Great Place Falkirk seeking volunteers for Hidden Heritage summer programmes

The team behind a new Falkirk district-focused research initiative hope residents will make the most of a chance to discover more about their surroundings this summer.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 4:45 pm
The Our Stories – Views from the Past exhibition in Falkirk's Callendar House remains open. Contributed.
The Our Stories – Views from the Past exhibition in Falkirk's Callendar House remains open. Contributed.

With the ever-changing green, amber and red travel lists complicating holiday planning, Great Place Falkirk’s Hidden Heritage programmes offer a suitable alternative to an overseas trip.

Hidden Heritage encourages participants to explore areas on their doorstep and create media content for the Our Stories Falkirk website.

Led by volunteers, each project lasts six weeks and examines different historical aspects.

Since starting, Hidden Heritage projects have investigated a range of topics, from James Watt and Kinneil Cottage, to the history of McCowan’s Toffee.

Experience in historical interpretation is not necessary – all that’s required is an interest in local tales and a desire to share the region’s heritage more widely.

Volunteers meet each week and look at various facets of the past, with each person asked to carry out at least one hour of independent research on their chosen subject.

Among the programme topics are Camelon and Tamfourhill, Dig to Display, Falkirk Travel Through Time and Wild Falkirk.

Content style is decided by the volunteer, with guidance from Great Place, and has previously included image galleries, written articles, videos and audio recordings like oral history interviews.

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The four projects run until September and each is billed as “a great opportunity for volunteers to share their own take on local history and hone their research and communication skills”.

The programme kicked off in June with Archaeology in Falkirk, a theme which will carry on into August via the Dig to Display project which is designed to teach volunteers how to carry out excavations in their own green space.

Due to Covid, Hidden Heritage’s six to eight-week programmes have gone online and research groups meet weekly via Zoom.

Participants should have the ability and willingness to work with people of all ages.

Apply here or email [email protected] to take part.

Meanwhile, an Our Stories – Views from the Past exhibition will remain open at Callendar House, Falkirk this summer.

Throughout lockdown, the Great Place Falkirk project continued to tell the history of the area.

Teams of volunteers have contributed to a growing website full of their discoveries and the project wanted to use Falkirk Council’s museum, managed by Falkirk Community Trust, to give these digital stories a real-life physical presence.

Working with FCT, volunteers with a passion for history and heritage helped co-curate the exhibition with tales told in their own voices.

With the industrial past of the Falkirk area as a starting point, the exhibition explores brickworks, the iron industry and soap works.

There are also famous local names from the region which are sure to “spark memories of tasty drinks and snacks”.

Helen Rashad, Great Place project coordinator, said: “The Our Stories exhibition and website are wonderful examples of the Great Place scheme at its best – an enthusiastic and talented group coming together and working with professionals to share their own take on local heritage, making it freely accessible to residents and visitors alike.”

The exhibition will remain free but tickets should be booked in advance through Callendar House.

For more, visit ourstoriesfalkirk.com.

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