Sanctuary 80: In review
In December 2018, the Harwich Haven: Surrender and Sanctuary Project hosted a series of events to commemorate the 80 year anniversary of the arrival of the first Kindertransport in the town. Harwich and Dovercourt are mentioned in many oral histories but are sometimes left out of the larger narratives, despite some children remaining in the area after making the crossing and so part of this project was about informing or reminding people about the important part this area played.
24th November onwards – A Thousand Kisses Exhibition
Between the 24th of November and the 18th of December, the A Thousand Kisses exhibition, created by our intern Annie Kohen with The Wiener Library, was on display at The Fryatt Hospital in their gallery space. This exhibition has also been on display at The Wiener Library, Westminster Palace, Westminster Synagogue and will be going to the University of Essex for the week after Holocaust Memorial Day 2019.
You can access the A Thousand Kisses exhibition online here
Kindertransport Poster Campaign
We worked with local school children across the Tendring District to share with them the story of the Kindertransport children. The students then created posters to be used to help promote our Kindertransport re- creation event on 3 December 2018. In total we had over 200 posters designed by the children, with six chosen artworks being printed and displayed at train stations across the regional rail network.
You can see some of the final artwork in the gallery below.
1st December 2018 – Themed Trains
On the day of the talk series we hosted two WW2 themed trains to help to get visitors in the mood for the day. We also had a re-enactor and a theatre group on there to provide entertainment to the train users.
1st December 2018 – Kindertransport talks series
Our first big Kindertransport event was the talks series held at the Harwich Mayflower Heritage Centre where Barbara Warnock from The Wiener Library, Mike Levy, an educator with Holocaust Education Trust, Martin Simmonds from The Suffolk Refugee Service and Amy Williams from Nottingham Trent University gave talks on various topics related to either the Kindertransport or migration. We were also lucky enough to have the Suffolk Refugee Service providing the food and a lunchtime theatre performance from the People’s Palace Projects of their show Stage 3. Overall it was a packed and successful event.
3rd of December 2018 – Kindertransport Recreation
in London, Colchester, Ipswich, Manningtree and Harwich.
Working with Greater Anglia we were able to stage, in collaboration with Eastern Angles and Splatt Theatre, a recreation of the Kindertransport across the train stations between Harwich and London Liverpool Street. The day led to great engagement numbers – especially in the busy Liverpool Street station and was a great success. It was also a wonderful experience for all the children involved – some of whom were featured on ITV news and in the local paper.
Running alongside these events and into this year we have also been holding a drop-in textile art event, with local artist Angenita Hardy-Teekens, where people can come along and make progress on their piece of the Dovercourt Kindertransport Quilt. We even have a lady who worked at the holiday camp as a maid before it closed down so she knows exactly what the chalets the children stayed in were like.