The archives are now offering a new series of events that are going to run every month. Those are called ‘Archive Bites’ and will be a small expositions that will feature a thematic series of objects from the depths of the archive’s collections. This past week the subject was Plymouth in the past and featured pictures taken circa 1959 and a historical plan of the market part of Plymouth with all the shops clearly market. For the duration of the day, people were coming up to the archives to look at the pictures and swap the stories of the city. Here is what you’ve missed:
- Throwing stones at rats in the car park
- Driving Ford Prefect with it’s windshield wipes closely connected to the revving of its engine.
- The story of a closure of a famous Plymouth restaurant. Allegedly because of fears that people would choose its terrace to jump off it.
- Debating the intricate difference between collecting pink stamps over the green stamps.
This is a very small post, due to some unforeseen circumstances that prevented me from proper research in the past week. But excuses aside, here is the Chelsea Ostrich:
Before the big move in 1973 from Chelsea to Plymouth, the people were not extremely excited about the change. I can’t really blame them, for the most people the change is scary and seeing so many years of tradition and memories going through irrevocable transformation must be even harder. But for ostriches the change is something that, if ignored, will eventually go away. As an illustration of the mood on campus, one of the newsletters printed this image:
The Chelsea Ostrich
What can I say, I didn’t know that Marjon was accepting ostriches at some point:-)
Our archives are a place where many volunteers pursue their projects and passions. As a recurring feature of this blog I will write about those people and their work, so that everybody can meet the people who invest their time and energy here.
Last Thursday I have met my first two volunteers, Mark and Richard. Those two lovely guys are working on a parallel projects involving photography, both in the archives and around the campus. They both came to us guided by the Plymouth’s Volunteer Centre.
Mark on the left, Richard on the right
In the late morning we had a short walk towards the less visited parts of our campus, with Gillian being our guide. We went down the road towards the chaplain’s house and the pond behind it. There is a small wooded area that was of interest to them and also the future site of a new orchard has been planted recently (I can’t wait for the first ‘apple day’!’. I followed them as they worked taking pictures of this little travelled spot.
Their projects are related but separate. Mark’s project is called ‘Seeing Marjon in Another Light’. His work includes the pictures of those features of Marjon that are often passed unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of the campus life, the exquisite beauty of the flowers, trees and wildlife. He uses computer graphics to enhance his photos, saturating them with lively, impressionist colours. For Mark, working with the photography is his refugee from anxiety and depression and a way of coping with day-to-day challenges. ‘Looking through the lens brings me a new perspective’ He said.
Richard’s project is called ‘Impressions of Marjon’. His work involves searching archives for old pictures of places around Marjon. When he finds a suitable one, he tries to take a picture in the same spot and make a comparison with the old one. This way one can see clearly how the time affected the place. The slow progress of time becomes so obvious this way and makes the viewer aware of the passing seasons.
I am glad that I have met them as it is always uplifting to see people making time and effort to pursue their passions. I am certainly looking forward to seeing more of their work.