Meeting Report May 2013

Top of the agenda this month is how to secure funding for the many exciting and ambitious projects connected with our Northampton Heritage Gateway proposal and celebrations for the 850th anniversary of the Becket trial.


Graham Callister, the Cultural Policy and Planning Officer at Northants County Council, kindly came along to our meeting to enlighten us on potential funding available and shared with us some of the projects he has been involved with recently that could be relevant for FONC to adapt and tailor to specific projects both ongoing and in the future. Among the many examples he gave the group, the idea of having a light show projected on a church led to a suggestion for illuminating the Becket trial on St. Peter’s church. Another example using a specific App for a phone or tablet to augment reality with art work or heritage detail at various locations using GPS was enthusiastically received by the group for its potential in bringing the Castle alive during tours of the Castle area. He also described how QR codes can be used to download information to supplement or replace the need for information boards which too had potential for FONC planning.

Graham then gave an outline of funding agencies which may be amenable to FONC projects. He suggested the Heritage Lottery Fund and also the Arts Council England who are particularly keen on digital arts and engaging in new technology. However, he cautioned that application for funding should be submitted at least six months before needed. Graham was warmly thanked for his extremely useful information which would give members much to ponder upon in how best to move forward.

Events Diary 2013 update

  • Delapre Abbey Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th May; 12pm-4pm each day.
  • Spring Boroughs Residents Association Saturday 15th June
  • Big Dig Introduction Day: Saturday 13th July, Finds Days: Saturday 3rd & 10th August
  • Umbrella Fair Weekend 17th/ 18th August
  • National Heritage Weekend Thursday 12th September to Sunday 15th September
  • Heritage Fair Saturday 14th September 10am – 4pm

Member volunteers to help man these events are still needed, ‘many hands, less work’, and help with transportation of display boards and possibly tables and chairs to some events is also required.

Delapre Abbey Event

Having planned volunteers for a full three day event it now had been ascertained that it was being held on just two days and open to the public in the afternoons only. However, on the first day help would be required in the morning to set up the stand, which could be left up over Saturday night, in the Coach and Carriage House. Julia had agreed to give a short talk about the aims and work of FONC at a time to be arranged during the event. It was agreed that all members who had volunteered to help should still attend and when not manning the stand circulate to promote FONC. Copies of the Castle Heritage Trail along with the promotional balloons could be distributed during the event. Howard and Sanaa would liaise about creating a CD of the 3D animated video and the Library pictures of the castle to show at events. Joe would look into the cost of hiring a projector and/or portable DVD equipment for the event.

National Heritage Weekend 2013
Following the well supported tours given last year, it was agreed that Marie would commit FONC to conducting at least one Castle Heritage Trail tour per day during national Heritage Weekend this year.

Northampton Heritage Fair
Jon’s proposal that FONC should, as happened last year, have a stand at the annual Heritage Fair was accepted. He would accordingly confirm and pay the booking fee on FONC’s behalf.


Big Dig
Following a meeting with an official in the Borough Council, John reported that permission had been given to dig on five areas of communal land during the Big Dig season; providing that only two sites be dug on any one day.

John also reported that he had been approached by two well regarded independent film-makers to record the Big Dig event. He put to the meeting and it was agreed, that after careful consideration, he would decide which film-maker should be allowed access to film the event.

2014 Events
Marie and Julia had attended a meeting with senior personnel at the Central Museum to explore ideas on how the museum could harness its expertise and resources to celebrate the anniversary of the Becket trial at the Castle next year. FONC had hosted a display, using a selection of the museum’s store of finds from the Castle site and artefacts associated with the Castle, in the People’s Gallery of the museum in May 2012 and these were an obvious starting point for an exhibition. Some exciting additional proposals were put forward at the meeting which would need to be researched for feasibility and also funding. It was agreed that there would be further meetings to explore all proposals.

Date and Venue of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held at 6pm on Friday 7th June at Castle Hill United Reform Church, Doddridge Street, Northampton.

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