Interpretation Board

The following was kindly supplied by Angela Haigh
Chair, Bradford Abbas History Society 

The Interpretation Board, which stands in the village near the War Memorial, is the result of an idea put into action by Bradford Abbas History Society.  Recognising that the village has a long and interesting history with evidence dating back thousands of years, right up to the present day, committee members felt it was worth bringing to the notice of residents and visitors alike. The purpose of the board is to allow people to interpret their present day surroundings and put them into context with the past.

The overall layout was created by the History Society but a local professional graphics company was engaged to create the artwork.  To get ideas for the layout and type of board that would be best, several members of the committee had a look at those in other villages, and various ensuing designs were considered.  We drew together what we thought are the most important sites/buildings and looked into their history.

Using a local company turned out to be a sensible choice as later on, despite the wonders of digital technology, it became necessary for repeated reviews to get the detail correct.

The stylised depiction of the key buildings was chosen to give the map some unity and simplify the look.  Various colour schemes and layouts were tried.  We were keen to include the footpaths as the idea was to print an informative leaflet alongside, which visitors could use, and these have been made available in the village shop, the pub and the church.

Grants were obtained by our treasurer Derek Hayward, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, West Dorset District Council, Bradford Abbas Parish Council and a donation from the Festival of Wheels. He also liaised with the company throughout the many months it took to complete the project.

The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was given on the premise that we were promoting our culture to a wider audience, including future generations, so the village school was involved to help satisfy this requirement.  Judith Hayward, Zoe Martin and Tony White spoke to the children and then took them on a Historic Walk through the village (the walk in the leaflet we produced).  The children then produced a walk leaflet of their own and these have also been made available in the village shop and the church and have proved to be very popular.

A half size board will also be erected inside the school and the village hall to promote our village to a wider audience of visitors.

Checks were made with the Highways Authority and local services that the board could be erected safely in the place best suited to viewing by the public.

It is hoped that the boards will be of interest and of valuable use to the village, giving a focus on its long history.

Angela Haigh
Chair, Bradford Abbas History Society
October 2019

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