New heritage project to locate hidden treasures and stories

PUBLISHED: 06:57 21 February 2019

Cllr Clare Hunt reading the informaiton boards at the Glassworks site in Nailsea.

Cllr Clare Hunt reading the informaiton boards at the Glassworks site in Nailsea.

JCL PHOTOGRAPHY

A heritage project aimed at uncovering hidden treasures and stories from Nailsea’s industrial and agricultural past is launching on Friday.

Hidden Histories Nailsea is being led by heritage curator Heidi Hollis who wants to preserve stories, documents and objects from the past.

Heidi is keen to hear from people who have stories about Nailsea’s history such as the glassworks, coal mining, Coates Cider and farming.

She is also looking for documents and objects relating to these industries.

She said: “We know there are lots of hidden gems locally, treasures that tell amazing stories.

“Is there a miner’s hat in someone’s garage? Or granddad’s payslip from the cider factory in the attic?

“And I’ve heard there are many examples of exquisite Nailsea glass from the historic glassworks which haven’t seen the light of day for a long time.

“I want to hear the stories attached to these objects and documents, and find a way to record them before they disappear or are forgotten.”

Heidi is hosting listening sessions at Number 65 High Street on the fourth Friday of the month from 10.30am-12.30pm so people can share their stories and objects.

Heidi, who has training in museum heritage and archaeology, said: “Before we can start looking at how to tell the story of Nailsea’s industrial heritage more publicly, we need to document the local knowledge.

“Heritage stories are best told by people, and local people are the experts.

“Their family experience and the information passed down through generations are the closest we can come to a first-hand account of a bygone era.

“I live nearby with my family in Yatton, and it was research into the local industrial heritage that got me so excited about Nailsea.

“Nailsea deserves so much more visibility than it has – the average person walking through the shopping areas may not know that the Glassworks was the fourth most important glass producer in the UK at one time.

“I’m hoping this project will evolve so the local heritage will be more visible in time.”

The first session will take place on Friday. Anyone who cannot attend, can leave their details at Number 65 or email writerwithboots@gmail.com

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