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Thursday, 13 December 2012

Piloting the Internet - Penparcau Community Education Centre

Learning about Britain from Above at the Penparcau Community Education Centre.

On Friday 7th December the Britain from Above event; Piloting the Internet came to Penparcau Community Education Centre. There were two sessions showing people how to use the website to interact with the online collection of aerial photographs taken by Aerofilms Ltd between 1919-1953, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. We had a small but enthusiastic number who joined in on each session.

The structure of the sessions began with a short introductory talk about the project, the origins of the collection and what we’re hoping to achieve with the website. This was followed by an interactive presentation on how to use all the website’s features, with the attendees following the presentation online, exploring and making the most of the site. Several attendees in the afternoon were initially very hesitant using the computer and trying out the website as they had very limited IT experienced. By the end of the session they were enthusiastically browsing the site and searching for locations they had lived in over the years. They were especially impressed with some of the images of the Edgbaston campus in Birmingham as it had looked in the 1920s, long before land was developed around it.

Picture of Edgbaston campus, Brimingham,
from the Aerofilms Collection.
There were also selections of prints from the website alongside more modern images taken of the same places. Everyone enjoyed discussing the changes over time, while enjoying tea, biscuits and mince pies!

We had a few technical difficulties along the way with the PowerPoint presentation freezing for a while but this allowed me to discuss in more detail the vast opportunities of the project. All in all, though a quiet day in terms of numbers, the people who came were very interested and came from a range of backgrounds such as the U3A and the mayor’s office and were keen to take back what they had learnt and pass it on to their friends, families and colleagues. The help packs produced to hand out proved very popular, with people keen to show off the website, and use it as their own reference guide, when they are at home and while helping as a virtual volunteer for us!

Get involved with the Britain from Above project here:
Find forgotten landscapes and share your stories with us!

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