Who are we and what do we do?
York Past and Present was set up on the 18th October 2013 By Richard Brigham, Lianne Brigham & Ed Akehurst as a group on Facebook. The Intention of the group was to create a place where not only pictures were posted but the history and stories behind them, a place where people could come along and not only recall their memories but also share with others. It was originally intended to be a "York History" group for everyone who wanted to share their stories.
The Group soon grew in size and started to get interested in "Outside" projects, this mainly involved working with people like John Oxley (York's Archaeologist) and A.O.C Archaeology in our first Public Participation event of photographing and documenting some World War 2 huts alongside the Guildhall (These were called Hutments).
Below is a video of a talk we gave in Leeds with Helen Graham, Paul Furness, Lianne Brigham and Richard Brigham.
The idea of Public Participation took a hold and soon we were granted permission to do weekly tours of the Guildhall, opening the doors of every room from Cellar to roof and allowing the public to come along with us and see a building that had not been seen in that light before. After nearly a year we had shown over 1,000 around and got them interested in the history of this Medieval building.
In the middle of 2015 we were asked by the Mansion house if we would be interested in photographing and documenting the Mansion House whilst it was undergoing restoration. This allowed our members to get involved with more public participation also gave us a real chance to show what we (as members of the public) could really do.
Within the first few days we had photographed every room and part of the house and were then quick to document over 5,000 items and catalogue them (this project is ongoing till late 2016).
2017 and 2018 were prime years for York Past and Present and its members, working with, York Chocolate Stories on Oral history, York Guildhall, York Mansion House, English Heritage, Yorkmix, York City Council, My Future York and many other organisations in the City. The Peak of the year was that York Past and Present was invited to be key speakers at the European Heritage Conference in Finland.
A Video of York Past and Present founders giving a key note speach at the European Heritage Conference in Turku Finland.
In 2020 York Past and Present has continued to build on the work it has been doing, with a new Digital Archive with everything from a online Library to 360 virtual tours and now with the latest technology we are working with many other companies on VR (Virtual Reality), 360 degree photography and many other exciting projects to create 21st century Digital Archive for York
With over 30,000 members, York Past and Present has evolved into a History hub and a great Community as well as raising thousands of pounds for various charities by the generosity of its members.
Our aim is simple! And that is to allow members of the public to participate in the archiving and historical documentation of York and its many buildings as well as creating a 21st Century Archive that this City can be proud of.