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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Piloting the Internet - Carmarthen Edition

Last month Britain from Above made its presence felt in not one but two locations in Carmarthen! Starting with the Tourism students from University of Wales, Trinity St David Carmarthen campus, the students explored the project and using the big screen projector in the classroom they looked at various locations around England and Wales― Cardigan and Reading being particularly popular. They also had the opportunity to look at some large prints of the collection as well as more recent prints from the Royal Commission’s archive taken by aerial investigator, Dr Toby Driver. The students were impressed by both the differences and similarities they could identify between the aerial photographs ― the result of the eighty-year time gap between them. Everyone seemed inspired by the project, and several of the third-year students enthused about how it would become a valuable resource for some of their future planning modules, and how they would be able to use the images as information to fuel or theme tours and guided walks around areas of the British Isles.

Later on in the day, we moved across town where residents from the local community came along to hear about the project for the first time. They were astonished by the range of the collection and the quality of the images. After hearing about the project and seeing the remarkable collection, they were all keen to log in and get started! Once registered, most people started their investigation of the site, some referring to the step-by-step guides when they reached an unfamiliar part. The group quickly started adding their own tags and comments. One lady commented that she was sure she had become addicted as she and the others started pointing out excitedly half-forgotten buildings. Another happy tagger said that one of the houses was her great-grandmother’s house which she used to visit as a very small girl.

Both groups seemed to really enjoy what the project had to offer; the students and members of the community alike were keen to make use of it as a research resource; the latter group delighting in the memories it brought back. The group really embraced and made the most of a lovely afternoon trip down memory lane.  Several of them are keen to become more involved in the project in a research capacity, and this will be exciting to develop!

Explore: Britain from Above website.

By: Natasha Scullion, Britain from Above Activity Officer, Wales.

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