As the Horkey drew nearer, the marketing and publicity was ramped up. Two road-side banners were designed, commissioned, and had been printed by DPS Sleaford. My job was to set them up at the entrances to Welbourn; a colleague and I spent a long while deliberating where they would be seen by both sides of the road and also to accommodate residents coming in and out of the village. After that were many days of flyering in nearby villages such as Navenby, Wellingore and Leadenham. Although outside our targeted villages, I dished out the rest of my heavy stack of leaflets in Waddington, the third target village of the project to raise awareness about the upcoming festival and the start of the project.
I have really enjoyed all the travelling to and fro for the project as I think it has made me very knowledgeable about the areas surrounding Lincoln. I have loved travelling around North Kesteven and learning the social history of the area from both the villagers and all my colleagues. Everyone at artsNK do genuinely care about the work they do, and really do want to service the communities we work with. Through community outreach activities in schools, community workshops, and children’s extra-curricular groups, twinned with the steering group meetings with members of the local community, I feel very connected and welcomed by the people of Welbourn which has helped me greatly acclimatise to my new home. Knowing about the old mills, the names of local farms and the history of the iron age castle really has made me connect with the area; doubtless most of the village are yet to be affected by this history though!
In addition to the marketing work for the Welbourn Horkey, I have been compiling a list of local contacts for the purposes of community engagement for the second phase of the project based in North Hykeham. The history of the three target villages vary immensely, Welbourn has stayed largely the same size, with around 300 houses now (trust me, I’ve put leaflets through every door!). North Hykeham has completely transferred in the last 150 years. From a small, rural village in the nineteenth century, to a growing industrial town in the early twentieth century with the malleable works and gravel pits providing jobs for the growing population. Finally, the industry has disappeared in the town and, with a growing population, North Hykeham has transformed into a glorified suburb of Lincoln acting as more of a commuter belt. Waddington has grown with the introduction of the RAF base and has also grown into two, sparsely connected villages providing a physical obstacle for the community to overcome. It will be very interesting to see how the Ridges & Furrows project tailors its movements to achieve a lasting positive impact on the community in each village as the year progresses.