Six successful schemes: Stories of the Nene community grants

Two rounds of community grants have been awarded to six fantastic organisations in the Nene Valley.

Nearing completion, Rushden Historical Transport Society (RHTS) and the National Leather Collection in Northampton were awarded funding from the first rouns for projects that were very much needed. In order to ensure that their newly acquired Goods Shed is accessible for everyone regardless of their mobility, a team of volunteers at RHTS built a ramp. This simple solution has been well-received by visitors and even used by some Nenescape volunteers already.

 The ramp under construction

The ramp under construction

 Nenescape volunteers leaving after an event via the new ramp

Nenescape volunteers leaving after an event via the new ramp

The National Leather Collection’s project involved archiving a wealth of old photographs, documents and booklets charting the history of leather and the processes that go into making it. A team of volunteers from across the world were specially recruited for the project, with their contributions to the efforts made possible by a new computer, funded by Nenescape. Read more about this project in the full article here.

 The National Leather Collection team working together on the archives

The National Leather Collection team working together on the archives

 One of the very many documents being read, catalogued and archived

One of the very many documents being read, catalogued and archived

The successful applicants in the second round are the Friends of Rushden Museum, the William Scott Abbott Trust at Sacrewell Farm, the Langdyke Countryside Trust’s Castor & Ailsworth visitor welcome volunteers and Irthlingborough Archaeological Society. Receiving a total of £6000 across all of them, the organisations’ projects are as diverse as the landscape of the Nene.

Rushden Museum’s collection of objects will be much more safely stored and accessed with the help of their grant, which will enable the purchasing of storage and packing materials and a new ladder to access the top shelves in the stores.

At Sacrewell Farm, an archive of documents, pictures and other items will be understood and used to share the stories of people who have lived and worked on farms in the Nene Valley.

In Castor and Ailsworth and surrounding parishes, the landscape is rich in Roman, Saxon and Civil War history, as well as the poet John Clare’s understanding of local ecology. Two new walking trails will guide visitors through time and space.

Also looking at ancient history, Irthlingborough Archaeological Society will be conducting a geophysical survey of an Iron Age and Roman site in the Nene Wetlands as part of a wider scheme of archaeological investigations into the site.