Today: Our Lincolnshire Web-App Launch

Today Our Lincolnshire is launching our brand new web app, My Lincolnshire Collection.

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The app is accessible via any web-enabled device, and enables users to explore a range of heritage objects from all over Lincolnshire, curating a collection of the county’s heritage according to their own tastes and priorities.

Here’s how to create your Lincolnshire Collection:

Step 1. Choose up to 10 favourites from our 100 specially selected heritage object tiles. Images of these objects have been collected from heritage sites all over the county in the hopes that, in addition to the historical artefacts that draw thousands of visitors to our city centre each year, the collection will also represent Lincolnshire’s lesser-known treasures.

From the panel of 100 images, you can click and drag a tile into your Lincolnshire Collection bar at the top of the page to put it into your collection (don’t worry, you can always drag a tile back out of your Lincolnshire Collection bar if you change your mind).

To get a better look at an image, simply click on its tile to enlarge it. You will also find a description of the object, to help you make the all-important decision of whether or not to select it for your Lincolnshire Collection. Once you’ve finished your collection, click ‘Next’!

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Step 2: Tell us in the comments box how or why you chose the objects that you did for your Lincolnshire Collection. Did you go with a specific theme? Or did you choose the objects that appealed visually? We’d love to know!

Step 3: Discover where you can go to find your selections in real life, using our handy map of Lincolnshire – you’ll see that all of your chosen objects have been marked individually according to your Lincolnshire Collection. You could even plan a trip around the county to see them all!

 

Step 4: Share with your friends! Heritage is for everyone, so be sure to spread the goodness.

We hope that you enjoy using our new web app to create your Lincolnshire Collection. If you have any questions about the app that aren’t covered in this post, please feel free to get in touch using the contact form below.

 

 

The Project Diaries: The Ghost of Gordon Boswell’s Romany Museum Part III

Part III – To start from Part I, click here!

“What’s it like? When you see her, I mean?”

“Well at first, of course, it was very frightening. It would only happen when I was here alone, usually when it was late, or dark.”

I shuddered at the thought.

“On a handful of occasions our visitors have reported an odd feeling over by that wagon as well, without knowing anything of the story, mind you. Quite strange. But after a while, I suppose I ended up feeling like she probably didn’t want to do anyone any harm. She’s a little girl after all. So these days, no, I’m not frightened anymore. There’s a little doll on the step to her wagon so you should be able to spot which one is hers. The ghost hunters put it there last night to try and lure her out to play. They seemed pleased with whatever they found so hopefully we’ll know some more soon.”

I was uncharacteristically lost for words. A moment passed before Mr Boswell slapped his hands on his knees and said “Right, I’m going into the house for some tea if there’s nothing else you need? You’re more than welcome to poke around for as long and you like and take your photographs.”

“You’re…you’re leaving me here on my own?”

“Well I’ve not eaten yet and it’s getting late – it’s alright love, I trust you!” he assured, missing the sentiment of my query. “Come and say goodbye before you go!” And with that, he left me alone.

Alone. In the haunted museum. I took a breath. I still needed to gather some photographs for the project, and wasn’t about to let the knot in my stomach prevent an opportunity for research so, hesitantly,  stepped back into the museum, camera in hand.

I walked as slowly as I could, looking hard at the things that I had missed on my first run around. As the knot in my stomach continued gradually to inflate, I tried desperately to recapture my happily inquisitive initial impressions of the museum. But I could swear it felt a lot colder than it had an hour earlier. And were those creepy wind-chimes there before? It was all in my head (of course?!) and, determined not to scare myself out of valuable project investigation time, I forced myself to read the displays properly, humming Justin Bieber (sorry, World) to calm myself as I went.

In the back of my mind, I knew that I would need to take some photographs over by the haunted vardo but, as you can imagine, I was none too keen to rush over there. So instead, I decided to build myself up to it by taking photos of other slightly creepy things nearby. For example, this vaguely spooky collection of boots:

Stirring with the spirits of footsies passed

Stirring with the spirits of footsies passed

My dread threshold rising, I turned my camera on the inside of the wagon beside the haunted vardo. I closed my eyes for the flash and (thankfully) didn’t look at the resulting photograph until I was safely back in my car:

If I had seen this at the time, there is no way I’d have made it to the actual haunted vardo. This is one scary photograph, and it was only meant to be a warm up for the real thing!

