Welwyn Garden City is a town with a short life but it has a great history. Inspiring young people to learn about and care for their local heritage is an important aspect of the Foundation’s work. We aim to foster their participation and cultivate a sense of pride in the community.
We are working with local schools and other youth organisations to provide youngsters with the opportunity to gain new skills andexperiences as we embrace the centenary.
Consequently the Foundation made contact with the WGC Schools’ Head teachers’ Group led by Peter Brown of Stanborough School and, in June 2015, members of the Foundation made a presentation at one of the Group’s monthly meetings. The Head teachers responded enthusiastically and this resulted in the formation of a joint working group of representatives from the Schools and from the Foundation. This group has met regularly, in advance of the main Head teachers’ meetings so that progress can be reported and proposals approved.
The joint working group is currently concentrating on three main activities:
- Photographic Competitions
The Schools’ working group decided that the staging of photographic competitions across all school age groups would be an excellent way to encourage pupils’ participation in the centenary celebrations. Consequently the WGC Photographic Club was approached to help with organising these events. A joint working group was set up with representatives from the WGC Photographic Club, the Schools’ Group, the Foundation. The group decided to stage a competition in each year from 2017, leading up to 2020 and culminating in a major competition in Centenary year. The first of these competitions has the distinction of being the first centenary event to take place, and was launched in December 2016 with entries to be submitted before the end of April 2017. The theme was ‘Street Photography of WGC’ and was open to WGC school pupils in the age ranges 4-7, 7-11, 11-14, and 14-18. A team of judges was arranged by the Photographic Club and judging took place in May 2017. The winning entries were pupils from Oaklands and Monk's Walk schools. A successful and well supported prize giving event was held on 7 September 2017 at the Terrace Suite, Campus West when the Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield, Lynne Sparks, congratulated all concerned with organising the event and gave certificates, trophies and vouchers to the winners. Preparations are now in hand for the 2018 competition when it is expected that the success of the 2017 competition will result in a wider and increased entry.
- Town Trails
Knowing of the experience of the WGC Heritage Trust and WGC Society in organising town trails, the Schools’ Group approached both organisations to help develop trails for schools in the town centre and a number of local areas. These would be designed for various age groups and would include key locations in the history and geography of WGC. A working group has been set up with Tony Skottowe of the WGC Heritage Trust and Shaun O’Reilly of the WGC Society, to test and develop the trails.
- Heritage Box
This is a resource which will be made available to all schools and will contain a wide variety of material such as DVDs, Power Point presentations, facsimile newspapers and documents, case studies, and recordings of memories of early residents. The detailed content of the box material is being agreed by a working group and will be assembled by the Foundation with the help of WGC Heritage Trust specialists.