August in Ellington Park saw a continued focus on heritage as the first set of training took place for the volunteers leading the digital archive project.
After a successful call out for archive volunteers, via the Friends of Ellington Park and The Ramsgate Society, we had over 30 applicants for six volunteer positions for a year long archive project. The archive project aims to research and find heritage items and documents relating to the park’s history, specifically events, ecology or landscape over time. Once items are found and assessed, via the collection criteria, volunteers will digitise and catalogue the items to form the Ellington Park digital archive online.
The two days of training provided by Community Sites (an organisation specialising in setting up community archives and websites) has upskilled our six volunteers on cataloguing and managing images, articles, audio and video for the new Ellington Park website and online archive.
The new volunteers were excited about the project and provided some really positive feedback on their experience so far:
“The training has been great and I have learnt so much. I have got my technology wings back! I love learning something new, useful and that is going to make an impact in the park.”
“I love volunteering. Doing something for the community and the park is great, meeting people and giving back.”
“I can’t wait to get started. I can’t wait to meet people, talk about the park and collect all the social histories. The good thing about history is you get to be nosy!”
When complete, the digital archive and website will host over 2,000 items of heritage interest about Ellington Park. This will inspire our education programmes, signage and interpretation, while ensuring important local history is preserved and accessible to the public.
In addition to the digital heritage work taking place, to preserve and enhance the physical heritage features that are in the park Thanet District Council and Friends of Ellington Park are working behind the scenes to finalise design and issue tender documents. By applying a a robust procurement process we will ensure best value for money for public funds, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund support of £1.8m.
Works are scheduled to start in the park at the end of 2019.