Share Your Stories and Bring Back Memories at RSPB Baron's Haugh

Try your hand at archaeology or bring an object related to local history to RSPB Baron’s Haugh and Dalzell Estate on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November for the launch of a new local archaeological project, Capturing the Past.

Filed under News
Date posted: Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Led by CAVLP Heritage, Capturing the Past will build a picture of how people worked and lived in the Clyde and Avon valleys with local residents and provide opportunities for learning new heritage focussed skills.

On Saturday 28, you and your family can book to participate in the first survey of the project at RSPB Baron’s Haugh and Dalzell Estate. Learn how to conduct specialist archaeological surveys and record important archaeological sites, guided by CAVLP Heritage archaeologists.

On Sunday 29, you are invited to bring along objects and heirlooms to the site, which are associated to the industrial, agricultural and horticultural heritage of the Clyde and Avon valleys.  CAVLP Heritage archaeologists will help discover the stories behind them, and to digitally record them and the memories that are connected to them.  Photos, tools, family heirlooms and historical documents are all examples of objects that the team hope the public will bring along to the event.

Capturing the Past is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and Historic Scotland and runs until summer 2016. CAVLP Heritage are appealing for volunteers to get involved and share the historical knowledge they have already – even a small amount of time can help uncover the story of the valleys over a few thousand years.

Free archaeological training will be available through the project including undertaking research, discovering and recording sites and learning how to publicise discoveries.

“Through the Capturing the Past project, we’re asking people to actively take a part in helping to discover and record the important archaeology of the Clyde and Avon valleys”, explains CAVLP Heritage officer Dr Paul Murtagh.

He continues, “We want as many people as possible, from all over the area, to learn how to conduct archaeological work and help us build a picture of how people worked and lived in the valleys over the past few thousand years. By taking part in our training workshops members of the public will be able to learn, first-hand, how archaeologists understand the landscape and how to conduct archaeological work themselves.”

Dr Murtagh gives his grandfather’s measuring tape as an example of the type of objects he hopes the public will bring along.  Adding, “my grandfather was a blacksmith and used this brass and steel measuring tape every day. I like that it’s bashed in and well used. He was responsible for loads of the decorative metal work that is still found around Dumbarton. I remember him telling me that he made and put up the flag pole on top of Dumbarton Castle. I can imagine him using this measuring tape to help make the flag pole, before he humphed it up the twirling passages of the Rock.”

The Capturing the Past project will document details of objects brought by the public to RSPB Baron’s Haugh and make 3D models of a number of them. People’s memories and stories associated with the objects will also be captured, meaning that the project team will build a picture of how people lived and worked in the valleys in the past.

The following free weekend event will officially launch the project. Further events and training weekends will take place throughout January, February and March.

Saturday 28 November

RSPB Baron’s Haugh, 10.30am – 3.30pm, adults, children and families all welcome. Free but booking essential: 01555 661555 or email Paul and Karen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday 29 November

 RSPB Baron’s Haugh, 11am- 4pm, all welcome, free drop in sessions all day.

Click on 'CTP volunteering,' under 'related resource' to find out more about what volunteering opportunities will be available through the project.

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