Friday 29 August 2014

End of the project – not really

In two days' time, on the 31st of August, the Sopwell Memories project officially ends. I have submitted my digital record – of which this blog is part – and also the required end-of-project report. Almost all of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) £10,000 money has now been spent. So thank you Heritage Lottery!

I hope you will agree that we have done what we set out to do and produced a wonderful website at – something Sopwell should be proud of!

On our journey, we have interviewed many lovely people about their memories and transcribed the recordings; we have edited these and posted them on the website; and we have collected many more images and maps of the area and added these.

If you still haven’t seen how we did all this, then you have two days left in which to visit our exhibition at the Museum of St Albans in Hatfield Road. We are obliged to take it down on 1st of September.

Sopwell History Walks Leaflets

As our final gift to you, and courtesy of the HLF again, we, that is the Sopwell Residents Association, have published a set of five Sopwell History Walks leaflets to encourage visitors to explore Sopwell and learn a little about its history.

Many of you will be aware that, each year, we organise a walk around our area. These popular walks, which explore our history and green spaces, started several years ago, and there has always been a lot of interest in them. So, in our request for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Sopwell Memories project, we asked for some money to print walk leaflets. And these are the result!

The five short and fairly easy circular walks were beautifully produced by Diverse Print and Design, the company who also did our book Sopwell: a history and collection of memories. And our own Barry Bateman has drawn by hand a beautiful map in each, so you shouldn't get lost.

The leaflets are free and available from the Museum of St Albans and from the Tourist Information Centre in the old Town Hall. Pick one or two up when you are passing!

In addition, you can view/download them in PDF format from the Sopwell Memories website.

As I said before, it may be the end of the project, but we will still be collecting memories to add to the website, so if you want to take part and tell us your story, please get in touch.

Sandy Norman

Thursday 7 August 2014

Have you seen it yet?

The Sopwell Memories exhibition held in the Museum of St Albans in Hatfield Road is up and running and will remain there until the end of August.

The Sopwell Residents Association's team of volunteers has curated it with the help of the museum staff and we think that we have done a really professional job considering we are just a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs.

It is amazing how good we can make it look with the help of a roll of Velcro dots, laminating sheets and foam board.

We have been really fortunate also in being able to borrow the display panels from the Smallford Residents Association. They are also managing an HLF All Our Stories project - the history of Smallford station - so we have been sharing our experiences of running lottery funded projects over the past year or so. Our thanks go to Jeff Lewis and team for helping us out.

We have had lots of favourable comments on the exhibition so far. We would like more so if you haven’t been to see it yet, do go along and let us know what you think. And of course you can still visit the website and leave comments and maybe your memories.

Sandy Norman