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.
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.
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.
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.
I 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.
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