The parish of Buriton, Hampshire, has a rich local heritage and a fascinating local history. As with many places, however, there is a risk that, over time, much of the knowledge and many photographs of the past could be lost. The Buriton Heritage Bank was therefore launched in 2001 to collect information about the history and heritage of the parish, to share it more widely and to record it for all time. The project is coordinated by the Buriton Village Association, chaired by Doug Jones
The idea allows anyone to ‘pay in’ or ‘deposit’ information, experience and research and also to be able to ‘draw out’ information from the expanding pool of knowledge – to enhance their own appreciation of the local heritage and to develop their own studies. Contributions are regularly made from thousands of miles away as well as closer to home. Young people in the parish can draw on the knowledge of older residents; newcomers can learn from those whose families have lived in the area for generations; and those with a good knowledge of local specialist subjects can share and explain it to others.
In two years the project had collected together well over a thousand old photographs (many dating back to the 19th century) and a wealth of information and knowledge. There are now over 3,250 photographs in our archives and a series of publications brings together images and information about Buriton’s social, cultural and natural history. An annual ‘Bygone Buriton’ local history exhibition is held every year (the last being on 28 September 2019) which always results in more information and images for our archives.
It is hoped that, by encouraging the local community to explore the local heritage and to find out more, it will generate a greater interest in, and respect for, the local area. And, through the website those who live further afield can also take part I the project. One completely unforeseen bonus of the initiative is the number of long-lost friends and relatives who have been reunited through the project; and the number of new contacts and friendships that have blossomed.
Research into local topics is ongoing and the archive is always looking for more old photographs of local people and places. One project based on all available maps is determining the evolution of the parish. Amongst the items posted on the website is a ‘house detectives toolkit’. Sound recordings of people with memories of life after the Second World War are also in progress. Those with information about the history or heritage of Buriton (including Weston, Nursted and Ditcham) are encouraged get in touch.
- Buriton:Local Luminaries
- Buriton in Living Memory
- The Wealth of Weston
- Buriton Beyond Living Memory
A copy of a recent publication was given free to every one of the 400 households in the village! For more information, visit: www.buriton.org.uk. For general information on the parish, visit: www.buriton.info.
Contributed by Sarah Stevens, Secretary, Buriton Village: firstname.lastname@example.org.