The exciting news is that, although Past In Mind has finished its research into Studmarsh, the project lives on. Past In Mind was never a project that was destined to be filed away in a County archive. Too much has been gained for that. With this is mind, Dr. Kate Lack who was the project historian, has written a book about what has been learned from Past In Mind. The book, due to be published on May 10th 2014, offers a glimpse into the lives and experiences of some of the inhabitants of Studmarsh and the surrounding area. Studmarsh saw the Roman occupation, the Norman Conquest, the Black Death, famine, civil war, the Industrial Revolution and much more before the present day. Drawing from the shared experience of volunteers and paid professionals working on the Past In Mind project, the book is a human story full of fascinating historical facts.
More details will be posted as they arise.
Past in Mind has also been entered for the Heritage Lottery Awards and if we are shortlisted I will, of course, announce it on this Blog.
I genuinely believe that Past In Mind has paved the way for future Community projects seeking to learn more about local history/archaeology whilst breaking down barriers in mental health. The common denominator in this project was enthusiasm for research and archaeology, but everyone involved brought a unique perspective. For those volunteers who have no experience of mental health problems, I hope that fear of ‘mad’ people has been eradicated or at least diminished. For those volunteers who do experience mental health problems, I hope that fear of trying new things and meeting new people is now one that can be faced more regularly. Because the emphasis of the project was on the excavation and historical research rather than mental health, it was easier to get on with the task in hand. But one of the things that made this easier was that everyone who volunteered was accepted for who they are. Each individual was valued. And this ethos continues in Past In Mind.
Details of where to purchase Kate’s book will be posted when they are available.