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Newcastle's independent library Lit & Phil plans open day with tours and events

Newcastle's independent library is planning an open day and celebrating a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund

Young writers winners at the Lit & Phil Newcastle
Young writers winners at the Lit & Phil Newcastle

The Lit & Phil has been granted £55,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a First World War project called Reflections of Newcastle 1914-1918.

The city’s independent library is working with Newcastle College, Northumbria University and drama company November Club to delve into archive material relating to the conflict.

The aim is to create an e-book which will be published next July, commemorating the 1916 Battle of the Somme.

At the heart of the e-book, which will be free to download, will be an interactive city centre tour focusing on the changing life of Newcastle during the war years. It will begin and end at the Lit & Phil which has a wealth of First World War material.

Research will be carried out by university students and Lit & Phil volunteers while November Club will work with Newcastle College students to turn the findings into a narrative.

Ivor Crowther, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said: “The legacy of the First World War is far-reaching and there are thousands of stories being uncovered across the North East and further afield.

“Thanks to money raised by national lottery players, this inspiring project will bring local people together to help reveal the history of Newcastle during the First World War.”

Meanwhile the Lit & Phil is inviting people to an open day on Saturday, July 11.

The library will open at 9.30am and there will be hourly tours from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

At 10am Keith Jewitt will talk about the literary heritage of Jesmond since 1800; at 11.15am Ian McArdle will examine First World War medical services; and at 12.30pm pianist Yoshie Kawamura will make Winnie the Pooh the subject of a musical storytelling session aimed at families.

Lots of people have been fascinated by the supposed hauntings of the Lit & Phil and at 1.45pm a team from GHOSTnortheast will share photos, videos and their experiences during a five-year investigation.

There will be an Astronomy for Kids session with Richard Hornby at 3pm and at 4.15pm cultural historian Gail-Nina Anderson will talk about Newcastle’s ‘vampire rabbit’.

The day will conclude with a conversation between Gail-Nina and crime writer Ann Cleeves, creator of Vera, at 5.30pm.

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