Willaston Village Festival Society was founded in 2007 to organise a major Festival in Willaston every three years. The next Festival will be in 2015. The aims of the Festival Society are:
- To encourage village community spirit.
- To celebrate the village’s cultural achievements and interests.
- To provide enjoyable events for all.
- To support village groups and projects.
In March 2014 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £9,800 to the Society to enable Willaston to Remember Its First World War Fallen, Lest We Forget – Willaston Remembers Its First World War Fallen. Awarded through the HLF’s First World War: then and now programme, the project will focus on researching the background of the 34 names recorded on the village War Memorial.
- Students from Neston High School will be undertaking research into the lives of soldiers who attended Public Schools including Eton College and Oundle School.
- Members of the local Church Youth Group will conduct research at Liverpool Cathedral.
- The Darby and Joan Club will visit the Cheshire Military Museum and record their memories related to the affects of the War on their families.
- Willaston Primary School will examine the Church records and churchyard relating to the casualties buried in the churchyard.
- Volunteers will be researching Cheshire and Wirral archives as well as those held at Port Sunlight Museum.
All this research was published in a book and on a DVD to form a lasting record. The Village Festival in 2015 featured an exhibition presenting all this material and an end of War Street party for the children was held at the same time.
The father of Lt Lonsdale, one of those commemorated, actively worked to ensure the construction of the Memorial. David Percival is commemorated on the First World War memorial plaque while his son, Joey, is commemorated on the Second World War plaque, the only family to lose both father and son in war.
The Festival Society actively supports village heritage projects such as this World War I research.
Contact: Joan Butcher on 0151 327 5191 or via email: email@example.com