Heritage Lottery Update 4 - Six go to a museum

HistoryGroup

On a bright sunny July morning six excited Heritage Ambassadors piled into a minibus and headed for The Imperial War Museum in Duxford to collect our map.  This is where the project really hits home, the map and its conservation are the lynchpin of our campaign to share Chislehurst's rich history. 

Just driving onto the preserved wartime airfield was like going back in time, only heritage based organisations are given leases on this site and we were heading for one of these, Museum Conservation Services, recommended to us by Bromley Museum.  Our map has been in the hands of MCS since October last year, awaiting the funding to pay for it's repair.  The torn, creased and stained parchment has been painstakingly restored, all paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We were treated to a masterclass in paper conservation by Francoise Richard, how appropriate given the French Imperial legacy of Napoleon III in Chislehurst!  We learned how Japanese silk tissue had been used to repair the holes in the map and how time, weights and gentle stretching had opened up years of folded paper and revealed the story of Chislehurst all at the same time.  The six of us were fascinated to learn of the processes our map had been through and just thrilled to see the beauty of the finished framed document which goes back to 1893.

As an extra treat we enjoyed time at the museum, looking at spitfires on the ground and watching the daring of pilots overhead looping the loop.  Inspiring in itself.  We were able to pick up ideas and posters to use in our forthcoming WWI commemorations. Even our driver was hooked and learned a lot that day!

Safely back in Chislehurst with our precious cargo, plans for the formal unveiling and talks for our members and community are in hand.  Roll on September when we go live!  

Project updates:

April 2013 - Project launched

May 2013 - Research and Members' Talk

June 2013 - Archive Workshop

June 2013 - Our Young Heritage Amabassadors

July 2013 - Six go to a Museum

August 2013 - Map collected and ready for display

September 2013 - Unveiling of the restored map

September 2013 - Francoise explains the restoration to our members