For Budding Poets... Writer in Residence 24 June 2014 11am to 3pm

on Thursday, 05 June 2014.

Grace Gauld, a Wiltshire based poet, is the Writer in Residence at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre on Tuesday 24 June from 11am to 3pm.  Grace draws much of the inspiration for her poetry from Scotland where she was born.  Grace is a published poet and has performed widely at events, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  As a previous facilitator of the former Poetry Cafe at Salisbury Arts Centre Grace has explored issues such as anger and self identity, and has also performed at the Frome Poetry Society.  An example of Grace’s work can be read here

Grace’s published work has been published in magazines and anthologies, including "South", "Tears in the Fence", "Iota" and "The Word".  From time to time Grace works in schools, runs workshops and has also had experience of being a resident poet, most recently Grace was a guest tutor on the Now In Then Creative Writing Group – a project that has received Arts Council England funding and offers writer the chance to use the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre resources for inspiration and research (more for the forthcoming term can be found here - Grace has an interest in the woods and landscape of Wiltshire, with a special interest in Grovely Woods which are rich in history and have influenced writers such as the poet Edward Thomas.  During her residency she will be researching these topics and says "I am looking forward to the exploration of materials and finding out where it might lead."

Grace would love to meet local poets; so whether you are experienced, a novice, or just thinking about taking up poetry, why not pop into the History Centre to talk to Grace and gain some insights into her work?  This is a valuable opportunity to share your own poetry and get advice from a published poet and also explore some of the rich resources the History Centre has to offer.

Make the Most of a Writer in Residence - Tuesday 20th May 2014

on Saturday, 17 May 2014.

Wiltshire Scriptwriter Richard Conlon will be basing himslf at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre on Tuesday 20th May 2014 from 11am- 3pm in the Local Studies area.

Come along and have a chat with him to receive advice on your creative writing, ideas on how to turn your research into creative writing, including performance, chat about his work and find out more about using the History Centre as an inspirational resource.

Richard's plays for young people have been published by Heinmann and his work has been staged in theatres such as the Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond and also as far afield as the USA and New Zealand.


Chippenham Creative Writing Group at WSHC

on Tuesday, 22 April 2014.

! for adults, led by a professional writer

! all genres – novels, short stories, poetry, play writing, new media

! using historical artefacts and documents as inspiration

 This highly successful project is back again on Saturday Mornings, 10am-1pm, with a new theme: First World War in Wiltshire

       12 July  26 July  9 August  30 August  27 September
11 October  25 October 8 November

       Book now to avoid disappointment

Cost:  £20 for 8 x 3 hour sessions, plus expert mentoring

For more information T: 01249 705531 or E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To book, T: 01249 705500 or E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Students must be able to commit to all sessions

Virtual Landscapes

on Thursday, 20 March 2014.

Our Education Officer Laurel Miller has taken part in a project with Westbury young people, using the archives at the History Centre to inspire them to create a piece of film and animation around the theme of the Fovant Badges. 

This highly successful 'Virtual Landscapes' project has now come to an end and the creative work is now available to view on the Arts in Wiltshire blog at

Arctic Convoy Project

on Tuesday, 11 March 2014.

Project to gather veterans' stories receives £10,000 Sharing Heritage funding

Wiltshire’s Arctic Convoy veterans are to have their unique stories of camaraderie and bravery recorded for all time as part of a £10,000 oral history project.

There are now just 23 servicemen left in Wiltshire and Swindon who braved the most treacherous Arctic route, described by Sir Winston Churchill as “the worst journey in history,” to deliver vital supplies to the allies in World War ll.

Richard Jaggar

From 1941 to 1945 their convoys of merchant and navy ships crossed the Arctic route on a perilous route which cost more than 85 merchant vessels and 16 warships with more than 3,000 casualties.

At a special ceremony at County Hall last autumn members of both the Arctic Convoy and bomber command were given the Arctic Convoy Star Medal from the Ministry of Defence to recognise their bravery and the important role they played in the war effort.

Now their memories are to be recorded for posterity after the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre was awarded a £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage Grant to help collect their stories before they are lost to the passing of time.

The centre, which is jointly funded by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, will enlist the help of a professional oral historian and volunteers from the Trowbridge branch of the naval charity the White Ensign Association to conduct the interviews.

The interviews will form part of an online exhibition and also be used to create a drama by a youth theatre group at the Playhouse Theatre in Salisbury.

Photographic portraits will be taken to create a visual record for the community’s memory and the recorded interviews and other records will then be made available to researchers by the Wiltshire and Swindon Archive Service, based at the history centre.

Stuart Wheeler, cabinet member with responsibility for heritage at Wiltshire Council said: “These brave veterans provided a vital service to the war effort and I’m delighted we’ve been given this funding to capture their personal recollections for generations to come.”

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