Last week we held our quarterly teleconference with the INTO Board of Trustees. We begin every call with a round-up of what’s been going on at everyone’s organisations. We call this our ‘Learn and Share’. Here is a summary of what the Trustees shared.
Darren Peacock talked about current work to add places in South Australia to the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. A generation of Cornish miners, engineers and trades people came to work in the copper mines of Burra and Moonta. Moreover, the Trust tells their stories at various sites it owns in the two towns. Alex offered to chat further with Darren, given his Cornish roots and experience of the original World Heritage Site bid.
The Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development has some exciting new projects underway, SK Misra reported. These include conserving disused wells, a craft exhibition in Delhi and a skills development project for women.
Justin Albert said that 2020 was the National Trust’s 125 anniversary and offered to share current plans. The Board noted that there was an opportunity for INTO to get involved.
A week with the Innocastle team in Spain was Alex Lamont-Bishop’s recent highlight. It was good to see how excited people outside the movement are about the NT model. Lessons from the study visit will feed into next year’s Incubator. Firstly, communities determining the value of their heritage. And secondly, the importance of a sustainable non-governmental heritage sector.
William White reported that he and interim Director, Vincent Chaves, had now squared away the ICNT finances. He also reported a $6,000 profit and suggested that the final accounts could be useful in planning Antwerp. The search for a new Director continues and the Bermuda National Trust did not suffer too much from Hurricane Umberto. Furthermore, the Trust’s 50th anniversary celebrations will take place in April 2020.
To mark the centenary of women’s right to vote, Katherine Malone-France reported on the Trust’s celebration of Women’s Heritage Stories. These include Justina Ford, an African American doctor in Colorado who delivered 7,000 babies in her home. And an Alabama courthouse that was the inspiration for scenes in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. This work has been done in collaboration with American Express Foundation and Partners in Preservation. It involved a public voting process for $2m in grants and 1.1m votes cast.
She also spoke about a recently published report demonstrating that historic site visitation is increasing. The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)’s National Visitation Report provides some very useful quantitative data. Lastly, Katherine mentioned the recent visit by Catherine Leonard and Hilary McGrady, which involved many NTHP partners.
Natalie Bull spoke about the National Trust for Canada’s National Conference which they had just hosted in Winnipeg. Moreover she added that James Lindberg of the NTHP had given a keynote. She also talked about the data Trust organisations need to make the case for the value of historic places. Finally she underlined the value of the TAP-INTO mission with Nick Lawrence.
Fiona Reynolds spoke about her work on the Glover Review. You can find the final report here.
CCFU is taking on the Jinja Railway Station Museum! The project will focus on the preservation of the building and telling how people’s lives were changed by the railway. It is funded by the EU. Furthermore, the CCFU is documenting the heritage of the railway line between Tororo and Gulu. This flagship project brings in new players through a Public-Private Partnership. Emily Drani also mentioned that they were advocating for a new Ordinance to protect historic buildings in Entebbe. Catherine wondered whether there was INTO experience that could be built on.
The National Trust of Fiji had just acquired a new property in partnership with the Rain Forest Trust. Nakanacagi Cave is a roosting site for 95% of the Fijian Free-tailed Bat population. Elizabeth Erasito shared that the Trust is now learning about caves and developing a management plan. Catherine suggested linking to Bat Conservation International, with whom INTO has an MOU. However Elizabeth said they were one of the partners!
Irena Edwards reported that today her team was opening one of the meteorological columns Prague. It is one of several Czech National Trust projects in Prague. Others include the restoration of fountains, statues, a Cubist light sculpture and a giant Škoda sign. You can hear Eva Heyd talking about the meteorological columns here. Irena added that they had recently reorganized the Czech National Trust’s constitution.
Finally, I thanked Katherine for a terrific visit to the United States. It had particularly helped cement relations with the NTHP and Trustees of Reservations. It also created many new connections and ideas. And lastly, it demonstrated the practical value of INTO.