What does Rowntree mean to you? That’s the question at the heart of a new project run by The Rowntree Society.
The society has launched York Remembers Rowntree, a volunteer-led project to gather people’s memories, which could cover everything from the smell of chocolate, work on the factory floor, a sense of civic pride, commitment to Quaker values, or a shared belief in community. The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the project £59,100.
A team of volunteers, led by a project co-ordinator, will work with different groups, including young people, in workshop sessions to record their memories and explore their shared heritage.
There will be opportunities for local people to store those memories and to contribute individual recollections. From all these contributions, the Rowntree Society will build a lasting bank of memories for future generations to share and learn from, via a new web page.
The society will start to build a team of volunteers in the summer of 2013 and the memories collection will start in the autumn.
The Rowntree Society is an independent charity that works to tell the story of the Rowntree family, their business, their passion for reform, and their legacy.
“We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident the project will bring to life many stories that lie hidden within our community, still untold and unrecorded,” said chair of the society Liz Grierson.
“Nowadays young people are increasingly fascinated by our Rowntree heritage, especially in the light of the growing awareness of York as a city with a long history in confectionery. This project will put them in direct contact with the living memories of an older generation of people who have a powerful story to tell.”
Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Rowntree has played a vital role in the York’s lively and varied character but is often overshadowed by York’s Roman and medieval past. This project will enable people to share their memories of Rowntree and bring its stories to life, letting everyone get involved and share their past.”