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Our History Our Identity project builds up speed

We wanted to tell you about the first couple of weeks of our exciting new project...

We've had a fun couple of weeks getting this project started - many thanks to Wanborough Barn and Ripley Farmers' Market for being our testing ground!

As some of you will already know, the aim of the Our History Our Identity (OHOI) project is to find out more about Guildford's surrounding villages, their stories, what makes them unique, and incorporate this into our heritage offering at the museum.

The project builds upon our Guildford based project - Your Stories Your Museum (sponsored by Arts Council England), but this time we are looking at the borough's rich heritage through the eyes of the smaller villages, by visiting societies, fetes, open days, meeting, events and more. We already have a number of OHOI events lined up, but we'd love to do more, so please get in touch if you have a suggestion - just email heritageservices@guildford.gov.uk.

The project was well received at Wanborough Barn and Ripley Farmers' Market, where we pitched up with our stand, comments board and some exciting objects from our museum collection. With each place we visit we are bringing part of our collection back to its origins for the day, with the idea that through those objects we can build links and stories that enhance Guildford Borough's rich history and importantly, create unique identities for each parish with it.

We have made a short video of our day at Wanborough Barn, you can view it on YouTube - not only was the setting spectacular, but we found a wealth of local stories and people with a passion for local history, which gave our project a great start.

We quickly followed up our visit to the barn with a trip to Ripley Farmers' Market where we joined forces with the Ripley Museum team! It's always a pleasure to sample the local produce, great tastes and smells of a farmers market and Ripley was no exception. It was a pleasure to be part of the event, work with the local team, and to hear what local residents truly think "makes Ripley."

We had some notable visitors to the stand - including Fred, who found one of our objects, the Bronze Age Axe, whilst working at Hall & Co sand works in Ripley and another villager who showed us a treasured family heirloom - possible a corn/grain measure used by trading stands at markets.

We have already started thinking about how we will feed these rural stories into our OHOI exhibition at the museum and how we can use your comments and ideas to develop a richer representation of the wider borough for our visitors to enjoy. Thanks so much to everyone who is taking part and supporting the project.

You can read more about our visits and see what's coming up on the Our History Our Identity outreach project page. We'd love to see you there and to find out more about your area.

Dajana Topczewski, Engagement Officer.


Our day at Ripley Farmers' Market

Ripley Farmers Market