Lottery boost to help pupils learn about local travel heritage

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Warwickshire members of a voluntary group are delighted to be sharing a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £36,000 to help children learn about national distance measurements.

The Milestone Society has been awarded the grant to fund an initiative to raise awareness of the historical significance of these quirky lumps of stone or cast iron sitting quietly by the wayside.

And the Warwickshire branch will use its share of the funding to restore six unique distance markers between Long Compton and Newbold-on-Stour.

The project, called Finding the Way, aims to develop educational resources to teach schoolchildren creatively about the country’s national distance measurements - miles, yards and inches - by linking these to the poem The Highwayman, studied in primary schools.

There will also be a poetry competition on the theme of Milestones – physical or metaphorical – run by poetry website WriteOutLoud, with prizes to be awarded in October 2017.

These activities will be coupled with work to restore six unusual mileposts in Warwickshire to their former glory, telling their story to local residents and visitors alike.

Mervyn Benford a former headteacher and a founder member of the society, said: “We are delighted that this generous award by HLF will give us the opportunity of teaching young people about their travel heritage in an engaging, creative manner, as well as restoring some unique mileposts as a lasting reminder of more leisurely times!”

Vanessa Harbar, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “With HLF support, the Milestone Society will be able to engage young people with local transport landmarks through a range of imaginative and fun activities.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, children will not only learn about their local heritage before the time of the sat nav, but these important reminders will also be conserved for future generations.”

Established in 2001, the Milestone Society has successfully gathered records of more than 20,000 milestones, guide posts and toll-houses still existing in the UK. To find out more and access the records, visit www.milestonesociety.co.uk

For more information about the Finding the Way project, visit www.FindingtheWay.org.uk