At the Corsham Institute based at Hartham Park, a fascinating local history exhibition telling the story of Corsham’s history over the last 170 million years, was open for two weeks during October and November and visited by over 250 people.
Tablet to Tablet, Corsham’s Journey from the Jurassic to the Digital Age, was curated by Corsham Institute’s Creative Digital and Media Apprentices and featured over 100 images in 9 different spaces around the Courtyard buildings at Hartham Park. The exhibition also featured artefacts from Corsham’s stone mining heritage and the oldest object believed to exist in Corsham, an 80,000-year-old bison bone.
Corsham’s history in communications and stone mining made possible its digital infrastructure today and the exhibition told the story of the Box Tunnel, which in 1841, when it opened, was the longest tunnel in the UK; to the growth of the Bath Stone mining industry. From some of the mines, during the first and second World Wars, being used as stores for thousands of tons of munitions, to the development during the Cold War of the highly secret alternative seat of Government under Corsham, with capacity for 4,000 civil servants and the communications infrastructure intended re-build the country after any nuclear attack.
Local artists, art groups and history societies were involved in creating the Exhibition and many local, personal archives were accessed. Filming was also carried out underground in Corsham’s only working stone quarry to bring the story up to date.
‘Tablet to Tablet’, provided a unique glimpse of the heritage that has enabled Corsham to develop into one of the most connected communities in the UK that has laid the foundations for the work of the Corsham Institute and from a glimpse at the comment cards, it was very well received! The adjectives used by visitors ranged from ‘fascinating’ to ‘superlative’, with one summing it up by saying, “Wonderful exhibition that really demonstrated the history and the diversity of our town and community.”
The Creative and Digital Media Apprenticeships are part of Corsham Institute’s commitment to Digital Corsham. They are on a rolling 18-month programme of full time work and training and it is hoped that future Apprentices will extend the scope of the exhibition, as well as digitising it, so it can be made available as a community asset for the whole of Corsham in the future.
For more information about the Corsham Institute their website is www.corshaminstitute.org.