View from Yate Heritage Centre

March 28 2016

Regular readers of this column will recall my report on the collection of images we salvaged from the former Gazette newspaper offices in Dursley. Although we still have to rescue a final ten per cent, we have now collated the vast majority of the 20,000 or so images from the basement there.

Newspaper archive
Regular readers of this column will recall my report on the collection of images we salvaged from the former Gazette newspaper offices in Dursley. Although we still have to rescue a final ten per cent, we have now collated the vast majority of the 20,000 or so images from the basement there.
It has been a time consuming and painstaking project for our volunteers - and indeed for volunteers at other museum venues in South Gloucestershire. The full collection amounts to some 100,000 images, which is a serious amount of work to sort out, let alone scan and catalogue.

Was it worth it?
In my 2015 report, I noted that we had identified significant events and important aspects of local history. However, behind the scenes there is always the nagging doubt that we might also have to pore over a great deal of dross. However, this has not been the case.
We have been scanning material from Parnall (Yate) from the early 1960s and a whole new world has opened up of dances, carnivals and factory sports. It has been something of a revelation and a great boon to our photo archive. Naturally, there has been duplication - some of these photos taken at the events are almost identical and therefore never used.

People power
The value of many of these images is not always just their historic worth. Although there is inevitably an intellectual and academic element to this sort of work, it is also rooted in working with the community. Not surprisingly, there are vast numbers of people, buildings and features contained within t ese images which tell the story of the local area. We will, therefore, need locals within the community to help identify people, places and events captured in these images. It will clearly be a long term project involving many people.
For your diaries
Saturday, April 23, 10.30am-4.30pm: Celebrate St George’s Day at the heritage centre by joining this poplar community event involving many local people. Traditional English entertainment includes some old favourites and newcomers, such as the Whisky Headed
Buddies and the Apollo Wind Band, s well as local youth performers. St George will make an appearance and the programme also includes historic and modern activities, stalls and games. Funded by Yate Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council.
Thursday, April 7, 10.30am and 1.30pm: Easter holiday textile sewing workshops. Make spring animals and flowers. Ideal for children between five and 12. Booking essential. Phone 01454 862200.
Tuesday, April 12-Tuesday, May 10: Ridgewood grand arts and craft display of textiles, ceramics and fine art. Open 10.30am-4.30pm from Tuesday-Thursday and on Saturdays.
Tuesday, April 12, 7.30pm: Yate lecture series. Medieval pets with John Putley. Funded by the Friends of Yate Heritage Centre. Booking essential. Phone 01454 862200.