Crime and Conflict

Crime and Conflict will probe the dark side of Charnwood’s history: theft, corruption and violence. We will explore how successive conflicts, local and national, have been played out in Charnwood, from disputes between villages, poaching, the fierce resistance which met attempts to enclose the land in the 18th and 19th centuries and industrial unrest.

We will also consider the part that Charnwood’s communities played during global conflicts, from the signals unit at Beaumanor Hall (which gathered messages for Bletchley Park) to the tales of school boys who played with the live artillery shells that lined the Forest roads in preparation for the D-Day landings.

An oral history project called Charnwood’s War will explore aspects of life in Charnwood and Loughborough during the Second World War and during the early post-war period.

Archival research and training for Crime and Conflict will last for three months and will look at a variety of documentary sources from medieval court rolls through to modern newspaper reports, war records and photographs.

Did you know that in the eighteenth century a lyrical ballad called the Charnwood Opera was written about a dispute between local landowners and peasants? During the project, we hope to stage the first modern performance of the ‘Opera’ and share this fascinating piece of Charnwood’s literary history with the public.