For many months I had last week highlighted in my diary. It was the week our Beau Street Hoard Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Fund grant application was due to be submitted and I’m pleased to say it’s winged its virtual way through the HLF online ‘portal’. The project team heave a collective sigh of relief! This application is the culmination of nearly a year’s worth of and has involved researching, planning, consultation, writing and amending drafts and calculating budgets. It has been an interesting learning curve for all of us and we have had many memorable moments, one being our wonderful public fund-raising launch in July.
|Children from Moorlands Junior School and players from Bath Rugby Club at our Launch event|
Throughout the year we’ve been working with a wide range of people. Not only have we talked to colleagues here at the Roman Baths, to keep them up to date and ask for their advice, but we have been out and about meeting the community. We’ve set up public consultations in libraries, One Stop Shops and at special events such as Carers’ Week, Museums at Night and Heritage Open Week. We asked people if they had heard about the Beau Street Hoard, what aspects they found interesting and if they perceived any barriers or difficulties to learning about and enjoying these wonderful coins. People also had the opportunity to handle real coins, as well as a replica of one of the eight money bags in the hoard.
A member of Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens’ Association handle the replica money bag
We have consulted with various national and local groups including The Girl Guide Association, the U3A , Age UK Bath, Gay West and Outstories, The History of Bath Research Group and The Abbey Residents’ Association (representing the people who live in the centre of Bath where the coins were found). A summary of all the consultations has been submitted as part of our application, as the HLF is very keen for us to have a two-way dialogue with the community.
Our project partners, including local universities and FE colleges, schools, community groups and organisations, have contributed a lot of time and effort to transform initial ideas into fully-fledged projects, with realistic timetables and resources. We have worked collaboratively to ensure the activities in our application fulfilled our partners’ particular needs, for example, a project involving families and children where English is an additional language will be very different from one involving our U3A Beau Street Hoard volunteers. The project for families will focus on using the hoard to develop language skills and confidence in story-telling, whereas volunteers will require an training by our collections team to enable them to photograph and document the hoard to museum standards.
|Grandchildren of Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens’ Association discuss the replica money bag|
Our national partners and supporters, such as The British Museum, The Roman Society and the Association for Roman Archaeology, are integral to the application. The hoard is of great interest to historians, archaeologists and numismatists (people who study and collect coins), as it has the potential to further our understanding of life in Roman Britain. Their involvement provides a strong academic backbone to our activities.
Now we have to wait until spring 2014 to find out if our application is successful. However, there’s plenty to do in the meantime, including additional fund-raising to ensure we can hit our target of £60,000. If you would like to help us with a donation, please call 01225 477773.
Saira – Beau Street Hoard Project Officer