Museums Northumberland - Union Chain Bridge: Crossing Borders, Connecting Communities

Union Chain Bridge: Crossing Borders, Inspiring Communities is an ambitious project involving the conservation of the historic Union Chain Bridge, and an extensive programme of public engagement. The project is a partnership between Northumberland County Council, Scottish Borders Council, Museums Northumberland and the Friends of the Union Chain Bridge.

In this partnership, Museums Northumberland is responsible for the Volunteer Programme and the delivery of all heritage learning and engagement activities on both sides of the border. Through everything we do, we strive to inspire people to engage and connect with local culture and heritage through a set of core values. We strive to be:

Generous - we are receptive, friendly and enabling;
Strategic - we are focused on our long-term objectives and how to achieve them;
Innovative - we are creative and thrive on ambitious projects and good ideas, and
Collaborative - we are inspired by partnership working and strive for co-delivery and co-authorship.

Current opportunity

We seek volunteers to collect oral histories from local residents and people involved in the project gathering stories about the Union Chain Bridge, its history, cultural context and role in everyday life in the area. The main focus of the role will involve Training in good practice in the gathering of oral histories. Meeting and recording structured conversations with people. This may include using virtual communication strategies as appropriate to the current situation. Transcribing these conversations. The content will be held in the project archives and will inform educational materials and public exhibition materials including the project website. Skills/Experience required: An interest in local history, people and culture. Good interactive verbal communication skills. Ability to work on your own and in a team. Attendance at appropriate training to develop your skills. Through this role you will gain: Experience of working with recording technology as appropriate to the task. Understanding of ways to gather oral histories, including developing questioning techniques, pro-active listening skills and managing ethical issues that might arise from interviewees’ contributions. The opportunity to develop your knowledge of local history, geography, and culture with a focus on the Union Chain Bridge. Experience of working independently, yet as part of a bigger team.