Lincolnshire people are being asked for their views on the value of local history in a major new heritage project, led by the archaeologist and historian Carenza Lewis.
Our Lincolnshire is a new research project at the University of Lincoln, funded by Arts Council England, which is designed to examine public attitudes towards heritage across the county. A questionnaire has now been launched to capture the views of people living and working in Lincolnshire, and to find out what is seen as important when preserving and enhancing heritage sites and traditions.
Best known for presenting the Time Team television series, Professor Carenza Lewis joined the University of Lincoln from the University of Cambridge in 2015 and is based in Lincoln’s School of History & Heritage. Alongside Professor Matthew Cragoe, Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the University’s College of Arts, she will lead the Our Lincolnshire project.
Professor Lewis said:
When I was on Time Team, my work as an archaeologist and historian explored the past with people across the UK and beyond. Since becoming a professor at the University of Lincoln, I am lucky enough to live and work in Lincolnshire and I now hope to find out how heritage matters to people in this county.
We are interested in this because while research has shown that heritage benefits people in many different ways, we know that the heritage sites, collections, and traditions of Lincolnshire’s rural areas do not attract as much attention as the many iconic historic attractions of the city of Lincoln. This means that people may be missing out on the benefits which heritage can bring.
We hope ‘Our Lincolnshire’ will get people in Lincolnshire connecting with heritage in a range of creative and meaningful ways. It’s our chance to change the future of the past.
The survey is the first of several phases to the project. Launched on Monday 25th January 2016, the questionnaire is designed to give people a chance to have their say about what aspects of Lincolnshire’s heritage are valuable or significant to them. The research will help shape how heritage is presented and looked after today and in the future, and ensure that it continues to play a part in enhancing lives across Lincolnshire.
The survey is open to all ages and is available via the project’s website at www.ourlincolnshire.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk. Once the survey is complete, the results will be analysed and shared across the county.
The Our Lincolnshire team will also soon launch a web app called ‘My Lincolnshire Collection’, which people can use to choose their top ten Lincolnshire heritage objects from a selection of 100 images online. Another component of the project will involve local theatre companies Eggbox Theatre and Flickbook Theatre liaising with community groups in Gainsborough, Grantham, Spalding and Louth to develop and create new live performances which will be filmed and made available online.
Our Lincolnshire will then explore sport as a type of heritage activity and will examine how local sports organisations such as village cricket clubs have long been woven into the lives of their communities.