Backfilling The Blog

 

 

Book Launch 2014 8

On May 10th 2014 around 100 people gathered to celebrate the Past In Mind project and the launch of Kate Lack’s fascinating book: Past In Mind: A Heritage Project and Mental Health Recovery.

Whitbourne Village Hall was buzzing with excitement and anticipation as faces old and new filled up the room.

Book Launch 2014 2

 

 

Dash at book launchDash, my new guide dog, greeted people with his usual enthusiasm and helped everyone to feel at ease.

Book Launch 2014

It was very heartwarming to meet up with people we hadn’t seen since last year, and to hear their news.  Past In Mind became a very close-knit group and we all believed in the project so much that it has left a definite imprint on each of us.

Book Launch 2014 7

 

Book Launch 2014 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After some luxurious refreshments there were a few short presentations from a cross-section of people involved with the project.  True to the ethos of Past In Mind this included some thoughts from volunteers such as Chris, Mark, Malcolm and myself.

The book signings came next, and for many of us this meant exchanging autographs – a bit like at the end of your schooldays when you’re about to set off on new, personal adventures.

Book Launch 2014 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Launch 2014 5

It seems almost trivial to sum up the events of the afternoon, because what I really want to convey in this post is the electric atmosphere that purveyed the room.  There was an excitement tinged with sadness as this era of Past In Mind was about to draw to a close.  But rather than a full stop at the end of the line, there was and still is a bold question mark.  What?  Why?  Where?  Who?  When?  This particular project may have come to an end, but its spirit will never die.

 

Blog from the Bog started out as an experiment to capture snapshots of Past In Mind.  It morphed into a launchpad for ideas and a voice for volunteers and professionals.  It served as a notice board and reference.  It uncovered layers of Past In Mind and delved beneath the surface.  It yielded unexpected finds.  Now the time has come for the backfilling of the Blog.  This is not to say that Blog from the Bog will never re-emerge, but its current purpose has been fulfilled.  Just as we filled in the layers of soil after the excavation at Studmarsh, I need to fill in the layers of the Blog in order to leave it ready for another day.

Needless to say, writing this is making me very emotional.

 

Book Launch 2014 6I cannot finish this post without saying a heartfelt thank you to all my fellow volunteers, and to Kate, Ian, Chris and Dai for teaching me so much about myself and the world around me.  But most of all I want to thank Jenny who has surfed the waves of Past In Mind and risked drowning once or twice, but always managed to stay afloat in order to glimpse the next sunrise.

 

Finally, no backfilling would be complete without mentioning Fran, who loved the project and the Studmarsh field in 2012.  RIP Fran.

Book Launch 2014 4

Kate’s book (author name, Katherine Lack) is priced at £5.95 and is available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Past-Mind-Heritage-Project-Recovery/dp/0954621247/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402360817&sr=1-1&keywords=past+in+mind+heritage+project

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

A Book Is Being Published!

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.

Medieval Plough -1

one_in_four_logotrowel

And Now the Book

DSC05058

(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.Figure4-4

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.

The Past in Mind Project.    Orphans Press.                                 Medieval Plough -1 

Due out spring 2014:  watch this space!trowel