Joy and Mary joined me on my visit to the Scouting archive at Hesley Wood Scout Camp today. Thanks to Paddy and his colleagues who, over a cuppa or two and biscuits, showed us some of the collection they have started to put together over the last five years. The material covers a wide range of topics taking in the early history of Scouting in the Wentworth District, the development of Hesley Wood Scout Camp and the connection with Sir Harold West and Newton Chambers right up to the latest South Yorkshire Challenge camps. It was great to hear some of the history of the site and the crews who have been responsible for building and maintaining it. In the early days this included apprentices from Newton Chambers sent over to help out. We agreed it would definitely be worth another visit or two to look at the archive in more detail and have a walk to look at some of the evidence of earlier industrial history. I am particularly interested in looking at the development of the camp and the connection with Newton Chambers as part of the Archiving Project.
Highlights of the session included a chorus of ‘We are the Ovaltinies’ prompted by one of the mystery objects ( a Horlicks drink mixer) from the Libraries Services’ memory box. The contents of the box together with a few additions was set out on display. People were asked to choose one object that they had definitely used, one they knew what it was and another that they didn’t have a clue about. Given the age of the group, most knew all the objects and could remember their use. This broke the ice and we had a wide ranging discussion about what life used to be like before mains electricity, gas, running water etc. etc. and how houses and industry had taken over farm land. Prices of bus fares and a comparison with today was made using ‘old’ and ‘new’ money. Notes from the talk were taken by Beth, from Ecclesfield School, who was on work experience with me. These will be tidied up and then added to the project.
Please get in contact if you would like something similar for your group.
The project now also has a presence on Facebook with its own group page. Chloe, one of the project’s new volunteers will be helping me to maintain and regularly update the group page with posts, comments and notices of events. We are hoping that this will reach a wider audience for the project and encourage more people to get involved. Other Facebook users will be able to join and ask questions or leave answers and comments about the archiving project material.