Eight community–based projects were successful in bidding for grants of £500 to support work that will either provide the basis for bids for additional funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), or develop research skills for volunteer groups. The successful projects are:
Coal was our Lives – A Nottinghamshire view
Dr David Amos
The grant will be used to purchase digital records and a camera which will be used to record the oral testimonies of some of the workforce that remains, placing an emphasis on the work process of coalmining in the early part of the 21st century, the changing climate of industrial relations, technological changes and so on, and to record images and footage of the operating colliery on the surface. The memories of key players involved in the ‘Coal Crisis’ (1992-94) will also be recorded. This work will be used as a pilot project to underpin a bit by Bilsthorpe Heritage Society for HLF Funding.
Southwell: ‘The Burgage Earthworks’ Community Archaeology Project
Dr Chris King
The Southwell Community Archaeology Group is conducting preliminary archaeological and historical research into a large earthwork enclosure in the area of the Southwell Burgage, north-east of the town centre. The Challenge Fund grant will contribute to this project by funding training in practical archaeological techniques such as finds analysis, dowsing and map and document awareness. The courses will take place between May and September 2012. This preliminary project will feed into a bid to the HLF ‘All Our Stories’ programme and the AHRC Connected Communities project.
Exploring Quarry Heritage
The National Stone Center is a registered educational charity with a national brief to tell the story of Stone in all its aspects: geological origins, technical development (stone is the World’s oldest and still the largest extractive industry), environmental/ aesthetic implications. The Challenge Fund will be used in two ways; first it will cover the cost of scoping visits to company-related archives, The National Archives and the University of Nottingham Manuscripts and Special Collections. Second, it will contribute to the cost of meetings to be convened by the National Stone Centre. These activities will help the National Stone Centre prepare a bid for the HLF ‘All our Stories’ programme for a pilot project which will aim to build and disseminate a corpus of material based on historical, archaeological, oral records and artefacts of the quarrying industry, initially in the Derbyshire/Peak District area.
The Nottingham Arboretum and its Communities
Professor Charles Watkins
The grant will be spent in two ways. First, it will be used to organise a special ‘History of the Nottingham Arboretum’ event at the park in May 2012 which will encourage all members of the community, including women, young people, the elderly and ethnic minorities, to share their knowledge and experiences of the Arboretum. One aim of this will be to facilitate the formation of a committee which will produce a detailed research plan and bid HLF ‘All our Stories’ funding. Secondly, the grant will be used to help identify, locate and transcribe some of the source materials (including some reproduction costs), especially those located in Nottingham Local Studies Library and Nottinghamshire County Record Office such as photographs and municipal records which will be used to inform the public information and displays in the new Visitor Centre, and the HLF bid. Together, these activities will be used to develop a further bid to the AHRC Connected Community Fund.
Writing our History: Poor Law Strand
Dr Paul Carter
This community heritage project, which involves the Southwell Workhouse (National Trust) and the Workhouse Historical Interest Group (WHIGs), aims to bring together a number of local community groups (made up of leisure historians) from different parts of the country, to propose and examine options for a piece of research focused on the lives of the 19th century poor which ‘connects’ the community groups. The Challenge Fund will assist with the organisation of this planning workshop, which will be held in June 2012, by contributing to the travel costs of the participants,. The workshop will lead to a bid for HLF funding for a major project on the 19th century New Poor Law ‘welfare state’.
Victoria County History Volunteers’ Handbook
Dr Richard Gaunt
For each county, a Volunteers’ Handbook provides a necessary point of reference, training and initiation into writing VCH parish histories.The Derbyshire Handbook was issued as a conventionally printed booklet in 2005 which is now out of print and, in light of subsequent developments in the availability and location of sources, out of date. The improved booklet will foster more effectively functioning and co-ordinated groups which will be in a stronger position to make an HLF bid and other possible future applications. It will also provide an element of research training and expertise for individuals who may otherwise lack opportunities to access this. The Challenge Fund will meet the cost involved in preparing a fully revised version of the Derbyshire Handbook which will be published on the VCH website and used as the basis for a paper edition.
The Raleigh: an exploration, investigation and evocation of the Nottingham Raleigh factory
Dr Carole Mallia
This scoping project builds on work already done by the community theatre company Hanby and Barrett on the former Raleigh factory site, now Jubilee Campus. As part of its research, the group has collected the memories of former employees. It is now investigating the most effective method for placing the existing research and oral history into the Campus, in a way that can be accessed by the local community. The Challenge Fund will finance meetings, site visits and group discussions, together with some staff time.
Newark Heritage Barge
The Friends of Newark Heritage Barge is developing a project to create a floating heritage centre dedicated to the history of the river Trent on board the last traditional Trent barge to survive in reasonably unaltered condition. The compilation of this information will involve visits to The National Archives, the British Waterways Archive at Gloucester and repositories in the Trent-Humber-Ouse region as well as the University of Nottingham Manuscript and Special Collections. To support this project, the Challenge Fund will support a survey of archival sources for the Trent, the production of a bibliography of publications and some information panels for the existing Visitors’ Centre.