Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Sunday, 17 January 2016
|© Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers, 2002|
Eek! Young people at a heritage site! The Gunton Dandy
As those of you who have been attending the Magdalen Walks project will have gathered by now, I like to be relaxed and playful (in the right places) in my approach to heritage. Because of my personal story, I am interested in outreach and engagement, and it is my view that too much of the heritage sector is too earnest, elitist and pompous. Because some of my work has been around engaging young offenders and excluded pupils units with history, I know something about the challenges of relating something that can seem abstract and 'stuffy' to people. I don't dumb down the ideas, but I will invent games, activities and use humour to relate the past with the present. Being playful isn't only about energising and engaging audiences, it is - in my view - a key part of wellbeing. Over the past few years I have taken this philosophy and made some new things; heritage-inspired ventures that have taken on a life of their own and seem to be meaningful and fulfilling to people.
One of these 'projects' is The Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers: 'a creative collective of friends who are inspired by historic sites, quirky spaces, a love of laughter - and cake!' I have been told that our blog is one of the most popular heritage blogs in Britain, with around a quarter a million hits thus far.
I am a writer for the Heritage Open Days national blog and wrote a piece about the background to the Ragged Ramblers and thought that you Magdalen Walkers might be interested in taking a glimpse into this world:
I'm not proposing that the Magdalen Walks project takes the Ragged Ramblers' model as its template, but I would encourage people to experiment and be playful with the heritage in our community. I can tell you, it can be a very rewarding experience!
|My friend Paul as Queen Victoria in Stiffkey Church, Norfolk|
Saturday, 16 January 2016
|Why is this building curved?|
Friday, 15 January 2016
Here, Magdalen Walks member, Mike Beardwood, shares his childhood memories about Canon Gilbert Thurlow and St Clement's and St George's Churches along Colegate - part of our patch.
"My memories of St. Clements starts as a typical Beardwood tale! I went to the Cathedral to try and get a place in their choir. I was rejected but Rev. Gilbert Thurlow* - known as 'Beaky' for obvious reasons i.e. his nose - asked me to join his choir at St. Clements. It was a pleasant little church but very much dominated by St. Georges, Colegate, both of which had 'Beaky' as vicar. Most of my memories are of St. Georges where Gilbert decided to re-install the bells, which had been taken and melted down for the war effort. He was very much an expert in bells - somewhere I have his book on bells and bell ringing - and arranged for a new set of bells to be cast at Bow. I went there to see the (6) bells being cast. We had a service at which the bells were stood in the chancel and we, the choristers, struck the bells with rubber mallets in time with the organ playing. The bells were hung in tower and I became a (incompetent) bell ringer - if you ever want to hear the presence of the devil in church, go into the bell chamber when someone has missed a call from the bell master and just listen to his words!
'Beaky' lived in a flat, just across the road from St. Clements, where we often met to practice hand bell ringing. Not as exciting as real bells, but less stressful."