Last night the crowds turned out for the launch of our Creative Programmes project 2,241 Reasons To Remember, on the 75th anniversary of the Birmingham Blitz. As well as members of the public and local media, in attendance were a number of VIP’s including local Councillors, representatives from the Arts Council, members of Birmingham Air Raids Remembrance Society, Birmingham Hippodrome Trustees and Patrons.
The event began at 6pm, when the bells of St Martin’s Church rang out in remembrance of all those who lost their lives. There was then a speech from the Reverend of St Martin’s church, and this was followed by the sound of air raid sirens and the poignant laying of lanterns at the base of the installation, with each lantern bearing the name of someone killed during air raids on the city in World War 2. There was then a live performance from Highly Sprung Performance Company in front of the installation, whilst images and sounds, including stories from those who remembered the blitz, were projected onto it. Our Director of Creative Programmes, Graham Callister then gave a short speech to close the launch event.
The installation will be opposite St Martins Church and the Birmingham markets until Sun 22 Nov. It has been created by our Hippodrome Creative Team, along with Leicestershire based arts company Metro-Boulot-Dodo, with local artist Sophie Handy creating the lanterns with the help of schoolchildren and others from the local community.