Heritage Trail website brings First World War to life

News

Date: 14th Nov 2017

Buckinghamshire New University and Wycombe District Council have launched 'The Heritage Trail’ website for High Wycombe, navigating points of interest from the Great War.

The website sees a soldier, played by Bucks New University graduate and actor Liam Burton, take history buffs around places of significance in the Buckinghamshire town from the 1914-1918 conflict and includes films, photos and commentaries.

At Bucks New University, BSc (Hons) Computing and Web Development graduates Robert Hucks and Devon Van Der Berg led a six-month project putting together the online trail, which was launched at Wycombe Museum in Priory Road, High Wycombe.

Robert, who graduated from the University in 2017, said: “It is great to see something we worked so hard on become a reality and I hope it is enjoyed by many people in High Wycombe.”

Bucks New University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rebecca Bunting, said: “We are so proud to be involved in this wonderful project for High Wycombe, given our roots in the town over the last 125 years.

“I felt privileged to be involved in the launch and to see how our students and staff have brought an idea to life that will benefit the whole community.”

The Heritage Trail starts at High Wycombe Library in Eden Shopping Centre and finishes at Wycombe Museum, where users can see a First World War trench reconstruction and lots of other artefacts from the time.

The website focuses on sites including a war memorial outside All Saints Church in Church Square, High Wycombe.

Other sites include a stained glass window in The Guildhall in High Wycombe commemorating those who returned from the Great War; and the chapel at Wycombe Abbey School, which was home to the Carrington family whose son, Viscount Wendover, fought in the Great War and is remembered with a commemorative stone.

It was paid for through part of a £39,000 grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

The University was among 67 universities and colleges awarded a total of £2.8 million under the HEFCE Catalyst Fund.

HEFCE will work with the project so that the innovations and lessons learnt are shared with other providers across higher education.

Councillor Graham Peart, Cabinet Member for Community at Wycombe District Council, said: “I love the idea of a virtual tour which you can follow using a smartphone as you walk around the town.

“It’s packed with interesting information and it’s really opened my eyes both to our local history and heritage.

“What’s more, through this project I’ve also discovered what talented people we have here in High Wycombe and how, by bringing those skills together, we can produce something brilliant for people to enjoy.”

BA (Hons) Creative Advertising students also contributed to the look and feel of the website.

The project team also comprised Bucks New University's Rebecca Rochon, Senior Lecturer - Education; Richard Jones, Principal Lecturer in Computing & IT; Associate Lecturer Jon Jackson; Dr Richard Mather, Reader in Geomatics & Education; Dr Helena Chance, Reader in the History and Theory of Design; Curriculum Filmmaker Harrison Boileau; and BA (Hons) Film and Television Production student Jamie Flitney.

The trail is here.

Pictures: top, The team behind The Heritage Trail, with Professor Rebecca Bunting (front, centre); middle, Liam Burton; and bottom, Robert Hucks.

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