Remembering Our Histories : Memories of an Inner City Project


Back in January we reported on the National Trust’s decision to close its Inner City Project in Newcastle. Sadly the moment is imminent. However Alyssa Cowell informs us.

The Inner City Project closes after 25 years on 14th May – I’ve started to pull together old photographs and testimonials from both the young and older people who accessed over the years. The site  shows (to me) how the lessons we learn as part of a youth group can last for years.


There is now an impressive site, Memories of the Inner City Project, where the history from 1987 – 2013 is being brought to life. One such offering is this moving poem in memory of Ian Johnson 1980 – 1998, written by the East end Trailblazers Youth Group.

We looked at you and saw a friend
Who’s golden world could never end
But don’t believe that’s all there was to prove
We’ll never know the real you.

You smiled through a thousand tears
And harboured adolescent fears
You dreamed of all that you could never be
And waded in insecurity.

We won’t say you took it all for granted
We were aware of all you had
We don’t think you were disenchanted
But we understand.

It seems as though we’ve always been
People on the outside looking in
Well here we are for all them to bleed
And no-one can bring us to our knees
And though we knew you through and through
We’ll never know the real you.

Spending time with this host of memories from the young and old involved with the project poses the question of how well in general we have preserved our histories. Sadly much valuable material will have been discarded and lost. It would be brilliant to hear from other clubs and projects, who have managed to preserve the past in the service of the present and future.

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