We are a Heritage Lottery Funded history project exploring Dorset’s ancient pathways by walking in the shoes of the Saxon pilgrim, St Aldhelm and a soldier training for the First World War. We will turn what we learn into a fun, interactive treasure hunt to share with the Dorset public.
Here are a selection of photographs taken on the day of our Launch. Thank you to all that came and took a leaflet about our walk - we are already printing more by popular demand! Huge thanks to the Bovington tank Museum and Dorchester Community Plays Association & the New Hardy Players for the loan of the costumes.
Walking in their Shoes Launches Interactive Walk in World War One Commemoration
The Corn Exchange, Dorchester
On Friday 8th August, on the same week 100 years ago when the UK declared war on Germany in August 1914, Walking in their Shoes were proud to be part of a commemorative event in Dorchester’s historic Corn Exchange to remember the impact the Great War had on Dorset.
This event, hosted by Dorchester Town Council, and supported by organisations such as the Dorset History Centre, The Keep Military Museum and the Dorset County Museum, bought together a series of activities throughout the day, including a rendition of wartime songs, an arts and crafts table for younger visitors and a performance from the Dorchester Silver band. With volunteers dressed in costumes from this era, the Walking in their Shoes team had the privilege of the occasion to officially open their First World War trail across, located across Dorchester, Bovington and Moreton, where boxes packed with local historical facts can be found by Geocaching or a traditional map and compass. An app to download on smartphone devices and an official website will also be launched to accompany the walk.
The walk, which had the honour of Joyce Ray, a second-generation descendent from the War where her mother worked in a local soldiers rest home, cutting the ribbon of our historical trail saw the current Mayor of Dorchester, Councillor Peter Mann, and Chairman of Dorset Youth Association, Alan Knott, discover the first boxes hidden in the town. The contents of the boxes, as well as other aspects of this project, has been entirely devised and executed by the young volunteers, aged 15-25, with the support of Project Officer, Lorna Johnson.
Ms Johnson added in a comment about the day that “I was incredibly proud of the WiTS volunteers they really added to the day and brought energy and enthusiasm and commitment to the day […] they were great ambassadors for youth heritage volunteering and all the organisations wanted to work together again.”
The Mayor of Dorchester, Councillor Peter Mann, added “An excellent day. I particularly enjoyed the Walking in their Shoes project.”
Walking in their Shoes is a Heritage Lottery Funded project, supported by Dorset Youth Association, for young people to trace back the footsteps of an Anglo-Saxon monk and a First World War soldier in the Dorset area. It is an inclusive group of volunteers aged 15-25 with diverse abilities to help convey history in an innovative and accessible approach for the public to experience.
For more information, please contact Lorna Johnson on 01305 757027 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
31st August 2014
By Jack Welch, Volunteer Press Officer
The WITS team returned onto their Bovington trail, as we visited the Tank Museum and a small expedition into Moreton Forest, as we finally started plotting out the location of our brand new caches that will give Geocache or more traditional map and compass hunters the opportunity to discover more about Dorset's role in the First World War.
Before that though, we were invited by the Tank Museum's Exhibition Assistant, Catherine, to be consulted as part of a focus group on their exciting new exhibition soon to be constructed, as a replica of a tank factory. The group were highly impressed by the scale and number of features which will be unveiled to the public by early 2015. Following that, Edward, Douglas and Ashley bravely volunteered themselves for a role in a showcase of various military vehicles in the showground of the museum. With the help of fellow allies, they managed to persuade the pirate villains to surrender themselves!
Making the short hop from the museum to the forest, some group members failed to take proper caution with the puddles that we met on our expedition - some decided to wear sandals and flip-flops for the day! With the obstacle eventually overcome, the group successfully found some discrete spots where the history hunt will soon officially begin.