Burton upon Stather Heritage Group (BSHG) was formed in basically because we are proud of our locality, its history and heritage.
It is appropriate that we chose the WWII tank ramp as our groups first project because the name Stather is derived from the Viking word
staithes meaning landing stage, taking us back over 1000 years into dark age history.
There has in fact been a landing stage at the Stather since at least Roman times and the village owes its very existence to it.
Our landing stage brings us up to date a little being just under 70 years old but is nevertheless a very important part of our local heritage that touched the lives of everyone in the village during the years of WWII.
The Tank Ramp as it has been affectionately known locally since its construction, played a vitally important part of research into amphibious tanks and ancillaries in WWII and up to its closure in 1947.
Famous names such as Major General Sir Percy
and Nicholas Straussler visited the site
and it is widely believed that Barnes Wallis, inventor of the bouncing bomb,
also spent time here working on a device known as
The pendulum. Though our research has yet to find written evidence of this.
It paved the way for those who were willing to lay down their lives to cross the Rhine in an effort to save Britain from invasion (as it was, as one of our veterans will vouch,
the war was won without crossing the Rhine) but we must not forget these WWII veterans who faced the ultimate challenge in facing the possibility of giving their lives for their country.
Restoring the Tank Ramp into a working slipway and tourist attraction is, we believe, a fitting memorial for the brave soldiers that served there.
Time moves on and now we have members of our Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan and beyond, facing the ultimate sacrifice and so we honour todays soldiers by
supporting Help for Heroes with a percentage of our funds raised being donated to this most worthy cause.
Our fundraising events of the Burton upon Stather Heritage Group naturally followed the history of the Tank Ramp with a Raft Race in aid of Help for Heroes and a Fun Day for the local community. Held as part of the long standing Burton in Bloom weekend, it was an unprecedented success benefiting both organisations and the local community. The day attracted close on 500 visitors including local MP Andrew Percy and NLC ward councillors Rob Waltham, Ralph Ogg and Elaine Marper, all of who commented on our remarkable Big Society achievements. This promises to be an exciting annual event for many years to come.
Big Society is a very modern phrase and very much the dream of our Prime Minister David Cameron. We believe we are one of the best examples of the Big Society in action in that we are all volunteers working towards helping the local community as well as ourselves. Our projects bring together the different generations with an understanding and cohesion towards appreciating and respecting our community, its heritage and what it stands for.