A Week's Work Experience at the History Centre
I recently spent a week at the History Centre in Chippenham for my work experience. On Monday 29th June, our first day, a course was planned that we would research the village of Lacock and study how it has been developed and also why certain bits have remained the same as the 1500s when they have not survived in other places. We looked at a selection of maps, old house plans and books and answered a list of questions which were relevant and would help us develop our knowledge further about Lacock. In the afternoon, we went to Lacock and had a tour round studying important buildings, the structure of buildings and looked at the features of the church and any old features which still remain. We arrived back at the History Centre at around half past four after a tiring day but I would recommend the course to anyone thinking about doing it as you learn a lot about the village itself, but you can also apply this knowledge to other places you visit which have the same or similar features.
On the second day, we were given an introduction to the Wiltshire Community History website with Mike Marshman and were able to look at all of the parishes which they have covered and written information about. I was assigned the parish of Milston to research and having never heard of it, was looking forward to finding out new information and having a challenge. On the Tuesday afternoon, I continued to research Milston and look at things such as its church, roads, and buildings and also the Domesday Book which I had never looked much into therefore I found that particularly interesting.
On Wednesday 1st July, in the morning Rosie and I were introduced to the Creative Wiltshire and Swindon project and identified the material which was collected. First, I was given a collection of photographs and had to log them on the computer, picking out key information and giving a brief description about the person in the photo. I found this task quite difficult as if the photo wasn’t very obvious then picking out key words and categories was more of a challenge. In the afternoon, Rosie and I swapped over roles and I was on the Creative Wilshire and Swindon Pinterest. This involved looking at different vinyls and books and writing a brief description about what it was and who it was by. I enjoyed doing this as I found it more interesting. We also had to write a blog post, mine being on paintings based on summer, set in Wiltshire. On Thursday, we were finishing off our thumbnail history for our assigned parishes and then in late morning, worked on enhancing photographs with Mike Marshman. I found this task enjoyable because I was learning something new and also I now have a new skill which I can use beyond work experience if needed.
In the afternoon, we looked at school log books; I had the one for Fonthill Bishop. That has been my favourite part of the week as I liked learning about how school in the 1800s was structured and any similarities or differences. On Friday, our last day, Rosie and I finalised our thumbnail histories and blog posts and had a visit from our teacher to make sure that everything was going well. In the afternoon, we had a go at trying to solve enquiries from the public which I really enjoyed because I like researching family history. Finally, after lunch, we had a roundup of the week from Julie Davis. I have really loved being here for my work experience and am grateful I was able to come; I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has thought about it.
Ruby Osland, Work Experience Student