Good news! Following National Trust’s extraction from the David Livingstone Centre back in 2016, and with last years funding granted to David Livingstone Trust, talks have resumed again about creating Blantyre history exhibitions and hopefully the first steps towards a permanent Blantyre history offline archive.
Plans for a permanent Blantyre History museum and series of exhibitions fell flat in 2016 following National Trust’s announcement they were pulling out of David Livingstone Centre, Blantyre. With that, my efforts up until then seemed to vanish too. Story boards, graphics, posters, banners, all were ‘shelved’. It left all the work done to that date “up in the air” and I have to admit for me, had been a huge waste of time. However, hope was around the corner in 2017, when the David Livingstone Trust applied for and won a large grant for the renovation of the museum, due to commence June 2018.
Blantyre Project had a draft collaboration effort written into the Trust’s ‘Activity Plan’ back in 2016 (at the initial stages when funding was being considered). Now funding is certain, it means discussions can once again continue to preserving all the history that’s appeared on these pages in the last 7 years and showing it through a series of fun exhibitions.
Things are at a very, very early stage and indeed may still take years. Working closely with the David Livingstone Centre, Blantyre Project will offer community support regarding ALL aspects of Blantyre history (not just about David Livingstone, the Mills and Shuttle Row) but from all over Blantyre, through all ages with ourselves the vehicle for collecting all the history. This ultimately, will provide stories, photos and give Blantyre residents different kinds of evolving, exhibitions of various subjects (e.g Blantyre pubs, farms, shops, people etc).
Exciting times lay ahead and an initial meeting with the Trust’s very motivated staff yesterday, Friday 9th February 2018, was positive in one another regard. Looking longer term, with time and budgets permitting, it’s hoped to permanently house a collection of Blantyre memorabilia and detailed Blantyre Project history into the renovated centre, most likely in the Pavilion. Something which will preserve the legacy of this research, provide an evolving and interesting new exhibit at the centre and to tell YOUR stories! Show YOUR photos.
An exciting step forward to attaining Blantyre Project’s ultimate goal, “to permanently archive, preserve and protect Blantyre history in an accessible way for all that can easily be added to on and offline”. All being well, future generations will be able to enjoy this collection for decades to come.