LIVE Theatre Winchester Trust – the charity behind Theatre Royal Winchester and Hat Fair – has secured a £9,900 grant for a new project, Home Fires.

It will explore the lives of women and children in Hampshire during the Second World War, as well as the role the Theatre Royal played in the community at the time.

Made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the grant will support the project, which will involve research to produce a pop-up exhibition, show, and school workshop.

The charity is looking for volunteers to act as historians to uncover the stories of life in the region, as well as about the theatre, from newspaper and museum archives, and to interview members of the public who wish to recall their experiences of life in Hampshire during the war.

Volunteers can be anyone aged 16 and over who is available for a minimum of one day per week during the course of the project, which runs from May 2019 to January 2020.

No research experience is required as specialist training will be given in: oral history interview techniques, how to record information, request manuscripts, handle objects correctly and analyse research for relevant data.

The project will engage with the community by giving a voice to previous generations, and creating a pop-up exhibition, which will tour public buildings and include newspaper archives, smell pots and audio recordings.