If you are in the Sussex area on Saturday 21 July, please do come along to the first Heritage Meet-up at the Rights of Man in Lewes. The event is for people working in the heritage sector (both paid and voluntary) and those with an interest in heritage to meet very informally.
So, why a Heritage Meet-up? In June, I met with PCSO Daryl Holter, Sussex Police’s Heritage Crime Advisor, and we discussed all things arts and heritage. We realised that the local heritage sector, in particular, works best when we forge informal links between institutions and individuals, which can work alongside more formal networks. Daryl says that, “the idea was born from a discussion about how talking to each other has made looking after our shared heritage a great deal easier.”
Both Daryl and myself have fairly extensive networks in the local heritage sector, but neither of us were aware of any regular meet-up opportunities. “When I started out, I didn’t really know who to talk to, hopefully this informal social get together will be a great chance to meet up, put names to faces,” Daryl adds. It will be an opportunity for individuals at different stages of their heritage careers to network and share ideas.
The event will also be a chance to chat about some of the common issues affecting the local heritage sector, come up with outreach ideas, and generally develop stronger links for working together. Our shared heritage is incredibly valuable – historically, economically, politically, and so on – so identifying areas where we can all work together to keep sites open and preserve them for the future is key. Daryl continues: “We have a choice to defend our heritage, past, present and future. Some take our past heritage for granted; some forget it is amongst our present. We walk on it, drive through it and fly over it. When it falls victim to abuse it is all our moral responsibility to protect our past. It is our future generations that should have opportunity to rediscover experience and interpret the old and the new. We are but custodians of a rich heritage that tells of our journey.”
In the words of Martin Rees, “We need to broaden our sympathies both in space and time – and perceive ourselves as part of a long heritage, and stewards of an immense future.” The heritage sector is the perfect place for this process to take place. Come along on Saturday 21 July to chat more, you can find more details about the event here.