What Is It?
full colour books, with a chapter on each of the 22 villages in Forest Heath
area. Each village is invited to produce their chapter, guided by an experienced
archivist, under the following headings:
Timeline (major events in the history of the
village), Village Folk (past and present), A Year in the Life
(recording the village through the seasons) and Architectural Heritage.
Additionally to this, the book will be published as a multimedia CD-Rom and a
web site on the Internet.
What’s The Timescale?
- preparation, June to August – produce pilot village chapter, September
1999 to August 2000 The main work of gathering information and creating the
book, September to October 2000 Once gathered and verified the text and
images will be professional designed by us and published in all formats.
What Should We Do Next?
Consider becoming the pilot village
Have you got enthusiastic villagers already working on this
information, with time available now?
Identify the person willing to be your coordinator/village reporter
(S)he will be the main link between the village and the
rest of the project.
Identify the person willing to be your electronic post office
(S)he will already be a computer user with internet
connection, support and up to date software will be provided. This could be a
younger member of the community. (This aspect of the project will be optional)
Begin building your team to do research and gather information
Identify what has already been done, perhaps a booklet
already exists that could form
Give us feedback
All Comments/Suggestions/Requests To:
Joe Thompson, Coordinator 22Villages
District Offices, College Heath Road, Mildenhall, SUFFOLK
Tel: 01379 646046 * Fax: 01379 646045 * email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to be considered for the pilot village project in April.
Please complete and return
to Joe Thompson –thank you (nb Reporter and email contact can be the same person)
‘The 22 Villages’ Heritage Project
There are 22 village communities within the district and
council area of Forest Heath in Suffolk. These villages vary enormously in
population, character and history. This project encapsulates their individuality
together in an easily accessible form to provide a comprehensive and exciting
picture of village life at the start of the new millennium.
What it will be
A series of 22 traditional and electronic books, one per
village celebrating the history, culture and glimpsing into the future of these
diverse and vibrant communities.
What the reader will see
Each book will follow the same format, although with enough
flexibility to allow each village to tell its own story in its own way. Sections
A graphical representation of
historical events that together represent part of the heritage of the
community. This would be a mixture of local events eg “the Dalham Bakehouse
Fire of 1867” and West Row during the war years. Because of the area’s
strong links to woodland the timeline could be represented by a graphic of the
rings through a tree where the centre represents its earliest history and the
bark present day. Clicking on any text will take you to that section.
Celebrating the human heritage, both past and present,
through stories, pictures and audio.
A Year in the life
Four sections, covering the
seasons. Pictures and sounds all recorded from the same viewpoint throughout the
year will see the village change before your eyes. This could lead on to country
walks and flora and fauna through the seasons. As well as celebrating the
village’s natural diversity it could highlight animal/flowers/insects lost
through extinction and on a positive note what steps are being taken in nature
A look at the architectural heritage, both past and present,
through stories, pictures and audio.
How it will work
team, including local experts and experienced amateurs (drawn from the local
communities), will work together in preparing a ‘best practice’ template.
This team, has many hours academic and practical experience in collating and
editing heritage material. The template will include suggested ‘Chapter’
headings and relevant resources, contact names numbers and initial step by step
‘how to’ and flow chart diagrams.
are they? The Manor was main unit of local government in
a parish until the late 16th century and record petty crimes, changes
in land holding. Early records could be in latin
are they? Bury Records Office, (01284) 352350 – Ed Button. The Search
Room, 1st floor wooden cabinets arranged in alphabetical order by
parish and manor
draft template will then be put into practice with the first village under the
supervision of the above team. Adjustments, revisions and enhancements will be
made and this then will be offered as a guideline to the rest of the villages.
information is gathered it will be edited and verified initially by the village
recorder (who will have received editorial
training as necessary) and then passed to a panel of experts/experienced
enthusiasts together representing all the disciplines within the project
(nature, architecture, heritage etc). This then will be passed to a professional
archivist who will act as the overall editor, ensuring quality, consistency and
continuity across the whole project.
This will then be passed to the Design and IT team who will
use graphic design and DTP skills to prepare an attractive and professional
book, web site and interactive CD versions that will show the content of this
project to best effect.
features of the project will include:
It is intended to help each village discover a piece of
lost/forgotten history, that currently is not available to the community at
large. This will be made possible in part by the amount of effort being put into
into the support structure of this project, sharing ideas etc. Another benefit
is that by getting communities talking within themselves and other villages,
this network will continue to flourish long after the heritage project is
Using our unique links with Mildenhall USAF Air base we will
when appropriate make available satellite and airborne photography that could
provide clues to long lost foundations and other buried heritage
Its Good To Talk
As well as nurturing face to face links between the team
members we will use the internet to complement this. Each village will nominate
a volunteer with internet access (if none is available facilities will be made
Each village will have say 20 volunteers reporting directly
to a Village Recorder (many villages already have such a person) this person
would work closely (or be) the villager with internet access. Each village will
be given an email address (Suffolk County Council may be willing to help us
here) eg: Exning@22villages.org
Email can then be sent inter village or to all 20 in the group for less 20% of
the cost of a stamp.
would also be the equivalent of a virtual notice board “can someone lend us a
metal detector next week?” “Has anyone come across a family called Shamlot?”
The basic text could also start to be posted onto the site www.22villages.org
allowing everyone (including our experts) to see how things are going.
– weekly each of our experts could be available online to answer
questions/problems from the villages. This would be very similar to a multi way
telephone call. Typical cost to all involved for a 30 minute session – 50p.
Compare this with attending meetings (although these will still form an
important part of the support network). Perhaps some villages/towns are twinned
and could add another dimension to the project.
Future Heritage Value
The Records Office were particularly excited about the idea
of a template of ideas and best practice being produced that could then be made
available to any other community that approaches them and says “how do you do
a village history?” We intend to make this available (nationally) Free of
Continue to grow
There is a commitment by our Design consultancy to update it
in 2/5 years with new info and publish this. If we only then did it in
electronic format the additional cost would be negligible. So often these
Histories become frozen in time whereas the communities continue to grow.
Accessible to All
Working with the Library service to ensure that the mobile
Library service that visits these communities always has copies available on the
van. Each school in the area will have a copy.
A group photo will be taken for each village, featuring all
the people involved in the project – this will be published in the book .
Other Council Departments / Organisations
A project such as this that motivates villages and shows
information and ideas flowing freely between communities and creates a new and
exciting layer of infrastructure. This mechanism will be further developed to
and for the benefit of the local communities.
How it will be made
1,000 CDs with explanatory booklet (identical to a
music CD) will be produced. These will be given free of charge to local schools,
libraries and be on sale at bookshops for a nominal cost (£2.50).
1,000 books will be produced to complement the
electronic version, ensuring the results are accessible to all.
The CD would be made accessible via the internet and
in that way could continue to grow and evolve even after the initial discs are