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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

People’s Collection Wales refresh supports Llangollen’s Chain Bridge Project

On Friday 20 February, the Royal Commission was in Llangollen taking part in the Linking Memories training session held as part of the exciting new Chain Bridge Project.  The project aims to restore and allow access to Llangollen's impressive early nineteenth-century chain-link bridge, which may be the earliest bridge of its type in the western world.

Llantysilio Chain Bridge as it is today (courtesy of the Chain Bridge Project).
This year the project will be working to collect local people’s memories and memorabilia of the cast-iron bridge, especially photographs, documents and oral histories. These will be made available on the newly improved People’s Collection Wales website, which is funded by Welsh Government and delivered by the Royal Commission, National Museum Wales and the National Library of Wales.
The Chain Bridge Project’s Heritage Officer (and Royal Commission staff member), Samantha Jones, outlined the history of the bridge, which finally closed in the 1980s. The bridge was purchased by Llantysilio Community Council and Llangollen town council in 2011, and funding has since been obtained for its restoration and for the collection of people’s memories relating to it. The Royal Commission’s People’s Collection Wales Officer, Helen Rowe, introduced the People’s Collection Wales website, which has just undergone a refresh, making it more user-friendly than ever before. She explained how the website is perfect for the storage and dissemination of the memories gathered by the Chain Bridge Project. Helen outlined the history of the site, which was created as a platform for the people of Wales to share and access material relating to the history and heritage of Wales. She gave examples of some of the many and varied items already added by heritage institutions, museums, libraries and archives, as well as by groups and individuals. Helen explained how material on the site is shared under the terms of the non-commercial Creative Archive Licence and how important it is to follow the copyright guidelines when uploading material. She then explained how easy it is to upload digital material in a variety of formats, including audio and video.

The Royal Commission’s People’s Collection Officer, Helen Rowe, demonstrating the newly improved People’s Collection Wales website.
David Crane from Llangollen Museum gave an informative talk on best practice for digital archiving and Lorna Jenner rounded off the day with an excellent workshop on oral history interviewing techniques.
The training session was both informative and inspiring, and we look forward to viewing the full and fascinating story of the Llantysilio Chain Bridge on the People’s Collection Wales website in the near future! To learn more about the history of the bridge, check out the story of Exuperius Pickering and the Llantysilio Chain Bridge on the People’s Collection Wales website at http://www.peoplescollectionwales.co.uk/content/exuperius-pickering-and-llantysilio-chain-bridge.

By Nikki Vousden

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