A HARWICH based two-year project, which involved nearly 6,000 people, has drawn to a close.

Surrender and Sanctuary was a National Lottery-funded project to celebrate and commemorate the anniversaries of the town’s hugely-significant moments in history which were the surrender of the German U-boat fleet in 1918 and the arrival of the first Jewish refugee children, known as the Kindertransport, in December 1938.

The project - run by New Heritage Solutions - included a host of events and activities with the community and wider area which involved building a life-sized German U-boat out of willow on Harwich beach.

To commemorate the arrival of the first Kindertransport in Harwich on December 2, 1938 a group of schoolchildren took part in a dramatic re-enactment of the event at Harwich Town Station.

In total, 14 commemorative events were held around the town as part of the project in the past two years involving residents, historians, youngsters and local businesses.

About 5,700 people engaged with the project, and more than 1,7000 children took part in workshops or attended performances.

Nick Patrick, managing director of New Heritage Solutions the social enterprise behind the project, said: “It’s always sad when a project comes to an end and Harwich is such a great place to work in.

“We are especially proud to have worked with so many local volunteers on activities that have engaged with nearly 6,000 people.

“The town’s rich history is an incredibly valuable resource which deserves to be cherished and made more accessible to everyone.

“We are, therefore, particularly pleased that The Harwich Festival will continue to manage the Arts and Heritage Centre we helped set up with them in Dovercourt.”

The Arts and Heritage Centre, in Main Road, Dovercourt, runs workshops and holds events for the community to take part in and enjoy.

Mr Patrick added: “This can be a fantastic asset to the town which could coordinate and complement all the hard work being done by other arts, heritage and visitor groups.”

See harwichfestival.co.uk.