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Get involved with Tillingbourne Tales

Tillingbourne Tales, an exciting project that will reveal and celebrate the industrial heritage of the Tillingbourne Valley is looking for volunteers to get involved with research and recording. This Heritage Lottery Funded project will discover more about the Tillingbourne River and the industries it supported for centuries, helping to bring local history to local people and preserving it for future generations.

The Tillingbourne, in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), was one of the most industrialised river valleys in 17th century England. With approximately 50 water wheels at its height, powering 32 mills and supporting 12 different industries, including weaving, tanning, iron-working, paper-milling and gun powder production, the valley’s idyllic landscape held a significant legacy of cultural heritage.

Project Manager Dr Anne Sassin will be recruiting a team of volunteers to help deliver the project.  Volunteers will not only have the opportunity to help research and archive but also to capture local knowledge through oral histories, help create characters based on research for each village and work with river wardens to learn about nature and water conservation, monitor and record.

To raise awareness of the project amongst local communities an evening event has been arranged at Shalford Village Hall on Monday 23 November from 7pm.  This provides an opportunity to understand more about the project and hear from local historian Professor Alan Crocker about ‘Mills of the Tillingbourne’.

Dr Anne Sassin comments:
“Recording and archiving oral histories is vital to safeguarding our local heritage, and getting the community to engage in this heritage and discover its legacy is what the Tillingbourne Tales project is all about. I encourage anyone with an interest in local history to come along to our event on 23 November to find out more about the project ”.

Tillingbourne Tales are also offering oral history training sessions at the Surrey History Centre on Thursday 21 January from 10am – 16.30pm. Oral historian and trainer Rob Davies covers introductory talk, interview preparation, practical session, and use and demonstration of equipment, and the post-interview process (legal and ethical issues, summarising, transcription and archiving).
If you are keen to volunteer for the project and would like to attend the training session on 21 January please email Dr Anne Sassin on; asassinallen@gmail.com.

To find out more about the Tales and Trails of the Tillingbourne Valley project visit https://www.surreyhills.org/board/tillingbourne-valley/ or join their new Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=tillingbourne%20tales