Selston heritage in the spotlight

THE history of Selston will be preserved for future generations thanks to a creative, heritage project.

Villagers of all ages have worked on the Selstonia Living Heritage Project and came together for a special celebration at the Tin Hat Centre, where they were presented with an archive of all the material that has been collected so far.

There was also a small exhibition documenting the work of the group.

Chairman of the Selstonia Living Heritage Project, Chris Bonam, said: “There’s been an increase in skills across all ages.

“We have collected audio archives and got people to translate it to other media so people had to be given the skills to do that.”

The project received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as funds from activities organised by volunteers, and is the culmination of four years of hard work by the community.

During this time, volunteers have conducted more than 500 interviews with residents aged between four and 90.

This has led to more people asking to be interviewed and submitting photographs - and so far 1,700 images of the area have been scanned by group members.

The project has given folk living in the area the opportunity to learn new skills and, as well as the interviews, volunteers have been sampling a host of new activities from song writing and drama to mosaic making and stained glass work.

Pupils at Jacksdale, Bagthorpe and Underwood primary schools produced mosaics based on their history after materials and training were provided by the project, while a CD of local heritage songs has also been produced, along with calendars, cards, booklets, plays and DVDs.

One of the project’s highlights was a five-week-long heritage festival, which took place in October and November 2010, and culminated in the Big Event at the Matthew Holland complex.

The festival included a fortnight of heritage radio which took place at the Tin Hat Centre and three weeks of fringe activities hosted by schools, churches and other organisations.

Although funding for the project has now ended, those involved in the scheme say it will have a lasting legacy.

Chris said: “It will continue at a lower level.

“We have decided to put on heritage talks and the first one of these will be on local dialect.

“We have had some very supportive letters from people.”

He also said that the archive would be a valuable resource for everyone from young children to academics.

Some of the organisations who have taken part in the scheme over the past four years include Holly Hill Tenants and Residents, Selston Library, Selston in Bloom, Selston Knitting Club, Millington Springs Care Home and many more.