Website showcasing Norfolk memories to launch at Norwich's Millennium Library

12 July 2017

Memories of people living and working in Norfolk are being preserved on a new website, which marks the end of a history project involving communities from across the county.

The Historypin Connections project was given £545,555 of Big Lottery funding last year to run three projects in different areas of the country. The Norfolk one has been run by Historypin and Norfolk County Council’s Library and Information Service.

The project aimed to reduce social isolation while creating records of people’s memories, which can be preserved for future generations in a new online community archive. A celebration to mark the end of the work and launch the work on a website is being held at Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library tomorrow (Thursday 13 July).

Norfolk’s older residents have been able to share their life stories, and personal perspectives on the region’s events over the years and their thoughts will provide invaluable insight for people looking at the history of Norfolk in years to come.

Library staff worked with organisations including Age UK, local care homes, history groups and promoted the project through dementia cafes and mobile libraries in order to gain more than 400 participants for the project. Some of the work produced by the Norwich Time Travellers group, involved in the project, has already been on display at the library as part of the Labyrinth of Lost Letters project.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, said: “The project has been invaluable at not only creating a rich resource of memories, but also in bringing people together and reducing social isolation. It fits well as part of our council’s In Good Company project as an accessible activity for older people at risk of loneliness.”

Included on the website are stories by service users of the Norfolk Deaf Association’s befriending service, who have been meeting with staff and volunteers at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library to record their memories – including the added difficulties that being a school child with hearing loss can bring. These sessions were specially adapted for people with hearing loss, who otherwise find it challenging to communicate in a group setting.

Pam Spicer, Service Manager at NDA, said “This was a wonderful experience for our befriending service users. It was lovely to hear their life stories and share some fascinating insights into their interesting lives. Thank you to the library staff for looking after us so well.”

Rachel Willis, Historypin Connections project coordinator, said “It has been a real privilege to meet and record the memories of so many interesting people across the county. My involvement in this project has given me a deeper understanding of the last 100 years of Norfolk’s history and the impact that huge events like the Second World War had on individual’s lives.”

Notes to editors:

The launch event will take place in the Forum’s Auditorium on Thursday 13 July from 1 – 3.30pm, and is open to invited guests and press. Please confirm your attendance to NCC’s press office.

The project website can be found here.

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