John Dockrell, Howard Matthews, Dave Slater, Susan Meech, Mike Meech, John Simpson, Lesley Taylor
Sue Middleton, Geoff Spencer, Will Wiseman, Sue Dunsmore (also Chapel Rep), Graham Collins, David Bend, Jonathan D’Hooge, Val Lever (U3A Choir Rep), John Daybell (Friends of St Mary’s Rep), Malcolm Owen, Mary Owen, Neil Fortey, Kate Pugh, Bob Sparham, Mel Turner, David Middleton
Project Recap – what the HLF are funding?
• Award start and completion dates:
The HLF released the funds in early March 2014 with a completion date by the end of December 2016. This gives us extra time. The application requested the award to commence in August 2014 with completion by the end September 2016.
We are still aiming for an official launch in September with preparatory activities before that date. For example, it gives us time to publicise the project within and beyond the community in advance of the proposed schedule of activities, It also offers opportunities to set up some advance training workshops for volunteers in requested areas of interest, eg., research in family, regimental regimental history, use of online archives, oral history interviews, etc.
• Proposed activities
FYI – Attached below is a summary of the proposed activities and events. It provides a summary timetable of what is currently planned.
It is taken from the web site:
Core research (eg., service biographies, publications, exhibitions) will be completed by groups of volunteers. Other scheduled activities (eg., concerts, School activity days, High School WW1 newsletters, Guide and Scout activities, Muston flower festival etc) will be organised and staged by the participating organisations in collaboration with any necessary volunteer assistance eg., stewarding, publicity etc
There are also opportunities to widen the range of community activities, for example: developing WW1 themed events for possible inclusion at the 2016 Bottesford Gala; collaborating with the football club to reenact the Bottesford Ruston and Hornsby Womens’ Football Match played against the Grantham Mens’ Team in late 1918 (result 4 all!) with the men playing one hand tied behind their backs!; developing WW1 themed activities with the Garden Association given the importance of domestic food production as the conflict progressed. More detailed research into the Grantham Journal Archive will no doubt provide other possible ideas.
• ‘Approved Purposes’ of the HLF Bottesford Parish WW1 Centenary Award
– Working with volunteers, research the First World War history of the Parish of Bottesford through various resources.
– Ensure volunteers receive appropriate training where necessary.
– Engage a good range of people and organisations to ensure learning is shared as wide as possible.
– Develop and deliver a range of activities including events, exhibitions and heritage trails that will enable people to learn about the conflict and its impact.
– Restore, conserve and re-dedicate the Roll of Honour in Bottesford Chapel.
– Create an online archive of material including oral histories gathered from the community.
These are the ‘Approved Purposes’ as set out in the HLF’s approval letter. They provide the criteria against which the success of the project will be assessed. Given the range volunteer skills, interests and experience already identified within the group we are very well placed to deliver the project in full and within time.
• Publicising the scope and progress of the Project within the community
The Village Voice has kindly volunteered the use their distribution network. This provides us with an important resource for promoting awareness of the project within the 1800 households of the Parish. Of particular significance is the capacity to reach those who do not have access to the internet.
The scope of the project will be described in the front page article in next issue of the Village Voice. This article explains that the focus of the project is on both those who served from the four village of today’s Parish and those who served from families who live in the Parish now. (For further information please see the attached article below).
The Village Voice has also provided the means for distributing twice yearly Project Bulletin and two Annual WW1 Belvoir High School News Letters.
Action: Request volunteers who would be willing to assist with collation prior to distribution
Volunteer interests, potential availability and interests
Thank you for completing the survey of volunteer interests and experience distributed at the meeting. The responses are really helpful in revealing the range of skills and interests we have within the group.
Action: An online version of this survey will be circulated to those who were not able to attend the meeting. Please look out for a message from ‘Survey Monkey’ (DM)
Action: More detailed results and consequent actions (eg., for training workshops etc) will be circulated when results are complied. (DM)
Thank you also for providing an estimate of time you might be able to contribute as a project volunteer. Most people indicated 8 hours +. This is very helpful in gauging the overall capacity of the group in relation to the proposed activities.
Spreading the word and initial activities
• Communication and coordination
Thank you to those who used the online coordination of meetings service – ‘Doodle’. This seemed to work well. We would not aim to make that the sole means of informing people about meetings. It does however provide a quick way of obtaining feedback about availability that is visible to all those who are on the list.
• Project Promotion Stall @ Bottesford Gala Monday 5th May, VC Hall
The aim will be to promote the the project and identify possible WW1 material
Action: We have booked an inside stall. (DM)
• Monthy meetings
We plan to schedule monthly meetings. Thursdays seem to work well in the short term.
Proposed dates for the next three months: 17th April; 22nd May; 19th June.
