wait til next September’s North Laine tour!

Thanks to everyone who joined us and made it such a special month.


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