BAMPTON EVENT CELEBRATES HISTORIC BUILDINGS

The Bampton Heritage and Visitor Centre are delighted to be holding a special event on Friday 20 September to unveil their new ‘Our Buildings’ exhibition boards, oral histories and family trail.

The exhibition, which will be on display in the centre for a limited period from the end of September, is the result of a year-long project researching and collating information about the history of some of the town’s buildings. The project was supported by a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Volunteers visited various homes and then conducted research both online and at the Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter. They looked into a buildings’ ages, construction and architectural details as well as their different uses over time and the people who lived there.

Another strand of the project was to trace residents who had recollections of the town and its buildings from the middle of last century – they were then recorded and the material carefully edited to form a digital oral archive of the town for future generations.

Bridge House Luke Street

Judi Thomas, a trustee of the Heritage Centre, who was in charge of the oral history recordings, said, “All too often we leave it too late to record the memories of older family members and residents but their accounts form such a valuable addition to the heritage of our town. Young people in particular can learn such a huge amount about everyday life from the past by listening to recordings.”

Judi Thomas and other Heritage Centre volunteers have also been working closely with teachers and children at Bampton School who have been learning more about their town. Two classes visited the Heritage Centre and were taken on a special guided town trail during which the children were taught more about some of the town’s buildings and history from the centre’s guides. Judi added “We’re delighted to have the support of the school teachers as we aim to encourage residents and visitors of all ages to appreciate our rich social and industrial heritage and historic buildings.”

The group have also produced a new booklet which gives the history of St Michael and All Angels Church – believed to the town’s oldest building.

Katrina Munro, chair of the Trustees, said, “This project has helped everyone involved to learn so much about our town. Many of the buildings we see today have a rich and colourful history and many have fine architectural features. Through this exhibition, we hope more people will visit our town and learn about our heritage. We’re very grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for supporting the project. Aspects such as the exhibition, family town trial, new guide book to the church and oral archive will help us to reach as many people as possible.”

The Heritage and Visitor Centre, which is based inside St Michael and All Angels Church, is open from Wednesday to Saturday 11am to 3pm.

Everyone is welcome to join the volunteers for the Exhibition launch at the Centre on Friday 20 September starting at 7pm. Free refreshments will be served.

There will be a special Bampton Guided Town Trail at 11am on Saturday 21 September. Find out more or book a space by emailing bamptonheritage@btinternet.com or phoning Wendy Boothroyd on 01398 331219. Guided town trials can also be arranged for groups on other dates.