(Article by Dr. Kate Lack)
This unique project began on a journey, involved much travelling as it unfolded, and for many of the participants these journeys continue. Now, a year after the official end of Past in Mind, it seems a good time to take stock, in a book setting out the discoveries, new insights and understandings that it has enabled.
The book has no name yet, because the project was so rich and varied: The People and their Place? The Mind of the Past? Living through the Past? A Day in the Life . . . ? Or simply The Past in Mind?
But we do know what the book is for. Here, we share the process and the key outcomes, both heritage and health and the interaction between the two, and explore the significance of recreating these little communities (past and present) as they were brought to new life. Tensions between the academic disciplines reflected those between differing perceptions and models of mental health, and were mirrored again in the lives of the ancient inhabitants of the place.
As we have found, the task of uncovering the story of a lost settlement in a hidden corner of England provided powerful tools and images for redefining our understanding of community now, and our own links with the past.