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Friday, 14 July 2017

Work Experience at the Building Exploratory by Katie Devlin

Over the past week, Katie Devlin (age 17) has been doing work experience with us here at the Building Exploratory. It's been a pleasure hosting her, and here are her insights about her experience:

During work experience at the Building Exploratory has been a great way to learn more about jobs involving history and to learn some London history on the way. Over the week I’ve helped to research the mills of the River Wandle and Bangladeshi immigration into King's Cross – which I’ve found easier said than done, battling with conflicting sources and sparse information. I also had a chance to meet their partner organization in the King's Cross Story Palace project, HistoryPin who were very friendly and gave me a second perspective on the industry.

View from my flat
One project I really enjoyed was documenting the King's Cross area from my perspective, with a mixture of family photos and new pictures, which I’ve written about on the Story Palace website. It was really interesting to examine my thoughts about the area, and take a trip down memory lane to really think about why the places I walk through every day matter to me, and why they should matter to the public. 

The outdoor gym which made a better playground than the one next door

On Thursday I took a trip to Merton Archives, where they were very helpful in finding sources about the mills, which weren’t available online, giving me a chance to test my research skills outside of Google – well worth 20 stops on the Northern line! I was really impressed by the dedication of the Mapping the Mills project volunteers, who were giving up their own time to research because of their passion for preserving history, an approach which has inspired me to try volunteering in the future.

Snapchatting my way through the Wandle: Map of Amery Mills, Merton

On my last day, I got to meet the Senior BEEs and the Islington Eyes, the two older adult groups, when we went on a guided walk along the Thames foreshore, finding lots of cool bits of pottery, glass and bone. My favourite item was a huge ships nail I found which was very impressive, although sadly not of great historical value.

Exploring the Thames foreshore
Forgotten treasure on the Thames foreshore
 
Overall my time at the Building Exploratory has been really positive and I’m definitely not looking forward to going back to school on Monday after such a great week.


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