We were really pleased to get coverage in the local press, Bromley Times and Newshopper when we went public with the news of our successful bid for Heritage Lottery Funds. Committee members Joanna Friel and Tony McClarty met up with project enthusiasts Maureen and Roger Johnson and Don and Mavis Drage in the National Trust Woods by the Willett memorial sundial to get the project off to a timely start just as British Summer Time kicked in. The project was also the subject of an article in Lookout, the award winning parish magazine of St Nicholas Church.
Project Leader, Joanna Friel described the project, Championing Chislehurst’s Characters at our recent AGM attended by ward councillors and members of the Chislehurst Community. Joanna told the story of her recent invitation to view a draincover…….not one to be deterred by such an unusual request she was delighted to find this branded piece of metal, inscribed with William Willett’s name. Willett was of course a builder of some renown, this piece of history dates back to the early 1900’s. The owner of said piece of architectural interest is happy for youngsters to come and take wax impressions of this surprisingly attractive heritage item. Being fully aware of health concerns we are delighted to note that the neighbouring property has a spare metal cover, since its removal following renovations, so we will be able to take impressions in an altogether cleaner way!
The 1893 document, around which the whole project is based, is currently with Museum Conservation Services at the Imperial War Museum in Cambridge but they have sent us some images of the damage in need of repair along with a photo of Willetts signature which is on the map.
At our recent Road Stewards meeting many people expressed their interest in the project and five individuals came forward as potential Heritage Ambassadors. This photo is not everyone asking to be excused but does show the enthusiasm of the crowd!
Our team of trainee Heritage Ambassadors are going to attend an archive workshop on 15th June at Local Studies in Bromley. They will look at resources and devise the postcards which will interpret the map for all to enjoy. These will be printed by local firm Copy and Print.
We are very excited to hear what ideas our young Heritage Ambassadors come up with at this years Mix event which is being held at Coopers for invited pupils at the end of June. There will be prizes for the best presentation and the most interesting idea of how they would relay local history to their peers; we are about to start work with St Peter and St Paul Primary school on a local interpretation of Cleudo, after all there was a murder at Camden Place back in 1813. We should get some great photos of our youngsters with their Heritage Lottery badges
We are working with the local National Trust to arrange a family picnic for primary school children in year 5 on the birthday anniversary of Willett, which is August 10th, let’s hope the weather holds out.
Joanna will be updating us on the project on 5th September alongside our afternoon talk by Sam Pettman, National Trust warden. September is likely to be the time of the grand unveiling so more news of that when we know that the map is well and truly restored.
Next year, 2014, there will be heritage walks around the route of the map, highlighting the various homes of our illustrious characters, Sir John Lubbock, William Willett, Emperor Napoleon 111 and Sir Malcolm Campbell lead by the team from Local Studies with input from our Heritage Ambassadors.
Any group that wants to book a talk about the map, its restoration and the project overall is welcome to contact Joanna via this website.
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