The 100 Homes Project
The 100 Homes Project started in 2014
This was to commemorate the joining of the Three Towns (Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport) into one city, and the start of the First World War.
We wanted to record the history of the Stonehouse in the words of the people who lived here, so their stories and memories would be preserved as they saw and felt about it. Once we started the stories just kept coming… Wartime bombing, Mormons arriving in Millbay and being besieged by prostitutes, Union Street mayhem… but also, the quieter everyday lives of families and residents: the shops that were here, the milkman, life in Millbay Laundry or the experience of growing up in Nazareth House; stories of life, love, and friendship in an ever-changing town.
This tiny project grew as people became more involved; with stories coming to us simply written on paper, or recorded on mobile phones as they were told. Many discovered old friends and family connections as a thriving Facebook page helped them connect. Regular meetings began allowing people to share old photos and memorabilia.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has given us money to run the project for the next two years. We hope in this time that hundreds of Stonehouse residents will become involved with the project and add their stories. There are opportunities here to record your story, learn to take part in local radio broadcasts, be on the Steering Group and develop the project further. We hope to take the project beyond our two years and be able to create something lasting that captures the colourful past of Stonehouse before it’s lost; preserving our history so that we and future generations can be proud of where we come from, learn about those who have come to live here, and discover how Stonehouse has changed through the years from the destruction of the Wars to the redevelopment of today.
But more than anything this is a project about local people working together, learning new skills and loving the place they live in.
This led to the formation of an official project, with a Steering Group made up of Stonehouse residents and Stonehouse Time Bank volunteers. The group aims to continue to grow the project and to set up a community archive preserving the history of Stonehouse as told by its people.