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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

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Site Survey

The archaeological part of the Past in Mind project is about to commence with the site survey which will take place from Monday June 25th to Saturday June 30th. The aim of the survey is to map and record the surface ‘humps and bumps’ – such as platforms, ditches and banks – which are all that now visibly remain of the Grove/Studmarsh settlement and its surroundings. We will do this with the help of a fancy electronic gadget called a ‘total station’, although there is a good deal more to it than just pressing buttons and letting the machine do its thing – for a start, a crucial part of the process is to learn to recognise the often fairly subtle remains we want to record. All being well, at the end of the week we will have produced a detailed plan of the site which we can then combine with other information – such as the emerging historical research work – to better understand what the remains at Grove/Studmarsh actually are. This survey information will also be crucial in deciding the location of the archaeological excavation trenches we will be digging in August.

The survey work will be led by Dai and Chris from Herefordshire Archaeology, and they will be on hand to give all the instruction you need to get involved in making this mysterious site begin to re-appear from the depths of time. Although the site is in a fairly remote location, we will have chemical toilets nearby as well as a ‘Ray Mears’ style tarpaulin based tent to retreat to for lunch, tea breaks etc. So why not join us for a day (or perhaps for several days) and make a key contribution to the Past in Mind investigation? For more information on what is involved and for transport and booking information etc., please contact Ian Bapty (Herefordshire Archaeology) at ibapty@herefordshire.gov.uk, Tel 01432 383353.

 (Post by Ian Bapty)

Herefordshire Hundreds

Herefordshire Hundreds (Photo credit: sally_parishmouse)