Information about World War 1 memories and celebrations may be found at


The Reading Rooms

Marking the Centenary of the First World War

Following the success of the Reading Rooms 150th Celebration last year, helped by the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund(HLF) the Trustees held an Exhibition at the Reading Rooms in the High Street, Billericay supported by a Grant to mark the centenary of WW1.

See photos in the Photo Album

The Trustees of the Rooms received £6,700 from the HLF under the First World War: Then and Now programme. This enabled four local Billericay schools, Buttsbury Junior School. St John’s School, St Peter’s Catholic Primary School and Quilters Junior School to focus on specific aspects of the War and its effects on the local Community. It brought into focus the importance of War Memorials that commemorate the sacrifice given by so many.

To mark the Centenary of the First World War, the occasion enabled local people in Billericay to come together over the weekend of 6th, 7th, 8th March 2015 to revive the memories and heritage of the people who lived through the War. Each of the four schools presented separate aspects of the time, covering the production of a newspaper during the wartime period, Nutrition- availability of food both at home and on the battlefields, Fashions of the period including uniforms and the ability to obtain material etc and finally Residents of Billericay at that time, including Businesses in and around the Town- have any survived? The pupils  undertook research in order to obtain photographs, documents, letters and newspaper clippings.

Andy Maddocks, Grants Trustee at the Reading Rooms who led the drive to secure Funding said “We are extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their continued support, which enables us to continue working with the pupils and Teachers of the four schools in another very worthwhile and important Project.”

The Head of the HLF in the East of England, Robyn Llewellyn, said “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £15 million in projects- large and small-that are marking this global Centenary; with our new small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in Billericay, to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular, to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 36,000 projects with more than £5.9bn across the UK, including over £403million to 3,499 projects in the East of England. Follow us on twitter @heritagelottery #understandingWW1

Hear more about this excellent project by clicking on the link below:

Read the article published in the Evening Echo by clicking on the link below