Winsham Web Museum - a new approach to recording village history  

The Winsham Web Museum Launch Weekend

An account of our two-day event will bring us up to the present time - June 2002. Can we really have achieved so much in just under eighteen months? It doesn’t seem possible. You could do the same. All it takes is a bit of enthusiasm. It’s not like getting to the Moon!

Our weekend event took quite a lot of organising and took place on the 24th and 25th May 2002. Its objectives were as follows:-

  • To provide a promotional event that would establish the Museum in the minds of the people of Winsham, who would be our most important users and supporters.

  • Enable many visitors to see the Winsham Web Museum for the first time.

  • Provide the facility to scan photographs and documents brought in by village people.

  • Photograph artefacts.

  • Record reminiscences.

  • Make clear to all concerned the nature and purpose of the museum initiative.

  • Achieve as wide media coverage as possible, mainly to help convince Winsham people that the museum was seen as an important event by people outside the community, but also to attract the attention of people outside the parish who had links with it who might be able to contribute material or help in other ways.

  • Formally open the Winsham Web Museum.

  • Support the Parish’s Golden Jubilee celebrations by naming the event as part of them.

The result was one of overwhelming success, in terms of all objectives.

David Laws, our MP, opened the event supported by various important people in the community, which included the Chair of the District Council, the Leader of the District Council, the County Historian, the Chairman of Winsham Parish Council, the County Museums Officer, the District Council Museums and Heritage Officer and, it is estimated, over a hundred people from the Parish.

During the weekend over three hundred photographs and documents were scanned, with promises given for lots more.

Press & Radio coverage was extensive, which resulted in a sharp increase in ‘visits’ to the web site.

Display Units were loaned to us by the SSDC Museums Department, which helped greatly in enabling us to get the Web Museum story across.

Further mention must be made of the role played by the South Somerset District Council's Museums and Heritage Department who willingly gave so much help. This ranged from advice on matters of copyright and other legalities to museum layout and indexing. If you consider building a community museum on the Internet such help will greatly aid your overall effectiveness.

Now we are very busy incorporating this material into the site, a task that will not be completed fully for several months, and maybe longer. Almost daily the site increases in size. It already contains some eighty megabytes of information.

Page created 2002