We have had various training throughout our time on the project but one that stands out for me is the Oral History training with Jan Walmsley. It was a great day and I learnt so much information and built up my interview skills. When I look at interviews throughout the project, I notice how much my interview skills have developed. It is difficult for me sometimes because I cannot always hear what people are saying. Other skills I have learnt over the course of the project is going to the archives and knowing how to get archive information, writing blogs.
We took a group of our volunteers to Warwickshire County Record Office. We were shown around the archives and the strongroom. We were had a look at different documents from Middlefield, such as building plans and newspaper cuttings. We have been to the Warwickshire Archives a few times since and have found lots of information that has been useful to the project; we have seen pictures back in the Victorian era with the classrooms and sports in the gardens and seen how the wards looked.
There is a programme on the TV at the moment called The Great Hotel Escape. It follows owners around the country that are refurbishing old manor homes into hotels. There are episodes that feature Hampton Manor, and although their history and information about the hotel is mainly based on Sir Robert Peel, they do show pictures of what Hampton Manor was like before it got turned into the hotel. I think it is important that guests going there should know the full history and not part of the history.
It was lovely taking some of the former residents back to Hampton Manor, I myself was excited to be going to Hampton Manor, I was thinking is this wrong being so excited about a place that was an institution. From the start of the project, I have been able to visualise Middlefield from the pictures, the newsletter cuttings, people’s stories and the plans, but I had never been able to visualise Hampton Manor. Now when people tell their story about Hampton Manor I can visualise what is being talked about.
There is so much I can say there have been many great achievements and lots of skills that I have learnt, big thank you to Claire for all her support throughout the project it has been lovely working with you.
We will be having a Middlefield based exhibition at Knowle Parish Centre on: Monday 28th October 2019 till Wednesday 30th October 2019 11am-4pm
Hampton Manor Exhibition Tuesday 5th November till Thursday 7th November 2019 11am-4pm
Core Exhibition,Middlefield and Hampton Manor- library opening hours. Saturday 9th November 2019 till Friday 29th November 2019
I would like to thank everyone that we have worked with over the last year and a half and hope to see you all soon at the celebration event.