Project gives a voice to preserving the rural heritage of Coquetdale

A project which is helping to preserve the rich heritage of the Coquetdale area has been officially launched.

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 11:00 am
Edmund Turner, 10,  admires the model of Harbottle Castle on show at the launch of OOT in Rothbury. Picture by Jane Coltman
Edmund Turner, 10, admires the model of Harbottle Castle on show at the launch of OOT in Rothbury. Picture by Jane Coltman

A special event was held on Saturday at the Jubilee Hall in Rothbury, to mark the start of the Out of Town (OOT) Museum.

The Bailiffgate Museum project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will focus on routes, journeys and travelling.

Tickets please! Volunteers Deb Still and Sheelagh Woodcock at the launch. Picture by Jane Coltman

OOT will collect and record memories and stories told in the local voice, along with photographs, audio, documents and other artefacts.

New heritage records will be created and archived within the Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery collection and Northumberland Archives.

Local voices and dialect will be celebrated, with dialect words contributing to the collection at The Word.

A varied programme of events will be offered to engage audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

The butter making stall was a popular attraction. Picture by Jane Coltman

These will be supported by high-quality interpretation which will culminate in a touring exhibition.

Memories and stories created will reach about 10,000 people.

How people travelled round Coquetdale in the past is a key theme of the project and the launch event offered free 40-minute rides around the project area in a 1949 Bristol L5G single decker bus, restored by Aycliffe and District Bus Preservation Society.

Other events on the day included a chance to try rag rugging and butter making; guess the artefact from some weird and wonderful items from Coquetdale’s farming heritage; meet members of the Elsdon Writers’ Group, who are working on oral history; and find out more about the area’s church, schools and pubs, past and present.

All aboard. Picture by Jane Coltman

Visitors could also record their memories and stories and hear who OOT has already talked to.

The project is collecting words as well as voices, and people were encouraged to offer dialect words for the collection.

Scones and cakes were donated by Rothbury Town Bakery.