A HISTORY society will be able to uncover secrets about its local heritage, thanks to a £9,800 grant.

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Little Waldingfield Local History Society is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund ‘All Our Stories grant’, it was announced today.

The recently-formed society will use the money to carry out research for the ‘Little Waldingfield into the 21st Century’ project, which will explore the story of the village from 1840 to present day.

All Our Stories is a new small grant programme, launched earlier this year in support of the BBC TV documentary, The Great British Story.

The scheme is designed to encourage communities to explore, share and celebrate their local heritage via a range of activities.

The Little Waldingfield group will conduct research via conversations and reminiscences of residents, past and present, as well as by encouraging people to share photographs, maps, artefacts and publications. Their spokesman, Vic Flute, said: “We are really surprised and delighted to receive this award and we can’t wait to get started on our research. Like all the villagers, we love living in this community and we are keen to discover more about the past.

“Our project is inspired by a previous local historian who documented village history from 1300 to 1840.

“We will bring the story up to date by writing a sequel to his 1959 book, incorporating memories of older long-standing and ex-residents to stimulate an interest in local history.”

Research will be carried out through historical county and church records, and meetings with villagers.

Historian Michael Wood, who presented the TV show, said: “We British love our history and no wonder: few nations in the world, if any, have such riches on their doorstep, and so much of it accessible to all of us.

“It is really tremendous that the people of Little Waldingfield have been inspired to get involved, to tell their story and to dig deeper into their own past.”

Robin Llwellyn, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, added: “Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are a nation of storytellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past to discover more about what really matters to us.

“This is exactly what the grant will do for the Little Waldingfield group as they embark on a journey of discovery.” Grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 have been handed to projects across the UK under the scheme.

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