Well, that’s it, we’ve come to the end, the curtain has fallen on my HES traineeship. Nine months down the line and you could say I’m a little punch-drunk in that I can’t believe how much I’ve managed to achieve and fit into such a relatively short span of time. So, for the final time, here’s a whistle-stop tour of what I’ve been up to.
Let’s start with the new projects update, I’ve started working with Bourne Old Town Hall Trust on their project to convert their Grade II listed early 19th century town hall into a community arts centre. Bourne does not presently have a dedicated focal point for the arts, and the Trust’s aim to convert the old courtroom and covered market into performance spaces to cater to all forms of the arts will create a vibrant cultural hub in the centre of town. Currently, I am helping to bring together the activity plan, particularly looking at activities that make the arts as accessible as possible, and the National Heritage Lottery Funf round one bid, focusing on the heritage of the building and the proposed capital works. I visited the site a couple of weeks ago and their enthusiasm was infectious, you couldn’t help but get excited by the project. They’re even hosting their own Comic Con soon!
Similarly, on the nerdier side of my traineeship, the Greyfriars project has partnered with Lincoln Library to put on a magical event for the 25th anniversary of the publication of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. I don’t want to give to much away and spoil the surprises in store, but you must agree Greyfriars is the perfect stand in for Hogwarts. It’s guaranteed to be a very immersive event.
In December, all the HES trainees met up in Lincoln for a ‘Behind the Scenes Heritage Tour’ sort of day and I can honestly say it was one of the best days of the whole traineeship! I am an absolute fanatic on Medieval cathedrals and being able to see areas that aren’t usually open was a dream come true. The bell ringers chapel and ringing room was a wonderful surprise, with its gorgeous wall paintings. We also got to walk on the wooden pathway network above the groined vaulting of the chapel house, the stone looks surprisingly fragile from above. I had no idea it was hollow! After climbing to the western balcony, the view of Lincoln was spectacular, or at least it would have if there hadn’t been one of the thickest blankets of fog I’ve ever seen. But the highlight of the day was climbing the bell tower and getting there just as the bells chimed the hour. I am usually a little weary of heights when it comes to buildings but missing out on going to the top of what used to be Europe’s highest building was not an option.
Now before I run out of space, I would like to take the opportunity to thank HES and Amy Knychala for the amazing opportunity and providing so many unique opportunities to engage with all the different aspects of the heritage industry.
Finally thank you to everyone at Heritage Lincolnshire, particularly both Matthew Bentley and Katy-Jayne Lintott for being so supportive as I start my heritage career and their faith in me is reflected by the projects I have been able to work on. I have learnt so much from them as they have always shared their wealth of knowledge with me.
Looking back at the last nine months it is hard to comprehend how much I have been able to achieve in what is really a small amount of time, and apart from ending my traineeship with a bout of Covid earlier this year, the whole things seems to have run rather smoothly.
But just a quick P.S. this isn’t really the end, Heritage Lincolnshire have offered me the opportunity to stay on as an official member of staff! Making the transition is a little nerve wracking but I’m sure I’ll make the next nine months as memorable as the ones I’ve just been through.
So, signing off for the last time as a trainee, thank you for following my journey and we’ll see where Heritage Lincolnshire takes me.