Audio tour launch marks culmination of historic BBC collaboration

An audio tour of a historic Lincolnshire church will be launched today in the culmination of a landmark collaboration between the University of Lincoln and BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

The audio tour of the 13th century Church of St Peter in Friesthorpe represents the finale of the poignant Leaving Home project, which commemorated the centenary of the beginning of World War One. The innovative collaboration between the University’s School of Fine & Performing Arts and BBC Radio Lincolnshire remembered the tragedy of the local Beechey family, which lost five sons to the WWI conflict.

The family is one of only three in the UK known to have lost so many sons, and throughout July and August 2014 their story was remembered in a series of moving tribute performances and radio broadcasts. All performances were co-written and directed by Conan Lawrence and Dr Andrew Westerside from the University of Lincoln’s School of Fine and Performing Arts. They were produced by Conan, Executive Director of the Leaving Home project, and featured a cast of Lincoln students and graduates alongside professional actors.

The new audio tour, which represents the final strand of the Leaving Home project, was also written by Conan and was produced by Michael Hortin of BBC Radio Lincolnshire. It includes original BBC content as well as excerpts from the various productions, highlighting the family’s sacrifice while providing visitors with an informative narration about the fascinating history of the church and its surrounding village. The audio tour is narrated by Lizzy Hayes, a recent Graduate of the School of Fine & Performing Arts.

Its creation was possible thanks to a grant of £3,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to the Parochial Church Council of St Peters. The grant also supported the restoration of the historic church bells, which were rung for the first time in more than 100 years as part of the moving Leaving home performance in Friesthorpe. This performance and the wider project were featured across BBC1 and BBC News 24.

The ceremony for the unveiling of the audio tour will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Lincolnshire at 11am (Friday 15th May). To listen online, visit:​

Story Credits: Elizabeth Allen

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