This week has felt a lot like my last year at uni as I was put to work researching some history of North Hykeham which involved me pouring over old maps. On Monday, I was sent to North Hykeham council to collect some maps that were to be used by the historian in workshops in South Hykeham school. They revealed the change of North Hykeham from a predominantly agricultural settlement to the new commuter belt which it has become. The oldest maps came from 1932 which even marked the (recently abandoned) windmills of North Hykeham. The Malleable works and gravel pits were marked too which were going to be useful to explain to pupils about Hykeham’s industrial past. The themes would be explained at a basic level, and many comparisons were to be made between old and new maps to tell the primary school children a basic history of their home.
Later in the week Dave the historian sent me to Lincoln Archives to find out some information on the foundry on the north-western edge of North Hykeham (centre top in the above picture) which made castings for cars, tanks etc. It was nice to be back at the archives after I had come there earlier in the year to find out information on seventeenth century civil unrest for my dissertation. I found many pictures and maps of the foundry, but no official production records. Often, if parts were made during the war for the armaments industry, they were kept secret; the archive had clearly not acquired them. Included below are some great pictures of foundry workers using minimal safety equipment, with both workers having sweat rags to mop their brows while working with the molten metal.
This week was particularly enjoyable as I was able to use my skills acquired at Goldsmiths university for the good of the project and to keep my research skills relatively honed. artsNK have been able to utilise my skill set such as historical research and music. I am very glad to be able to provide help in many different ways for the good work the Ridges & Furrows project is doing!