A community history project designed

and delivered by Sandringham Enterprise -

an independent rural charity in Norfolk, UK

What our project will do...

 

Create an oral history archive of the voices of Marham

 

Work with all local community groups, schools and residents to capture our story

 

To create a set of community display boards, available to all - telling our story

 

Write a book, recording the history of our community across the 19th and 20th Centuries

A Project Plan

 

Marham Voices illustrates the history, economy and culture of Marham, Norfolk, through the early modern
period, high Victorian agriculture and the military presence of the 20th Century.

 

A 'traditional' rural history to be explored, will map the touchpoints of military activity in the landscape. this is
an ancient settled farming community, but also a transient base for defence activities the world over. By
recording memories – places, people and material culture - and the contemporary record (through interviews in
both communities) a discussion or interaction between the groups will help build a sense of heritage and
identity to replace dissonance and distance.

 

Marham is an ancient settlement, with agricultural production at its heart.

 

The RAF base at Marham, enlarged at the beginning of the 1940s, became a major cold war intelligence
centre; and more recently served the needs of the military in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

 

In our written narrative we will look at high Victorian agriculture and the Twentieth Century. Giving us a context for the voices we will hear as part of our project delivery.

 

We will record the memories of villagers about these developments, both civilians and of members of the military who served in the base.

 

Major farming developments we will seek testimony on include: the mechanisation of farming in the 1930s
and 1940s, land girls and gender on the farm, the coming of the EU in the 1970s, the greening of agriculture
from the 1990s, and recent supermarket monopsony in buying agricultural produce.

 

What do Marham residents think of the context of their life military and civilian? What do they think of the night time convoys of produce rumbling away towards the cities. How do Marham people see the town/city divide and the challenge of finding employment in a rural landscape.

 

Research visits

 

...to the University of East Anglia in Norwich, for example - using our 'external reader' cards we expect to visit
the University library regularly, using its resources to compile the meta- historical narrative for our community,
providing us with the context for the testimony of residents that will become the view from the Twentieth
Century.

 

The University Library has much to offer in researching Marham in the Early Modern period, High Victorian
agriculture and the last century.

 

The library also contains a wide variety of County Gazetteers and academic journals and other primary
sources from which we can map the occupational, residential and service changes in the area of our
community over time.

 

The output of this research we would expect to be of particular interest to existing civilian residents of Marham
and its hinterland - helping engage our community and foster a sense of heritage in the area.

 

An opening community gathering/meeting

 

This event, presenting an opening gambit for our project will serve to both illustrate to the community our
endeavour, but also be presented as an opportunity to call for contributions, artefacts, images or recordings
that help us tell our story.

 

The venue for our project will be community buildings in the area.

 

The material for our opening event would be generated to signpost the community to the web site, blogs and
key points of contact (email etc.) for key project personnel.

 

To provide the community with a way to hold a dialogue with the Marham Voices project - showing how by
interactive web page, email and phone they can contribute to the project.

 

We will also undertake house to house delivery of information, to ensure the older residents, the web
un-connected and the less able are encouraged to engage with the project.

 

Recording contemporary observations - ongoing events

 

We would use our technological resources to record observations, feelings and reflections about our
community. They would be held perhaps bi-monthly, as a response to feedback or direct contacts we had at
the project, whereby residents could be given time and space to speak about their place in the modern
Marham and to offer reflections on its past.

 

This material we would build into and feature on the project web site, the written transcripts of which would
also be integrated into our written project narrative.

 

We would post recorded material, narrative and images received, weekly onto the project web presence -
keeping the site current and active throughout.

 

At every stage in these interactions we would be careful and measured in our treatment and approach,
offering a supportive, friendly and non-judgmental space for the occasions to take place and to seek and
receive clear permissions to use any material donated, spoken or recorded as part of the project mandate.
We would honour these promises for posterity.

 

Web access

 

Our network of web sites and web storage faciltiies already donated by the private sector. This web presence
will be extended to include a project web site and a project weblog - available to anyone at all times.
You can see our organisation and its activities here...
www.sandringhamcentre.com

 

This blog will offer continuous commentary on project development, a record of how we achieved our
outcomes. The web site, a project window for material as it is gathered, will used to feature content and show
images, text and voice recordings made (subject to appropriate permissions).
The site will be the point of access for our major output.

 

A book about the history of Marham and its environs


We will make formated copies freely available online to be downloaded by anyone as pdf's, Kindle or ePub
publications.

 

We will also store a formatted copy of the book with an online service, like Lulu for example, which will enable
others to print on demand physical copies if required. The resultant revenue will go directly to our charity to
fund further projects.

 

Physical copies will be presented to project partners, schools and community centres, celebrating community
achievement.

 

A closing event

 

A community event weekend, using community buildings.

 

Refreshments will be provided and the local schools will be invited to participate with a 20 minute five scene Marham pageant farming then and now, William the Conqueror, Battle of Britain, Afghanistan - charting our project, it's research, delivery and outcomes.


The event will make available to residents and visitors of all ages, ethnicity and abilities material which will tell
them how they can continue to access the findings of our project and how, with the benefit of HLF funding,
this has become a durable community resource.

 

2. We would also use this event to present physical copies of our book to the following...Marham Infant
School, Marham Primary School, RAF Marham and Narborough Heritage Centre, for example.

 

3. Press releases, blog articles, social media and physical notices about the occasion will circulated ahead of
time to create interest in the ending process of the project.

 

4. We would hope, after twelve months, to be able to report on new partnerships and nascent projects that will
have been formed from the project and HLF funding.

This charity web site is designed, hosted and the content supported by Thirdsectorweb - part of SmithMartin LLP

 

Marham Voice logo design by the graphic designer Jim Simpson

Contact Jim at jimsimpson@smithmartinpartnership.com