Small village war display about tales of the unexpected is the shock winner of a national award

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A village history group from the Harborough district has won a national heritage award - beating teams from the National Trust and the University of Oxford, amongst others.

The ‘Hallaton in the Great War Research Group’ received their award at a black-tie event in London, featuring major historical and heritage groups from all over the UK and beyond.

Their win in the national Museums + Heritage awards came primarily for their brilliant First World War project ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, put on in and around Hallaton’s small Tin Tab Museum with the help of a £6,200 Lottery grant and a huge amount of a work from a small group of dedicated volunteers.

Hallaton won the Project On A Limited Budget award. “We’re tickled pink” said the research group’s Denis Kenyon, who attended the event with group colleague John Morrison.

“To beat all these groups with deeper pockets and huge administrative back-up with our village exhibition is a real achievement. We did the whole thing on a shoestring, and I’m very pleased for the whole team.”

The Museums + Heritage organisation called the Hallaton exhibition: “The very essence of a great community project, personalised, moving and locally relevant. It demonstrated very thorough research and saw an impressive return on investment.”

The exhibition was called ‘Tales of the Unexpected’, because it revealed stories of Hallaton people in many lesser-known theatres of the War, from cavalry men charging machine gun posts, to a Hallaton submariner, and from the scorching desert of Mesopotamia in the Middle East to the bitter cold of Russia.

“But for me the biggest ‘tale of the unexpected’ is us winning this award” said Denis. “It’s a tale of the totally unexpected, and we’re all very proud.”

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