Celebrating One Year of our Knowledge Transfer Partnership

By Dr Francesca Elliott, Heritage Manager at Pennine Heritage

It's one year today since the start of our Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Huddersfield. It's been a busy year, full of new opportunities and new connections, so we thought we'd share our top 10 highlights!

1. Students get Hands-on with History


One of the big benefits of our KTP is the opportunity for students to get involved with public history. In February, we welcomed second-year students from the university's Hands-on History course to learn about how to handle and care for historic objects.

2. Our website gets a relaunch

The start of our KTP coincided with the launch of this new website. Our Heritage Manager has been running the website, including creating and coordinating new blog posts about our exciting projects, and some of the research going on in the South Pennine Archives.

3. Celebrating a Heritage Hero


Volunteers are at the heart of Pennine Heritage, and we were delighted that our Digital Archive lead volunteer Ann Kilbey was recognised this year with a Commendation in the Heritage Hero Awards. The Heritage Alliance hosted the online awards ceremony where Ann was recognised for her many years of dedication to preserving the photographic heritage of the South Pennines.

4. Seeing the world Through Alice's Eyes


Over the May long weekend, we welcomed 500 visitors to our exhibition of the work of Alice Longstaff, a pioneering local photographer. The exhibition was put together with the help of two University of Huddersfield placement students, with valuable advice on evaluation and marketing from the university.

5. New gallery, new exhibition


In June we launched a new permanent exhibition space in our beautiful front gallery. Our opening exhibition Hebden Bridge: from Trouser Town to Lesbian Capital of the UK was curated by Masters student Emily Greenwood as part of her Masters in Public History.

6. Helping students find out - what's in our water?


Water is a vital part of our ecosystem, and is key to shaping the landscape and culture of the South Pennines. Working with Universuty of Huddersfield scientist Dr Jeremy Hopwood, we are developing a schools programme to combine history and environmental science to answer the question - what's in or water? The UoH undergraduate History Society had a great time piloting the programme for us in the summer!

7. Partnering with the British Society for the History of Science

We have been fortunate to partner with the British Society for the History of Science to host one of their 2022 Public Engagement Fellowships, appointing PhD student Kelly Swaby in September. Kelly is researching an incredible new archive collection which charts the life of local nurse Mary Atack as she worked around the country during World War Two. You can read about Kelly's research, and our plans to use it for a schools programme, here.

8. Heritage Open Days 2022 - Astounding Innovations


Heritage Open Days 2022 saw our region filled with unique events and open days, taking the public behind the scenes of some of our local heritage sites. We partnered with three local sites to offer a self-guided tour exploring four of the innovations which shaped our valley. At Pennine Heritage, we produced an exhibition on water power, showcasing highlights from the South Pennine Archives to reveal how water power has shaped the landscape and culture of the Calder Valley.

9. Placement students bringing fresh perspectives

Placement students from the university have contributed a lot of energy and enthusiasm to Pennine Heritage over the past year. Third year history student Lee Taylor has been with us for most of this year, first as part of a work placement, and now as a dissertation student. Lee's dissertation will explore the story of the Cragg Vale Coiners, and how it interacts with ideas of local identity. Lee has also been helping with the conservation of our beautiful historic building.

10. Student project starts with a bang!

Following the success of our object-handling session earlier in the year, Pennine Heritage was invited to be the partner organisation for this year's Hands-on History undergraduate course at the University of Huddersfield. Our Heritage Manager, Francesca, is mentoring the 15 students on the course as they research the history of Huddersfield institution Standard Fireworks. Using archival documents and historic objects, the students will create an exhibition exploring the company's history, and the use of fireworks in cultural celebrations. The exhibition will launch at the Birchcliffe Centre in the spring - so watch this space!

We are very grateful to our KTP team - academic lead Dr Rob Ellis, trustees Judith Schofield and Mike Tull, Associate Dr Francesca Elliott, regional advisor Trevor Gregory, and the brilliant KTP office at the University of Huddersfield - Laura Forester-Green, Alex Rysztogi, and Liz Rees! This team have come together to facilitate collaborations and explore new opportunities for Pennine Heritage. We look forward to what Year Two of the partnership will bring!