Action: Please look out for a Doodle availability request. (All)
The aim would be to focus on some aspect of volunteer training at each meeting in addition to sharing progress information and establishing future actions.
• Initial Volunteer Activities
(1) Identify people and family who have stories to tell about their relatives and family involvement in WW1, for example who served, war work by men and women and memorabilia?
Action: Approach people you know and compile a list of potential material (All)
(2) Use the list of ‘those who served’ from Bottesford to enable volunteers to identify relatives within the village.
The list can be found on the following we page:
Also attached below
Action: Circulate transcribed alphabetical list (SM/DM)
Action: Can anyone crack the code of the list? How is it ordered? (Any cryptographer amongst us)
(3) Volunteers family members service and stories
A number of volunteers have already conducted research into their own family member’s service. Versions of these service biographies and any WW1 family experiences would make excellent starting points for developing project material. It would not need to be all the material people have. A short introduction with some photographs would be an ideal addition to the website. If you have not already tried using the website we can set up a brief introduction on editing and submission.
Action: Draft material and send to bottesfordWW1centenary@gmail.com
Action: For those interested in submitting material themselves suggest they register on the Bottesford History Website (http://www.bottesfordhistory.org.uk/index.aspx)
Action: Set up Initial website training (Web site editors)
(4) Social Media
Susan Meech has kindly volunteered to establish and manage the Facebook and Twitter accounts. These have made an impact already
Do have a look – the Twitter account is an excellent source of information
• Project Management
(1) Logging time and volunteer activities
Part of the remit of the project is to provide evidence to the HLF that volunteers have engaged in project activities. Please do log any time you spend on the project eg., time spent thinking about it, talking to others, conducting research, engaged in activities. Mike Meech has kindly volunteered to compile and keep a record of all volunteer time and activities. A useful way of logging activity would be to photograph of what you are doing and provide a brief note about it and time spent . Such diaries of volunteer activity could be added to our project archive.
Action: Develop some form of diary log of activities and time (All)
Action: Inform Mike Meech of your monthly hours and activities (contact details to follow) (All)
Action: Set up a workshop for developing time and visual activities diaries as part of the archival record of the project (DM)
Thank you for filling in the meeting attendance sheet,
(2) Project Roles
Volunteer hoursMike Meech
Social MediaSusan Meech
Action: Any volunteers for the secretary role?
(3) Managing project documents
To handle documents and to make them accessible to volunteers we could use the facility of ‘Google Drive’. Setting this up and making it accessible to all is something that needs further investigation.
Action: Identify any volunteer with experience in the use of Google Drive (DM)
(1) Promotional Stall Stall @ Wartime Leicestershire Beaumanor Hall Heritage Day (23/3/14).
Action: Stall volunteers to arrive between 8.00 – 10.00 am (DM, SM, SF, KP plus any one who would like to attend), Those arriving after that time – £5.00 entrance
(2) Bottesford Gala (5/5/14)
Promotional stall booked see above
(3) British Legion commemorative reading of names on Sunday 13th Sept @Bottesford & Muston War Memorial
Action: Liaise to video the event as part of the Archive
(4) Project Community Launch Meeting in September VC Hall available Sunday 28th Sept. – 4.00 – 6.00 pm
Action: Identify who to invite and the format of the meeting (All)
(5) Proposed dates for the next three months: 17th April; 22nd May; June tbc (see above)
(1) Resources for events and activities
– kindly offered to enquire about the possible flight of a Vintage WW1 aircraft over the village coordinated with one of our proposed events;
– to liaise with the owner of a scale working WW1 tank to visit the village; offered his services to organise a field visit to Northern France (CWGs and battle fields);
– plus advice on regimental history research;
– reminded us that we need to get in early to book the services of the Khaki Chums for the Primary School Activity Day in the Autumn Term of 2015.
Graham Collins kindly offered to liaise with Belvoir High School about the use of a computer room for IT training purposes
Bob Sparham kindly offered his services in graphic design and to train volunteers in photograph restoration
(2) Achieved to date
• Established a core group of 20 plus volunteers
• Website presence and material
• Social media established – Twitter and Facebook
• Basic information on 80 of 184 who served from Bottesford complied (SM)
• Detailed biographical information compiled on 7 of the 40 named on both War Memorials
• Potential stories identified from 20 plus local residents
• Donations of material (photos etc) from 6 families
• Chapel Roll of Honour taken for conservation
• Community Sites contacted re the upgrading of the Website and the catalogue
• Grantham Journal material ready for compilation from 1914-1918 (MM and DM) – for use by Belvoir High School
• Liaison with Primary School over WW1 activity day and the development of a book of memories
• Started to gather music for the U3A concert
• Liaised with the British Legion re their commemorative events in Bottesford and Muston
• Publicity posters designed and printed