Still feeling bold(ish) in my ignorance of how frightening the photograph I had just taken actually was, I figured that the sooner I collected the photos of the haunted vardo, the sooner I could run away. I steeled myself and, thinking I was ready, marched right into the corner where it sits.

It turns out I wasn’t really ready. This is the one photograph that I managed to take of the haunted wagon before losing my nerve and hurtling away to the other side of the museum with a squeak:

The doll that sits on the step of the haunted vardo

The doll that sits on the step of the haunted vardo

According to the timestamps on my camera, I managed less than ten minutes in the museum after my meeting with Mr Boswell, and you know what? I’m not ashamed. It was a terrifying experience. Additionally, all of the photos that I took after having taken that one of the ghost vardo turned out strange and shadowy:

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The sceptic in me says that this probably is just the shadow of and object behind me, caused by the camera’s flash, but I don’t suppose I’ll ever know for sure…

I have since seen photographs of Gordon Boswell’s Romany Museum during opening season and I have to say, it depicts a rather different experience to mine. Full of people and with all the lights on, it looks like a wonderful place for a day out, something that my initial impressions of the museum can absolutely attest to. It is full of beautiful and informative displays about the Romany way of life and holds a truly remarkable collection of the wagons and memorabilia collected over Mr Boswell’s lifetime. I only suggest that you don’t stick around if he pops out for tea.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about The Ghost of Gordon Boswell’s Romany Museum. Look out for more from The Our Lincolnshire Project Diaries coming soon!

Lincolnshire’s Cricket Heritage

The first record of cricket played by a Lincolnshire county side is in 1828, when a Norfolk v Lincolnshire match took place at East Dereham. (Lincolnshire won by an innings!)

We know, though, that village cricket in Lincolnshire dates back further than this. The first mention of Stamford Cricket Club, for example, was in 1770. A Spalding v Boston match took place a few years later, in 1792. It rained (nothing changes!), and sadly this “occasioned the grass to be slippery, and one gentleman by a fall dislocated his knee, another had a broken leg, and one a black eye”!!

From these slightly uncertain beginnings, Lincolnshire cricket has grown into its present day state where there are 29 ECB ‘Focus Clubs’ in operation and many more besides, as well as a number of flourishing leagues. International cricket even came to Lincolnshire in 2013, when England Women played Pakistan at Louth Cricket Club, thanks to the efforts of one Arran Brindle.

Lincolnshire Cricket therefore has a rich history – and the ‘Our Lincolnshire’ project wants more people to know about it! For that, we need your help…

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Arran Brindle, one of England Women’s star performers of recent years, hails from Louth in Lincolnshire. Photo credit: Don Miles.

Are you involved in cricket in Lincolnshire? We want to tap into your expertise. Have you or someone else at your club done research into its history? Have important things happened at your club which you think we should know about? Share it with us!

Would you be prepared for us to come and visit you at your club and interview you or any of your club members about your experiences of Lincolnshire cricket? Who are the stalwarts of Lincolnshire cricket that we should be speaking to? Let us know!

Ultimately our aim is to produce a website with information about the history of cricket in Lincolnshire. We’d love to work with you on this, and hear your ideas about what you think should be included on the website. Get in touch!

You can also submit images of any objects which you have at your club relating to cricket history – such as old bats, balls, or caps – for inclusion in the ‘My Lincolnshire Collection’.

For more information on the cricket heritage section of the ‘Our Lincolnshire’ project, or to share information about the history of your club, contact Dr Raf Nicholson at the University of Lincoln – rnicholson@lincoln.ac.uk (telephone number: 01522 835 117).

