The Maker Memories project logo

by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer

We’ve started highlighting some of the major community projects and initiatives we’re working on this year while our building is closed for the development of the History Centre.

We’ve already blogged about the collections we’ve loaned out to a range of venues and started to share information about the walking tours project we’re working in partnership with the Barbican Theatre on.

Today we thought it would be good to talk about a very timely project that’s taking place in South East Cornwall.

‘Maker Memories’ is a volunteer-led community project designed to capture the rich and diverse heritage of Maker Camp on the Rame Peninsula. It’s led by volunteers from the Maker and Rame Community Interest Company. We’re working in partnership with them and lending our support. Our work is being led by Tony Davey, one of our Learning Development Officers.

An aerial photograph of Maker Camp in South East Cornwall

A former military base located in between the villages of Cremyll and Kingsand, Maker Camp has had many uses over the past 200 years.

From the 1920s to the early 1980s many people attended the camp thanks to a scheme established by the MP Nancy Astor and her Virginia House Settlement for ‘deprived city children’. It resulted in thousands of children (mainly from Plymouth) having their first, and sometimes only childhood holiday at Maker.

Black and white photograph of Maker Camp

More recent accounts include stories from hundreds of musicians who have played at The Random Arms and Energy Room on the site, festival goers from the former Maker Sunshine Festival, a number of artists who have had studios at the camp, holidaymakers who have camped in the fields overlooking the sea and people who have used it as their wedding venue.

A black and white photograph of a group of people having a picnic at Maker Camp, S E Cornwall

Through the project we’re hoping to capture as many of these rich and varied stories that still exist in peoples’ living memory as possible.

Our aim is to support the Maker and Rame Community Interest Company preserve the rich social history of Maker Camp from a time when it thrived right though to the present day. The project will feature in a community gallery space in the History Centre once it’s opened in 2020.

As the months progress we’ll be capturing oral accounts from those who’ve spent time at the camp over the years and hosting a series of events where people can drop in to share their memories, letters, pictures, videos and other memorabilia.

If you’d like to get involved you can find the project on Flickr and Facebook. Other social media channels are also being established and a website is under development.

You can also email [email protected] with anything you’d like to share.

Logo lock up for the Maker Memories project