Living Links was a three year community archives project jointly supported by Hampshire Record Office and the Isle of Wight Record Office, and funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, MLA South East and Hampshire Archives Trust. It aimed to support existing community heritage groups in building community archives, and to engage groups unfamiliar with archives in innovative and creative ways.
- 182 groups contacted
- 95 Archive Ambassadors trained
- 223 volunteers
- 2664 volunteer hours
- 7 group visits
- 6 creative projects
The Creative Projects allowed us to do more in depth work with groups new to archives, and to use archives in innovative and creative ways to engage group members and the public.
Living Links Community Archives Project DVD
An overview of the project and its achievements in the last three years
Favourite Places involved working with the Ethnic Minority Learning Disability programme (EMLD) Proud2b group. A series of short oral recordings were undertaken with family members based around their favourite places in Hampshire and in the world. A textile artist subsequently worked with Proud2b members to form 3 panels inspired by the oral recordings, which have been displayed around the county. A presentation event occurred at Hampshire Record Office and the interviews were deposited with the Wessex Film and Sound Archive.
This project worked with the North Hampshire Caribbean and African Network (NHCAN). Two week long summer schools were held for the younger members of the group in July and August. During the first week local and family history was explored with the group and training provided in oral history techniques. Eight interviews were undertaken by the children with the senior members of NHCAN. During the second week, Living Links employed a poet/illustrator to work with the group to produce illustrated poetry. They were also coached in performance skills and an exhibition of artwork and the performance by the children formed the centrepiece of an event, Black Achievers, held in Basingstoke.
Ryde Audio Trail
This group worked with Living Links to produce an audio trail about Ryde, which is available for download to mp3 players. The group researched the history of their town in the Isle of Wight Record Office, and with the help of ATS Heritage produced a script for the trail. A local artist created a map to accompany the trail, and a leaflet and exhibition were produced highlighting how the project was put together and the history uncovered. A launch event was held in May in Ryde.
The Penton Muses
The Penton Players are an amateur dramatics group from North Hampshire who wrote and performed a play inspired by archive material on their two villages, Penton Mewsey and Penton Grafton. Once they had completed their research in the archives on the episodes of local history they wanted to highlight, Living Links funded a professional scriptwriter to work with the group. The final performance contained a huge range of scenes including a re-creation of a plane crash, home guard practice and a touching scene based on the village war memorial. A copy of the script, programme and various other paperwork relating to the play have been added to the Penton archive at HRO.
In 2010 the Youth Impact Panel in Basingstoke produced a ‘sense of place’ documentary about the town today. The group came up with their own ideas for what to include in the film, and worked with professional production company Cass Productions to put it together. Cass trained the group to use professional camera equipment, as well as how to do interviews, sound, music, and even animation. The group trawled though footage of a variety of Basingstoke locations to choose segments to include in their film, giving them a new insight into how their town had changed. A launch event was held and a shortened version of the film is on permanent display at the Willis Museum.
Growing up in Gosport
Following the success of Basingstoke 2010 the Gosport Edge youth group, again with the help of Cass Productions, made a DVD entitled ‘Growing up in Gosport’ which focuses on the changing leisure and social activities of young people in Gosport since WW2. The group interviewed people from different generations of Gosport's youth, drew animations and created music to add to the film. Archive images and film footage provided by Hampshire Record Office and the Wessex Film and Sound Archive were then added to illustrate the differences between past and present. The group hosted a launch event in Gosport in February 2011 to showcase their achievements.
Watch Growing up in Gosport
Living Links has been working with Maddhat Shamuha (Nepalese Help) for the last couple of years to build up their community archive, and we have placed a volunteer, Kranti Ale, with the group to help to progress this. The language barrier which was restricting us previously has been overcome through this and he has been able to successfully build relationships with group members and thus encourage them to be involved. A keen photographer he has taken hundreds of photographs detailing their culture and traditions as well as conducting interviews with members of the group on life here and in Nepal. We hope that an exhibition of his work combined with that of a local photography student will be produced later this year and tour around Hampshire. There is no doubt that this is an important part of the county’s heritage and it is great that this is being captured and preserved for future generations.
Hampshire Record Office
Sussex Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8TH
tel 01962 846154