Our Lincolnshire

The term ‘heritage’ is used to refer to anything that has historic or cultural value which can be passed from one generation to the next. Heritage can include physical things created by humans such as objects, buildings and monuments as well as non-physical things such as traditions, crafts, ceremonies, songs, literature, digital material, stories and memories. Heritage activities bring people today into contact with their heritage, and can include visiting, watching, listening, reading, handling, teaching, re-enacting and re-creating.

Why heritage matters

Recent research carried out by BritainThinks for the Heritage Lottery Fund revealed that ‘the UK’s heritage helps make us happier about where we live, and puts heritage firmly at the heart of shaping and improving quality of life across the UK.’

After talking to 4,000 people, they found that:

  • 93% see heritage as important to ‘the country’
  • 81% see heritage as important to ‘me personally’
  • 80% say local heritage makes their area a better place to live
  • 64% think local heritage has got better while they have lived in the area

People see heritage delivering benefits that relate directly to their quality of life, bringing economic benefits like tourism and creating good jobs, making places more visually attractive, providing family leisure opportunities, helping people to understand where they come from, instilling local pride and encouraging social cohesion.

Heritage in Lincolnshire today

What do you think of when you think about heritage in Lincolnshire? There are lots of well-known stories about Lincolnshire’s past, but which stories do you think it’s important to tell? Perhaps you know of a ‘hidden’ history that you think should be shared, or you might be involved with a group who are eager to learn more about the stories linked to a particular place, time, or theme. Take part in our survey to share your views on your heritage.

Abandoned antennae dishes at RAF Stenigot, Donington-on-Bain. Photo credit: Darren Flinders, 2015, CC BY-ND 2.0

Abandoned antennae dishes at RAF Stenigot, Donington-on-Bain. Photo credit: Darren Flinders, 2015, CC BY-ND 2.0

The aims of the Our Lincolnshire Initiative

‘Our Lincolnshire’ is an initiative funded by Arts Council England (ACE), aiming to understand the value that inhabitants of, and visitors to, Lincolnshire place on the county’s heritage, and the relevance this has to them. These insights will then help inform future strategies for heritage curation and service provision.

There has been recognition by the county heritage sector that the heritage of rural areas of Lincolnshire does not attract as much attention as the many iconic city-centred attractions, facilities and services. This separation between people in Lincolnshire and their county heritage is thought to generate indifference towards heritage sites and collections, which presents challenges for reviewing the purpose and function of museums and heritage services.

Re-connecting people in Lincolnshire with their heritage in a meaningful and creative way is needed to justify the continued collection, curation and presentation of heritage, so that is effective in encouraging responsible guardianship of heritage, building social capital within communities, and ensuring this resource reflects, meets and advances contemporary interests, needs and aspirations.  The issue of how best to achieve these aims for rural heritage affects areas well beyond Lincolnshire and also reflects the wider ‘crisis of identity’ affecting British citizenship.

The ‘Our Lincolnshire’ initiative will involve undertaking and analyzing a programme of structured creative public engagement to ensure that that the future form and nature of the collections development strategy for Lincolnshire will be firmly rooted in the interests and aspirations of residents and visitors.

Wreck of the 'Try' at Saltfleet. Photo credit: Pete, 2007, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Wreck of the ‘Try’ at Saltfleet. Photo credit: Pete, 2007, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Find out more about different strands of the project, and join in with your contributions:

  • Heritage Survey: Tell us your thoughts on heritage in Lincolnshire via our survey – designed for all ages.
  • My Lincolnshire Collection: Curate your own collection of 10 objects from a selection of 100 via our web app.
  • Cricket in Lincolnshire: Find out more about the history and heritage of cricket in Lincolnshire.
  • Performing Heritage in Lincolnshire: New performances have been commissioned to explore your thoughts on Lincolnshire’s heritage – developed from responses to the heritage survey.
  • Heritage and society: What does heritage mean to people today? We explore the significance of heritage for our society.
  • Lincolnshire’s Place in History: Lincolnshire’s heritage is diverse and distinctive – explore how history is used in Lincolnshire today.
Belton House. Photo credit: Richard Thomas, 2006, CC BY-NC 2.0

Belton House. Photo credit: Richard Thomas, 2006, CC BY-NC 2.0