All Our Stories
All Our Stories
The World Heritage Site secured £7,300 of Heritage Lottery Fund grant money for a project – All Our Stories – to bring our many volunteers closer together.
The one-year project used the ‘All Our Stories’ funding to help volunteers:
- Work together and share their knowledge to tell a more cohesive story;
- Improve their knowledge about other parts of the DVMWHS which are unfamiliar to them;
- Learn about ‘state of the art’ digital technology from other heritage sites that have developed a high quality experience so that they can rethink the interpretation opportunities within the DVMWHS.
To support these aims there were three whole-day trips in March held over three weeks for the volunteers.
The first took 65 volunteers to Ironbridge Gorge to meet their Volunteer Coordinator and find out about their uses of digital technology.
There were then two days spent exploring the Derwent Valley Mills, covering first the southern and central parts and then the northern area a week later. There were around 60 volunteers for both of these days, which were led by our own World Heritage Site advocates, giving guided tours.
Although the Heritage Lottery Funded DVMWHS Volunteer project ended in 2013, volunteers across the WHS continue to meet regularly to find out about changes at the attractions within the valley.
Every few months a guided tour is arranged for a different location and the volunteers are updated on new developments, so they in turn can let visitors know. Keeping to one location on each tour allows the volunteers more time to find out what there is to see and do.
Previously, the volunteers have visited Milford, Heage Windmill and Darley Abbey. The most recent tours included a visit to the Silk Mill in Derby where they were shown the developments and changes that had taken place since it reopened, and met volunteers working on the ‘Remake the Museum’ programme, designing and building new furniture for the museum.
In July 2014 around 30 volunteers joined the Friends of Cromford Canal for a trip in Birdswood along the Canal. The Friends of Cromford Canal have recently restored this heritage narrowboat and regularly run trips on Wednesdays and weekends, but invited our volunteers for a special evening trip from Cromford Wharf to Leawood Pumphouse and back again. During the trip, the group found out about historical points of interest and saw the very organised, but compact, living quarters on the boat.
The last trip of the year was held at Willersley Castle, where the volunteers had a guided tour around the Castle, built for Sir Richard Arkwright, but now a hotel.
More trips for volunteers are planned for 2015.