A Little About Us
Hidden Heritage founded in 2013 as a self-funded not for profit organisation aimed at roots level to actively research, discover, promote and conserve heritage, bringing the past to life through Social Media Channels, staging free public events for up to 1,000 people and organising a variety of walks around Plymouth and the Rame Peninsula, South East Cornwall. In May 2014 we opened a small heritage centre in partnership with Whitsand Bay Fort, holding weekly tours attracting people from far and wide with funds raised going toward the restoration of underground rooms. Special tours and walks are also organised annually for the hugely popular Plymouth History Festival with proceeds going back into research and new displays.
We have been providing displays and exhibitions since the beginning with appearances at Devonport Naval Heritage Centre, Cotehele (National Trust), Devonport Guildhall and Boringdon Park. The largest events we have exhibited is Armed Forces Day Cornwall in 2015 where we sponsored one of three arenas, turning it into a dedicated living history zone featuring First and Second World War Re-enactors. Then followed Armed Forces Weekend 2016 on Plymouth Hoe were we built an Anderson Shelter live and showcased the hugely popular Shadows of Our Past Then In Now Photographic Works by Wes Ashton. A main arena display was provided in the form of the fine Red Coats of the 32nd Cornwall Regiment of Foot who wowed the crowds with an awesome display of musketry drill and firing. Plymouth City Council Events Team were really thankful of what we achieved and welcomed us back, and we instantly began planning for 2017 where we have a much bigger area to bring you an insight into the people around you that keep history alive.
Our major project for 2016 was the Plymouth Blitz 75th Anniversary and we partnered with Plymouth University to hold eight hours of tours in a former WW2 School Air Raid Shelter. Back at our small but expanding museum we held an all year round exhibition and took on a huge project of recovering Anderson Shelters that remained in Plymouth. We are now installing them on loan to schools and various locations, with one taking pride of place in our Plymouth Blitz Museum, and another installed last Autumn at Mount Edgcumbe the Earl's Garden.
The Hidden Heritage Museum at Whitsand Bay Fort is able to expand displays in a large underground section that is about to opened with the assistance of Royal Navy Recruits from HMS Raleigh. This means, thanks to the kind owner of the Fort, we will now have a permanent home for the Plymouth Blitz, Rame at War and Defences of Plymouth Collections, and also a new home for Dunkeswell Memorial Museum where the US Navy operated aircraft from during World War II, having strong links to Plymouth with a Detachment based at Mount Wise.
To promote our base, The Showcase Tour launches at Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park, and part of Plymouth History Festival on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th May. We have put the event for free and after being kindly invited to bring the showcase to Plymouth we have confirmed three more fantastic, historic buildings to host the showcase already. Our major showcase event will be a dedicated living history zone that we have sponsored at Armed Forces Day Plymouth in June, where we will be joined by re-enactors from Vikings to Napoleonic Foot Soldiers, English Civil War to WW2 Homefront portraying Plymouth at War through the eras.
Hidden Heritage Needs Your Help
We want to bring a free event, display, talk or exhibition to as many areas, schools and elderly homes as we possibly can from May 2017 - April 2018. From a 2 hour event to a weekend exhibition, and add a tea dance tent for veterans on The Hoe for Armed Forces Day. An end of Summer free event for 1,000 people is planned for September as part of Heritage Open Days but with the limited funds we have set by, we need a little help to make it all happen to ensure we get the underground rooms open for the new displays and invite more schools to utilise our facilities as part of their curriculum. We have a small group of business sponsors offering their services over the period for either free, or at cost which helps us greatly, however we need to raise much more to cover costings such as equipment, transport, promotional fees, and replace essential items such as our marquee and exhibition boards that were damaged beyond repair last year at Armed Forces Day Plymouth. Your donations and pledges will be greatly received and all funds raised will be used to further what we are doing. We have put on some special rewards for those of you who make like to help us raise more funds that way and we hope you will take the opportunity to part in our very first Crowdfunding Campaign. You will able to see the follow on results via our social media channels and newly launched website knowing that each and every one of you who pledges has made a big difference in helping us make this happen.