The history of Hill End Hospital is being preserved through a grant of over £49,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. During 2009/10 the project entitled 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind?' will include live performance, artists working with schools and residents in the Highfield Park area, roadshows and a new website.
The stories of ex-patients and ex-staff will form the basis of a performance at Trestle Arts Base, which used to be the Hill End Hospital chapel. Artists including a writer, musician and photographer will also work with local schools and community groups to create pieces of artwork to be shown as part of a roadshow. This will include material from the archives at County Hall and the London Metropolitan Archive and will tour Hill End and two other hospital sites at Napsbury and Shenley. The object is to give those who now live on the sites a sense of the history behind their homes, road names and locality.
The website will be run by volunteers and include records of the project including excerpts from the Trestle performance, film, music, work by school children and local residents, people's stories and photos and other records gathered together into a community archive. This will be expanded through regular updates to be a living history record. The website will link to similar sites across the county as part of 'Hertsmemories', a much larger online resource also funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The final piece of the jigsaw is the conservation of archive material belonging to Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies. This will preserve the collection as a resource for future research.
The project will be managed by a partnership including St Albans City & District Council, St Albans Arts, Sport & Health (the development arm of Leisure Connection), Trestle Theatre Company, Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies and the County Arts Officer.
If you have any stories, pictures or other information that you would like to share with the project please contact Tricia Dibb on 01727 827667 (email: [email protected].co.uk) or Anna Crompton on 01727 850950 (email: [email protected]).
Photo (from left to right): Anna Crompton - Co-ordinator, Trestle Taking Part, Oliver Jones - Director, Trestle Taking Part, Catherine Davis - County Arts Officer, Jo Askham - Director, St Albans Festival, Amy Cooke - Image Librarian, St Albans Museums, Daphne Knott - Learning & Access Officer, HCC
For more information about Heritage Lottery Fund, please go to www.hlf.org.uk