Our Wingfield Station project team is growing!
We've recently appointed Bill Bevan and Rachel Costigan of inHeritage to co-ordinate public engagement projects at Wingfield Station.
Bill started as a tour guide and archaeologist after graduating from Newcastle Polytechnic. He worked for the National Trust and Peak District National Park Authority before founding inHeritage as a heritage interpretation consultancy in 2005. Since then, inHeritage has focused on community engagement, interpretive planning and development, and interpretive writing for a range of community groups, trusts and major clients. Bill has conducted interpretation planning and strategy work for a range of sites, including Cranborne Chase AONB, Crich Tramway Village, the Highland Wildlife Park, Stockton and Darlington Railway and Wirksworth. He has also created interpretive schemes for the likes of Pooles Cavern, Treakcliff Cavern, Severn Valley Railway, Canons Ashby and Natural England.
Rachel has been getting people involved with the stories of natural and cultural heritage sites for 22 years. Initially leading volunteers on environmental conservation projects around Derbyshire with TCV, she went on to work on wildlife survey projects overseas. She has co-ordinated environmental education sessions at Conkers in the National Forest, interpretation and events at the Mersey Valley in Manchester; and designing interpretation & visitor experiences for the National Trust at Little Moreton Hall and other sites across Cheshire and the Wirral. Rachel returned to Derbyshire to work on community engagement for the DerwentWISE Landscape Partnership in 2016 where she first worked with Bill.
Bill and Rachel worked together on public engagement during the nave roof repair at St Mary’s Church, Wirksworth and on the Wirksworth Heritage Interpretation Strategy.
We asked Bill and Rachel some questions about the role:
What interested us in the role?
We are impressed by the work of DHBT and would like the opportunity to work with such a dedicated organisation that has had such a significant impact on the county’s heritage. We both live in Wirksworth so have direct experience of the benefits that restoring historic buildings brings.
Engaging people in local heritage is what we do because we fundamentally feel that the experience and understanding of heritage benefits people – emotionally and intellectually. Wingfield Station is such a wonderful project with great conservation aims and we want to see the importance and stories of the station shared with as many people as possible. We enjoy the challenge of helping people understand the value of unappreciated heritage.
Having worked on various railway heritage projects, such as the DVMWHS, Monsal Trail, Severn Valley Railway and Stockton and Darlington Railway, we are familiar with the human impact that the development of the railways had as part of a global and local transport revolution.
What are we looking forward to doing?
The exciting part about projects like this is the passion people have for the history, and the affection that surfaces for the building. It’s inspiring to work with people who have this sort of enthusiasm, and the different strands of this project gives us lots of opportunities to help people pass on their knowledge, skills and memories.
What we will be doing?
We are currently getting to know who is involved in the project and contacting individuals and groups who said in 2021 they would like to be involved. We will work closely with the local community, including South Wingfield Local History Group, and local railway heritage groups to facilitate community led research, interpretation, guided tours, maintenance and wildlife habitat restoration at the station. Part of our role is to help deliver public events, talks and tours – including a programme of activities to tie in with the completion of construction work in autumn 2023.
We’re going to give students opportunities to be involved in finding about conservation building works by working with local colleges and universities. Schools will have the chance to find out about their local history. We’ll set up some CPD opportunities for architects through Derbyshire Historic Building Trust’s academy, to help increase understanding of heritage restoration processes.
We’ll be getting Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Broomfield College involved in tending to the patch of land the station is set in, improving it’s benefit for wildlife and visitors.