North East Connected

The Great War: Songs and Stories at Washington ‘F’ Pit

The historic Washington ‘F’ Pit is to play host to two intimate FREE shows by the acclaimed folk and storytelling outfit Harp and a Monkey. The unique event is part of a project to mark the on-going centenary of the First World War.

The trio from Lancashire have been playing shows in unusual venues related to the conflict on home shores and making short documentaries at each venue. The local focus will be on the role of miners.

Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly, said: “As many people will know at the time of the First World War, Sunderland was part of County Durham. What is not so well known is that due to tactics and the state of the battlefields, mining was a key strategic element in places such as The Somme.

“During the war around 28,000 miners served as tunnellers, many from this region. It is only right that we remember them and the sacrifices that they made. Washington ‘F’ Pit is surely a fitting setting for this and I encourage everyone to go along and find out more about the contribution our area made in one of this country’s hardest times.”

The Great War: New Songs & Stories is an exciting performance that is suitable for all ages. It includes both original songs and re-workings of traditional well as field recordings of people who lived through the war and the poignant, tragic and humorous anecdotes of a bona-fide First World War expert.

Harp and Monkey frontman Martin Purdy, added:” We very much enjoy telling the tales of the First World War from a different and particularly local angle. Washing ‘F’ Pit gives us the perfect location to highlight the crucial role that miners played and just as importantly the effect it had back at home in places such as Washington, Sunderland and Houghton.”

The two 40-minute shows, supported by Arts Council England and The Western Front Association will be at 1pm and 2pm on Sunday, September 11. Space is limited so please arrive early at the venue in Albany Way, Washington.

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