By Abi Obene, Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots Coordinator, Ilfracombe

In the last couple of weeks both Ilfracombe and Honiton have had their launch events for the Telling Our Stories, Finding Our Roots project run by education charity Devon Development Education.

In Honiton, this took place in The Beehive Community Centre and in Ilfracombe, just last week, the launch took place in the Ilfracombe Museum.

Despite the terrible weather for the Ilfracombe launch the event went off without a hitch. It was an afternoon filled with tea, coffee and cake, featuring music by a local musician and a space provided to attendees for talks, presentations and conversation.

Part of the reason why the launch was hosted in the Ilfracombe Museum was due to the charity’s involvement and interest in the project, in addition to its own incredible abundance of eccentric tales, hidden stories and still-to-be-researched truths – all of which will be a point of fascination for the project in the months ahead.

Attendees were a blend of interested parties, potential and already signed up volunteers, and more than one future interviewee for the project, and before long everyone were seated together and speaking about a wide range of subjects.

Discussion flowed on the complexities of personal identity and local heritage, comparisons with past versions of the Telling Our Stories project, the varied nature of archival research and the historic presence of multiculturalism in the area.

Not only that but we also had a few more volunteers sign up to take part, which was wonderful and very appreciated, as we’re always on the lookout for more interested parties to come along for the ride.

Even as we wind down a little for the holiday season, the wheels of this project will keep on turning over.

In January coffee mornings and training for the signed up volunteers will commence, and in February the project itself will kick off through conversations with the public and archival research.

We can’t wait to see what it is we will uncover!

If you would like to be involved within the Ilfracombe Telling Our Stories project, please email or find Abi at the Ilfracombe Library most Thursdays from 11am – 1pm.

If you would like to be involved within the Honiton Telling Our Stories project, please email or find Jess at the Honiton Library most Wednesdays from 10am to 12pm.