Our long, learning-packed tryst with the Durham World Heritage centre began when we attended an all-day workshop at the Durham World Heritage Centre dealing with heritage topics in Asia. Issues and initiatives ranged from living heritage sites, multi-faith sites, pilgrimage, and post-disaster reconstruction of heritage in Nepal, India, and Pakistan.
Many of the topics introduced on Thursday carried over into the following two days of the 30th Anniversary Conference of the Durham World Heritage Site. Our programme was lucky enough to attend as delegates in exchange for assisting at the conference. The theme of the conference was intangible heritage and lectures were subdivided into the themes of pilgrimage, art and artefacts, music, and the built environment.
Spending Friday and Saturday in the beautiful atmosphere of the castle and cathedral for two full days of thought provoking lectures was a rare opportunity for us as students. Our minds were full to bursting with new knowledge, which frankly exhausted the majority of us. Saturday culminated with the awesome fireworks display at Grey’s College for Bonfire Night. I know I for one was happy to spend a cosy Sunday at home in front of the fire to recharge for the next week!
I had my first Fun Day of my placement to round off the 30th Anniversary celebrations on the site. It had been exciting seeing the leaflet come together and finally have the day arrive! Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side, it was a very cold and rainy day! But we didn’t let that dampen our spirits and myself and Kenzie got into the party spirit with balloons, balloons everywhere and popping unexpectedly!
After lunch, the day had brightened slightly and more visitors seemed to be on the site, however it was still not too busy. I was grateful to have Kenzie and Rasa with me throughout the afternoon as we went to each activity to see what was happening and try and get some evaluations of the day. The stonemason and the children’s choir were the most popular activities with many evaluation coming from there. I enjoyed the day despite the weather causing it to be a fairly quiet event and certainly learned a lot from the experience.